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Samuel L. Jackson named Chairman’s award Recipient for ’53rd NAACP Image Awards’

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The NAACP and BET announced that Academy Award-nominated actor and producer Samuel L. Jackson will receive the prestigious Chairman’s Award during the 53rd NAACP Image Awards”. The Chairman’s Award is bestowed in recognition of individuals who demonstrate exemplary public service and use their distinct platforms to create agents of change. Past honorees of the Chairman’s Award include the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis and Ruby Dee, Danny Glover, Rev. James Lawson, Tyler Perry, then-Senator Barack Obama, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. It was also announced that Scot X. Esdaile will receive the Activist of the Year award and Channing Hill will receive the Youth Activist of the Year award. The “53rd NAACP Image Awards”, hosted by seven-time NAACP Image Awards Winner Anthony Anderson, airs Sunday, 27 February at 19:00 WAT / 20:00 CAT on BET Africa (DStv Channel 129).  

“Samuel L. Jackson is an incredibly talented actor with a remarkable career in film and theater spanning over four decades,” said Leon W. Russell, chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors. “Many might not know that prior to his acting career, Jackson was a staunch activist during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, even serving as an usher at Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral. His continued public service and advocacy for social change make him an excellent recipient for the Chairman’s Award.” 

“Samuel L. Jackson’s talent and star power has inspired generations and continues to raise the bar for all of Hollywood,” said Connie Orlando, EVP, Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy. “We admire his impressive entertainment career and humanitarian efforts, and we look forward to giving him his flowers as a living legend, continuing to honor his Black Excellence.” 

Jackson’s portrayal of ‘Jules’ in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” made an indelible mark on American cinema. In addition to unanimous critical acclaim, he received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, as well as a Best Supporting Actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Among his many award-winning performances, Jackson made movie history with his portrayal of Gator Purify in Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever” when he was awarded the first and only Best Supporting Performance Award ever given by the judges at the Cannes Film Festival. Jackson will receive an honorary Academy Award at the upcoming Governors Awards this year. 

With roles in prestigious and fan favorite films including “RoboCop,” “True Romance,” “The Hateful Eight,” “Snakes on a Plane,” “A Time to Kill,” “Do the Right Thing,” “Goodfellas,” “Unbreakable,” multiple “Star Wars” films, and multiple Marvel films including “Iron Man 2,” “The Avengers,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and more, Jackson has solidified himself as an international film icon, captivating audiences worldwide.  

Jackson’s next appearance will be in the Apple TV limited series “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.” The series is based on best-selling author Walter Mosley’s bestselling novel, which he adapted for the screen and executive produces alongside Jackson. 

This year’s Activist of the Year Award will go to Scot X. Esdaile, President of the Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches and a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Esdaile has been working with the Black and Latino Caucus addressing the lack of testing, data, PPE supplies and vaccinations for the Black and Brown communities. His efforts on this initiative have produced positive outcomes in the health arena with better access to testing and vaccination sites in minority communities. He also fought for the successful passage of bills that limited use of tasers and established the Minority Health Advisory Council to eliminate health disparities.  

Most recently, Esdaile collaborated with many stakeholders, hospitals, and the Governor of Connecticut on the NAACP National Million Jobs Campaign, an initiative geared toward removing barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated individuals, and designed to help people make fresh starts while reducing recidivism. The purpose of the initiative is to provide viable opportunities for people who have served time to get back on the right path and to become a viable citizen contributing to society and the community.  

Channing Hill, NAACP Chapter President of Howard University, will receive this year’s Youth Activist of the Year award. Hill is an aspiring lawyer pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Strategic, Legal, and Management Communication at Howard University in Washington, D.C. At only 20 years old, Hill has organized and led protests in public schools in her home state of Texas since her adolescence. Finding her voice in her NAACP Youth-Council in Arlington, Texas, she now leads as the Howard University NAACP Chapter President. Channing’s commitment to social justice is rooted in a firm belief in community and black traditions. 

Winners for the “53rd NAACP Image Awards” will be revealed during the award ceremony on Sunday, 27 February at 19:00 WAT / 20:00 CAT on BET Africa (DStv Channel 129). NAACP will also recognize winners in non-televised Image Awards categories February 21-25, which will stream on www.naacpimageawards.net. The “53rd NAACP Image Awards” are presented by Wells Fargo and sponsored by AT&T, Google, T-Mobile, Bank of America, General Mills, FedEx, and Airbnb. For all information and the latest news, please follow NAACP Image Awards on Instagram @NAACPImageAwards.  

 

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Big Boi and Sleepy Brown share visual for “Do Ya Best” feat. Scotty ATL

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Outkast’s Big Boi and Organized Noise’s Sleepy Brown have just released the visual to “Do Ya Best” (feat. Scotty ATL), a standout track on their collaborative album Big Sleepover. The vivacious visuals show Big, Sleepy, & Scotty as the centerpiece of a South Beach-style party and court-side at a high-end fashion show featuring an assortment of beautiful models. Big Boi spits his laid-back verse sporting a Roman-style headpiece, while Sleepy lays down his smooth hook sitting on a beach surrounded by luxurious cars and the beaming sun. “Do Ya Best” (feat. Scotty ATL) was a crowd favorite from Big & Sleepy’s 2021 critically-acclaimed collaborative album Big Sleepover, and this visual only adds to the swagger and finesse of the funky track.

6-time Grammy®-winning rapper Big Boi needs little introduction. Best known as one-half of landmark hip-hop crew Outkast alongside André 3000, the Savannah-raised rapper has gone on to have a successful solo career with the critically acclaimed Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty in 2010 and 2017’s Boomiverse. Sleepy Brown is a member of the acclaimed, platinum-certified Atlanta production/writing trio Organized Noize, with Rico Wade and Ray Murray. Penning and producing hits for Outkast, Ludacris, and TLC, the trio is one of the most important production collectives in hip-hop history. Perhaps their most well-known collaboration, Billboard #1 single “The Way You Move” from Speakerboxxx proves that the duo of Sleepy Brown and Big Boi have always had a penchant for crafting chart-topping hits together. In 2021 Big & Sleepy joined Ludacris and Killer Mike in a performance at the Atlanta Braves victory parade celebrating their World Series win––giving the hometown fans a show of a lifetime to couple with the momentous win and exhibiting exactly why they are a cornerstone in the rich history of Atlanta. In December of last year, after a slew of successful singles like “Lower Case (no cap)” (feat. Killer Mike), “The Big Sleep Is Over” (feat. KAY-I) & “Animalz”, Big Boi & Sleepy Brown released their highly-anticipated collaborative Big Sleepover album which was met with a thunderous response from critics & long-time fans of the duo.

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Dreamville’s Lute Continues To Excel Lyrically With ‘Like Wine’ Video

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Photo Credit: Marcus Miller

After crafting an entrancing debut, headlined by his gripping issues with anxiety and self-doubt, North Carolina MC Lute quenched fans’ thirst for more music with his deluxe release of Gold Mouf, including “Luther’s Freestyle,” “Run It Back,” and “Like Wine.” The latter receives the visual treatment from 12VY as GRAMMY-Award winner DJ Drama bolsters Lute’s lyrical exercise with his braggadocios adlibs. Standing in front of a fleet of cars, including a cherry red BMW, Lute’s confidence reigns supreme as he barks at his detractors with a series of jabs: “Shit, so fuck who ain’t believin’ me/ Can never say I’m wack, ’cause you rap niggas never seein’ me.” “Like Wine” comes on the heels of Lute’s recently released videos “Eye to Eye” and “Changes.” Check out Lute’s latest offering HERE.

The GRAMMY-nominated rapper’s newest project is just one of many exciting developments in recent weeks. Lute performed at the long-awaited return of the annual Dreamville Festival last month, with his set praised in a shoutout from Complex. He also joined his labelmates for two cuts on the D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz Mixtape compilation, which debuted in the top 5 of Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top Rap Albums charts.

Gold Mouf Chronicles, Lute gets vulnerable about his battle with anxiety, and the toll it had on his family.  He also shares his bout with open-heart surgery that left his future up to fate. While the procedure was successful, Lute’s experiences have a lasting mental and physical impact. But rather than succumb to his fears, Lute valiantly wears his vulnerabilities on his sleeves, advancing his skills as an MC and deepening his connection with his fans.

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Viola Davis receives Women In Motion Award at Cannes Film Festival

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Viola Davis receives Women In Motion Award at Cannes Film Festival

In her honor, Kering and the Cannes Film Festival were pleased to welcome Isabelle Huppert, Vincent Lindon, Valeria Golino, Paolo Sorrentino, Audrey Diwan, Lola Quivoron and Raymond Depardon on the occasion of the official dinner of the 8th edition of Women In Motion.

The official dinner of Women In Motion, Kering’s program to highlight the invaluable contribution of women to the 7th art, took place Sunday, May 22, 2022, in Place de la Castre in the heights of Cannes, around a menu conceived by the starred chef of the Gucci Osteria, Karime Lopez.

On this occasion, François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering and Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the Festival de Cannes, presented the eighth Women In Motion Award to American actress and producer Viola Davis, who delivered a powerful speech, in the presence of the members of the Festival Jury. The Young Talent Award was given to Swedish director Ninja Thyberg.

Among the guests were actresses and actors Isabelle Huppert, Vincent Lindon, Rebecca Hall, Letitia Wright, Julie Gayet, Edgar Ramirez, Noomi Rapace, Alba Rohrwacher, Paul Mescal, Benoît Magimel, Rossy de Palma, Clotilde Courau, Elodie Bouchez, Déborah François, Riz Ahmed, Romain Brau, Anthony Sonigo, Pierre Deladonchamps as well as comedian Stéphane de Groodt. The cast of Novembre by Cédric Jimenez, including Sandrine Kiberlain, Jean Dujardin, Anaïs Demoustier, Lyna Khoudri et Sami Outalbali were also present.

Kering and the Festival de Cannes were also pleased to welcome directors Audrey Diwan, Paolo Sorrentino, Mélanie Laurent, Joachim Trier, Valeria Golino, Asghar Farhadi, Maïwenn, Debra Granik, Lola Quivoron, Chie Hayakawa, Monia Chokri, Aïssa Maïga, Costa Gavras, Claudine Nougaret, Jeff Nichols, Audrey Dana and the winner of the 2021 Young Talent Award, Shannon Murphy. Film industry professionals Julius Tennon, Melita Toscan Du Plantier, Jeremy Thomas, Rosalie Varda, Ronald Chammah were also present.

The great French photographer and documentary filmmaker Raymond Depardon, musicians Carla Bruni, Clara Luciani and Benjamin Biolay, models Adriana Lima, Anja Rubik, Eva Herzigova, as well as and influencers Aha & Lolo and Nour Arida also attended this exceptional moment.

Download the visuals of the dinner: HERE

About Women In Motion

Kering’s commitment to women is at the heart of the Group’s priorities and extends, through Women In Motion, to the field of arts and culture, where gender inequalities are still glaring, even though creation is one of the most powerful vectors for change.

In 2015, Kering launched Women In Motion at the Festival de Cannes with the ambition of highlighting women in cinema, both in front of and behind the camera. The program has since expanded in a major way to photography, but also to art, design, choreography and music. Through its Awards, the program recognizes inspirational figures and young female talent, while its Talks provide an opportunity for leading personalities to share their views on the representation of women in their profession.

For the past eight years, Women In Motion has been a platform of choice that contributes to changing mind sets and thinking on the place of women – and the recognition they receive – in the arts and culture.

About Kering

A global Luxury group, Kering manages the development of a series of renowned Houses in Fashion, Leather Goods, Jewelry: Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin, as well as Kering Eyewear. By placing creativity at the heart of its strategy, Kering enables its Houses to set new limits in terms of their creative expression while crafting tomorrow’s Luxury in a sustainable and responsible way. We capture these beliefs in our signature: “Empowering Imagination”.

Photos: Vittorio Zunino Celotto, Daniele Venturelli and Boby

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Photos: Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker marry in lavish Italian ceremony

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Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker have got married – again. (more…)

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South African Film, ‘Two Hues’ selected for Cannes NEXT

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South African filmmaker and actor, Weaam Williams will pitch her up-coming feature film, Two Hues at NEXT, Marche du Film, Festival De Cannes.

 

The screenplay is funded by the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa, and has been selected to participate at Marche du Film with the Swiss tech company, largo.ai.

 

Two Hues is a high concept, fiction feature film about a woman who suffers from bi-polar disorder and is a silent victim of sexual assault. The title refers to her two opposite moods portrayed via colour, red and blue.

 

The proof of concept short film, garnered several awards on the 2021 festival circuit, including Best Women Empowerment Film at Berlin Short Film Festival and Best Lead Actress at West Europe International Film Festival.

 

Williams will pitch the project, as a part of the largo NEXT selection, to an audience of financiers, studio representatives and distributors on the 20th May 2022 at The Main Stage, Riviera – Festival De Canes.

 

“I feel that the return of film festivals will encourage a return to the cinema, and this is a very exciting prospect after the hard lock-down. I am very happy to participate at Marche du Film this year, and will promote Two Hues and the rest of the Tribal Alchemy catalogue, as well as meet with co-producers interested in working in South Africa,” expresses Williams.

 

South African producer, Kethiwe Ngcobo, from Fuzebox Entertainment, is a co-producer on this project. She has many years of experience as the Head of Drama at the South African national broadcaster, as well as three feature films under her belt.

 

 

“I am privileged to be working with Weaam, her creativity extends to writing, acting and directing. I am very happy to be a part of the project as Weaam is such a committed filmmaker,” says co-producer Kethiwe Ngcobo.

 

Two Hues feature film script is complete and has generated impressive box office statistics, in proportion to its budget, country of origin and cast. Weaam is set to continue to play the lead for the feature film, however, the director for the project is to be confirmed.

Investment company “i-cubed capital” is the first company to support the production of what is forecasted to be a box-office success. 

“We are pleased and honoured to participate as investors in Two Hues. Our investment in Two Hues highlights our support for local film production, gender equality, anti-racism and anti-violence. I-cubed Consulting believes that the film once completed and screened will have a positive social impact on society,” says Ismail Kajee, Founding Partner at i-Cubed Capital. 

 

Two Hues is currently in development, and Tribal Alchemy Productions will continue fund-raising for the next 12 months.

 

The indie short was produced with a shoe-string budget and managed to receive a few accolades and good audience interaction across the world.

 

“The feature is more ambitious and I am optimistic about the impact it will have on the South African film landscape and tech space, as well as its universal message against gender based violence and exclusion of cultural minorities,” says Williams.

 

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Grammy-Winning Artist Leon Thomas Reveals New Single & Music Video “X-Rated”

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Leon Thomas

Entering what promises to be a massive era, GRAMMY® Award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Leon Thomas unveils a new single and music video entitled “X-Rated” [feat. Benny The Butcher] today. Listen to it HERE, and watch the music video HERE.

 

The single marks Leon’s debut music under multiplatinum artist, singer, songwriter, producer Ty Dolla $ign’s newly inked EZMNY Records, a joint label venture with Motown Records. Ty shares his excitement, stating, “Leon’s talent was just a higher level from every other singer or producer that I was hearing, and the fact that he was doing everything himself from playing bass to working Logic and Pro Tools. From the first song I heard, I knew he was one of them ones.”

 

On Leon’s “X-Rated” track, a glitchy beat holds down the groove beneath warbling loops, building a layered soundscape evocative of nineties hip-hop. His vocals glide over this backdrop as he celebrates female sexual freedom in the verses before a chantable chorus, “X-Rated girl, if these walls could talk.” Meanwhile, Griselda spitter Benny The Butcher pulls up with a fiery feature. The strikingly cinematic visual, which Thomas directed, captures these vibes on-screen and includes a cameo appearance from Ty Dolla $ign.

 

Speaking on the inspiration behind the song, Leon shares, “X-Rated is an ode to my love of “Boom Bap” and early 90’s instrumentals. Benny The Butcher brought authentic bars and helped further the theme of this record.”

 

A prolific songwriter and producer, Leon’s unique sound and writing wizardry can be found up and down the Billboard charts. He’s contributed to anthems for everyone from Toni Braxton and Babyface –winning a Grammy for his writing credits on the duo’s 2014 joint album Love, Marriage & Divorce—to Post Malone, Ariana Grande, Chris Brown, Kehlani, J. Cole, Rick Ross, Ella Mai, and more. As a co-writer and co-producer, he recently powered “Pipe Down,” “Love All” [feat. JAY-Z], and “In the Bible” [feat. Lil Durk & Giveon] from Drake’s global chart-topping Certified Lover Boy album.

 

Also, a true vocalist and artist in his own right, Leon unveiled his debut EP Genesis in 2018, which garnered tens of millions of streams and earned him critical acclaim. He continues to be a musical force of nature with the release of “X-Rated” and a highly anticipated project due out soon. Be on the lookout for more from Leon!

From writing and producing on #1 albums with chart-breaking artists to starring on hit television series, GRAMMY® Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, and actor Leon Thomas has become one of the most watched multi-hyphenate talents in the entertainment industry today. He has written and produced with the likes of Post Malone, Ariana Grande, Kehlani, J. Cole, Rick Ross, and more, and won a Grammy for writing credits on Babyface and Toni Braxton’s 2014 joint album Love, Marriage & Divorce. In 2021, Leon found himself contributing his writing and production skills to Drake’s global chart-topping album Certified Lover Boy on “Pipe Down,” “Love All” feat. JAY-Z, and “In the Bible” feat. Lil Durk and Giveon. Born in Brooklyn and raised by his vocalist mother, opera-singing grandfather, and stepfather who played guitar for B.B. King, Thomas’ musical career began early. He appeared as Young Simba on Broadway’s The Lion King at 10 years old and began working with Nickelodeon at 13, voicing The Backyardigans character Tyrone and starring in Victorious for the show’s entire run. In 2018, Leon released his debut EP Genesis to critical acclaim. He continues to expand his artistry and venture into a new era of music under Ty Dolla $ign’s EZMNY Records and Motown Records, with the release of “X-Rated” feat. Benny The Butcher and a full project due out soon.

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