3x Grammy award-winning, Platinum-selling superstar Lizzo has announced her highly-anticipated return. With anthemic smash hits like the 7x Platinum “Truth Hurts,” the 3x Platinum “Good As Hell,” the 2x Platinum “Juice,” and the Platinum “Tempo (Feat. Missy Elliott)” already under her belt, Lizzo is set for yet another smash with the upcoming “Rumors.” “Rumors” is out on August 13, and pre-saves are available now HERE.
Along with her first new music of the year, Lizzo is making her comeback even stronger with a number of festival appearances. The songstress makes history as the first woman to ever headline Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. As well as her September 4 appearance at Bonnaroo, Lizzo will also perform for Global Citizen Live on September 25, Firefly Music Festival on September 26, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on October 10, and Outside Lands on October 30. Lizzo will also make her eagerly awaited return to her home state of Minnesota for a headline show at Welch, MN’s Treasure Island Amphitheater on September 11. For more details, visit HERE.
Lizzo has become a household name with well over 5 billion global streams and a Platinum selling debut album to date. Lizzo released her Nice Life Recording Company/Atlantic Records debut album CUZ I LOVE YOU on April 19, 2019, debuting at #6 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart and spending 24 consecutive weeks in the chart’s Top 10. “Truth Hurts” also became the longest running #1 by a solo female rap artist in history after spending seven weeks atop the charts.
Since the release of the meteoric CUZ I LOVE YOU, Lizzo has been named both TIME Magazine and Entertainment Weekly‘s 2019 Entertainer of the Year, as well as gracing the covers of Rolling Stone, Billboard’s GRAMMY Preview Issue, British Vogue, Elle’s Women In Music Issue, and many others. Additionally, Lizzo kicked off 2020 with a showstopping opening performance at the 62 Annual GRAMMY awards and took home three big wins, in addition to being the most-nominated artist of the year. 2020 also saw her win the awards for Best Female R&B/Pop Artist at the 2020 B.E.T Awards and both “Entertainer of the Year” and “Outstanding Video” at the 2020 NAACP Awards. Her list of high-profile TV performances also include the 2019 American Music Awards, VMAs, B.E.T Awards and Saturday Night Live, in addition to in depth profiles on CBS This Morning’s GRAMMY primetime special and CBS Sunday Morning.
CITY GIRLS DROP MUSIC VIDEO FOR TWERKULATORDIRECTED BY MISSY ELLIOTT
Miami’s own City Girls have dropped the long-awaited music video for their massive summer single Twerkulator, out now via Quality Control Music / Motown Records. After dropping the highly anticipated track in May, fans of Young Miami and JT have eagerly awaited the music video to accompany the club-ready track. Directed by hip-hop icon Missy Elliott, the video follows the chaos that ensues after Elliott delivers a city-wide warning that “The Twerkulators have already invaded Twerk-City and you don’t have much time.” The video is choreographed by Sean Bankhead with Creative Direction by Derek Blanks.
Alongside dropping their new video, City Girls have stayed busy as summer kicks off, blessing fans with an unforgettable and unapologetic performance of Twerkulator at the 2021 BET Awards, as well as gracing the cover of i-D Magazine in June. Watch for more to come soon from hip hop’s most notorious duo.
Watch the Twerkulator BET Awards performance here.
Throughout this pandemic, the artist Jesse Forte, known as Jforte, has continued to do what he has done his whole career since he began making music in 2013: push the boundaries of his music and what he can do as an artist. Jforte is constantly creating and expanding as he has out a new song every week over the course of the pandemic (55+ weeks). Throughout his career he has also founded his business “Young Revolutionary Minds,” hosts the YRM podcast, wrote three books, launching products, and training to become an astronaut, all while giving back to and empowering his community. His song “Make It Happen” is culmination of his drive, story he wants to put out into the world to inspire others. We had the opportunity to ask Jforte about his career and what’s next for the artist:
You stated that making music consistently throughout the pandemic was a goal of yours, and you’ve clearly done that with one song produced each week for 55+ weeks. Where did the idea of weekly songs come from and why was it so important to be weekly?
After writing my third book, “Make It Happen” and listening to “It’s All In Your Head” 200 times, I realized I needed to be consistent and treat my gift like a job. Once I heard Russ express it the way he did, it made sense to me and I tried it out. So far, it’s been going well and getting better! Being able to put out a song weekly keeps me energized to create. I know that people may not listen right then and there, but the music will be there forever and it’s better to start now than later.
What is the production process like when you are making a new song every week? Is it any different than the production of other work you have made?
At first, I had music I wrote to beats that were famous. Then, I shopped around for beats that made sense for the music I was putting out. I would purchase the beats and write music to them. Once I got the hang of it, I started buying more beats, listening, and then sitting down. [I would use] pen and paper [to] writ[e] down my feelings, thoughts, ideas, concepts and purpose. The more I write, the better I get.
Once I get the lyrics down, I start to rehearse them, call up an engineer, and prep for the studio. I generally have at least 5 songs ready to go, just because I like to truly take advantage of the opportunity of using the booth–time is money. Most of my sessions last between 3- 5 hours.
When I write books, I try to write 2-3 pages a day. When I wrote “Fail Forward Through Success,” I would write in Cartel coffee in Tempe every day, and I wouldn’t leave until I pushed out 3 pages. Same thing with “Redemption,” and “Make It Happen” was special because I wrote it during the pandemic.
Being someone as busy as you are, burnout seems inevitable. Have there been weeks where it felt impossible to make a song? Where do you look for inspiration in times where motivation may be lacking?
Whenever my mind becomes too loud, I get rest, meditate, take a break and when I feel better, I take a step forward with whatever the goal is. I’m cool with resting, but I’ll never lay down or give up on what I have intended to accomplish. Sometimes it doesn’t happen instantly, but patience and persistence have been the best lessons and gifts I possess. I have an engine that is going to go, whether I am motivated or would rather rest. That was instilled back at Parkview.
Was music always something you wanted to do, or was it more like a passion that snuck up on you? Who were your biggest inspirations when getting into the music industry?
I was talking to Bow Wow a couple weeks ago on IG live and told him I performed “Basketball” for the talent show. We bumped Pac in the car when I was 3 and I could hear Rakim through the womb when I was being created. That’s just confirmation that I am supposed to be right where I am and that these conversations are blessings from the universe saying “we got you” and to keep going!
I’ve always wanted to be a rapper. My second-grade teacher told me, “No.” Subconsciously, I listened to her for 20 years. Then, this inner me said to fuck her opinion and be happy. I knew I wouldn’t be happy if I wasn’t pursuing what was in me. That why it’s important to be around people that lift you up and let you dream!
My influences are Jforte and Yé– fun fact: I performed Roses at America’s Got Talent. They liked it but I didn’t make it past the 1st round. [Also,] Drake, Immortal Technique, Uncle Snoop, Meek Mill, Drake, Logic, Doja Cat, Cardi B, Jack Harlow, Bow Wow, Gucci, Rakim, Jay-Z, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Missy Elliott, Big Pun, 50 cent, Red Man, Method Man, HER, Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, Pharrell, Michale Jackson, Prince, Queen, Tribe Called Quest, Dr. Dre and so, so many more. I just love good music!
It’s apparent that “Make It Happen” is an important, encouraging phrase for you as it is both a song title as well as the title of your third book; where did that phrase come from and what does it mean to you personally?
“Make It Happen” became even more powerful for me once I started to realize that people enjoyed the song and it pumped them up! “Making It Happen” means that regardless of circumstance, we rise to the occasion. That means meeting a deadline, being there for your loved one or just staying committed to the vision you see within yourself.
My goal is to share my truth in a majority of my music. If you listen to what I say in “Make It Happen,” it’s everything I’ve specifically been through. By the way, I write 100% of my lyrics–no ghost writers or floating pens. I thought I should mention that because I take pride in making the music you hear from me.
You’ve pursued many different avenues throughout your life, from music, writing, and hosting podcasts to getting a technical degree in software engineering, college football, becoming an astronaut and even making a biodegradable toothbrush and charcoal toothpaste. What motivates you to explore so many different paths, many of which people choose as a career rather than trying to do it all at once?
I was a D student in elementary school. I bloomed in middle school and started getting A’s and B’s. Then high school hit, and I was a jock. Then college hit, and I did pretty well. I’ve had a chip on my shoulder most of my life, I think it comes from being an underdog, my upbringing, and just realizing I want the best for myself and the people that enter my life. I definitely haven’t taken an easy road, but I know that I rather take a road less travelled and lead the way than to do what’s easy and regret the journey I could have had.
On your podcast “Young Revolutionary Minds” you share and support people’s journeys in reaching their goals. What led you to decide to share these people’s stories as the topic of your podcast?
One of my favorite podcasters, and the reason why I started that, was because of Lewis Howes. He is a big inspiration to me and I love listening to his podcast, you should check it out! Listening to his [podcast], made me realize I have met amazing people around the world and I’d love to share what they are working on! On top of this, I wanted to build relationships with new people, learn from some of the new leaders of the world, and have something to do while I was figuring out who I was.
You’ve been through lots of highs and lows throughout your life. What advice would you give people, whether it be making it in the music industry, or just achieving their personal goals? What have you learned that you’d like to share with people?
Love yourself. Trust that you are someone to adore, and know that your dreams will manifest when you do the work. Secondly, make sure to fight for what you want. When I say fight, I mean relentlessly go after what you desire. If you don’t know, ask questions, preferably from people who have been there or know how to get there. When it comes to music, don’t be afraid to explore different genres. Put your music out, stop waiting for the perfect time. Right now is perfect and will improve! Lastly, create a vision board and look at it every day. Read it out loud, then do something each day that gets you closer. And dream big!
Being in the public eye you make impressions on people and inspire others. You seem to try to always give back to communities and try to have positive energy that you’re putting out into the world. What message or feeling are you trying to put out to the world? Why is it so important for you to have that positive energy you’re exuding?
Being an artist is a privilege and my vision is to inspire 7 billion people around the world through my voice, ways of life and community. I make a lot of music– some deep, some chill, others scary, and some gangster–but the message I’m putting out is, be you. Cuz I’m me, and I do it better than anyone in the world. 😉 Being me, of course.
In 2020 you came up with the ambition goal to release a new song every week, and you have not stopped. How long do you plan to continue that? What’s next for you in 2021?
I’m going to keep putting music out and when I need a break, I’ll rest. I make music because it’s my passion. In 2021, I’m manifesting opportunities to create music with the people I listen to like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Bow Wow, Drake Meek Mill and Russ. I plan on finding ways for more people to listen to my music and to be inspired.
Naomi Judd partners with Looped for one-on-one meet & greet event to benefit National Alliance on Mental Illness
Country music icon, Naomi Judd, has partnered with Looped, a new platform that enables fans to video chat live with their favorite celebrities, for a one-on-one meet and greet event on July 6 at 2:00 p.m. CDT. Proceeds from the event benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness Tennessee (NAMI) which provides advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives. Tickets for the event, which benefit National Alliance on Mental Illness Tennessee (NAMI), are available now here.
“Thank you for joining me on Looped! I can’t wait to talk to each and every one of you. The proceeds from this event will be donated to NAMI Tennessee which is an organization very dear to my heart,” expressed Naomi.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame recently announced that The Judds, Naomi and daughter Wynonna, will receive a star on the world’s most famous walkway. The five-time GRAMMY®, nine-time CMA and seven-time ACM Award-winning duo join Kelly Clarkson, Missy Elliott, Trisha Yearwood, Nick Cannon, Courteney Cox, Zac Efron and 28 other entertainers as part of the landmark’s newest class of 2021 inductees.
Wynonna and Naomi Judd brought a fresh acoustic sound to country music, with unmistakable harmonies surrounding Wynonna’s powerful lead vocals. The Judds are often celebrated for a rarely-interrupted stretch of 14 No. 1 hits when every single of theirs released by RCA landed in the Billboard Top 10; and a career that defined what it means to be individualists in the music business. The Judds dominated touring in the 80s with 20 Top 10 hits, have sold more than 20 million albums and blazed a trail for duos and women who have followed them.
Hailing from the Appalachian foothills of Ashland, Ky., mother and daughter duo The Judds were discovered by RCA Nashville label head Joe Galante in 1983, after they landed a guest spot on WSM-TV’s Ralph Emery Show. The Judds made their Billboard country chart debut at the end of that year, with “Had a Dream (for the Heart),” and they were on their way to a history-making career.
In 1991 when Naomi’s diagnosis of hepatitis C forced her to retire from the road, The Judds embarked on a historic farewell tour with Garth Brooks as an opening act. The following year, Wynonna launched her solo career with a self-titled album that went 5x platinum. Wynonna’s first three singles reached No. 1 on the country charts and has become a country icon in her own right. Naomi focused on her health, beating the disease and wrote several New York Times Best Sellers and became a popular motivational speaker and actress.
About Naomi Judd
Naomi Judd is a GRAMMY® award-winning artist, New York Times best-selling author, philanthropist, motivational speaker and acclaimed actress. Hailing from the Appalachian foothills of Ashland, Ky., Naomi and her daughter Wynonna were first discovered by RCA label head Joe Galante in 1983 after landing a spot on WSM-TV’s “The Ralph Emery Show.” The Judds made their chart debut by the end of the year with “Had A Dream (For The Heart),” and country music’s sonic landscape changed after that. A fresh, crisp acoustic sound with undeniable harmonies surged across country radio stations throughout the 80s and early 90s. The Judds are often celebrated for their rarely-interrupted stretch of 14 No. 1 hits when every single of theirs released by RCA landed in the Billboard Top 10; and a career that defined what it means to be individualists in the music business. Throughout her illustrious career, Naomi has been honored with six GRAMMY®, nine CMA and seven ACM Awards. The Judds dominated touring in the 80s and early 90s, have sold more than 20 million albums and continue to give back to countless organizations. In 2021, The Judds will receive a star on the world’s most famous walkway, The Hollywood Walk of Fame. Be sure to follow The Judds.
For Teyana Taylor, not only will she be rejoicing the liberation of her race, but also the deliverance of her elusive project, The Album. A follow-up to her 2018 mini-opus KTSE, Taylor’s fourth album is a fountain of different emotions: across a 23-track effort, the Def Jam singer looks to galvanize the Black community with her candor, lucid vision and unapologetic love for her race — all while being six months pregnant. Rather than disarm her brazen attitude for change, Taylor stays faithful to her core beliefs and delivers a powerful message amidst dark times.
Cardi B, Offset, Quavo, Winnie Harlow, Lena Waithe, Terrence J, and more joined Teyana Taylor at an exclusive LA listening event for THE ALBUM.
THE ALBUM, releasing Juneteenth, features special guests Rick Ross, Erykah Badu, Quavo, Missy Elliott, Future, Big Sean, Ms. Lauryn Hill, and more.
About Teyana Taylor
Being a jack of trades has enabled Teyana Taylor to become a master of all. From her smoky melodic vocals to her dynamic dance moves, the R&B superstar entertainer dips in dives between her talents as singer, songwriter, producer, director, dancer/choreographer, actor, fitness guru, model, and mother. When it comes to describing herself, the Harlem native can only think of one word: Everything.
“I literally can do everything. I never look at anything as being impossible,” she explains. “I exhaust all options to make what happen when I need to make happen.” Her mantra made her an early favorite to artists like Pharrell, who she signed her first deal with, and later choreographed videos for artists like Beyoncé and Jay-Z. In 2014, Teyana’s love for the arts and R&B earned her the title of the first woman signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint.
Between R&B’s identity crisis in the 2010s, Teyana dropped her debut album VII, with tracks like “Maybe” (featuring Yo Gotti and Pusha T) and the sultry “Just Different” shaping her musical persona. The critically acclaimed album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart in 2014, cementing her position in today’s modern R&B field. “I fought for that raw, hood necessary R&B and now I feel like it’s better than ever,” she says.
After spicing up the R&B charts, Teyana was blessed with the arrival of her daughter Junie with husband and NBA star Iman Shumpert in 2015. “I do all of this for my baby. She’s who I do it for,” she says about Iman “Junie” Tayla Shumpert Jr., her main source of inspiration. “I always show her how to be a leader and a businesswoman. I want her to believe that she can be anything she wants to be and it not be a shocker that she’s a female doing it all.” Soon after, Teyana went on to star in the internet-breaking video (https://defjam.us13.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b52e78ece97447e472590f343&id=ebb0bed877&e=4792530c9f) for Kanye West’s “Fade,” and scored her first MTV Moonman for “Best Choreography” at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards.
But it wasn’t until the release of her second album project K.T.S.E.(released June 2018) that the world caught up with Teyana’s talents. With her all-female production company The Aunties, Teyana self-directed videos for “WTP,” the RIAA gold-selling single “Gonna Love Me,” (whose remix features Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah, Method Man and Raekwon), and recently, “Issues/Hold On.” Teyana has also directed videos for her peers like T.I. (“You”), Monica (“Commitment”), and Lil Duval (“Pull Up” featuring Ty Dolla $ign) with fans like Ms. Lauryn Hill and Elton John praising her boss moves.
Part of what makes Teyana stand out from the rest is her ability to move with precision and poise in everything she does. From the studio to the stage, every idea is a project with the singer front and center with a vision all her own. With her musical inspirations like Aaliyah, Teena Marie, Mint Condition and Janet Jackson speaking to her soul, Teyana is aware her mission is larger than life. “I’m working on me every day and I think that’s my purpose,” she says, comparing her life to a never-ending book. “I’m still going, still mastering and being a better me.”
MTV today announced that Big Sean featuring A$AP Ferg, H.E.R., Normani and Ozuna have been added to the lineup of performers at the 2019 MTV VMAs, airing live globally from Newark, N.J. on Monday, August 26 at 8:00 p.m.ET/PT.
Hosted by comedian, actor and best-selling author Sebastian Maniscalco, the show will air live from the Prudential Center across MTV’s global footprint in more than 180 countries, reaching more than half a billion households around the world. Music’s biggest stars and fans will celebrate the year’s most iconic videos with electrifying performances, viral moments and a new, first-of-its-kind immersive fan experience.
Since his debut album in 2011, Big Sean, a Grammy nominated, multi-platinum artist, has become one of urban and rhythm radio’s most consistent hitmakers, and one of Def Jam’s biggest core artists. Sean has amassed over six billion global streams throughout his career and an impressive 15 platinum and multi-platinum hit singles. Earlier this year, Sean dropped his new freestyle “Overtime,” and brand new single, “Single Again,” his first major solo single release since 2017’s #1 platinum album “I DECIDED.” All four of his albums, which also include his RIAA platinum debut of “Finally Famous” and “Dark Sky Paradise,” have debuted at #1 on the Rap chart.
Hailing from Harlem, New York, rapper A$AP Ferg has emerged as an artist unafraid to take his craft to thrilling new places. Most recently, Ferg released his latest EP, “Floor Seats,” and announced a headlining North American “YEDI TOUR,” with Murda Beatz and MadeinTYO, which launches November 7 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. “Floor Seats” follows Ferg’s two studio albums, 2013’s “Trap Lord” and 2016’s “Always Strive and Prosper,” and a pair of mixtapes, 2014’s “Ferg Forever” and 2017’s “Still Striving.”
Enigmatic singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist H.E.R. has established herself as one of modern R&B’s most fascinating new talents. With two sold-out headlining tours and over 2 billion streams for her two remarkable EPs – H.E.R. and I Used To Know Her, the 22 year-old won two Grammy Awards this year for Best R&B Album (H.E.R.) and Best R&B Performance (“Best Part” featuring Daniel Caesar). Her latest release, I Used To Know Her, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart, while fan favorites “Focus,” and “Best Part” earned the #1 slot on the Billboard Adult R&B Songs Airplay chart and Urban Adult Contemporary chart, respectively.
Following the success of her two #1 smash hit collaborations “Love Lies” with Khalid and “Dancing With A Stranger” with Sam Smith, Normani released her new single, “Motivation” on Friday. The song’s release came with a stunning visual directed by Dave Meyers that has quickly amassed over 15 million views on YouTube already and was the #1 trending video on YouTube over the weekend. Featured as Pitchfork’s “Best New Track” following release, The FADER declared “Motivation’ is an instantly-loveable bop,” PAPER Magazine proclaimed “Normani proves she’s an absolute triple threat, as if it wasn’t obvious before,” and V Magazine said “Motivation” proves she’s destined for superstardom.”
OZUNA is a multi-platinum Puerto Rican singer/songwriter leading the wave of the new generation of Latin music artists. Among his numerous awards and achievements, in 2019 he broke the record as the biggest winner in a single year in the history of the Billboard Latin Music Awards. Ozuna also won Contemporary Latin Songwriter of the Year at the 2019 BMI Awards. In 2018, he was named YouTube’s most-viewed artist globally and also holds the record as the artist with the most videos with over one billion views, seven in total. His debut studio album “Odisea” became the longest-leading No. 1 album by a male artist on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums charts, with an impressive 46 weeks atop; while his sophomore studio album “Aura” debuted No. 7 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart and remained #1 in the Top Latin Albums chart for 17 weeks. He has a wide collection of chart-topping collaborations with the biggest names in Latin Urban music, as well as globally acclaimed megastars such as DJ Snake, Cardi B and Selena Gomez, and most recently with Spanish award-winning artist Rosalía.
As previously announced, Missy Elliott will be honored with the “Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award” and is set to hit the VMAs main stage. Additional performers include Bad Bunny, Camila Cabello, J Balvin, Jonas Brothers, Lil Nas X, Lizzo, Rosalía, Shawn Mendes, and Taylor Swift.
Bruce Gillmer and Den of Thieves co-founder Jesse Ignjatovic are Executive Producers for the 2019 “VMAs.” Barb Bialkowski is Co-Executive Producer. Jackie Barba, Joe Buoye and Alicia Portugal serve as Executive in Charge of Production. Amani Duncan is Executive in Charge of Music. Wendy Plaut is Executive in Charge of Celebrity Talent.
Official sponsors of the 2019 “MTV Video Music Awards” include Extra® Refreshers Gum, PEPSI®, Taco Bell®, the 2020 Toyota Corolla and truth®.
Fans can vote for the “Best New Artist” award, presented by Taco Bell®, by visiting vma.mtv.com leading up to the VMA broadcast. Fans on Twitter and Facebook Messenger can also slide into VMAs’ DMs to cast an additional vote for “Video of the Year,” “Song of the Year,” and more. Fans will also be able to ask Alexa to “vote for the VMAs” for “Artist of the Year” within the MTV skill on Alexa-enabled devices.
This year, for the first time ever, MTV is rewarding fans for voting through VMA Power Hour on vma.mtv.com, where their votes are doubled from 1-2pm ET daily. Superfans can come back each day within this voting window beginning tomorrow to show double the love for their favorite artists.
The full list of nominees for the 2019 “VMAs,” is available here.
Additionally, for the first time, fans can vote for their favorites in select categories on MTV Instagram Stories, including “Best Group,” “Best Power Anthems,” and “Song of the Summer,” which is sponsored by Samsung.
Follow @MTV and @VMAs on social to keep up with all-things #VMAs.
About MTV: MTV is the leading global youth media brand in 180 countries, reaching 450 million households in nearly 30 different languages across every platform. A unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), MTV operations span cable and mobile networks, live events, theatrical films and MTV Studios.
About Prudential Center: Prudential Center is the world-class sports and entertainment venue located in downtown Newark, New Jersey. Opened in October 2007, the state-of-the-art arena is the home of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) three-time Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall University’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball program, and more than 175 concerts, family shows and special events each year. The arena is also home to the GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center, which opened its doors to the public on October 2017. The 8,200-square-foot experience marks the first GRAMMY Museum outpost on the East Coast, and features a dynamic combination of educational programming and interactive permanent and traveling exhibits, including a spotlight on legendary GRAMMY winners from New Jersey. Ranked in the Top 8 nationally by Pollstar, Billboard and Venues Today, Prudential Center is recognized as one of the premier venues in the United States, and hosts over 2 million guests annually. For more information about Prudential Center, visit PruCenter.com and follow the arena on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @PruCenter. Prudential Center is a Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment property.
As we celebrate Black History Month, which takes place every February,RespectAbility recognizes the contributions made and the important presence of African Americans to the United States. It is important to note this includes more than 5.6 million African Americans living with a disability in the U.S., 3.4 million of which are working-age African Americans with disabilities. Therefore, we would like to reflect on the realities and challenges that continue to shape the lives of African Americans with disabilities. The full piece provides statistics relating to employment, education, criminal justice and more.
Some celebrities and business leaders are using their voice to share their stories, educating people about both visible and invisible disabilities. They are defying the statistics and have remained highly successful with their disabilities. These role models make a big difference in setting high expectations for youth with disabilities. RespectAbility will be sharing content throughout this month – and throughout the entire year –highlighting additional African Americans with disabilities, including some personal pieces from our own team members.
– Tameir Yeheyes, RespectAbility Spring 2018 Fellow
Maya Angelou had selective mutism, an anxiety disorder that causes a child to not speak due to physical and psychological trauma they endured. In the five-year span that she experienced this, her listening, observing and memorizing skills improved and her love of books expanded. This helped her later when she began working in becoming successful in her career.
The first Deafblind person to graduate from law school, Haben Girma stated that removing barriers for herself helped in her journey to becoming a disability advocate. Her disability advocacy is not restricted to education; she also uses the media to decrease the stigma in the community.
Reading scripts and writing books as often as Goldberg does was hard at first with her dyslexia. Like she did in elementary school, Goldberg found it easiest to have someone read to her so she could memorize the lines for her scripts. For her books, she dictates instead of writing before sitting down with an editor to adjust the language.
Diana Elizabeth Jordan, actress, writer, producer and director, is an important figure in the conversation about the inclusivity or lack thereof of people with disabilities in Hollywood. She found a way to get into and around Hollywood, with the help of her faith and self-confidence.
– Bryan Munguia, RespectAbility Spring 2018 Fellow
When it comes to the traditional expectations of a pop star in Hollywood, Solange Knowles shatters the glass ceiling as a woman of color who also happens to be diagnosed with a disability that affects 10 percent of the U.S. population: ADHD. Knowles has been outspoken about her ADHD, educating people about her disability.
Jenifer Lewis resisted the diagnosis at first and refused to take medication until a self-described nervous breakdown left her convulsing in sobs, a hostage to her untreated neurochemistry. A quarter-century later, she is thriving and happy because, as she says, she “does the work.”
When the end of Summer hits, the desire to rewind time kicks in, reliving every magical moment from the season’s past. It’s a vibe that newcomer DaniLeigh has managed to encapsulate in her debut EP Summer With Friends, coming soon. The 22-year-old singing and dancing phenomenon cut her teeth in the business when she directed a music video for her late mentor, Prince. She enhanced her buzz with back-to-back jams “Play” (featuring Kap G) and “Lurkin’”, and is here to continue her mission of making music that both sounds and feels good.
The South Florida native had music in her blood, singing from a young age. As an early teen, DaniLeigh recorded YouTube covers of songs like Musiq Soulchild’s “So Beautiful,” though she wasn’t quite ready for the big time. “I was really shy,” she admits, “and I didn’t realize the unique sound of my voice until later on.” It wasn’t until a few years later when she moved to Los Angeles at 16 that DaniLeigh began harnessing her craft. In LA she found her footing in the music industry, starting with dancing. “I was dancing in music videos, commercials, you name it,” she recalls. “From there, I met a lot of producers onset and just networked.” Singing became the secret weapon, as DaniLeigh would reveal her chops and be invited to studios for recording sessions. However, a life-changing encounter with the legendary Prince would be the real catalyst.
After learning of DaniLeigh’s talents as a dancer (through a one-minute video clip), the Purple One reached out to have her direct his video for “Breakfast Can Wait” at just 18 years old. The video hit worldwide, appearing on networks like MTV, BET, and REVOLT. Prince ultimately took DaniLeigh under his wing, mentoring her budding singing career. His untimely death in 2016 left a void in DaniLeigh’s life, though his presence is still felt as DaniLeigh’s star is only getting brighter.
“Play” truly kicked things off. The high-energy single is described by DaniLeigh as an empowering anthem for women. “It’s a bold statement,” she says of the cut, which carries a message of “making a play” in all areas of life. “I’m a very positive person and this song I feel can help motivate people to put in that work,” she says. Bringing Kap G (who is of Mexican descent) into the fold as a feature was her way of uniting more Latinos in music, as DaniLeigh’s Dominican heritage is evident in both her style and sound. The single “Lurkin’” immediately followed, as a slick nod to social those stalkers who don’t congratulate moves, yet look on from the social media sidelines. The song even made its way to the HBO hit series Insecure. The stage is now set for DaniLeigh to show the diverse angles of her talent on a grander scale.
Aptly titled Summer With Friends, the upcoming EP sums up DaniLeigh’s past few months, which she lightheartedly describes as “just having fun and working.” The relatable nature of the project brings forth the aforementioned singles, along with feel good songs that channel the young artist’s inspirations including Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, and Drake while showing her ability to fuse hip-hop and R&B with poppier electronic-driven vibes. Songs like “Questions” playfully target those relationship interrogation sessions (Where were you? Who were you with?), while “Ex” is a self-explanatory track about the now-single artist’s previous romance. “He got one song,” she jokes. Other cuts like the infectious “On” and “All I Know” show DaniLeigh’s versatility within the pop-urban landscape, while “All Day” highlights her Dominican roots. “That’s a bachata beat underneath [the production],” she proudly points out. “The time right now is in alignment, showing that things are going the right way.” As DaniLeigh unveils her debut Summer With Friends and the projects that follow, she maintains her goal of positive music, though has one wish involving one important angel by her side. “I always say I wish Prince was here to see all of this happening with me right now,” she says. “It’s okay though. I know he’s watching.”
LONDON FOSTERS FEARLESS NEW SINGLE FROM RECORD PRODUCER FABICH
“[Fabich’s] appeal is much more wide reaching than you might think, with ‘80s, ‘90s and contemporary influences.” – EARMILK
“Fabich has been on a roll this year.” – CAVEMAN SOUND
Fabich has had a reel of successes in his career. Having previously made music at Bob Marley’s house, and achieving US chart success as a producer for platinum-selling R&B and soul singer-songwriter Lyfe Jennings and Missy Elliott collaborator, Trina. Now, alongside London producer A-Minor and vocalist Aaron Pfeiffer, we hear the opening chapter of an unfolding story… the first single Naked Lines.
After Fabich’s move to London he felt the overwhelming creative force of the city. Totally inspired, recent single Hold On was born. Accompanied by a VMA nominated video that held surprising humorous twists, delicately reflecting Fabich’s multi-faceted personality. As characterful as ever, this humble record producer finds inspiration in equal measure within art, design and music.
A-Minor is the perfect partner in crime for this release, bringing his trademark drum patterns and seriously soulful melodies. Also recognised for remixes on Raleigh Ritchie, Yousef and Bipolar Sunshine’s work, his own Ministry of Sound release Be Mine shows serious flare by hitting 800,000 plays on youtube alone. After making the epic move from the USA to Berlin, vocalist Aaron began to discover himself sexually and mentally. Unusually and uncharacteristically open, a new place, new scenery and a new atmosphere allows Aaron and this song the space it truly needs.
Fabich’s passion for all things creative doesn’t shy away from an unspoken and uncontrollable thirst in this emotionally charged new release. We look forward to Fabich’s subtle and refreshing tunes to settle us into the utterly altruistic journey that Naked Lines has invited us on.