Mona Scott-Young’s ‘Love & Hip-Hop’ overcomes backlash

MSY_Headshot-Black1ATLANTA — Mona Scott-Young used to wake up in cold sweat at night, wondering if she made the right decision to leave her list of high-profile hip-hop clients to branch off and create reality television shows.

That’s a dilemma the creator of the popular reality series “Love & Hip-Hop” on VH1 doesn’t have to worry about anymore.

“I was leaving something that I had built for nearly 20 years of my life,” recalled Scott-Young, who was the co-founder of Violator Management with the late Chris Lighty. Their company represented some of music’s top artists from LL Cool J to 50 Cent and Missy ElliotContinue reading: Mona Scott-Young’s ‘Love & Hip-Hop’ overcomes backlash

Thandie Newton takes lead acting role in ‘Rogue’

Thandie Newton at the 2007 BAFTAs

Thandie Newton at the 2007 BAFTAs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ATLANTA — Thandie Newton doesn’t shy away from the idea that she might be a role model.

As she takes on a leading television role, she hopes to empower women like the stars who have come before her — Kerry Washington, Regina King and Anika Noni Rose among them.

“They have empowered many,” said Newton, a racially mixed actress who is of British and Zimbabwean decent. “Empowerment anywhere leads to empowerment everywhere. The world is changing at a pace where it needs to be. That’s how I feel, and I’m proud to be a part of this movement.” Continue reading: Thandie Newton takes lead acting role in ‘Rogue’ AP Big Story

Kris Kross rapper remembered at Atlanta funeral

Chris SmithATLANTA — Chris Smith remembered his Kris Kross hip-hop partner Chris Kelly Thursday as a true friend who he’s sure is in heaven now.

Smith struggled to blurt out words at the pulpit of Jackson Baptist Memorial Church at Kelly’s funeral attended by some 300 friends, family and fellow entertainers

The 34-year-old Kelly, who had the 1992 hit “Jump” with Smith, was found dead May 1 of a suspected drug overdose. His mother and uncle told authorities Kelly had a history of drug abuse and experienced similar episodes in the past, according to a police report. Continue reading: Kris Kross rapper remembered at Atlanta funeral AP/YahooNews

Shirley Caesar recruits youngsters for new album

ShirleyLOS ANGELES — Shirley Caesar used to refuse to infuse  contemporary styles with her traditional gospel sound, but now the 11-time Grammy winner and pastor has changed her stance.

Caesar, who is known as the “Queen of Gospel,” is singing to a different tune on her new solo album, “Good God,” released last week. It’s been four years since she dropped an album, giving her time to embrace a new musical approach.

The 74-year-old brought on up-and-comers such as Kurt Carr and James Fortune as producers to weave a modern, radio-friendly style into her sound. Continue readingShirley Caesar recruits youngsters for new album AP/YahooMusic

Stevie Wonder not happy with Lil Wayne’s lyrics

English: Black & White photograph of Lil Wayne...

English: Black & White photograph of Lil Wayne taken by RJ Shaughnessy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ATLANTA – Stevie Wonder is not happy withLil Wayne’s vulgar lyrics that reference Emmett Till, a black teen who was killed in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman.

The R&B legend says the rapper’s disturbing verse should not have made it beyond the recording studio for the world to hear.

“You can’t equate that to Emmett Till,” Wonder said. “You just cannot do that. … I think you got to have someone around you that — even if they are the same age or older — is wiser to say, ‘Yo, that’s not happening. Don’t do that.'” Continue reading: Stevie Wonder not happy with Lil Wayne’s lyrics AP/YahooNews

Stevie Wonder says UN Day Concert to be on TV

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder (Photo credit: Story Accents)

ATLANTA - Stevie Wonder says a concert devoted to peace is going from the stage to television.

“Stevie Wonder With Friends: Celebrating a Message of Peace” will premiere Saturday on Centric at 9 p.m. EST. The musical celebration took place at the General Assembly Hall at United Nations Headquarters in New York last October.

“It was a great night,” said Wonder, who hosted the concert. “People not only sang about it but their spirits were committed to see peace. In this society we are living in, there’s a need for peace for all nations throughout the world.” Continue reading: Stevie Wonder says UN Day Concert to be on TV AP/YahooNews

Quincy Jones launches music education application

Quincy Jones at Consumer Electronics Show 2006

Quincy Jones at Consumer Electronics Show 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ATLANTA - Quincy Jones says he has co-created the music version of Rosetta Stone.

The 79-year-old composer-producer launched a new music education application Tuesday calledPlayground Sessions, which teaches users how to play the piano. He said the app will help children and adults learn how to read music and understand the mechanics of piano playing. Continue reading: Quincy Jones launches music education application  AP/YahooNews