One of the most popular and highly recognized standup comedians on the road today has also made quite an impression in the television, film and radio arenas. D.L. was mostly recently heard on the New York airwaves, as host of the morning show on WRKS-FM. DL also serves as a weekly contributor to the nationally syndicated radio show, "The Tom Joyner Morning Show." First and foremost a standup comedian, he starred in his 5th stand-up special "Reset" which premiered on Showtime July 14, 2013. In addition, D.L's first humorous book title, I Want You to Shut the F*ck Up, is out in bookstores now.
In August 2013, Hughley signed to host a weekday radio broadcast, with a launch date of August 26, 2013. THE D.L. HUGHLEY SHOW, distributed by Reach Media, Inc. will be a daily themed, music intensive afternoon drive program from 3-7pm ET. "I think radio fits my sensibility. I want to be fast, I want to be funny, I want to be topical. I want to make people laugh a lot and think a little. Some people want to push the envelope – I want to see if I can singe it a little."
Known for being astute and politically savvy in true comedian style, D.L. served as host of his own late night talk show on CNN "D.L. Hughley Breaks the News." Proving he could, indeed break news, D.L. was able to uncover startling, news-making comments from such guests as former White House press secretaries Scott McClellan and Ari Fleischer, as well as RNC chair Michael Steele.
D.L. starred in his own one-hour special for HBO entitled "Unapologetic." The special, D.L.'s fourth for the network, is currently available on DVD. In 2007, D.L. starred on the NBC series "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and also HBO's "Def Comedy Jam" , as well as the BET series "S.O.B: Socially Offensive Behavior".
As the star and producer of his namesake television show that ran on ABC and UPN "The Hughleys," D.L. is also well known as one of the standout comedians on the hit comedy docu-film The Original Kings of Comedy. A veteran of numerous talk show appearances D.L. switched the tables in 2005, hosting his own talk show on Comedy Central "Weekends at the DL." He is a regular on the late night talk show circuit, including always-memorable appearances on "Real Time with Bill Maher," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "Conan." He is frequently requested, and has even guest hosted on such shows as, "The View" and "Live with Regis & Kelly."
In addition, D.L. has headlined several comedy specials including "D.L. Hughley: Going Home," "D.L. Hughley Live", "Shocked & Appalled" and the recent "Unapologetic".
D.L.'s first love, always has been, and always will be, standup comedy. "From the minute I first walked onstage and picked up a microphone," he says, "I knew that it was what I was meant to do."
Four-time Grammy Award Winner Stanley Clarke has attained "living legend" status during his over 40-year career as a bass virtuoso. He is the first bassist in history who doubles on acoustic and electric bass with equal ferocity and the first bassist ever to headline tours, selling out shows worldwide to this day. A veteran of over 40 albums, he most recently won the 2011 Best Contemporary Jazz Album Grammy Award for The Stanley Clarke Band. Clarke co-founded the seminal fusion group Return to Forever with Chick Corea and Lenny White. In 2012 Return to Forever won a Grammy Award and Latin Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Forever.
Clarke's creativity has been recognized and rewarded in every way imaginable: gold and platinum records, Grammy Awards, Emmy nominations, virtually every readers and critics poll in existence, and more. He was Rolling Stone's very first Jazzman of the Year and bassist winner of Playboy's Music Award for ten straight years. Clarke was honored with Bass Player Magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award and is a member of Guitar Player Magazine's "Gallery of Greats." In 2004 he was featured in Los Angeles Magazine as one of the Top 50 Most Influential People. He was honored with the key to the city of Philadelphia and put his hands in cement as a 1999 inductee into Hollywood's "Rock Walk" on Sunset Boulevard. In 2011 he was honored with the highly prestigious Miles Davis Award at the Montreal Jazz Festival for his entire body of work. Most recently Clarke won Downbeat Magazine's Reader's and Critic's Poll for Best Electric Bass Player.
An accomplished film and TV composer of over 65 projects, his credits include Boyz N The Hood, the Tina Turner biopic What's Love Got To Do With It, Romeo Must Die and The Transporter. He has garnered three Emmy Nominations and a BMI Award for his scoring.
Born in Philadelphia, Clarke has been a constant force of nature in American music since the early 1970s with the success of the jazz-fusion group Return To Forever. That accomplishment gave way to a number of extremely successful solo albums for Clarke. Along the way, he has collaborated with Quincy Jones, Stan Getz, Art Blakey, Paul McCartney, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, The Police, Herbie Hancock and many more, and has shared the stage with Bob Marley and Miles Davis.
An Academy Award® winning actor, talented Grammy Award® winning musical artist and comedian, Jamie Foxx is one of Hollywood's rare elite multi-faceted performers.
Foxx recently starred in Quentin Tarantino's critically acclaimed, "Django Unchained" as the title character, opposite Leonardo Di Caprio, Christoph Waltz, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Jamie is currently in production on Marc Webb's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" for Sony Pictures, starring alongside Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone as the villain, Electro (alter ego to Max Dillon). Foxx next appears in Roland Emmerich's "White House Down" for Sony Pictures opposite Channing Tatum and James Woods. Release date is June 28, 2013.
In 2011, Foxx appeared in New Line Cinema's successful comedy, Horrible Bosses, opposite Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, and Jason Bateman. Foxx also lent his vocal talents to 20th Century Fox's popular comedy- adventure in 3D, "Rio," as a canary named 'Nico.' "Rio" grossed over $450 million worldwide.
Jamie Foxx continues to expand his role as a producer. He is currently executive producing "Apollo Live" for BET- a fresh spin on the classic variety show at Harlem's iconic venue hosted by comedian, Tony Rock. Foxx recently executive produced a new sketch comedy series starring Affion Crockett called "In the Flow with Affion Crockett" for 20th Century Fox Television. Jamie also produced "Thunder Soul," a documentary following the astonishing alumni from Houston's Kashmere High School Stage Band who return home after 35 years to play a tribute concert for the 92-year-old "Prof," their beloved band leader who broke the color barrier and transformed the school's jazz band.
In addition to his outstanding work in film, Foxx has also achieved a thriving career in music. In December 2010, he released his fourth album, "Best Night of My Life," featuring Drake, Justin Timberlake, Rick Ross, T.I., and other artists. In January 2010, Foxx and T-Pain's record breaking #1 song "Blame It" off of his previous album, "Intuition," won "Best R&B performance by a duo/group with vocals" at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards®.
Foxx delivered a hilarious cameo appearance opposite Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in "Due Date," Todd Phillips's directorial follow up to "The Hangover." Foxx also appeared in Garry Marshall's box office hit romantic comedy "Valentine's Day" in February 2010. The film's stellar ensemble cast included: Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Biel, George Lopez, and Patrick Dempsey.
In 2009, Foxx starred opposite Gerard Butler in Overture Films' dramatic thriller Law Abiding Citizen. Foxx continued to show his powerful affinity and respect for fictional portrayals with Joe Wright's inspirational film, The Soloist, in which he played Nathaniel Anthony Ayers- a real-life musical prodigy who developed schizophrenia and dropped out of Julliard, becoming a homeless musician who wonders the streets of Los Angeles. The film is based on a 12-part series of articles by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, played by Robert Downey Jr.
In September 2007, Foxx appeared in The Kingdom, in which he portrayed the leader of a counter-terrorist team on the hunt for those responsible for a deadly bombing attack on Americans working in the Middle East. Foxx also closed the 2007 Sundance Film Festival with the showing of his executively produced film Life Support starring Queen Latifah. The film is an inspirational true-life story of a mother who overcame a cocaine addiction and became a positive role model and AIDS activist in the black community.
In December 2006, Foxx was seen in the critically acclaimed screen adaptation of the Broadway musical, Dreamgirls, opposite Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, and Eddie Murphy. The film won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Musical Comedy, and received a SAG nomination for Best Ensemble Cast and a nomination for a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Motion Picture. Foxx was also nominated in the Best Actor Category for his performance as Curtis Taylor Jr.
In January 2006, Foxx announced his partnership with SIRIUS Satellite Radio to start his own 24/7 radio station called Foxxhole. The station is a combination of comedy and music.
Foxx's album "Unpredictable" topped the charts in late December 2005 and early 2006, as it held the number one spot for five weeks and sold over one million units in 20 days. Foxx was nominated for eight Billboard Music Awards, three Grammy Awards®, one Soul Train Music Award, and two American Music Awards, where Foxx won Favorite Male Artist. The album was nominated for three Grammy Awards® in 2006—including Best R&B Album; the track "Love Changes," featuring Mary J. Blige, for Best R&B Performance By a Duo or Group; and the track "Unpredictable," featuring Ludacris, for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
In 2005, Jamie's portrayal of the legendary Ray Charles in the Taylor Hackford-directed biopic Ray garnered him an Academy Award® for Best Actor and proved to be one of his career's defining performances. In addition to winning the Oscar®, Foxx shared in a SAG Award nomination received by the film's ensemble cast, and single-handedly swept the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, BAFTA, and NAACP Image Awards, as well as numerous critical awards for his performance in Ray, captivating audiences worldwide as the most accomplished actor of 2005.
Also in 2005, Foxx earned Oscar®, Golden Globe, SAG Award, BAFTA Award, and Image Award nominations in the category of Best Supporting Actor for his work in Michael Mann's dramatic thriller Collateral, opposite Tom Cruise. But Foxx's unwavering momentum in 2005 did not stop there, as Foxx also received Golden Globe nominations, SAG Award nominations and won an Image Award for Best Actor in a Television Movie for his portrayal of condemned gang member-turned-Nobel Peace Prize nominee Stan "Tookie" Williams in the FX Network's movie Redemption.
Additional film credits include: Michael Mann's Ali, opposite Will Smith, Michael Mann's Miami Vice opposite Colin Farrell, Sam Mendes' Gulf War drama Jarhead, with Jake Gyllenhaal, Stealth, Bait, Booty Call, The Truth About Cats and Dogs, and The Great White Hype.
Foxx's big-screen break came in 1999 when Oliver Stone cast him as star quarterback Willie Beamen in Any Given Sunday, with Al Pacino.
Jamie Foxx first rose to fame as a comedian, from which he initiated a potent career trajectory of ambitious projects. After spending time in the comedy circuit, he joined Keenan Ivory Wayans, Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans and Tommy Davidson in the landmark Fox sketch comedy series, "In Living Color," creating some of the show's funniest and most memorable moments. In 1996, he launched his own series, "The Jamie Foxx Show," which was one of the top-rated shows on the WB Network during its five-year run. Foxx not only starred on the series, but was the co-creator and executive producer of the series, directing several episodes himself.
LL COOL J is an entertainment icon who has found great success crossing into multiple mediums. A two-time Grammy® Award winner, recording artist, talented actor, author, NAACP Image Award winner, entrepreneur and philanthropist, LL continues to display his wide range of talents with every project. First introduced to the world in 1984 as a Def Jam Records flagship artist, LL is the first rap artist to amass ten consecutive platinum-plus selling albums. The multi-platinum artist and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee is currently tied for third place for most Billboard chart debuts by a rapper. As an actor, LL COOL J has successfully transitioned to one of the consistently highest rated shows on television. He currently stars in the CBS hit primetime drama series, "NCIS: LOS ANGELES" and his performance on the show garnered him a NAACP Image Award three years in a row for his role of 'Special Agent Sam Hanna.' Continuing his musical expedition three decades after he first released music, LL is proudly prepping to release his latest project, Authentic.
Anthony Hamilton's voice just keeps getting better with time. The Grammy Award winner's arresting voice—a favorite staple on the scene since 2003—recently hailed at No. 1 for 4 weeks on Billboard's Urban Adult Contemporary chart with his soul-stirring single, "Pray For Me". The Babyface-produced track is the second single from his fourth studio album, Back to Love. Hamilton's "Pray For Me" and his Back To Love album were both nominated for Grammy Awards (Best R&B Song/Best R&B Album).
Back To Love is the follow-up to his 2008 gold-certified, No. 1-debuting album, The Point of It All (So So Def/Zomba Label Group). Recently achieving platinum status in South Africa, the Back To Love album marks Hamilton's first album with the newly restructured RCA Records—and signals the eagerly anticipated next chapter in the multi-talented singer/songwriter's evolving career.
Leading up to Back To Love's release, Hamilton provided the perfect accompaniment to Jill Scott's earthy vocals on the captivating duet "So in Love." Their dynamic pairing also set a record: 18 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Urban Adult Contemporary chart, tying with Maxwell for the most consecutive weeks atop the tally. The single, in turn, helped propel Scott's album, The Light of the Sun, to a No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
Among the Hamilton-described "firecrackers and life-reflecting songs" comprising Back to Love are the OutKast-influenced "Sucka For You" and "Best of Me" – both invigorating examples of the singer's rejuvenation. His reflective nature is embraced on "Never Let Go," a duet with singer/songwriter Keri Hilson and "Life Has a Way," originally written for the movie "Pursuit of Happyness." While "Pray for Me's" emotional lyrics about a lost love ("Dear God/If you're listening now/I need you to do a thing for me … I need you to bring her back to me") and gospel-influenced melody are signature Hamilton.
Overall, Back to Love showcases Hamilton's distinctive, multi-faceted voice. "There are different tones in my voice that people have fallen in love with; I can sing hard or real soft," says the singer. "I pay attention to that."
Fans began paying attention to Hamilton in 2002, when he sang the infectious hook on the Nappy Roots' "Po' Folks." That performance netted the singer the first of 12 Grammy nominations for best rap/sung collaboration. After signing with So So Def, Hamilton scored a platinum debut with Coming From Where I'm From in 2003, featuring the chart-topping hit "Charlene." Two years later, he returned with gold-certified sophomore set Ain't Nobody Worryin', which spun off the No.1 hit "Can't Let Go." Then in 2008 came The Point of It All, which elicited USA Today's declaration that Hamilton is "one of the genre's rare singers." Hamilton won his first Grammy Award in 2009 for his collaboration on Al Green's "You Got the Love I Need."
Singing in church since he was 10 years old, Hamilton's natural talent— rich, soul-steeped vocals breathing sonorous life into emotion-packed lyrics—has earned him a reputation as an "artist's artist." He counts guest stints on a diverse roster of projects from Dr. Dre, Tupac, and Young Jeezy, to Josh Turner, Santana and John Rich (Big & Rich). Between his own album sales and collaborations, Hamilton has sold more than 20 million albums.
Being a voice for others is what this singer-songwriter considers some of his most important work. Hamilton hosts the annual "Anthony Hamilton Big Payback Week" in his hometown of Charlotte during CIAA Week. With additional support from the Jordan Brand (Hamilton is an ambassador for the brand), he distributes food, backpacks, shoes, and presents checks to shelters and family centers throughout the city. "There are many families in Charlotte that need our help, and working with these organizations, serving the men, women and children here, I will continue to do anything I can to help strengthen our community", Hamilton says. As a national spokesperson for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Hamilton works to recruit African American male volunteers for the national nonprofit organization. He represents CASA at national child welfare conferences to raise awareness of the growing number of African American children in the foster care system.
Hamilton's 18-city national headlining Back To Love Tour with special guest Estelle kicked off last winter. Says Hamilton, "the immense reception to the tour, "So in Love", "Pray For Me", and now "Best Of Me" (his latest single)—shows that "R&B is about to be the new mainstream. Real music is coming back."
And who better to deliver that message than Anthony Hamilton?
"Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, the best kept secret in the music industry. An amazingly talented group of musicians who deserve so much more than they have been given." Quote by the late Gertrude Gipson Penland, Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper.
One of the world's most renowned and influential bands in modern history is in the spotlight, on the platform, moving and motivating millions with their music. Musically there is nothing like the distinctive sound of this soulful band with their irresistible silky grove.
We have listened to the music, and we all agree, it's been timely and timeless. In life some things, thankfully, never go out of style. Case in point: the bona fide soul of Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly. The sound is original, passionate, creative, soulful, honest and powerful. For nearly forty years the group has been giving the world the most powerful form of art in LIVE performances. To understand their humble beginnings, we must know Frankie Beverly. He was born and raised in the musical city of Philadelphia, and began singing as a child in church. His idol, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, persuaded him to follow in their footsteps. Other influences in his life include James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, and he also idolized the late Sam Cooke.
As a teenager, Frankie Beverly formed a group called The Butlers. They were so young they had to get notes from their parents to perform in local nightclubs. As he grew older he changed the group's name to Frankie Beverly's Raw Soul. Two members of that group are with him today: McKinley Williams, who plays percussions and sings background, and Roame who plays congas and also sings background.
The journey began when Frankie relocated from his hometown of Philadelphia to the San Francisco-Oakland area, and that's where their popularity took off. The group caught the attention of Marvin Gaye, who recognized talent immediately and took the group on the road as his opening act. With the encouragement of Marvin Gaye to change the name of the band, one of the original members, Roame, came up with the name Maze.
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly arrived on the scene in 1977 with hit singles Happy Feelings, Lady of Magic, While I'm Alone and Workin Together. A string of hits followed, best selling albums, Golden Time of Day (1981), Joy and Pain (1980), Live in New Orleans (1981), We Are One (1983), Can't Stop the Love (1985) and Live in Los Angeles (1986), all recorded for Capitol Records.
After a string of gold and platinum albums, the group signed with Warner Brothers in 1989, and a new era was launched for Frankie Beverly and Maze. What followed were two more chart making gold albums – Silly Soul and Back to Basics. In 1995, Anthology was born, a rebirth with fifteen of the groups' twenty two chart hits, plus five prime albums cuts. In 2004 a collaboration of Maze featuring Frankie Beverly greatest hits was born.
While many other groups have come and gone, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly has emerged as the era's most consistently popular R&B band. The group still performs all of its soul classics in concerts today. They have an intensely loyal following of fans who rush out to buy tickets the moment they hear Frankie Beverly's coming to town. The Band continues touring both in North America and Europe.
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, like no other has a connection with the audience that is so unbelievable. It's just the lyrics, the music, and how it all flows together. It's so amazing to see a sea of faces doing the electric slide at each show. The crowd rising to it's feet when the group hits the stage – and never sitting down. They are simply amazing.
The original members are: Frankie Beverly (leader and lead vocalist), McKinley "Bug" Williams (Percussions & Background vocals) and Roame (Congas & background vocals). The others members are: Larry Kimpel (Bass guitar), John "Jubu" Smith (Lead guitar & background vocals), Carl Wheeler (Keyboards & background vocals), Vance Taylor (Keyboards), Calvin Napper (Drummer).
Rachelle Ferrell is unquestionably one of the most dynamic talents in contemporary pop music. Very few vocal artists in the industry have Ferrell's potent combination of range, phrasing, and musicianship. Ferrell first emerged in the states with her R&B debut Rachelle Ferrell (1992), a solid collection of self-penned originals that featured a striking duet with Will Downing ('Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This'). It was with the release of First Instrument in 1994 (recorded prior to Rachelle Ferrell) that audiences were really introduced to Ferrell's jazz sensibilities.
Rachelle Ferrell began singing at the age of six, which many speculate contributed to the "development of her startling six and change octave range." Her range also includes the ability to sing in the whistle register, as stated in an editorial review in which she references her highest notes in "It only took a minute" as "Minnie Riperton-like wailing". She received classical training in violin at an early age and by the time she was a teen, she was able to play the piano at a professional level. She enrolled in Berklee College of Music in Boston where she honed her musical abilities in arrangement, singing and songwriting.
Throughout 1988-1989, Rachelle Ferrell sang backup for Phyllis Hyman. Soon after, Ferrell's debut, First Instrument, was released in 1990 in Japan, five years prior to its US release. Recorded with bassist Tyrone Brown, pianist Eddie Green and drummer Doug Nally, an all-star cast of accompanists also leave their mark on her record. They include trumpeter Terence Blanchard, pianists Gil Goldstein and Michel Petrucciani, bassists Kenny Davis and Stanley Clarke, tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter and keyboardist Pete Levin. Her unique take on now-standards like Sam Cooke's "You Send Me", Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love", and Rodgers & Hart's "My Funny Valentine", captured the hearts and souls of the Japanese jazz buying public.
The story of Trey Songz is the classic saga of taking a dream and making the impossible possible. It is a story of determination, faith, struggle, hard work and inspiration. With each chapter, Songz has held onto the best parts of what he offered previously, while continuously raising the bar and creating original and ground-breaking, yet classic, R&B music. Songz has poured his heart and soul into each chapter, showing growth as an artist, businessman and, most importantly, a man.
CHAPTER V, the fifth studio album from the Grammy-nominated international R&B superstar, is the latest chapter in this incredible story. "Musically, it's going to be my best album - sonically, vocally, and in respect to the songwriting," says Songz of CHAPTER V, "it is an album that will take you many places, emotionally and sensually."
CHAPTER V is the follow-up to the Petersburg, VA-bred singer's 2010 RIAA Gold-Certified album, "Passion, Pain & Pleasure," which featured the chart-topping, multi-platinum hits "Bottoms Up (feat. Nicki Minaj)" and "Can't Be Friends." Over the last two years, Songz, born Tremaine Neverson, has crafted a body of work that is a true testament to who he is, where he's been and where he's going.
"I have seen so many different places because of my music, and being able to come back and take my time and live life while recording has been amazing." He says, "This album is going to reflect growth, but at the same time will show exactly what it is that I've given to the game."
Although Trey's worldwide travels have helped him take his sound to a new level, CHAPTER V still embodies the classic "Trey Songz" sound that the world has come to know and love. "Anything I've given and anything you already love, you'll have. You'll have the records like 'Love Faces' and 'Say Aah,' but there will be new elements, as well," he says of the variety of songs and sounds on CHAPTER V. More than ever, Songz uses CHAPTER V as a way to show his love for all genres of music from all over the globe. This is most evident on the dance-friendly track "Ladies Go Wild," which Songz made after experiencing the international nightlife scene while traveling abroad.
For this new chapter in his career, Songz once again teamed up with the upper echelon of producers ranging from his longtime friend and production partner, Troy Taylor, to hit makers Benny Blanco, Eric Hudson and Rico Love. He tapped his younger brother, Alex, to produce "Don't Be Scared." "I'm excited for him to have that first moment because I remember all of my firsts in the music industry. The first time seeing my name in the credits and now having our names beside each other," Trey says of having his brother be a part of CHAPTER V. "It's something I'm very proud of."
Trey has also enlisted a roster of high-profile featured guests including T.I., Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, Diddy and Meek Mill. "I've never really had more than 3 or 4 people on an album before. This is the album where I chose to utilize my friendships and make good on collaborating." Trey says on his decision to include more features than he has in the past.
As ever, Trey displays his ability to seamlessly create music that blurs the line between R&B and Hip-Hop, while still creating songs that evoke emotions and vary in subject matter; songs that appreciate women, songs for the club, songs that chronicle the highs and lows of love and relationships, and of course, songs for the bedroom. Trey's versatility is demonstrated on the sensual yet gritty "Hail Mary," a Lil Wayne & Young Jeezy-assisted cut that likens the pleasures of a woman to a 'hail mary' football throw.
Songs such as "Without A Woman," see Songz showing his appreciation for women over a classic 1970s R&B sound, while "Simply Amazing," showcases Trey's vocal range and melodic girth as he expresses his eternal love for his woman despite, and maybe because of, her imperfections. The album's first single, "Heart Attack," features a vulnerable Trey speaking on the trials and tribulations of love and heartache. On "Dive In," the most signature-sounding record on CHAPTER V, Songz uses his suave wordplay to compare his pending conquest of a woman's body to taking a dive in the pool.
Trey takes the time to remind listeners that one of his most cherished pastimes is hitting the club for a good time on the instant party classic, "2 Reasons," which features a bouncy verse from rap superstar T.I., and "Check Me Out," featuring Meek Mill & Diddy, a product that effortlessly combines Trey's rap flow and melodic skills.
The late Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records, once professed Trey to be "among the most promising R&B artists we have had on Atlantic since we started the company 60 years ago." Since then, Trey has become an international superstar and one of R&B's brightest stars. He has used his gift of music as the launching pad to various philanthropic and entrepreneurial endeavors such as the "Angels With Heart Foundation" and the Trey's Angels clothing line, sold exclusively at Citi Trends.
Founded in 2010, Songz' "Angels With Heart Foundation" began as a call to action to engage his fan club and has now become a worldwide movement. Through this foundation, Trey encourages members to give back and, most importantly, have a positive impact in their neighborhood through community service with local charities and random acts of kindness.
Now, after selling a combined 14 million albums and singles worldwide, travelling the world on countless international tours, receiving a string of Grammy nominations, meeting President Barack Obama and topping every chart imaginable, Trey Songz has a lot to write about. And he is finally ready to present what may be the most intimate and important chapter he's ever written….CHAPTER V.
It requires complete devotion from body, mind, and spirit as well as a whole lot of time to get things right. During recording, blood, sweat, and tears become committed to tape in preparation to go out and play. Every inch of passion that can be mustered in the studio is codified for listeners to relive—whether it's via their headphones or in a packed arena. So, above all, the music has to be real. Grammy Award-winning multiplatinum superstar Kelly Rowland is at her most revealing on her fourth full-length solo album, Talk A Good Game [Republic Records]. She's also undoubtedly playing to win.
Once again, Rowland raises the bar this time around. The record straddles the line between raw R&B and seductive pop with a healthy dose of swaggering hip-hop thrown in for good measure. Always one to challenge the status quo, the diva opened up the floodgates with the offering's first single "Kisses Down Low". The smooth, sweaty, and sexed-up anthem proved to be a hit at radio and online. Shortly after its premiere, the music video racked up over 9.9 million YouTube/VEVO views and remains the bedroom jam for 2013.
On the other end of the spectrum, she opens up like never before on the tear-jerking ballad and second single "Dirty Laundry". It's a confessional, yet catchy rumination on jealousy punctuated by raw heartbreak. Given her tangible honesty, the track caught fire as soon as it went to airwaves. She powerfully sings, "When you're soaked in tears for years, it never airs out. When you make pain look this good, it never wears out".
Rowland also invited a bevy of high-profile friends to team up with her for this album and production comes courtesy of The Runners, Pharrell Williams, The-Dream, and more. As for the guests, Wiz Khalifa lights up a lithe verse on "Gone", and Pharrell Williams burns brightly alongside her on "Feet to the Fire". Pusha T adds true grit to the reggae bounce of "Street Life" as the singer's voice hits elegant heights. Then, there's "Freak" which is a deliciously dirty and danceable in all the right ways.
There's also a history-making moment on the album. "You Changed" reunites Rowland with her Destiny's Child sisters Beyoncé and Michelle Williams. Just before the three voices join in one more harmony, Rowland nods to their shared legacy asking, "Ladies, ya'll want to do it again?" You'll want to hear it again and again too.
For all of its boundary breaking and evolution, Talk A Good Game upholds a tradition of quality for the singer and performer. It arrives hot on the heels of her critically acclaimed chart-topping third offering, Here I Am. That LP debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200, surpassing sales of 77,000 first week and spawning the platinum-selling smash "Motivation" featuring Lil Wayne. Currently, the single's YouTube/VEVO views exceed an impressive 59 million. Her fan base exponentially grows at a rapid rate. Twitter followers exceed 5 million, Facebook likes surpassing 2.9 million, and Instagram followers are over 1.1 million. That's no surprise given the artist's legendary status though. Rowland earned the title of "legend" too. She elevated pop R&B to stratospheric heights as a member of Destiny's Child, one of the best-selling groups of all time. She's been honored with five Grammy Awards, 16 Billboard Music Awards, 15 Soul Train Awards, 4 American Music Awards, 2 MTV Video Music Awards, 1 BRIT Award, 1 BET Award, 1 NAACP Image Award, a Star on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame", and more. Moving over 20 million albums worldwide, she reached multi-platinum superstar status in less than a decade. She's starred in numerous televisions shows and feature films including American Dreams, Freddy Vs. Jason, The Seat Filler, The Fashion Show alongside style icon Isaac Mizrahi, and as a judge on The X Factor UK.
Throughout her solo career, Rowland hasn't stopped churning out hits either. Her powerhouse vocals reverberated potently through Simply Deep and Ms. Kelly. She's also accrued a timeless catalog of her own songs including the Grammy Award-winning "Dilemma" featuring Nelly, "Like This" featuring Eve, "Stole", "Breathe Gentle" featuring Tiziana Ferro, "When Love Takes Over" featuring David Guetta, and more worldwide chart-dominating successes.
Although Kelly Rowland has a long list of accomplishments and accolades under her belt, she shows no signs of slowing down. She's not only going to continue playing the game but winning.
"I'm very confident in everything that's going on around me now," she says. "I've been in this business long enough to have a track record that says I have something to contribute, but the key difference now is that I feel more in control. It's a great feeling."
Three-time GRAMMY nominee Boney James has returned with a dynamic, genre-busting album "The Beat". One of the most successful instrumental artists of our time with sales totaling over 3 million records, James' new project fuses his R&B/Jazz roots with Latin rhythm and percussion.
"This record was born of my love for both Latin and R&B music and became a mash-up of the two genres. The initial inspiration for the record was Sergio Mendes' "Batucada (The Beat)," which I re-imagined as a funk tune." "Batucada (The Beat)" reunites Boney with trumpet great Rick Braun. "Rick and I have a wonderful history. There is a certain edge and energy that comes out when we play together that creates a really cool vibe."
Other special guests on the project include eclectic R&B soul singer Raheem DeVaughn and spoken word phenom The Floacist. The first Urban AC single, going for adds in mid-February, is "Maker of Love," a sexy, soulful song featuring DeVaughn. "Raheem is an artist I've wanted to work with for a long time and we actually met by following each other on Twitter! I sent him the track and he came back with an incredible lyric and finished vocal," says James.
UK poet and musician The Floacist (former partner of Marsha Ambrosius) brings a seductive flow to "The Midas (This is Why)" which adds to the World Music flavor of the album. James says, "This track is a real serious mash-up with the R&B groove, the shekere and conga percussion, coupled with the 'Euro' vibe from The Floacist!" Other treasures on the album include James' fresh take on Stevie Wonder's R&B/Latin classic "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing," along with originals by James that run the gamut from subtle and sophisticated with tracks like "Acalento (Lullaby)" and "Mari's Song," to high energy with "Sunset Boulevard," and "Powerhouse."
In their review of The Beat, The New York Times said: "The relaxed charisma of Mr. James' tone, especially on alto and tenor, is one reason his approach works.... Another reason is his sturdy sense of phrase. Like Grover Washington, Jr., a pioneer in this field, he sounds at ease but alert, and he's capable of striking an imploring tone without an overdose of saccharine.
In addition to his GRAMMY nominations, James is a Soul Train Award winner (Best Jazz Album) and has been honored with an NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Jazz Album. He has accumulated four RIAA Certified Gold Records. To date, nine of James' albums have reached No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart and two have reached the top 10 on the R&B Albums Chart, a rare feat for an instrumental artist.
Boney is also renowned for his compelling live performances. According to The Boston Globe: "Let's make something perfectly clear: James is not a smooth jazz player. Yeah, he is often grouped with people like Kenny G and Najee, but his music is muscular and gritty….James swaggers across the stage like a blacktop hero draining trays on an overmatched opponent. He even weaves his way through the crowd, all but daring them not to have a good time."
Boney will be on tour for all of 2013 following the release of The Beat.
Once upon a time there were great funk/R&B bands like Earth Wind & Fire, The Meters, War, Kool & The Gang, Slave, and numerous others who constantly broke down musical barriers. The musicality of these units was superior – they could rock or funk out as easily as they could move the crowd with a tenor soulful ballad. The rise of electronic music gradually undermined self-contained bands but in the 90s a dynamic young new band emerged—Mint Condition, now the greatest self-contained R&B band of our time. Anointed early on by superstar producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (formerly of the band The Time), Mint Condition does it all—delivering hard-bitten funk with a hip hop edge, rocking out with screaming lead guitar, and crooning lush, "baby-making" soul ballads. The much sought after band, who mark their 20th Anniversary this year, has amassed a string of hits and performs hundreds of live shows each year. In the Fall of 2010 when Prince took the podium at the legendary Apollo to announce his "Welcome To America," and his plans to feature his favorite artists, it was no shock to many that Mint Condition was among them. The only band on his list that day? Mint Condition. During the month of February, TV One tapped Mint Condition as the house band seen and heard every night on the show "Way Black When," which celebrated the biggest African American stars throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s. With not one but two current hit singles on board—the sumptuous "Caught My Eye" and lead singer Stokley's duet with Kelly Price, "Not My Daddy," Mint Condition marks the 20th anniversary of its first chart hit with the release of 7… (Mint Condition's seventh studio album) due out on Shanachie Entertainment/Caged Bird April 5, 2011.
This time around we decided to not let ourselves become bogged down with strict thematic or musical boundaries," notes keyboard player Larry El. "We wanted, instead, to do a project that would be expressive of life's multi-facets. For the first time in our career, we looked back into our own musical catalogue for inspiration and resources. Without being a direct throwback, 7… weaves threads of nostalgia into the musical mix. It's kind of an ode to Minneapolis, Mint Condition style." 7… sounds unlike anything else in the R&B world -or any other world—today, once again demonstrating that Mint Condition is one of those rare artists on the scene with their own unique sound. Along with Mint Condition's bedrock funk and R&B balladry, elements of jazz, rock, and hip hop come into the mix. They have always delivered these elements live but here they are a part of their studio work. Nothing is formulaic or routine with Mint Condition, starting with the opening tracks "Can't Get Away" and "I Want It," which are seamlessly linked to play straight through, to "Twenty Years Later," an off-the-wall narrative depicting a 47 year-old addict wondering what happened to the last twenty years of his life, which opens with acoustic guitar and climaxes with an ironic jaunty Vegas-style vamp. It is the kind of organic creativity that only Mint Condition could achieve, an extra ingredient that years of playing together make it possible for them to deliver. In an era dominated by singles, 7… is truly an album, designed to be heard as a whole.
"Each member of the band is equally invested in both the music and the group itself," Larry El explains "So when performing we can more readily live on the edge, musically speaking, where its most interesting, and still not lose t he original spirit and intent of the songs. Any given member can readily play what any other member is thinking or feeling." It is this kind of organic, edgy creativity that has made Mint Condition one of Prince's favorite artists. "In many ways, he (Prince) continues to be a mentor for us," says guitarist O'Dell. "He's a musical genius yet is never condescending. He has a way of making you feel he's your biggest fan—we certainly are his! He's the best. Watching him perform always sends you back to the shed; you know you still have work to do." An unusual fact for a funk/R&B band that can also rock out, is that some of Mint Condition's biggest hits have been ballads and 7… delivers several more great ballads that are destined to be classics including the inspirational "Unsung," "Not My Daddy," the duet with Kelly Price and Stokley, with its unique lyric take on male/female relationships and, of course, the first hit single from the album, "Caught My Eye," with subtle lyrics that stand head and shoulders above the "sex you up" love ballads dominating the scene today. "The lyrics (of "Caught My Eye") tell it all," relates Stokley, who wrote the tune with Larry El. "It's a literal translation. But, at the heart of it all, is vulnerability. We have all felt those `first encounter' butterflies before. The band knew everybody would be able to relate to that."
The members of Mint Condition met as teenagers growing up in the Twin Cities—Minneapolis-St. Paul amidst a thriving music scene energized by Prince, The Time, Jam & Lewis, The Replacements, Soul Asylum and many other artists. Keyboardists Lawrence El and Keri Lewis, guitarist O'Dell, keyboardist/saxophonist Jef, drummer/vocalist Stokley, and bass player Ricky came together in the performing arts program at Central High School. Playing together in different combinations led to them forming Mint Condition; a gig at the famed First Avenue club in 1989 caught the attention of super-producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, formerly of The Time, and they were signed to Jam & Lewis' Perspective Records. MEANT TO BE MINT, their debut album, was released in 1991. Their first single, a New Jack Swing-styled number, had only modest success but it was a ballad, "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)," which has become one of the classic R&B ballads of our time, that was their breakthrough, hitting #3 on the R&B charts and #6 on the Pop charts, with the follow-up "Forever In Your Eyes" hitting #7 on R&B charts. Mint Condition was established as a gold-selling act. Further hit singles and albums followed, with "U Send Me Swingin'," "Someone To Love" and "So Fine" all hitting from the FROM THE MINT FACTORY album, "What Kind Of Man Would I Be" (another acknowledged classic) and "You Don't Have To Hurt No More" from DEFINITION OF A BAND.
Meanwhile the band earned its spurs as a live act, touring relentlessly and, unlike so many artists, delivering not only a performance equal to their studio work but one which often surpassed it. As a result, their legions of fans would turn out for a Mint Condition show whether they had a current hit out or not. After Perspective Records folded, Mint Condition signed with Elektra, delivering more hits with "If You Love Me" and "Is This Pain Our Pleasure" from the LIFE'S AQUARIUM album. In the early 2000s the group took a break from their relentless recording and touring schedule. They resumed as a quintet with only keyboard player Keri Lewis absent (though he sometimes re-joined them for specific shows releasing a new album LIVING THE LUXURY BROWN on their own Caged Bird label in 2005, hitting again with "I'm Ready." Their high-energy live performance was captured with the release of LIVE AT THE 9:30 CLUB and then 2008's E-LIFE yielded another hit with "Nothing Left To Say. Two decades on, Mint Condition stands along with The Roots as the only high-profile examples of a self-contained, hit-making Black music band, and with Mint's emphasis on songs and great singing, the sole band carrying on the great tradition of R&B funk bands such as Earth, Wind & Fire, The Meters, War, The Commodores, Lakeside, Slave and many more that were an important, progressive element of the black music scene in the Seventies and Eighties. "We're fortunate that people have come to expect us to march to our own drum, musically speaking," says bassist Ricky. And even though we have carved out our own unique creative path, we've always been well embraced."
Melton Mustafa Jr. son of International Jazz trumpeter and composer Melton S. Mustafa was born in Atlanta, GA. and raised in Miami, Fl. where he started playing music in high school under the direction of Mr. Frank Neal at Miami Carol City HS. Melton Mustafa received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Florida A&M University where he served as Section leader of the saxophone section and head of the Dance Routine committee for the Legendary Marching "100". While at FAMU, Mustafa performed with the FAMU "Strikers" at the Apollo theatre and traveled the world with the Marching "100". After undergraduate school, Mustafa received a Master's Degree in Education from Florida International University and where he is working on his Doctoral Degree in Leadership. Melton Mustafa currently works as Professional Music Educator at Parkway School of the Arts and is an Adjunct Professor at Florida Memorial University. When he is not teaching he performing, directing and producing music.
As a director, Mustafa has conducted the "Star Spangled Banner" for the Junior Olympics, written and directed a show for the Super Bowl entitled "Global Rhythms Local Beat", served as the Musical Director for the Show "From the Porch" featuring Danny Glover, directed the band and choreographed the featured Marching in Master "P" and Little Romeo's music video, "Two Way"(which was featured on the BET TV Show Access Granted- the making of the video).
A couple of years ago, Melton Mustafa wrote and received a grant to start a community band at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. The grant was written to allow a venue for anyone in the community who plays jazz or classical music and wants to play and perform.
Melton has been featured on the following: More then Words - Mr. Sax "Butterfly" CD (poetry and sax), "St. Louis Blues" CD (Big Band), "Sea B Marrah"CD (Reggae), Betty Pageant CD (Blues sax), Ike and Val Woods Live at Tobacco Road CD (sax), Pieces of a Pisces CD, Jesus was a Capricorn CD, Guest Artist for the show "By Kids for Kids (channel 10), acted in The Language of Music -Tom Dowd (Film), Acted in "The Buddy Holly Story" Actor's Play House"(off Broadway), danced at the Apollo Theater (Striker dance troupe).
As a producer, Melton Mustafa just released "Scenes from Miami" Vol. 1 "The Softer Side" CD and his latest production CD "The Traveling Man"which features his dad Melton Mustafa senior, the late Mulgrew Miller, Victor Lewis, Patrick Bartley and Essiet Essiet. Melton Mustafa is currently working on adapting his original music "Shalom Salaam Serene" into an audio book to be used in the public school system.
An intricately detailed love story, Jay's Love Jones: Based on a True Story, takes jazz enthusiasts on a sensuous journey as Jay Jones expresses the love he has for … his BASS. Jay Jones' EP release delivers contemporary jazz with an influence of R&B and an infusion of gospel; featuring strong bass leads and smooth vocals. The title track, Love Jones, is an eloquent introduction to jazz lovers of all that is Jay Jones on Bass.
On April 16, 2013, this masterfully self-produced independent EP, Jay's Love Jones, was released on all major digital music distributors.
Born September 15, 1986, in Boynton Beach, FL, Jonathan "Jay" Jones became an enthusiast of music at the impressionable age of 5 in his local church. His exceptional keenness in musicianship cultivated a desire to learn and master the bass guitar by age 17.
Jay's aptitude with the bass guitar has afforded him the opportunity to perform with musicians in varied genres to include, awarding winning gospel artist such as Kim Burrell, Ricky Dillard, Regina Bell and Canton Jones. The distinctive sounds he has created are featured on various Hip Hop and R&B albums such as Day 26 ("Day 26"), Ludacris ("Theater of the Mind") and Rick Ross ("Deeper Than Rap"). Jay can be seen gracing the screen in Brianna Perry's "Reality Show" music video. Currently Jay is the bassist for American Idol Season 4 finalist, Nadia Turner.
Jay Jones can be observed displaying his artistry on YouTube and www.Jay-Jones.com which host several songs from his current album. Jay has played with a popular resident band "Libido" and is currently playing with "Flavor" who can be heard at various hot spots throughout South Florida.
Jay operates both the Protools, Logic Pro and Reason programs to produce his unique sound and is endorsed by Aguilar Amplifications and iGig cases.