Category: Entertainment Written by Associated Press
Singer Chris Brown turns 24 on May 5. (Photo: John Shearer John Shearer/Invision, AP)
The Associated Press
May 5: Actress Pat Carroll is 86. Actor Michael Murphy is 75. Actor Lance Henriksen ("Millennium," ''Aliens") is 73. Comedian-actor Michael Palin (Monty Python) is 70. Actor Roger Rees ("Boston Common") is 69. Actor John Rhys-Davies is 69. Former MTV News correspondent Kurt Loder is 68. Drummer Bill Ward of Black Sabbath is 65. Singer Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnymen is 54. Newsman Brian Williams is 54. Actress Tina Yothers is 40. Singer Raheem DeVaughn is 38. Singer Craig David is 32. Actress Danielle Fishel is 32. Singer Adele is 25. Singer Chris Brown is 24.
George Clooney is 52 (Photo: Chris, Pizzello, AP)
May 6: Singer Bob Seger is 68. Singer Jimmie Dale Gilmore is 68. Actor Alan Dale ("Lost," ''Ugly Betty") is 66. Actor Ben Masters ("Passions") is 66. TV host Tom Bergeron is 58. Singer John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants is 53. Actress Roma Downey is 53. Actor George Clooney is 52. Singer-bassist Tony Scalzo of Fastball is 49. Guitarist Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish is 46. Guitarist Chris Shiflett of Foo Fighters is 42. Actress Gabourey Sidibe is 30.
Jimmy Ruffin is 74 (Photo/ClassicMotown,com)
May 7: Singer Jimmy Ruffin is 74. Singer-songwriter Bill Danoff of Starland Vocal Band is 67. Singer Thelma Houston is 67. Drummer Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead is 67. Drummer Prairie Prince (The Tubes) is 63. Guitarist Phil Campbell of Motorhead is 52. Actress Traci Lords is 45. Singer Eagle-Eye Cherry is 42. Actor Breckin Meyer is 39.
Actress Melissa Gilbert is 49
Actress Melissa Gilbert is 49
May 8: Comedian Don Rickles is 87. Singer Toni Tennille is 73. Country singer Jack Blanchard is 71. Singer Gary Glitter is 69. Drummer Chris Frantz of Talking Heads and of Tom Tom Club is 62. Singer Philip Bailey (solo and with Earth, Wind and Fire) is 62. Country musician Billy Burnette is 60. Drummer Alex Van Halen of Van Halen is 60. Actor Stephen Furst ("St. Elsewhere," ''Animal House") is 59. Actor David Keith is 59. Actress Melissa Gilbert is 49. Drummer Dave Rowntree of Blur is 49. Drummer Del Gray of Little Texas is 45. Singer Darren Hayes (Savage Garden) is 41. Singer Enrique Iglesias is 38. Actress Julia Whelan ("Once and Again") is 29.
Actress Rosario Dawson is 34 (AP Photo)
May 9: Guitarist Nokie Edwards of The Ventures is 78. Actor Albert Finney is 77. Actress-turned-politician Glenda Jackson is 77. Guitarist Sonny Curtis of Buddy Holly and The Crickets is 76. Producer-director James L. Brooks is 76. Singer Tommy Roe is 71. Singer-guitarist Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco) is 69. Singer Clint Holmes is 67. Actress Candice Bergen is 67. Singer Billy Joel is 64. Bassist Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick is 63. Actress Alley Mills ("The Wonder Years") is 62. Actor John Corbett is 52. Singer David Gahan of Depeche Mode is 51. Rapper Ghostface Killah of Wu-Tang Clan is 43. Guitarist Mike Myerson of Heartland is 42. Singer Tamia is 38. Trombonist Dan Regan of Reel Big Fish is 36. Singer Pierre Bouvier of Simple Plan is 34. Actress Rosario Dawson is 34. Musician Andrew W.K. is 34.
May 10: Singer Henry Fambrough of The Spinners is 75. Announcer Gary Owens is 74. Singer Donovan is 67. Singer Dave Mason is 67. Singer Bono of U2 is 53. Drummer Danny Carey of Tool is 52. Actor Darryl M. Bell ("A Different World") is 50. Model Linda Evangelista is 48. Rapper Young MC is 46. Actor Erik Palladino is 45. Singer Richard Patrick of Filter is 45. Actor Todd Lowe ("True Blood," ''Gilmore Girls") is 41. Actor Kenan Thompson ("Saturday Night Live," ''Kenan and Kel") is 35. Singer Jason Dalyrimple of Soul for Real is 33. Actress Lauren Potter ("Glee") is 23.
May 11: Comedian Mort Sahl is 86. Singer Eric Burdon (The Animals, War) is 72. Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo ("24") is 61. Actor Boyd Gaines is 60. Drummer Mark Herndon of Alabama is 58. Former MTV VJ Martha Quinn is 54. Country singer Tim Raybon of the Raybon Brothers is 50. Actor Tim Blake Nelson ("Lincoln," ''O Brother, Where Art Thou?") is 49. Bassist Keith West of Heartland is 45. Actor Nicky Katt ("Boston Public") is 43. Actor Coby Bell is 38. Celloist Perttu Kivilaakso of Apocalyptica is 35. Actor Jonathan Jackson is 31. Actor Cory Monteith is 31.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2013 17:36
Category: Entertainment Written by Courier Newsroom
UNDERGROUND PERFORMERS—G-Money, third from left, performing with his posse, including BR, during the PUMAs. (Photo by Abdul Al-Nakhli)
by Abdul Al-Nakhli
Outside the August Wilson Center, Sunday was filled with grey skies and rain, but it didn’t stop the spotlight from shining on the city’s best underground talent for the first annual Pittsburgh Underground Music Awards (PUMAs).
The PUMAs were organized by Pittsburgh music professionals to honor the artists of the area making strides in hip-hop, R&B, and pop genres.
There were 21 different categories awarded at this year’s PUMAs, including best Pop artist, best Producer, Hip-Hop single of the year, and best male/female rap artists of the year.
From late February to early April, fans were encouraged to vote for their favorite artists on the PUMAs’ website and Facebook page.
For local fans, being involved in the PUMAs is an honor words can’t describe.
“It is nice to have an event not just honoring our artists, but to keep motivating them to continue to chase dreams, and not feel their efforts fall on deaf ears,” said Lisa Jackson, Crafton.
“I’ve been a fan of local music for over 15 years, and to see this much talent under one roof excites me. I am looking forward to seeing where their (local artists) careers will go from here.”
The night’s events had an amazing synergy. Entering the August Wilson Center, posters and displays from local sponsors, including the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, clothing businesses and artists decorated the main corridor.
Local artists were signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, and industry professionals, such as Danny Carter, an A&R representative for Interscope Records, were buzzing on phones and social media.
Backstage, artists were networking amongst each other, exchanging phone numbers, CDs, and emails. Some of the artists considered this the foundation of the scene.
“Whether an artist wins a PUMA or not, everybody wins tonight in the bigger picture. We’re trying to build up the music scene and show how much talent we have. The more they (artists) network and build, the better for Pittsburgh,” said Mista Scrap, one of the award presenters.
Inside the arena, it was nearly filled to capacity, with a lively crowd supporting their favorite local artists. As each award was announced, fans would jump out of their seats and chant the individuals’ name in approval.
“I’m loving the energy in here tonight, it’s a beautiful thing, Pittsburgh,” said Mike Jax from WAMO-100 who served as Master of Ceremonies.
There weren’t many acceptance speeches Sunday evening, but there were numerous electric performances from artists like Capitol L, Mic Menace, HollyHood, Good Kelly, and others.
Each artist left a piece of themselves on stage, filled with a passion incarnate, and most didn’t want their performance to end, such as Mic Menace who slammed his microphone in disapproval when cut off during his set.
“It’s beautiful to see all of you here to support us tonight, and we thank you for being here to see us shine,” said Capitol L.
Fellow performer HollyHood agreed.
“I just want to say how much I love you all, and love how you’re supporting your own. Keep supporting and showing us (as artists) that we do matter.”
With the final award of the evening for Best Male Rap Artist going to Hardo, the lights went off and the first PUMAs came to a close.
Those in attendance feel good about the future of Pittsburgh’s music scene.
“We have a voice now, and it’s not from Wiz Khalifa or Mac Miller. Those two opened the door, but what’s about to walk through it is about to break the hinges off,” said Marcus Wright, South Side.
Next year’s PUMAs is scheduled to take place in April 2014. More information can be gathered from their website: (pghundergroundmusicawards.com)
Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 10:04
Category: Entertainment Written by Genea Webb
BONEY JAMES ON TENOR
According to musician Boney James, music is something you hear and feel in your heart. And the award-winning saxophonist, producer and songwriter has made it his life’s work to make songs that touch the hearts of his fans.
“Music was something I really loved and cared about, and I wanted to make it my career,” said James who was born James Oppenheim in Lowell, Mass. “I get up thinking about music. I spent my whole life making records.”
His latest effort is “The Beat,” which he released on Concord Records on April 9. The album features Raheem DeVaughn, who sings on “Maker of Love,” and the Floacist from Floetry who is featured on The Midas This is Why.”
“I’ve always been a fan of Raheem DeVaughn. I saw him at the Hampton Jazz Festival. I wrote the music for the track and I got an email from Twitter saying that Raheem was following me and we collaborated,” he said. “‘The Midas This is Why’ is my favorite song on the album because it has a European feel to it. She recorded it in London. She did great work on it. I still have never met her.”
Pittsburgh audiences got the chance to hear James perform selections from “The Beat” when he took the Byham stage on April 26.
“I was in Pittsburgh about five years ago playing in Greensburg and people said ‘why are you playing here you should be playing Downtown.’ Now I’ll be doing that, I’m excited to be performing there. The audience can expect to have a great time. There’s a great band of guys that played on the new record. We get people in the audience involved in the show. When I’m on stage I’m someone else. I’m this character Boney James the entertainer,” he said.
After 21 years in the music business, James has become the consummate performer. He has won three Grammy Awards, a Soul Train Award and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. He has released 14 albums in a little more than two decades. Nine of those albums have reached the top spot on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart and two have made it to the top 10 on the R& B Album Chart, which is a rarity for an instrumentalist.
His interest in music was piqued when he took up the clarinet at age eight and quickly switched to the saxophone at age ten. He spent his early teenage years in New Rochelle, NY and was swept away by the Motown Sound and the music of Grover Washington, Jr.
After earning a degree in history from UCLA he learned to play keyboards and joined Morris Day’s band in 1985. He remained in the band for four years before touring as a sideman for numerous R& B acts including The Isley Brothers and Teena Marie.
“I grew up where it was color blind and that’s how I live my life. That’s how life is supposed to be. When people heard my music they said ‘man I thought you were a brother.’ I was grateful that I was accepted and I was glad people were saying I was doing it right,” he said.
While on the road, he earned this stage moniker Boney from current “Tonight Show” musician Wayne Lindsey because James’ pay as a touring musician barely kept him fed and he was losing weight.
“He said ‘you keep that up and we’ll have to start calling you Boney James’ and the name stuck,” he said.
James released his debut album, “Trust,” in 1992. He was signed to Warner Brothers Records two years later and released the certified Gold albums “Seduction,” “Sweet Thing,” and “Body Language.”
In 2000, James and trumpeter Rick Braun collaborated on the “Shake it Up” album, which included the updated version of Hugh Masakela’s “Grazin’ in the Grass.” Three years later James put on his producer hat on his “Pure” CD. In 2006, “Shine” was released. The record reached number 44 on the top 200 list. In 2009 “Send One Your Love,” a collection of love songs, earned James a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional R & B Performance. Billboard also named James the No. 3 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Artist of the Decade.
James’ ninth CD, “Contact” was released in 2011 following a car accident that left him sidelined for two months with shattered teeth and facial cuts.
Guest vocalists on the record included Heather Headley, Mario and Donnell Jones. It was nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Album at the Soul Train Awards.
This year’s “The Beat” is getting rotating radio play thanks to satellite radio and the Internet.
“There’s been a shift in the music business. Radio requires advertising. Luckily I’ve been getting play on the watercolor station and the urban station on XM radio. I’m doing OK,” said James who resides in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Lily Mariye. “I don’t consider my music smooth Jazz. I never thought Smooth Jazz was real. It’s just a format you get caught up in.”
For the time being, James will be working hard to promote “The Beat.”
“When I make a record, I spend 18 months promoting it. Spreading the word by doing interviews and shows. That’s my mission. After that, I will sit down and start creating more music. I’ll be doing it everyday coming to the studio daily to do music,” James said.
For more information on James or his latest project “The Beat,” visit www.boneyjames.com.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2013 18:21
Category: Entertainment Written by Associated Press
In this Feb. 23, 2013 photo, Chris Kelly of Kris Kross performs on stage at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta during the So So Def 20th Anniversary Concert. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jonathan Phillips)
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
ATLANTA (AP) — The mother of rapper Chris Kelly told authorities in Atlanta her son became sick after taking cocaine and heroin on the night before he died, according to a police report.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2013 16:35
Category: Entertainment Written by Genea Webb
NEW GROUP SAME SOUND—Even though two of the three original members of Ray, Goodman & Brown have passed, Billy Brown has kept their sound alive with the two new members, Kevin Owens, 25 years and Larry Winfree, 27 years. They are not in order, Brown is first from left.
Audience members are invited to party with Ray, Goodman & Brown when the group graces the Kelly Strayhorn stage for New Horizon Theater’s annual black tie event this Saturday, May 4.
“We try to have the audience leave the theater saying that they didn’t see Ray, Goodman & Brown, they partied with Ray, Goodman & Brown,” said Billy Brown, the last living original member of the group. “We put on a good, quality show and we do old songs that people are familiar with.”
The group will be making a return to Pittsburgh after a seven-year absence as the headliners for New Horizon’s event.
“New Horizon Theater is a community theater and Joyce tries to raise money for the theater and to bring art into the community. She’s a sincere woman and she loves her people that’s rare and that’s something to be proud of. I’m glad to be a part of it,” Brown said.
New Horizon Chairperson Joyce Meggerson-Moore is happy to be bringing the group back to the ‘Burgh.
“We looked at our budget and the groups that do good performances and don’t overcharge us because we’re trying to raise money to have our plays,” said Meggerson-Moore. “It was a good time for rotation in our lineup and they understand our mission. They have brought in new members and many of the members have been a part of the group for 20 years or more but people are going to hear the sound they recognize.”
Ray, Goodman & Brown got its genesis in Hackensack in the 1960’s with Brown and deceased members Al Goodman and Harry Ray. The group’s greatest successes came in the 1970’s with “Inside of You,”“Love On a Two Way Street,” “Look at Me (I’m In Love)” and “Special Lady.”
The song “Not on the Outside” was written specifically for Brown who worked at Ford Motor Company at the time. Brown said he was unable to get to the recording session and a group from Washington, D.C. recorded the song, to Brown’s dismay.
“I was in the bathtub and I heard the song, which was no. 25 in the country by the Moments,” Brown recalled. “I was angry.”
One night after work, Brown was at a bar that he frequented and the bartender told him that Larry Roberts was looking for him. He left the bar and once he returned Roberts asked Brown if he wanted to be the lead singer of the Moments.
“I said ‘yeah, right.’ Larry told me he’d pick me up the next morning and I still didn’t believe him. When he showed up, that’s when it hit me.”
Brown had his first show as lead singer of the Moments at the end of that whirlwind week. “I got $2,500 for that performance and I said “Oh, I like this.”
And the rest, as they say, is history.
The group changed its name to Ray, Goodman & Brown because of contract problem with their record company and had a string of hits throughout the 70’s like “Special Lady.”
“Special Lady was the last song we recorded for the album. We needed a filer and we said we have this song called Special Lady. We didn’t know that it’d be one of the biggest hits we ever recorded,” Brown said. “Most of our songs were written by the late Sylvia Robinson, Bert Keys or George Kerr. The lyrics of the songs are positive about what a woman would want her man to say to her. This is Black music. Our music. With White music, they don’t let their music die. But we Black artists, we are only as good as our last record.”
Ray, Goodman& Brown has been blessed to continue to draw crowds to their concerts despite shifts in the music business.
“This is a dog eat dog business but Ray, Goodman & Brown never thought they were above anyone,” said Brown who resides in New Jersey. “We’ve always taken time with people and tried to treat people the way we wanted to be treated because your fans are the people who make you. It is only by the grace of the fans that you are where you are.
“This business has changed. There are about three major labels left and it gets harder and harder but also easier and easier with the Internet,” Brown said. “If artists put their music out and people like them, they can get signed by a major record label.”
The group has been able to change with the times but still remain true to their sound as balladeers.
The up tempo “ I Just Wanna Dance” will be released in June or July with a complete CD to be released afterwards.
Brown will be releasing two inspirational CD’s soon. He can currently be seen performing some of the songs on Trinity Broadcasting Network.
“That’s what I’ve been wanting to do. I’ll be going back in the studio after we leave Pittsburgh,” Brown said. “It’s been great doing these songs for God. If you put God first in your life, you’ll find out that when things seem impossible, God makes them possible. I put God first in everything. If you do that, he’ll guide you if you are sincere in your heart.”
He will rejoin his Ray, Goodman & Brown bandmates to rerecord some of the group’s greatest hits for an infomercial possibly for Time Warner.
When he isn’t performing, Brown enjoys spending time with his grandchildren attending church and cooking.
Tickets for Ray, Goodman & Brown begin at $40. The $100 ticket includes: performance, orchestra seating, brochure listing, and black-tie reception with Ray, Goodman& Brown.
Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 21:19
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