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Don Cornelius' Suicide Reveals Troubled Life of 'Soul Train' Founder PDF Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Thursday, 02 February 2012 08:14

Don Cornelius' death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound has drawn new attention to the dark side of the "Soul Train" founder.

Cornelius, 75, was plagued by health problems in the last three decades of his life. He underwent a 21-hour operation in 1982 to correct a congenital malformation in blood vessels in his brain. "You choose your brain surgeons for their stamina," he said afterwards, according to The Washington Post. "You're never quite the same afterward. Travel is always a real test."

His personal life also suffered. In 2008, he was arrested for felony domestic violence against his estranged wife, Victoria Avila-Cornelius. In 2009, he plead no contest to one count of "corporal injury resulting in traumatic condition of a spouse," was put on probation for 36 months, and ordered to pay over $1,000 in fines. She also filed multiple restraining orders against him.

But Cornelius' lasting legacy is his impact on diversifying pop culture and giving rise to a hugely influential group of black performers. Cornelius created "Soul Train" and hosted the show in national syndication from 1971 to 1993.  It was the first real venue on American TV for soul music, and as the show's writer, producer, and emcee, Cornelius played a vital role in bringing stars like James Brown, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson to a wider audience.

He was known for the catchphrase with which he closed each episode: "I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!"

"Soul Train" also spun off the Soul Train Music Awards and the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards. "Soul Train" went off the air in 2006.

Cornelius' colleagues have been quick to commemorate him. Aretha Franklin, who shot to fame in part because of "Soul Train," released a statement calling Cornelius' death "sad, stunning, and downright shocking … a huge and momentous loss to the African-American community and the world at large."

Smokey Robinson put out a statement saying Cornelius "brought exposure to black talent and a positive image to young black teenagers that had never been done before." Quincy Jones called his "friend, colleague, and business partner" a "visionary pioneer and a giant in our business."

"Before MTV there was Soul Train, that will be the great legacy of Don Cornelius," Jones said. "His contributions to television, music and our culture as a whole will never be matched.  My heart goes out to Don's family and loved ones."


ABC News

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 February 2012 08:21
Macy Gray Returns with "COVERED" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Thursday, 02 February 2012 06:27


Grammy Award-winning American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress, Macy Gray, aka Natalie McIntyre, is preparing for the release of her stunning new album "COVERED". It is a collection of all new recordings of handpicked songs she's chosen to reinterpret in her own inimitable fashion.

Produced by Hal Willner (Lou Reed, Metallica), "COVERED" tackles material largely drawn from indie rock songs from the last decade—interpretations her fans will be familiar with as she's been performing them live over the years. The album contains biting, dark signature tracks such as Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" or My Chemical Romance's "Teenagers" which Gray subversively overhauls into something wholly her own. Also included are short skits featuring J.B. Smoove, Nicole Scherzinger and a guest appearance by Idris Elba. "COVERED" will be released worldwide on 429 Records March 27th. In addition, Macy is planning a worldwide tour and has wrapped filming with director Lee Daniels (Precious) for his forthcoming film 'The Paperboy" which also stars John Cusack, Zach Effron, Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey. The film will debut @ Cannes in May with confirmed worldwide distribution in October.

Since her dazzling debut introduced this singular talent to the masses, Macy has forged an uncompromising musical path beholden to her own vision and garnering accolades at every juncture. With "COVERED" Macy has turned the cover album concept on its ear choosing edgy contemporary choices and approaching them in an innovative and uncompromising way. Not surprising considering she's spent her career defying expectations and stretching musical boundaries.

Says Macy on being inspired by Nina Simone's cover songs: "She didn't worry about what people would think or how they would compare it to anybody else. I saw how she just took that song and every song she ever did and made them her own. So I went in with the confidence that we could do whatever we wanted."

Macy Gray Returns with "COVERED" -- an All New Album of Her Irrepressible Interpretations of Handpicked Songs Set for Release on March 27th.Also Macy Is To Embark on a Worldwide Tour in 2012 And Set To Star In "The Paperboy" This Fall.


"COVERED" Track Listing:


Here Comes The Rain Again (Eurythmics)


Creep (Radiohead)


You Want Them Nervous (skit featuring J.B. Smoove)


Smoke 2 Joints (The Toyes)


La La La (Teaching The Kids) (featuring Layann Al Saud, Avery Albert, Happy Hinds & Siena Stelber)


Teenagers (My Chemical Romance)


The Power of Love (featuring Hugh Salk)


Nothing Else Matters (Metallica)


Sail (AWOL Nation)


I Try Is Cool And All But…(skit featuring Nicole Scherzinger)


Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)


Love Lockdown/Buck (Kanye West/Nina Simone)


Mel Rap (featuring Mel Hinds)


Bubbly (featuring Idris Elba) (Colbie Caillat)


Wake Up (Arcade Fire)


Really? (skit featuring MC Lyte)

For more information visit: www.429records.com

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 February 2012 07:19
'Soul Train' creator Don Cornelius commits suicide PDF Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 13:34

Police responding to a report of a shooting found Cornelius at his Sherman Oaks, Calif., home around 4 a.m. He was pronounced dead about an hour later at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, according to the coroner's office.

Us Weekly reports that when Cornelius was in court in 2009 for divorce proceedings, he complained of "significant health issues."

"Soul Train" began in 1970 in Chicago and aired in syndication from 1971 to March 2006, featuring primarily African-American musicians. It brought the best R&B, soul and later hip-hop acts to TV and had teenagers dance to them. It was one of the first shows to showcase African-Americans prominently, although the dance group was racially mixed.

Cornelius was the first host and executive producer. As the smooth-talking host with a deep voice, Cornelius gave to hip young kids of the '70s what 'American Bandstand' creator Dick Clark offered to viewers in the early days of rock 'n' roll.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 February 2012 13:39
Rapper K'Naan upset Mitt Romney used his song PDF Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Thursday, 02 February 2012 03:58

NEW YORK (AP) — Rapper K'Naan is upset that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney used his song "Wavin' Flag" during his Florida primary victory speech.

In a statement Wednesday, K'naan says Romney's campaign did not seek approval to use the song and that he would not have granted permission if it had.

The Somali-born, Canadian-based rapper says he would happily grant President Barack Obama's campaign the use of the song.

K'Naan says he wants to make sure Romney does not use his song again and is seeking legal action.

Romney spokesman Rick Gorka says the song was used through the campaign's regular blanket license but, out of respect for K'Naan's statement, won't be used again.

"Wavin' Flag" was an international hit for K'Naan in 2010, co-written and co-produced by Bruno Mars' production team, The Smeezingtons.


Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record PDF Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 11:50


Guitar Center enters 2012 with the launch of the next installment of the music retailer's inspirational artist discovery program, Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record with T-Pain. The ground-breaking, career-altering program, which begins accepting submissions on Feb. 1st, will offer one emerging artist the unprecedented opportunity to record with Grammy winning artist, writer, rapper and producer, T-Pain. As this series' host of Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record, T-Pain joins the ranks of previous hosts including legendary artists Slash, Keith Urban, and most recently, Travis Barker.

How to Enter: Starting today through April 4, 2012, unsigned artists across the United States, are invited to submit their unique music track at http://tpain.whooznxt.com/.

Your Next Record with T-Pain Winner to Receive:

  • A 3-song EP produced by Young Fyre (produced several tracks on T-Pains "rEVOLVEr" album)
  • T-Pain to produce and write on winner's single
  • Complete Pro-tools HD Native recording studio
  • MPC 5000 music production studio
  • New gear and products from SHURE, iZotope and ROCKSTAR Energy Drink
  • Worldwide music distribution through TuneCore

"I am all about coming up with that next, fresh, new, exciting idea," said T-Pain. "It's important that we give up-and-coming artists a chance to share their talent with the world. This is exactly what Guitar Center is doing with Your Next Record and that's why I'm proud to be part of this."

"Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record was created to give undiscovered musicians a platform to get their sound heard and their record made," said Dustin Hinz, director of music and entertainment marketing + artist relations for Guitar Center. "Each session we have seen an increase in the entries and even more talented winners, including last session's winner, Brandon Green who was hand-picked by Keith Urban. T-Pain is sure to bring a fresh perspective to judging and producing this year's competition and we can't wait to see how it all plays out."

How the Competition Works
Unsigned artists have up to nine weeks to submit their original track via Guitar Center's Your Next Record website http://tpain.whooznxt.com/. Guitar Center has commissioned leading online music company NXTM and will utilize their Whooznxt social media ranking platform to host and judge the first round. Competing artists will be ranked on how well they're able to connect with fans through social media. T-Pain and an expert panel of judges will select one winner to receive the grand prize from among the top 100 ranked entries.

Hip hop artist T-Pain, aka Faheem Rasheed Najm, is a Grammy winning, platinum-selling artist, writer, rapper and producer who has produced and written a plethora of chart-topping and platinum-selling singles, garnered "Songwriter of the Year" and "Producer of the Year" honors at the BMI Urban Awards and earned a BET Award. T-Pain has earned two Grammy Awards alongside artists Kanye West and Jamie Foxx.

Internationally renowned drummer Travis Barker jumped into the fray on the most recent installment of Guitar Center's Your Next Record, choosing Connecticut based band Twin Berlin as the Grand Prize Winner. During the second session of the groundbreaking program singer-songwriter Brandon Green received a phone call from Keith Urban informing him that he had been hand selected as the winner. Green's single "Love Lovin' You" featuring Keith Urban will be released this fall. Guitar Center's inaugural session featured legendary guitarist Slash. The winning band, State Line Empire, released their single "Drive Me" recorded with the iconic guitarist in March of 2011.

Guitar Center's commitment to unsigned artists runs deep with a full calendar year of programs that aim to provide musicians with the opportunity and exposure they need to be successful. In addition to Guitar CenterSinger-Songwriter, these include:

  • Guitar Center On-Stage is an annual competition that provides unsigned artist that chance to open for established artists such as Motley Crue, KISS and Jane's Addiction.
  • Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter is an artist discovery program which aims to find the nation's best unsigned singer-songwriter. The winner receives a career-altering prize package including recording 3 songs with accomplished Grammy Award-winning Producer John Shanks, recording time at Converse Rubber Tracks studio and $10,000 cash. The grand finale takes place in Los Angeles on Feb. 18.
  • Guitar Center's King of the Blues is a nationwide amateur guitar skills competition with the goal of finding the next great undiscovered blues guitar player. This year's winner, Jonathon "Boogie" Long, performed alongside Grammy-winning guitarist Warren Haynes at the Grand Finals in LA, and won an incredible prize package valued at over $50,000.
  • Guitar Center's Drum-Off, entering its 24th year, is the nationwide search for the next great undiscovered drummer. Drummers from across the nation compete in the world's largest drum competition, vying for thousands of dollars in prizes and the coveted title of Guitar Center's Drum-Off Champion. The grand prize package is valued at nearly $50,000.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 February 2012 11:51
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