Music

THE WORD | Jennifer Hudson Headlines Gala That Raises $1.1 Million For Music Education At Ravinia

Nearly 800 guests attended the black tie gala (attire was optional ) hosted by Ravinia's Women's Board which preceeded the Ravina Festival concert. The event was held to support the festival and its Reach Teach Play education programs grossed more than $1.1 million, making it one of the most successful in the 53-year history of the event. 

Chicago's own Oscar- and Grammy- winning Jennifer Hudson made her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut, headlining the concert.

"There was a raw excitement when Ravinia first introduced Jennifer Hudson to our audiences in 2011, and for tonight's gala we welcomed back a masterful artist in full control of her adoring audience and her phenomenal talents," said Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman of Highland Park, who booked this gala and all Ravinia concerts. "As she said onstage, Jennifer often comes to Ravinia as an audience member to watch our headliners perform, and it's that love of music that makes her connect so beautifully with an audience. This was an event people will be talking about for years." Via broadwayworld.com

According to broadwayworld.com It was Ravinia's Women's Board that initiated Ravinia's education programs more than four decades ago, and the all-volunteer board remains the largest supporter of Reach Teach Play, which now serves more than 85,000 people each year. 

THE WORD | Kanye West Managed To Get Out Of $53 million In Debt In 3 Years

On Tuesday (July 9), Forbes unveiled their latest cover featuring Kanye West, who they estimated made $150 million over the past 12 months (his team insisted "the number is even higher"), making him the third highest-paid entertainer over the last year. 

This is a huge accomplishment for the Chicago kid, especially when you weigh in the fact that just three years ago Kanye claimed to be in $53 million in debt...So, how'd he do it? According to Forbes, Kanye's fortune can greatly be attributed to his Yeezy brand and partnership with Adidas.

"I'm just blessed through the grace of God to go from tweeting at Mark Zuckerberg" to ask for money, he said, to where he is today.

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Back in August, The Blast reported that Ye was just shy of joining the billionaire club, claiming that Kanye's Yeezy brand had just reached a valuation of nearly $1.5 billion. The site cited the fact that Kanye was a majority stakeholder of the fashion label as further proof he was right at the line of being considered a billionaire. 

While Forbes reported that Ye still hasn't earned the billionaire title just yet, the mag added "the never-modest" Mr. West would certainly "claim he’s there already. And then some."

THE WORD | BLACK TWITTER IS NOT IN FAVOR OF THIS FREE ASAP ROCKY PETITION. THEY CAN'T "RELATE' TO IT.

Rapper ASAP Rocky (real name Rakim Mayers) is currently sitting in a Swedish jail after he was involved in a street brawl in Stockholm earlier this month. Now, his celeb friends are boycotting, signing petitions, and calling out injustice in his defense. They allege he has been denied the right to fair representation and that he's being held in "inhumane conditions." He filed an appeal on Monday (July 8th), but it was denied, so the Swedish court ordered him to spend two weeks in pre-trial detention while police investigate the incident.

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People haven't forgot about the time he turned a blind eye to racial injustices a few years ago. In 2015, ASAP made some comments about Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMatter movement that rubbed people the WRONG way. The Harlem took twitter to defend his comments in a series of now deleted tweets.

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Black Twitter didn’t think his “apology” was sincere enough. The Bad Girl of Blogging Diamond Dosage sparked a conversation via twitter that got people talking, and the rest of black twitter chimed in as well.

MORE FROM BLACK TWITTER:




THE WORD | DJ Mustard is now just Mustard, and is clear of record label debt

DJ Mustard is no more. As of this month, the producer is going by “Mustard.” Along with his name he dropped all of his debt. The hit making heavy weight has reportedly sold half of his catalog and bought himself out of every contract he was bound to. Now signed only to himself, it's safe to say we can expect a lot more hits. This is great business move and a model for young artist coming in the music industry. When signing record deals in he beginning of your career you sign over things such as name likeness to the record companies. Artist such as Prince has fought this battle to own his name and modern rapper like Jeezy is another example. Converting his name from Young Jeezy to Jeezy.

THE WORD | Halle Bailey will play Ariel in the live-action ‘The Little Mermaid’

Singer-actress #HalleBailey will be part of #Disney 's world.

Bailey, who with her sister forms R*B duo Chloe and Halle , has nabbed the starring role in Disney's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, and will play the role of Ariel, the rebellious daughter of King Triton who longs to live on dry land.

“After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role,” director Rob Marshall said in a statement.

Bailey is joining a cast that includes Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina, while Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play Ursula.

The animated “Little Mermaid” is widely acknowledged as the movie that helped kick off the Disney Renaissance. Other films from that era that have already been adapted into live-action films include “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin” and the upcoming “The Lion King.”


THE WORD | Dreezy Joins PUMA As Newest Ambassador For Classic Summer Kicks

“PUMA has been a stamp for stylish and comfortable clothes since I can remember. You are what you wear, and PUMA is clean and respected.”

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The Chicago rapper Dreezy made her debut with PUMA in the brand’s latest CALI Bold campaign, Monday (June 17). The footwear apparel giant hand-picked the hip-hop star as its vibrant new face not just because of her incredible fashion sense, but as a means to further incorporate music with fashion and sports—a hybrid culture PUMA prides itself on fostering more and more today.

THE WORD | Chicago’s R&B Singer Ann Marie Inks a Deal With Interscope Records

Chicago-based R&B singer-songwriter Ann Marie, known for her hit “Secret” with YK Osiris, has signed with Interscope Records. Ann Marie took social media and provided this message and video for her fans.

Ann Marie was discovered by rapper and co-founder of City Entertainment Group Mikkey Halsted in 2017 after he met her at a G Herbo concert in Chicago.

“Management was just the best fit for Ann and me, because I wanted to be as hands-on as possible and knew she’d be huge really fast,” Halsted says.

Ann Marie is known for records such as Little Secret ft YK Osiris and Handle It. Ann Marie meshes ‘90s and 2000s-era R&B with contemporary sounds, in a way consistent with Ella Mai, and H.E.R., and she’s been lauded by the hip-hop and R&B press as well as Pitchfork and Rolling Stone.

According to Variety Interscope senior director of A&R Caroline “Baroline” Diaz, who also signed DaBaby, made contact early. “She’s a rare combination of singer/songwriter that speaks for a generation and whose sound is already resonating beyond her Chicago roots,” she says.

Check out some Ann Marie Videos:

THE WORD | Is Drake The G.O.A.T ?

Drake Ties The Beatles for Second-Most Top 10s,  in the Billboard Hot100with Chris Brown’s track "No Guidance" debuting at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. Drake is getting closer to proving that his claim of having "more slaps than The Beatles" is actually true.

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 "No Guidance" becomes Drake's 34th top 10 song on the Hot 100, tying him for the second-most ever with The Beatles. What makes this all so interesting, he accomplished all this in a time span less then a decade.

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 "No Guidance" is Drake's 194th entry to the Hot 100 thus far. His first Top 10 hit on the chart was his breakthrough single "Best I Ever Had." Seems like drake is on a winning spree.


Congratulations to Drake for another win on the charts. But with this all being said does this make Drake the GOAT?

THE WORD | RIHANNA BECOMES RICHEST FEMALE MUSICIAN WITH $600 MILLION FORTUNE

According to Forbes, Rihanna is now the wealthiest female musician in the world, ahead of the likes of Madonna ($570 million), Céline Dion ($450 million) and Beyoncé ($400 million).

Most of that comes not from music but from her partnership with LVMH, the French luxury goods giant run by billionaire Bernard Arnault. Rihanna (pronounced "Ri-ann-ah," not "Ri-ah-nah," as she recently clarified) and LVMH co-own the makeup brand Fenty Beauty. Fenty launched in September 2017, it racked up a reported $100 million in sales in its first few weeks. 11 of the 80 women on Forbes' list of the Richest Self-Made Women made their money in beauty or skin care products.

THE WORD | Philadelphia Court Grants Meek Mill New Hearing In 2008 Case

Meek Mill and his fight against the Philadelphia court system and Judge Genece Brinkley has took a turn for the best. The Philadelphia rapper will reportedly now get an opportunity to fight his 2008 conviction on gun and drug charges.

After fighting for years, trying to get an appeal, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has granted his request with a hearing set for July 16. Meek Mill is questioning the credibility of officer Reginald Graham after he was featured in a list of cops that have been involved in corrupt behavior.

He has previously been on probation for the conviction, and then sentenced to two-to-four years in prison after Judge Brinkley ruled that he violated probation for popping a wheelie in New York City.



THE WORD | JAY Z IS HIP-HOP'S FIRST BILLIONAIRE

“It’s bigger than hip-hop … it’s the blueprint for our culture," Swizz Beatz says in the article. "A guy that looks like us, sounds like us, loves us, made it to something that we always felt that was above us. If he’s a billionaire now, imagine what he’s about to be. Because he’s only just starting.”

Jay-Z has officially become hip hop's FIRST billionaire! Forbes breaks down the report which comes through investments in liquor, art, real estate, and multiple investments such as Uber.


FORBES BREAKSDOWN HOV’s FORTUNE

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Jay-Z has used his music to shill the $300 gold bottles of the "Ace of Spades" champagne since launching the brand with the 2006 video “Show Me What You Got." More recently, his verse on Meek Mill’s “What’s Free" put a half-billion-dollar value on the wine, which seems like a bit too bubbly a number.

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A vast investing portfolio includes a stake in Uber worth an estimated $70 million. He reportedly purchased his piece for $2 million back in 2013—and then wired founder Travis Kalanick another $5 million in an attempt to increase his holdings, but was rebuffed

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Jay-Z’s cognac, a joint venture with beverage giant Bacardi, moves almost 200,000 cases and has grown nearly 80% annually. “Jay-Z resonates with consumers who are attracted to the ultra-premium lifestyle," says Eric Schmidt, Beverage Marketing Corp.’s Director of Alcohol Research.

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This wide-ranging entertainment company started over a decade ago as part of a joint venture with concert giant Live Nation. Roc Nation represents some of the top stars in the entertainment through its sports agency (Kevin Durant, Todd Gurley) as well as its record label and artist-management arms (Rihanna, J. Cole).

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Before the beginning of his stint as Def Jam’s chief in 2004, Jay-Z negotiatedthe eventual return of his master recordings from the aforementioned label that helped launch his career; in a separate deal with EMI, he clawed back his publishing rights. Wise move: his hits now clock close to 1 billion streams annually.

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After welcoming twins in 2017, Jay-Z and Beyoncé bought a pair of homes to match: a $26 million East Hampton mansion and a $88 million Bel Air estate. Jay-Z also owns a Tribeca penthouse, snagged for $6.85 million in 2004.

Art collection

$70 million

In the song "Picasso Baby," Jay-Z boasted about a “Basquiat in my kitchen corner." He probably wasn't kidding. For over a decade, he’s been scooping up masterpieces like Basquiat's “Mecca,” purchased in 2013 for a reported $4.5 million. "He's rapped about it all in detail," says Fab 5 Freddy, a contemporary and friend of the late painter. "Jay-Z helped educate millions of hip-hop fans mentioning Jean-Michel."

Tidal

$100 million

In 2015, Jay-Z submitted a bid to purchase the Scandinavian streaming service’s parent company for just shy of $60 million. He relaunched Tidal later that year with a roster of celebrity investors including his wife, Beyoncé, and other music luminaries, from Kanye West to Calvin Harris.

 

THE WORD | Lil Durk Is Facing 5 Felony Charges, including Criminal Intent To Commit Murder

On May 29,2019, Lil Durk revealed that he planned to turn himself in, which implied that he was expecting to be arrested by police. According to TMZ the Atlanta Police Department has issued a warrant for the Chicago rapper's arrest.

TMZ says the authorities plan to charge Durk with criminal intent to commit murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and associating with a criminal street gang to participate in a crime. At press time, Durk is not in police custody. WSB-TV Channel 2’s Michael Seiden talked with Durk Derrick Banks’ attorney, who confirmed his client will surrender later Today (May 30).

Lil Durk’s attorney said the charges are in connection with a shooting outside The Varsity a few days after the Super Bowl.

THE WORD | NO BOND FOR KODAK BLACK ON WEAPONS CHARGES

A federal judge ruled rapper Kodak Black be held in jail without bond following his arrest on weapons charges which prevented him from performing at the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival. Federal prosecutors went to court Wednesday to appeal a judge’s decision to release the 21-year-old Pompano Beach native on $550,000 bond.

According to CBS Miami U.S. District Court, Judge Federico Moreno said the rapper was a “danger to the community” based on his lengthy criminal record and should be detained until trial and set an August trial date.

Authorities are investigating three shootings in the Miami area with possible connections to the festival. They say one weapon purchased by Black was found at the scene of a shooting in nearby Pompano Beach.

THE WORD | Ciara Accepted to Harvard Business School

R&B star Ciara took instagram yesterday to announce that she is going to attend Harvard Business School. The Harvard BEMS program will teach Ciara to "develop and execute more effective business strategies," "debate and analyze the business and technology trends that are redefining the industry," and "learn how to launch and manage creative products and portfolios more strategically." 

This is very important for Ciara to attain these skills as she launch  her own record and entertainment company, Beauty Marks Entertainment, as well as her production company Why Not You Productions with husband Russell Wilson last month. The latter focuses on backing film, television, and digital content projects that tell "inspiring and aspiring narratives and human interest stories."

THE WORD | Trey Songz Is a Father, His fans reactions are priceless

Trey Songz confirmed that he has welcomed a baby boy named Noah, sharing a photo of the infant and captioning it, “My son Noah. We are blessed and overjoyed. Peace .” Songz, did not reveal the identity of the child’s mother.

Songz caught fans off guard Thursday when he cryptically shared a close-up of a baby’s foot on Instagram, captioning it with a blue heart emoji and no other explanation. See below for their reaction.

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A post shared by treysongz (@treysongz) on

THE WORD | King Louie Hints at New Music, and His Fans React lol

Chicago hip hop artist King Love took social media to announce that he is dropping new music this Friday. King L has been off the grid musically for a while, some believe it’s because of his legal battle with former record label Lawless Inc. King L, recently tweeted about his freedom and his fan reacted.




THE WORD | Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West welcome fourth child

Congrats to Kanye and Kim Kardashian West on their 4th child, their second child via surrogate.  The baby boy joins his sisters North, 5, and Chicago 1, and brother Saint, 3. On "The Ellen Show" Thursday with her nieces and nephews, Kourtney Kardashian said her sister was supposed to join her but couldn't because the surrogate was in labor.

Their mother and family matriarch, Kris Jenner, appeared surprised and said she was not aware labor had started.

THE WORD | An arrest warrant has been issued for Offset of ‘The Migos’

Offset of the Migos has been issued an arrest warrant for “criminal damage to property”. The rapper is facing charges in connection to the April incident shown above where he knocks a cellphone from a fan’s hand after he was approached at a Target in Georgia. The fan, Junior Gibbons, is said to have filed a police report last week. The incident has been classified as a felony due to the cost of the IPhone. Gibbons, phone has been cracked, as shown below. Gibbons and his family state that they simply want the phone fixed. 

 

Although the case continues on, the rapper’s lawyer released a state today calling the charges brought upon his client are both “disgraceful” and the charges should be “dismissed immediately”. 

What are your thoughts? Was Offset’s privacy invaded or is being filmed by fans a part of the celebrity lifestyle?? 

THE WORD | Remy Ma Arrested, Charged With Misdemeanor Assault

 Remy Ma has turned herself in to authorities after being charged with misdemeanor assault, as TMZreports. The charge originates from an incident that took place last month. It was said that Remy Ma allegedly punched “Love & Hip Hop” actress Brittney Taylor in the face.

 Taylor originally accused Remy of assault during an interview with the New York Daily News on April 19. The incident allegedly took place three nights prior (April 16), during the Pretty Lou Birthday Charity Concert at Irving Plaza in New York City. It was reported that the women had an argument backstage before the alleged attack happened. According to Pitchfork a representative for the NYPD confirmed that Remy was arrested and charged earlier this afternoon. 

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THE WORD | B2K’s Millennium Tour Rakes In $5 Million

R&B boy group B2K embarked on a reunion tour in March and it was a hit!!! The Millennium Tour features Mario, Pretty Ricky, Lloyd, Bobby V, The Yin Yang Twins, and Chingy. After announcing the tour B2K fans went crazy on twitter, as a result the tour became trending.

According to Billboard , the Millennium Tour has generated more money for the group than any of their previous tours, raking in just over $5 million. Their performances at the Forum in Inglewood, CA, State Farm Arena in Atlanta, and the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA have respectively raked in $2.2 million, $1.7 million, $1.2 million for a combined total of $5 million.

On their last tour as a group, the Scream Tour III, B2K brought in $4.2 million after performing 22 shows. In only three dates B2K was able to generate $5 million, with more shows to perform, they'll quick surpass that amount.