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E-Spire Entertainment News

A place where we inspire to bring you the best in entertainment news.

Literary Divas Presents Heather Covington

Monday, May 29, 2006



This week marks the last week of the author series on e-Spire. What a better way to end the series than with Heather Covington, the author of Literary Divas: The Top 100+ Most Admired African American Women in Literature. Literary Divas is a compilation of biographies about powerful African-American women who made their mark in the book publishing industry.

When I originally interviewed Heather Covington, I had no idea that I too held an honor to be among the women listed in this book. I won't attempt to list them all, but here are a few others that are listed: Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Oprah Winfrey, Terrie Williams, Carol Mackey, etc.

Shelia Goss: Heather, you've been very supportive of the literary community. What motivated you to do a book honoring African American Women Writers?

Heather Covington: Shelia, thank you so much for having me.

My inspiration for writing Literary Divas: The Top 100+ Most Admired African American Women in Literature came as a result of my need to responsibly document the history of African American women in literature who should be celebrated 365 days of the year. I feel that children can also be motivated, encouraged and inspired to tell their stories as well as writers who decide to become authors. I have read so many works from great authors as yourself Shelia and many other Literary Divas as featured in the book who have also inspired me. I know people will enjoy reading Literary Divas as much as I enjoyed writing it.


Shelia: What criteria did the writers have to meet in order to be included in the book?

Heather: When my publisher, Tony Rose, CEO of Amber Communications Group, Inc. approached me with a 4 book deal at the QBR Wheatley Awards in New York 2005, I had no other choice but YES! This company has sold over a million books. This was my chance to get to change the images of Black females to a mainstream audience like only ACGI can deliver. This company rules with Self Help Books, Career Guides and Celebrity Bios that are image building and reflect the best African American experience ever. I thought I would have to select authors who were bestsellers only, but Tony entrusted my vision. So with all that, no criteria was needed, just the vision.


Shelia: With such an extensive list, how long did it take you all to put the book together?

Heather: Shelia I am not going to lie to you. It took every breathing, living and waking moment. As everyone of those African American Literary Divas breathed, I, Heather Covington, Literary Diva, breathed with them. I walked in their shoes, sorrows, triumphs and I overcame obstacles with them.

Shelia: When will the book be available and where can we purchase it?

Heather: It just went to the printer today. Literary Divas: The Top 100+ Most Admired African American Women in Literature is available on online stores, and in a bookstore or local library near you. You can order direct at www.AmberBooks.com for the lowest discounts or visit my website over at www.LiteraryDiva.com to connect to all order links.


Shelia: What's next on your agenda?

Heather: I am planning a huge literary convention along with the YOUnity Guild Annual "Literary & Media" Infusionary Awards in NY. I like to bring people together. People can visit my site at www.Disilgold.com to RSVP for some exciting panels we're planning and to load up on their favorite books. I want to continue giving back to youth by donating scholarships from literary contests. I love giving back in special ways. I want young people to learn how to receive their blessings as givers because until you start giving, you've got nothing to receive. My life is a testament to this. I too, am a Literary Diva and get ready for the next installment, Literary Dons: The Top 100 + Most Admired African American Men in Literature.

Literary Divas: The Top 100+ Most Admired African American Women in Literature by Heather Covington is available for $16.95.

www.LiteraryDiva.com
posted by Shelia, 6:25 AM | link | 5 comments |

DVD - Preaching to the Choir

Sunday, May 28, 2006



Preaching to the Choir is on DVD - pre-order your copy now. The official release date is June 6, 2006.

SYNOPSIS
Estranged since the death of their parents years ago, twin brothers, Teshawn and Wesley Tucker, have taken radically different paths in life. Wes (Darien Sills-Evans) has become a minister in a Harlem gospel church while Te (Billoah Greene) perpetrates the gangster lifestyle as Hip Hop star Zulu. They are forced into reconciliation when Te flees from LA to his childhood home in Harlem to hide from his enraged record producer, Bull Sharky (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje).

Te tries to disappear in his preacher brother’s world of the gospel church but becomes entrenched in the community and finds himself reconnecting with his past by becoming involved in the failing church choir. There, he is comforted by Aunt June (Novella Nelson), his loving surrogate mother with a musical past, and is falling for Kia (Janine Green), a lovely church goer with her fingers on the pulse of the history, and magic, of Harlem . As Bull Sharky and his posse move east tracking Te down, Te and Wes must confront their own demons and attempt to work out their differences.

Through the intersection of gospel and hip hop, east coast and west coast, the sacred and the secular, Preaching to the choir weaves a story of unconditional love and redemption, a story of community.

REVIEW
Preaching to the Choir does just that. A feel-good yarn about faith and family, the indie film is geared to church goers. But before you assume it's a squeaky-clean Bible-thumper, be advised that this dramedy is rated PG-13 for language, sex and drug references. Nor does it sermonize at the expense of entertaining. Instead, it melds gospel and hip-hop for a music-driven tale of twin brothers who reconnect...you can't fault a church-geared movie that tries so hard to entertain while preaching so softly. - BRUCE WESTBROOK / Houston Chronicle

OFFICIAL TRAILER
posted by Shelia, 6:26 PM | link | 0 comments |

Ashley Parker Angel Tours with Ashlee Simpson

ASHLEY PARKER ANGEL TO TOUR WITH ASHLEE SIMPSON




(New York, NY) Blackground/Universal Recording artist Ashley Parker Angel debuts at #5 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart selling over 70,000 copies of his solo debut Soundtrack Of Your Life in its first week, proving he can stand alone. Soundtrack shows that Ashley Parker Angel is all grown-up. Co-writing the entire album, notable tracks include “I’m Better” produced by Max Martin (Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears) and the title track “Soundtrack To Your Life” produced by The Matrix (Avril Lavigne, Korn), which capture not only his edgy rock sound, passion and powerful writing abilities but his inner voice and self-determination as a solo artist.

“Let U Go”, the fist single off the release has driven sales with its catchy chorus and hypnotic guitar riffs. The single remains on Billboard’s Hot 100 List where it debuted at #17 making his single the highest new entry. The single also reached #1 on MTV’s TRL countdown and was the #1 most added song to Top 40 radio stations during its first week at radio. Ashley has also proven to be a major selling force on-line, currently having the #4 selling album on iTunes, the #5 Top Selling Album on MSN and on Real/Rhapsody “Let U Go” is #2 Real/Rollingstone Top 10 Track.

No stranger to success, Ashley began his career as a member of ABC’s “The Making of The Band” multi-platinum group O-Town. The band dissolved in 2002 and Angel packed up and moved to Los Angeles to become a solo artist. MTV: Music Television followed the musical journey of an old face with an entirely new act in “There & Back,” a music reality series chronicling the life of the former O-Town heartthrob as he prepared to release his solo debut.

Ashley Parker Angel has been busy on a national radio promo tour, a closed down in-store and recently appeared on Live with Regis and Kelly which aired May 22nd. Ashley will soon appear in the Macy’s “Thisit” program, a fully interactive website for 3 months beginning in July. He will discuss current trends, his favorite music, what makes a girl sexy and much more. Fans can also expect to see Ashley Parker Angel up-close and personal when he joins Ashlee Simpson for a 20 city tour to promote their albums. In addition to touring with Ashlee Simpson, Angel will appear on the Teen People Rock N Shop Tour.

To see tour schedule, visit the website: http://www.ashleyparkerangel.com/
posted by Shelia, 6:21 PM | link | 0 comments |

Talib Kweli new song Listen

Blacksmith Music/ Warner Bros Records legend Talib Kweli is back with a new single from his highly anticipated LP, Eardrum (coming late Summer)

"Listen" (Produced by KWAME)
Quicktime hi

Windows hi

Quicktime lo

Windows lo

If you haven't heard Jean Grae, check out this track with Kweli:

New York S***

To learn more about Talib Kweli, visit his website:
http://www.talibkweli.com
posted by Shelia, 6:04 PM | link | 0 comments |

Danielle Evin Set to Release Debut CD

Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Danielle Evin is set to release her self-titled debut CD on the LateralView Records label (distributed by Red/Sony BMG) on June 27, 2006.

To learn more about this artist, visit her website:
http://www.danielleevin.com

posted by Shelia, 5:35 PM | link | 0 comments |

Bananarama releases Drama

Check out Drama, the latest CD by Bananarama.

posted by Shelia, 5:30 PM | link | 0 comments |

New Movie on DVD

Scummy Man tells the story of the people who lurk in the dark shadows, those who slip between the cracks of the surface in the city at night - the underclass. It’s a world where girls roam the streets, out of sight and out of mind of the moral majority. All things being about perception, this underworld can be seen in a different light depending on how each person comes to experience it. Each person has a story to tell, and this is theirs...



Trailer Streams:
Quicktime - HI
Quicktime - LO
Real – Hi
Real - Lo
Windows - Hi
Windows - Lo
posted by Shelia, 5:21 PM | link | 0 comments |

Majic Massey CD scheduled to drop in August

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Majic Massey has some of the hottest producers (Kanye West, Swizz Beats, No I.D., 7, Cool & Dre, David Banner, Loony Tunes, and TrackMasters) on his new album scheduled to be released on August 29th.

Hear a sample here:

Devil's Advocate:
http://boss.streamos.com/wmedia/universalmotown/src
/majic_massey/audio/1_devils_advocate.asx


http://boss.streamos.com/real/universalmotown/src/
majic_massey/audio/1_devils_advocate.ram
posted by Shelia, 5:45 PM | link | 0 comments |

Mary J Blige Performed One on American Idol

Thursday, May 25, 2006

AMERICA’S FAVORITE ARTIST PERFORMS AMERICA’S FAVORITE SONG



Santa Monica, California, May 25, 2006 – Mary J. Blige and her version of the U2 classic "One" were all over the airwaves last night. On the Fox network Mary J. Blige took the stage with American Idol finalist Elliot Yamin for a spectacular version of the song “One” which appears as a duet with Bono on Mary’s double platinum album The Breakthrough. Meanwhile, on ABC, the current promotional spot for the top rated network's slate of programming is cued to Blige's performance of “One” and even includes footage from her music video.

“One” is everywhere, permeating through the American culture. “One” was originally written by U2 and appeared on their 1991 album Achtung Baby. In February 2003 Mary chose to sing “One” at a MusiCares Person of the Year tribute to Bono during the week leading up to the 45th Grammy Awards telecast. The first time Bono and Mary performed “One” together was in September 2005 at the Katrina benefit “Shelter From the Storm: A Concert For the Gulf Coast” which aired on broadcast and cable networks. “One” can also be heard on ABC as part of their May sweeps station ID campaign which aired during the season finale of such hit shows as Desperate Housewives, Lost and Grey’s Anatomy and will continue to air throughout the summer. Mary's video for “One” is now available on iTunes and is currently the number one downloaded music video on the service!

Released on December 20th, “The Breakthrough” rocketed up the Billboard chart to debut at #1. Massive first week sales of 727,163 earned it the honor of being the best opening week for a solo R&B female artist in SoundScan history. The CD also has the distinction of being the fourth-best debut of all of 2005. “The Breakthrough” has currently sold over 2.2 million copies.

Beyond commercial success, the press is unanimous in their praise of the artistry of “The Breakthrough.” Vanity Fair raves, “…she’s still the Queen…” USA Today claims, “Another Blige ‘Breakthrough’ …Blige still touches souls...” People Magazine calls the CD “...one of her most impassioned performances, proving a little drama can go a long way.” NY Daily News says Mary, “…wins by finely delivering songs that show how complicated simple joy can be.” The Boston Globe hails the CD as “…a start-to-finish triumph.”

Mary’s six prior platinum and multi-platinum hit albums include such classics, “No More Drama,” “What’s the 411,” “My Life,” “Share My World,” “Mary” and “Love & Life.”

# # #
posted by Shelia, 6:18 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sean Diddy Combs Reprises Raisin on ABC

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

(New York, New York - May 24, 2006) – Entertainment mogul, Sean "Diddy" Combs will join Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald and Sanaa Lathan in a small-screen version of the classic Lorraine Hansberry tale, "A Raisin in the Sun" to air on ABC Television in 2007.

Following a successful Broadway debut starring in the lead role of Walter Lee, Combs will serve as executive producer of the remake along with Sony Pictures producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. The award winning record producer will also supervise the music soundtrack.
The Combs led 2004 "Raisin in the Sun" revival was a huge hit on Broadway, widely credited with attracting a diverse audience to Broadway and earning two Tony Awards.
* * *
posted by Shelia, 6:13 PM | link | 0 comments |

Meet Ak' Sent - Capitol Records Rapper


Ak' Sent's Favorites

Favorite color: Silver
Favorite time of year: Summer
Favorite thing to do when not rapping: Shopping
Favorite thing to wear: Chucks and antik jeans
Favorite artists: Jay Z, Lil' Wayne, Brandy, 2Pac.

To read an exclusive interview with Ak'Sent CLICK HERE.
posted by Shelia, 9:56 AM | link | 0 comments |

Hear Remy Ma Latest Song "Feels So Good"

Listen to REMY MA "Feels So Good" feat. Ne-Yo:
Windows Media
Real

Remy's MySpace Page
Remy's Website
posted by Shelia, 9:26 AM | link | 0 comments |

Bohagon Interview Excerpt

Georgia based artist, Bohagon's current single "Wuz Up" is getting airplay on the radio and in the clubs. Atlanta is known for “crunk.” Bohagon states, “Crunk music is a side of me. My music is like ghetto poetry. You can’t call it club music…can’t call it just one thing…it’s like soul music, but it’s me rapping.”

To read the entire interview: CLICK HERE.
posted by Shelia, 9:19 AM | link | 0 comments |

Bo Bice - Interview with Former American Idol Contestant

Tuesday, May 23, 2006



Former American Idol contestant Bo Bice is still a winner. Find out what he´s been doing since he last appeared on the show. Click Here to Read the Interview
posted by Shelia, 9:17 AM | link | 0 comments |

Dixie Chicks Go on Tour



After a three year hiatus, The Dixie Chicks are back with a new album TAKING THE LONG WAY followed by a five month North American Tour aptly named “Accidents & Accusations.” Tickets for the tour will go on sale during the first week of June and, beginning May 23rd, fans who buy the new album at any Target store in the US will receive a password for an online presale.

The tour will be preceded by two shows in London to kick of the international release of the album on June 12 including one show at Sheperd’s Bush, the venue that served as the setting for Natalie Maines’ fateful comment. The band will also perform on June 17 as special guests of The Eagles.

For more information on the forthcoming album TAKING THE LONG WAY as well as audio/video clips of their chart topping single “Not Ready to Make Nice” visit http://dixiechicks.msn.com/ or their official site http://www.dixiechicks.com/. The official North American tour kicks off July 1st.

To see the schedule, CLICK HERE.
posted by Shelia, 8:17 AM | link | 0 comments |

American Idol Season 5 Compilation Album

“SEASON 5 ENCORES”HITS STORES MAY 23, 2006


Top 12 Finalists from Series’ Highest-Rated Season Contribute Their Best Performances to a New CD


The ratings are higher than ever. The water-cooler factor is more intense than ever. The contestants are more talented than ever. No wonder the anticipation is running so high for "American Idol Season 5 Encores," the fifth compilation album of songs by the finalists from America's No. 1 television series. The fifth season compilation CD will be released by 19 Recordings/RCA on May 23, the same day that the top two finalists will battle it out in the exciting season finale of Fox-TV's "American Idol."

"American Idol Season 5 Encores" will feature the top 12 finalists singing their best performances from this season. Rocker Chris Daughtry offers his take on Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive." Kellie Pickler contributes her special version of Patsy Cline's "Walkin' After Midnight." And Taylor Hicks sings the classic, Doobie Brothers' "Takin' It to the Streets." Just 17 years old, Paris Bennett, granddaughter of gospel singer Ann Nesby, uniquely updates Gladys Knight & the Pips' "Midnight Train to Georgia." Also 16, Kevin Covais impresses with his interpretation of the Nat King Cole classic, "When I Fall in Love." Katharine McPhee, lauded by the judges for her beauty and talent, sings Aretha Franklin's "Think." Elliott Yamin, excels on James Moody's "Moody's Mood for Love." Dubbed "Man-Diva," Mandisa is outstanding on a song that was a hit for Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston, "I'm Every Woman." Heartthrob Ace Young does a turn on George Michael's "Father Figure." Known for his country pipes, Bucky Covington sings the Stevie Ray Vaughn with Double Trouble arrangement of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition." Teenager Lisa Tucker also turns to the Stevie Wonder songbook, with a perfect rendition of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours." And Melissa McGhee sings a song the judges raved about, her version of Heart's "What About Love."

The first four "American Idol" compilations have sold a combined total of 2.4 Million copies. Counting all of the contestants who have released albums since the series debuted in 2002, the "American Idol" franchise has sold over 19 million albums and 4.5 million singles.

# # #
posted by Shelia, 8:13 AM | link | 0 comments |

Check out Rap City Next Week

E-40, Hieroglyphics, and Too Short Take Control of Rap City
Weeklong series chronicles the past, present, and future of Bay Area hip-hop



(Brooklyn, NY) Set your Tivo to Stunna! The Bay continues its renaissance with a weeklong takeover of BET's Rap City. "Hyphy is the like the rebirth of hip-hop," the show's host, Madd Links exclaimed. BET captured three days of footage in the Bay Area to document this pop culture movement. Hyphy, which originated in Oakland, has hit the national scene and enticed mainstream media to document the phenomenon. Everyday next week at 5 PM EST you'll get a new installment of the show chronicling the past, present, and future of the Bay. Yee yee!

The series opens on Monday 5/22 with Too Short - a pioneering Oakland rapper who went from slanging tapes on the corner to platinum sales - and concludes on Saturday 6/3 with the Bay Area's Top 10 Countdown.

The full schedule is as follows:
Monday 5/29/06 - Too Short: A Day in the Life

Tuesday 5/30/06 - Hyphy: A subculture of Hip Hop
Wednesday 5/31/06 - E-40: His second wind
Thursday 6/01/06 - Hieroglyphics & Davey D: The Past, Present, & Future
Friday 6/02/06 - Bay Area: The Road Map
Saturday 6/03/06 - Top 10 Countdown

For more info, check out BET.com
posted by Shelia, 7:33 AM | link | 0 comments |

Michelle Buckley - Author of Trippin

Monday, May 22, 2006


Shelia Goss: Please introduce yourself to the readers.
Michelle Buckley: I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a kid. I like to write books that hopefully leave women feeling empowered. I want to tell entertaining stories that celebrate women, our strength and our ability to bounce back. Trippin’ which comes out in July is my second novel. Both this book and my first, Bulletproof Soul, were released by Carl Weber’s Urban Books. As a result of my debut writing effort, Black Issues Book Review Magazine included me in the July/August 2005 issue as an up and coming African American author — a “fresh breeze.” And during the summer of 2005, my debut, Bulletproof Soul, was selected as a Blackexpressions.com “Editor’s Pick” and “Summer Favorite.” Prior to my fictional writing, I’ve done freelance writing for publications like Black Enterprise Magazine and I was included in the #1 Essence bestseller, Souls of My Sisters (Kensington, 2000).

Shelia: Do you listen to music while you’re writing?
Michelle: As a writer, I believe when I write, I’m sharing my soul on paper and music stirs my soul. I love to have music playing in the background as I create my stories. While I wrote Trippin’ I listened to folks like Lizz Wright, Vivian Greene, Kindred the Family Soul, Leela James, Raheem DeVaughn, Anthony Hamilton, and Kem to name a few.

Shelia: I know with other obligations it can be a struggle finding time to write. Do you have a set writing schedule?
Michelle: When I was writing Trippin’, I did try to make myself write every day and sometimes I was more successful than others. I was most productive on the weekends -- and I got a lot done in the morning before the stressful workday began. When the words truly flowed, I had to learn to get out of my own way. That’s when I realized I was just a vessel, an instrument, and God was really the one at work. That was when I found the writing process most enjoyable.

Shelia: How did you come up with your storyline?
Michelle: I think I must have needed a vacation when I started writing Trippin’ because it’s all about a travel club going buck wild. I came up with the storyline because I just wanted to do something crazy and totally different from my first book. In this one -- the people who start off good become bad and vice versa. Plus, I wanted to tackle real issues like stalking, sexual harassment and infertility. Also, as a writer, I noticed I like killing folks off -- so I had a field day with that. It’s all there among the pages -- a literary trip that won’t disappoint.

Shelia: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Michelle: To be a successful writer, you have to be passionate about the written word and you have to have a vivid imagination. You also have to be self-motivated and you can’t be afraid of a little (or a lot) of rejection. Beyond that, you of course have to hone your craft and WRITE, WRITE, WRITE! Also, you should hang out with other writers and get to know the business and folks in the industry. As with any goal, remember . . . 100% of the shots you DON’T take, WON’T go in. If you really want to be a writer, you have to go all out for your dream. That’s true, whether you’re talking about writing or anything else you want in life.

Shelia: There are a lot of reality shows on now. If your life was a Reality TV show, what would it be called and why?
Michelle: I’d have to say Dreams Realized, because in the past year I’ve been blessed to have several dreams in both my personal and professional lives become reality. Another possibility: Beyond the Bull, because as I get older, I notice my tolerance for bs (people lying to me, themselves, or anyone else) is proportionately decreasing (lol).

Shelia: How can you be reached and where can we purchase your books?
Michelle: I can be emailed at prgalkc@hotmail.com. My website is: http://www.michellebuckley.com/ and my blog is http://www.michellebuckleyblog.blogspot.com/. My books Trippin’ and Bulletproof Soul can be ordered online at sites like Cushcity.com, Amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble.com. They can also be purchased everywhere in local bookstores.

Read an excerpt of Trippin'.
posted by Shelia, 8:44 AM | link | 1 comments |

Donell Jones Speaks on Romance and Journey of a Gemini

Tuesday, May 16, 2006



Singers come and go, but Donell Jones seems to have staying power. Jones explains why he feels he’s had longevity in this business. “I’ve stayed true to my music and I sing heartfelt songs with a message.”

To read Donell Jones full interview, click on the image or CLICK HERE.
posted by Shelia, 10:53 AM | link | 0 comments |

Faith Hill Takes It Back to the Country



I've always enjoyed Faith Hill's music, whether she's singing pop or country or a combination of both. To me, she can do either and still hold an audience. Fireflies would fit more in the country genre so pop fans should be aware before picking up a copy. Now diehard Hill fans probably wont care and shouldnt because of her voice.

I'm a southern girl so the Fireflies CD was right up my alley. My favorite tracks were #1 Sunshine and Summertime, #2 - Mississippi Girl, #6 - Fireflies, and #14 - Paris.

Although Fireflies was released last August, this is a great CD to relax to this summer. Out of 4 stars, I would give it a 4, because Faiths voice delivered on every song.
posted by Shelia, 10:52 AM | link | 0 comments |

Michael Bolton Swings Sinatra

It’s hard to see Michael Bolton topping some of his past albums, but he has. He takes classic Frank Sinatra songs and sings them with a flair that only Bolton can. With classics like “Fly Me to the Moon,” “My Funny Valentine,” “New York, New York,” among others, this is a CD that both Bolton and Sinatra fans alike will enjoy.



The music reminds me of a Las Vegas show. I envisioned myself sitting at the center table as Bolton took the mike and sang each tune. An appearance by Nicollette Sheridan on “The Second Time Around” was a pleasant surprise.

“Bolton Swings Sinatra” is a great CD to play at a dinner party or if you want some soothing music to relax to in the privacy of your home.
posted by Shelia, 10:50 AM | link | 0 comments |

Dorrie Williams Wheeler - Meet the Woman Behind the Books

Monday, May 15, 2006


This week's feature author is Dorrie Williams Wheeler. She's usually the one doing the interviewing, so sit back, relax and get a peek into the world of one of my favorite writers.

Shelia Goss: Tell us about your books.
Dorrie Williams Wheeler: I currently have three books on the market. Be My Sorority Sister-Under Pressure is the most popular fiction title. It’s about a young woman who strives to join a sorority that her immediate family members are a part of. She attends a historically black college where the sorority scene is important. Getting in won’t be easy. It’s pretty much about the college sorority experience. My current non-fiction title is The Unplanned Pregnancy Book for Teens and College Students. It’s a resource guide for young women facing unplanned pregnancies and it’s chock full of resources. This book has its own website http://www.unplannedpregnancybook.com/. My first book was Sparkledoll Always Into Something-2004 Edition. It’s a coming of age novel about a young girl who is basically a wild child from the streets of Chicago who decides to turn her life around and go to college. Once she is in college she faces new challenges and adventures. Basically she learns that college life isn’t much different than city life. It’s a book about friendships (good & bad), relationships and the college experience as a whole. It covers the characters life from around 8th grade to college graduation. All of the books are available from Amazon.com and book stores everywhere.

Shelia: How do you juggle your non-fiction writing with your fiction writing?
Dorrie: Fiction writing is the fun part. I really enjoy fiction writing. My non-fiction title The Unplanned Pregnancy Book for Teens and College Students was a lot of work. Sometimes I get a headache just thinking about how hard I worked on that book. With the fiction writing I am able to be creative and free and I love to write dialogue. I’m sure at some point in my life I will write another non-fiction book. I know a follow up to the Unplanned Pregnancy Book should be in the cards. Something along the lines of raising a child so when the time is right I will do it. I have also always wanted to write a book of innovative curriculum. My master’s degree is in Instructional Technology so I am fascinated with writing curriculum. At this time, I spend the bulk of my time writing creative fiction.

Shelia: Are your characters based on people you know?
Dorrie: For the most part my characters are fiction. However, when I am writing I draw off of real life feelings, emotions and sometimes experiences. The character Lori Baldwin in my first book Sparkledoll Always Into Something, which was re-released in a 2004 edition is very similar to my young self although my family would hate for me to admit it. I was young. I was dumb. I made a lot of mistakes looking for love and had bad friends. Didn’t always make the right choices. If I wouldn’t have had those young dumb years I wouldn’t be the person that I am now. I think that is why so many young readers relate to me because of that book and via my blogs cause I tend to be honest with emotions.

The character of Eva Perkins in my most popular book Be My Sorority Sister-Under Pressure was based on no one. She was very different than me. Metaphorically speaking she was probably the opposite of me in college. She had money (I didn’t), she didn’t have to work (I did), parents were married, I mean not saying I wanted to be Eva I just wanted to put my feet into the shoes of the girls whose lives I had wondered about.

With my recent unpublished works the characters for the most part weren’t based off of real people but real emotion and circumstance. I’m the kind of writer that I really feed off of emotion. I can draw off of past emotions and situations and re-create them in new situations and environments.


Shelia: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what CDs would you recommend to readers?
Dorrie: Sometimes I write in silence. When I want to feel a certain emotion I turn to my CD collection. I have my personal favorites. Nick Heyward is a great songwriter and he evokes emotion in his music so when I need that emotion I can usually find it in his music. Not just the emotion but there is a lot of imagery in his music so my mind will wander and you know it helps my writing process. I listen to a lot of 80’s music and pop. Right now I’m feeling the new Nick Lachey CD. I like Craig David, Haircut 100, David Bowie, Duran Duran... It’s usually whatever pops up on my iPod. I will say I have artists for every emotion.

Shelia: What's one thing that your fans probably don't know about you and you're willing to reveal?
Dorrie: That I’m really not that cool. A lot of people read my books and visit my websites and think I’m like this really cool person but I’m really just a housewife with a cool career. When you see me in Wal-Mart or Home Depot I’m hardly glamorous. I’m just mad regular and my readers are always surprised when I chit-chat with them on Myspace or something. I don’t have any false airs about me and I have no problem giving them a front row seat into my thought process.

Shelia: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Dorrie: I would tell aspiring writers to just write. Write first and then worry about where/how you will get your stuff published. Once you find out how your work will get published continue to write so you have something ready to roll when your other stuff is out.

Shelia: What can readers expect from you in the future?
Dorrie: I have two books finished at this time. One book is titled She’s Out There Bad, and the second one is titled It’s Just A Bad Situation. They aren’t sequels they just have similar titles. They are urban fiction titles. They are urban but not gritty and grimy. I’m not street so I don’t really write street. I am now working on a teen book titled My Brother Is A Baller. I just keep writing and I hope to have new books on the market in 2007.

Shelia: How can readers learn more about your books and get in contact with you?
Dorrie: Readers can learn more about my books and get in touch with me at http://www.dorriewilliamswheeler.com/
posted by Shelia, 8:13 PM | link | 0 comments |

Enter to Win replica of Julie Robert's Shoes

Walk a mile in Julie Robert's shoes...


To celebrate the release of Julie Roberts’ sophomore album, Men & Mascara, Mercury Nashville would like you to ENTER TO WIN the shoes that Julie is wearing right off the album cover!



Grand Prize (1):
A pair of high-heel shoes that Julie wore during her album cover photo shoot and in the video for Men & Mascara. The shoe box is autographed by Julie. Sizes available are 7, 7.5, 8 or 9.

First Prize (5):
· An Autographed Julie Roberts Men & Mascara CD
· Julie Roberts t-shirt (size L)

Second Prize (5):
A CD grab bag of 5 titles from Julie's Mercury Nashville Records label mates.

Void where prohibited by law.

More about Julie Roberts:

With her deep, blues-soaked voice that poignantly captures the pain of the wronged and forgotten, Julie Roberts quickly became a favorite of the fans and fickle music critics alike.

Entertainment Weekly awarded her 2004 self-titled debut CD an ‘A’, calling it “one of the most auspicious debuts in years.” The New York Times said Roberts’ aching and resolute hit, “Break Down Here,” was “one of the year’s best country ballads.” Spotting her talent early, CMT selected Roberts to be the first artist ever to appear in In the Moment, the music network’s hour-long documentary on the making of a star.

The album was certified gold and led to two Horizon Award nominations from the Country Music Association, as well as a Top New Artist nomination and a Top New Female Vocalist nomination from the Academy of Country Music Awards, as well as a Breakthrough Artist nomination from the CMT Awards. She delivered two memorable performances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and was chosen over artists in all musical genres to sing the “Good To Go” theme song of the television show Good Morning America. “It’s been amazing,” she says of her success. “We’ve played so many places and I’ve been to so many places. But I haven’t really had time to sit back and reflect on all we’ve done.”

With her debut CD, Roberts was country music’s Cinderella, a stunning blonde from Lancaster, S.C., who stole everyone’s heart with her honest music, cover-girl looks, exuberant personality and irresistible laughter. And now with her second album, Men & Mascara, Roberts proves she’s in it for the long run.

Men & Mascara, produced by Byron Gallimore (Lee Ann Womack, Faith Hill), is an impressive collection of songs certain to stand the test of time. After touring non-stop for two years, Roberts has honed her signature vocal style and developed a newfound confidence that she unleashes on her sophomore release. That self-assurance allowed her to rise to the level of Gallimore’s musical direction, which included twice the number of musicians as her first album and introduced the fiddle to Roberts’ music, as well as more steel guitar and mandolin.

“It shows my maturity as an artist vocally and artistically, because I wrote on it,” says Roberts, who co-penned four songs—First To Never Know, Smile, A Bridge That’s Burning and All I Want. “I think it’s a step up, the next step.”

In terms of musical progression, it’s more of the same, only better. “I’ve been getting a great response to my first record on the road, people singing my songs and telling me, ‘Don’t change your next record much. We love it.’ So I knew I wanted it to be a lot of the same,” she says. “My mindset didn’t change that much. I started looking for songs that meant something to me, just like I did for my first album. Every lyric I sing has to mean something to me.”

Roberts admits the abundance of critical acclaim she enjoyed from her debut CD became a double-edged sword because she was concerned about living up to such high expectations. “You still worry about that, but this is the best that I could have done, and I am not worried,” she says.

If early reaction is any indication, continued success is what’s in store for Roberts this year. The clever title track is generating industry buzz for its fresh look at two staples in a woman’s life. Bob Oermann calls it “captivating in the extreme. The song is an earthy, gal-talk masterpiece.” “I listen to a lot of songs while driving in the car,” Roberts says. “One day I was looking at the titles to see which ones I wanted to listen to first and it was the first one on the CD. I thought, ‘That’s a really neat title; I want to listen to that,’ and it just shook me. The hook of the song is, ‘Men and mascara always run.’ It hit me immediately and it has ever since. We’ve played it out and girls love it.”

Another crowd favorite is one of Roberts’ own compositions, First To Never Know. “When we sing that one out, it’s great because people know the chorus and they yell out the cities.” Too Damn Young vividly captures a woman’s reflections on losing her virginity, while All I Want is a heartbreaking song inspired by a friend of Roberts, whose soul mate was killed in a tragic accident. “When we wrote this song, that is what I was thinking about,” she says. “That is why that song is so special to me.”

There’s a stark contrast between the sadness depicted in Roberts’ music and the joy she experiences onstage and in real life. “It’s two different sides that I can’t explain because I am really happy and excited about being out on the road, but I am drawn to those songs,” she says. “I enjoy writing sad songs. If somebody brings in a happy idea, I like them if they are not too, too happy. Sometimes I’ll say, ‘That is just too happy for me.’”

The daughter of an engineer and accountant, Roberts has been singing as long as she can remember. She performed at every opportunity, including class musicals, summer camp productions and beauty pageants. During junior high and high school, she spent her weekends playing festivals in the Southeast. She spent summers working at music shows in Carowinds, a theme park in Charlotte, N.C., and Dollywood in East Tennessee.

She attended the University of South Carolina-Lancaster for two years before transferring to Nashville’s Belmont University to focus on her music. She performed in local clubs and restaurants until graduation, after which she landed a job as the assistant to Luke Lewis, Co-Chairman of Universal Music Group Nashville. Without telling any of her co-workers, she began working during her off-time with producer Brent Rowan, who eventually played Roberts’ demo to Lewis without telling him who it was. Floored by the demo, Lewis asked to meet the singer, so Rowan directed the surprised music executive to the young woman sitting just outside his door.

Many doors have opened for Roberts since, forever changing the life of the petite blonde who has fond memories of singing along to the country songs blaring out of the radio in her mother’s white truck. She’s learned a tremendous amount about life and herself on this remarkable journey, from white trucks to red carpets. As she walked across some of the nation's most famous stages and rolled down the backroads to too-often forgotten small towns, she's learned that it's the sojourn she relishes, more than the final destination.

“I’m happiest on the road,” she says. “That is my salvation and people get that when they come to my shows. I love playing; that is what I have always loved. I make out my set list before the show and I think about where I’m playing and who I am playing for. We change the set list every night, most of the time.”

“It’s what I dreamed about my whole life. When I step on the bus and into that back room, something comes over me. Every time Luke Lewis sees me, he says, ‘Are you still having fun? You’ve got to like it, Julie; it’s your life.’ And I do. I’m having the time of my life.”
posted by Shelia, 3:41 PM | link | 0 comments |

Koch To Release S.M.A.C.K. The Album: Vol 1 on 6/6

FULL AUDIO CD AND DVD FEATURES YOUNG JEEZY, E-40, BUN B, B.G., BLEU DAVINCI, JUVENILE, DMX,
KEITH MURRAY, AND MORE


(May 15, 2006)— New York, NY — SMACK White Entertainment, the brand behind the highly successful SMACK DVD Magazine series, and KOCH Records, announce the release of S.M.A.C.K. The Album: Volume 1, a 2-disc CD/DVD on June 6th, 2006. SMACK, which stands for Streets, Music, Arts, Culture & Knowledge, was recently named ÒBest DVD MagazineÓ at the 2005 Mixtape Awards in New York. SMACK continues to hold the street DVD magazine crown selling over 750,000 copies with no major label support.

S.M.A.C.K. The Album: Volume 1 features a full-length CD with tracks from the most respected rappers in the game and those buzzing on the underground circuit. The audio portion boasts a full roster that features tracks from DMX, B.G., PNC feat. Juvenile, Mddl Fngz feat. Bun B, a reunion track with Redman, Eric Sermon & Keith Murray, Maino, Bleu DaVinci and more. This release also includes the next, full-length DVD installment of the groundbreaking and award winning SMACK DVD Magazine. The DVD portion includes exclusive videos, performances and controversial interviews from Paul Wall, Mike Jones, E-40, Murder Inc. and Funkmaster Flex with an exclusive video for every artist featured on the audio CD.

After three years and 10 volumes, SMACK has single handedly taken the Hip-Hop DVD magazine format to what it is today. CEO and Director Troy ÒSMACKÓ Mitchell knows the streets – and has built a project by and for the streets. With exclusive interviews, performances, freestyles and THE INFAMOUS SMACK BATTLE to close out every edition, the SMACK movement has built an astounding fan base since its debut in 2002 as the first DVD magazine of its kind. SMACK has been the brand ahead of the trends, showcasing every level of the hood. A SMACK print magazine and a documentary video series is also currently in the works.

http://www.myspace.com/smackdvdmagazine

###

About SMACK DVD MAGAZINE
Established in 2002, the SMACK DVD Magazine series boasts 10 titles and over 750,000 units sold. SMACK DVD MAGAZINE has proven to be a tremendous promotional vehicle via its trademark coverage of hip-hop beef, exclusive interviews, freestyles, street videos and battles.

About KOCH Records
KOCH Records is a division of KOCH Entertainment, the fastest-growing music company and the market leader among independents in North America. The KOCH Entertainment corporate umbrella encompasses the KOCH Records label, KOCH Vision home video, KOCH Music Publishing and KOCH Entertainment Distribution with operations in both the U.S. and Canada. KOCH Records proudly claims the largest number of Billboard charting albums among independents for each of the last five years (2001-2005). For additional info on the KOCH Records label and its roster of artists, please visit www.kochrecords.com
For more information and interviews with M-1 please contact Audible Treats: Michelle Mayumi McDevitt @ 718.768.7275 or email michelle@audibletreats.com.
posted by Shelia, 3:10 PM | link | 0 comments |

Lewis Black: Red, White and Screwed on HBO

LEWIS BLACK: RED, WHITE AND SCREWED FEATURES THE OUTSPOKEN COMIC IN HIS SECOND HBO STAND-UP SPECIAL
DEBUTING JUNE 10, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO


(Los Angeles, CA) – -- His take-no-prisoners comedy made him a favorite with viewers of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and his 2004 HBO special “Black on Broadway” confirmed Lewis Black’s status as one of America’s premier social and political humorists. Now, this savagely funny observer of modern life returns for his second HBO solo special when the all-new comedy event LEWIS BLACK: RED, WHITE AND SCREWED debuts SATURDAY, JUNE 10 (10:00-11:00pm ET).

Taped recently before a sold-out house at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C., LEWIS BLACK: RED, WHITE AND SCREWED features Black’s observations on subjects including the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina & FEMA, gay marriage, the Dick Cheney shooting, President Bush, and even fossils & evolution.

Lewis Black received a Grammy nomination earlier this year for his “Rules of Enragement” CD. He was named Best Male Stand-Up at the 2001 American Comedy Awards. His first book, “Nothing’s Sacred,” was published in 2005 and made the New York Times best-seller list. Black will be seen in the upcoming movies “Man of the Year,” with Robin Williams, “Accepted” and “Unaccompanied Minors.” His previous feature film appearances include “Hannah and Her Sisters,” “Jacob’s Ladder,” “The Hard Way” and “The Night We Never Met.”

In addition to numerous stand-up performances on TV, including the May 2004 HBO special “Lewis Black: Black on Broadway,” he has acted on such shows as “Mad About You,” “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd” and “Homicide: Life on the Street.” A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, Black has written more than 40 produced plays and starred in numerous stage productions.

The executive producers of LEWIS BLACK: RED, WHITE AND SCREWED are Kimber Rickabaugh, Paul Miller, Joanne Astrow, Lewis Black and Mark Lonow; produced by Kimber Rickabaugh; directed by Paul Miller; written by Lewis Black.


Other HBO play dates:

June 14 at 11:00pm
June 19 at 10:30pm
June 23 at12:30am
June 27 at 10:00pm
June 29 at 2:40am

HBO2 play dates:

June 11 at 9:45pm
June 21 at 10:00pm
June 26 at 1:15am


# # #
posted by Shelia, 2:44 PM | link | 0 comments |

Jersey Shore Music Community Comes Together

GLAAS Presents:

THE WAVE GATHERING
http://www.wavegathering.com/

Saturday, May 20th and
&
Sunday, May 21st, 2006
Media Contact: Michele Leone (Michele@wavegathering.com)

The Asbury Music Company (owners of The Saint and producers of the annual Asbury Music Awards Show) and All Hour Entertainment have joined forces to showcase the finest young artists that the region has to offer. Involving business owners, venues and artists alike, the event--simply known as the WAVE GATHERING--marks the first time that the area’s best unsigned talent has come together to perform over the course of one weekend, bringing fans and attendees into town to experience all the great restaurants, galleries and local places of interest.

At press time, the following venues are confirmed to host performances for the event: The Saint, The Stone Pony, The Wonder Bar, Red Fusion, The Tiki Bar @ Convention Hall, The Deep, Asbury Lanes, The Oakroom @ Berkeley Carteret Hotel, Be Green, The Tides Café and Sunset Landing, as well as several of the city’s art galleries.

“The time is right to usher in a new era of live, original music at the Jersey Shore,” says The Saint’s Scott Stamper. “We’re at the perfect point to expose our rich, musical talent to the national scene. We are inviting everyone to come spend a Spring weekend with us and participate in this unique celebration of our heritage and our future. We look forward to seeing everyone supporting our Asbury Park music scene."

“We’ve been planning this for quite a while and with all these bands starting to generate interest from the area, we want to help introduce them to the masses,” states All Hour’s Gordon Brown, BMG songwriter and co-creator of the popular “Writers In The Raw” series. Brown was also the main songwriter for such Asbury Park-based national acts as Highway Nine (Sony/Epic), Samhill and Mr. Reality (EMI/SBK). “We are looking forward to showing the concertgoers of the tri-state area, the music industry, and the rest of the world what really goes on with the amazing talent developing right here in our own backyard,” says Brown. “It needs to be seen and heard. I know firsthand that there are a lot of industry people watching what happens here.”

Over the past two years, Brown has groomed All Hour Entertainment to do what he describes as “two words the music industry forgot about: Artist Development.” During that time, Brown has worked with and produced tracks for several area artists. “We are finally starting to see a lot of these diverse talents getting the recognition they deserve and it is a real compliment to these artists and our region,” says Brown. “We are very lucky to boast a legendary musical heritage and we plan on continuing to build on that tradition, band by band, song by song.”

“We feel that the Wave Gathering coincides with the rebirth of Asbury Park, and every year as the city comes back, we hope the festival will get bigger and help to bring more commerce into town.”

Performers scheduled for the WAVE GATHERING at press time include local buzz bands Nicole Atkins & The Sea (who was recently named one of Rolling Stone’s 10 Artists to Watch in 2006), Days Awake, What About Frank?, Transfusion M, Status Green, Low Flying Jets, April Smith, Hi-lo (new Matt Witte band) and many others.

National touring acts slated to perform at the festival include Los Angeles-based Rock Kills Kid who was also named one of Rolling Stone’s 10 Artists to Watch in 2006, and legendary country rock originators, Poco. Other nationals appearing will be Hamell On Trial, who just released a critically acclaimed new album on Ani Difranco’s label, as well as Boston’s next big thing Mieka Pauley, who just finished working with John Alagia (producer for John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Jason Mraz, Rachel Yamagata, Lifehouse, O.A.R. and others) on her next album.

To entice festival-goers to stay the whole weekend, the organizers of the event have put together a special Wave Gathering Weekend Getaway Pass that will entitle the pass holder to stay at the Berkeley Carteret Hotel at a discounted rate. You will be able to see and hear an area’s best new talents, be a part of the arts community, stay overnight, go shopping and dine in brand new restaurants.

Admission confirmations for the event are on sale now through the Wave Gathering website (http://www.wavegathering.com/). A two-day admission wristband is priced at $30 in advance (through the website) and $40 walkup (at event registration and individual venues, as space permits); a one-day wristband will be $20 in advance and $30 walkup. General Admission tickets will be sold for $10 advance (available only at individual venues, not through the website), unless otherwise noted. Attendees with advance purchase confirmations will receive their wristbands by showing printouts of their email confirmations starting at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, at the registration location (to be announced).

To help festival-goers plan their weekends, there will be a Wave Gathering program guide listing schedules of performances and venue information. Additional information about the schedule for WAVE GATHERING can be found on the official Wave Gathering website at http://www.wavegathering.com/.

Photography at WAVE GATHERING must be approved in advance. Interviews with the event’s organizers can be arranged prior to the event, and interviews with individual artists can be arranged on a case-by-case basis. Requests for press/photo passes and interviews should be directed to event publicist Michele Leone at Michele@wavegathering.com.



posted by Shelia, 2:35 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tami Chynn Out Of Many… One

Album Title: Out Of Many… One
Current Single: Looky Looky
Website: http://www.tamichynn.com/
http://www.myspace.com/tamichynn

Audio:
Looky Looky Media
Looky Looky Real

Audio:
Hyperventilating Media
Hyperventilating Real

Digital Download Links:
iTunes

Napster

Real

Rhapsody

Sony Connect

Wal-mart

buy.com

msn
posted by Shelia, 2:10 PM | link | 0 comments |

Ashley Parker Angel New Album in Stores Tuesday



Ashley Parker Angel's new album "Soundtrack To Your Life" will be in stores on Tuesday, May 16, 2006. http://www.ashleyparkerangel.com/

“Let U Go” - Produced by Max Martin and Dr. Luke lo
“Let U Go” - Produced by Max Martin and Dr. Luke high

“Soundtrack to Your Life” clips lo
“Soundtrack to Your Life” clips high

More about Ashley Parker Angel:

There is an old African proverb that states “When the music changes, so does the dance.” I say I already know how to dance so now I have to change the music.

Who can forget the Pop music scene at the turn of the 21st century? Artists such as *NSync, The BackStreet Boys and Britney Spears dominated MTV, and there was a slue of boy bands popping up at every turn. If you paid attention to pop music at that time, or you were a 16 year old girl, you might remember the original group from ABC’s “The Making Of The Band”, O-Town and if you remember O-Town then you might remember me, Ashley Parker Angel.

A lot has changed since the O-Town days, but in order to know the future, you have to know a little about the past. I grew up in Redding, CA with my mother and stepfather who turned me on to music at the age of 3. My mother was a piano teacher and around the same time as I was learning to speak she began giving me piano lessons. At 13, my stepfather encouraged me to learn the guitar and before I knew it I had saved $2,000. While most kids were buying cars, I bought an 8 track recorder and began to write and produce music.

A woman who owned a talent agency in Redding took interest in me and began to help me pursue my dream. Through her office I was able to access audition breakdowns, which is how I first heard of the “Making The Band” auditions. I saved $800 for a plane ticket to Las Vegas and the rest is boy band history.

Looking back on O-Town I feel it was a positive experience to be able to get a crash course in the business that I feel I was born to be a part of. Most kids struggling to break into the music industry at 18 do not get the opportunity to be plucked from obscurity, cut a multi platinum record with Clive Davis, tour internationally and perform in front of tens of thousands of people each night. It was the chance of a lifetime and I intended to make the most of it. Even though we were not selected for our song-writing ability, by O-Town’s second album I placed 3 cuts and proved myself to be more than just a singer.

One of the downsides to being in a manufactured group was the binding contracts and all the people involved taking a piece of the proverbial pie. I ended up owing more than I was making. The only money I really made was from touring and that only lasted so long. Even though O-Town was a multi platinum selling group the contracts we signed were geared to make the most money for the corporate side of the project. When O-Town dissolved in 2002, I packed up and moved to Los Angeles with very limited funds in pursuit of becoming my own artist.

I moved to LA at 21 years old with a decent savings (for my age), but not the kind of money that would let anyone live for more than several months without another source of income. At that point I started song writing on my own without any management or record deal. I was a clean slate. For the first time I was able to do my thing on my own and really concentrate on song-writing and producing.

I met with a few producers that I knew from the Los Angeles music scene in an attempt to secure studio time and work with someone who really understood the direction I wanted to pursue as a solo artist. I had a few songs written but not recorded, so to gain the attention of a successful producer, I performed my material on just an acoustic guitar in a sort of mini showcase. I decided to partner with SoulShock and Carlin as they really reacted to what I was trying to do musically. They had a great history producing for acts such as Sting, Tupac and Craig David and I felt they could help me get a record deal. I had very little money and needed studio time so I felt that this partnership was a perfect fit.

On May 5th 2003, I met the love of my life, Tiffany, and we have been together ever since. She has been with me every step of the way and has stood by me through all of the financial hardships and struggles I have gone through while trying to re-launch my career.

After spending a year recording with SoulShock and Carlin we organized several showcases in NYC and although I received several offers from a few major labels, I decided to do a deal with Barry Hankerson at Blackground Records and Vincent Herbert from Da’ Family Entertainment. I had met Barry and Vincent a few times through Soul and Carlin while they were working on JoJo’s record in Los Angeles. I really hit it off with Barry and I liked the fact that they had less acts and showed their artists more attention. I also felt that Barry and Vincent had an incredible ear for music, discovering such acts as Aaliyah, R. Kelly, Timberland and JoJo and I loved the family vibe at Blackground Records.

Around the same time I was signing my record deal with Barry, I got a phone call from MTV. They had heard some of my music and asked if I would take a meeting. It was at this meeting that they presented me with the opportunity to shoot a pilot about my life after O-Town and my struggle both financially and artistically to become successful again. I agreed and we began to shoot.

I spent the next several months recording with SoulShock and Carlin and after a cumulative year and a half in the studio, we had recorded 15 tracks that everyone seemed happy with.... but for some reason I only felt some of them were strong enough for the album. At that point I was being pushed to agree that the album was finished, but deep down I knew that there was more work to be done. I reached out to an old friend and legal advisor, Larry Rudolph, who had left the legal world to pursue a career in management, managing acts such as Britney Spears. We had a very close relationship as he was O-Town’s lawyer and I knew I could trust his opinion. After listening to the 15 SoulShock and Carlin tracks, Larry agreed that the album was only partially completed and signed on as my management to help finish the album and guide my career.

So that’s the soundtrack to my life so far. I am working on finishing my album and have been most fortunate to have the opportunity to work with incredible producers such as The Matrix, Dr. Luke Oswald and Max Martin since signing with Larry Rudolph. My girlfriend Tiffany is due at any moment, so it looks like I’m going to be a father on top of everything else.

It’s safe to say that my life has changed in many different ways since being a member of OTOWN. You don’t always get a second chance to prove yourself but every once in a while that opportunity comes along and when it does you better give it everything cause after all....

When the Music ends your life is a flashback, a question, a photograph a statement, a story, a struggle, a chance to laugh cause if you don’t laugh you cry a last crescendo when you die so hit the rewind and listen as they playback the soundtrack to your life!
posted by Shelia, 1:58 PM | link | 0 comments |

Cheri Dennis New Video

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Cheri Dennis
Album Title: Cheri Dennis
Album Release date: June 13th, 2006
Single Title: "I Love You”
http://www.cheridennisonline.com/
http://www.myspace.com/cheridennis

VIDEO: I Love You feat. Jim Jones & Yung Joc
http://streaming.bitmax.net/asxgen/hosted/badboy/
cheridennis/video/00_iloveyou.wmv.asx


http://streaming.bitmax.net/ramgen/hosted/badboy/
cheridennis/video/00_iloveyou.rm


Audio: I Love You
http://streaming.bitmax.net/asxgen/hosted/badboy/
cheridennis/audio/80_iloveyou.wma.asx


http://streaming.bitmax.net/ramgen/hosted/badboy/
cheridennis/audio/00_iloveyou.rm


MORE ABOUT CHERI DENNIS

Finally made it/ underrated/ they couldn’t contain it/I’m elated…/For so long they doubted me/ for so long they abandoned me/ but now I’ve made it through/ uh huh/ and now you see it too…/ surviving through the storm now I came up/ pushed on and on and on…
--Cheri Dennis, “Finally Made It”

Welcome Cheri Dennis. The new female soloist hailing from the Midwest is ready to prove that Cleveland is not only the home of the Rock & Roll Museum, but also the home to some serious hip-hop soul. Although she is a girl with plenty of rhythm and blues, Cheri is a cool departure from the R&B norm.

As the first solo female release from the Bad Boy camp since Faith Evans, Cheri has been anxiously waiting in the wings for many years—all her to life be exact. “I grew up in a very spiritual and religious household, so I’ve always known music,” she explains. “I can’t even think of my first experience where I said, ‘Oh I want to sing.’ It’s just always been there. It’s who I am.”

Today, as a wise-beyond-her-years twenty-something, Cheri has gracefully navigated the tangled web of record deals and other sundry pit stops while steering through Cleveland’s working class to New York’s bright lights. Her self-titled Bad Boy debut offers up a refreshing mix of sweet melodies and wide-ranging tempos, bound to solidify her as a music mainstay.

As Cheri proclaims in one of her jazzy, sexy interludes, she’s “Finally Made It”. Singing at the age of eight in her grandmother’s church choir, Cheri always possessed the burning desire to become a singer and was fully confident that one day she would achieve her dreams. When people would inquire about her plans after high school, ‘College or work?’ she’d reply with much conviction, “I’m a singer. I’m going to be a star!” There was never a moment she thought about anything else.

“It was just meant for me to be a singer,” Cheri says referring to her signing to Bad Boy Records. She was in New York chasing her dream for no more than 2 weeks before randomly running in Sean “Diddy” Combs at a party. While at the party Cheri ceased her opportunity and began an impromptu performance singing solid vocals over the song the DJ was playing. The hip hop impresario instantly became enamored by Cheri’s vocal capabilities and in only a matter of weeks, without even thinking twice, Diddy had her paperwork drawn up for the record deal.

But after commanding the coveted ear of her label Chairman and producer Sean “Diddy” Combs, Cheri spent what felt like an eternity in and out of studios recording tracks for her album. She blessed Mase’s album, and a few years later made feature appearances on two Bad Boy releases “The Saga Continues” and “We Invented the Remix.”, that whet fans’ appetites and made them anxious for the melodic, sweet voice’s own album. But Cheri knows all about timing; she understands that the pot don’t whistle ‘til the water’s boiling and now, finally, it’s all about her debut, and Cheri totally gets the significance of it all.

“I cut school to buy the first Faith album back then,” she admits with a sly smile, knowing the irony of her words. “She’s someone who has influenced my sound because she has such an amazing voice.” Cheri has a distinctively different vocal quality and feel to her music than her predecessor, but with a close listen to breathy songs like “Matrix” (produced by Diddy) and feel-good remake produced of The Notorious B.I.G.’s famous “Sky’s the Limit”, by Harve Pierre, real music buffs will undoubtedly hear the special connection. Cheri describes her sound as “hip-hop soul, R&B with an edge.” She blends together the grace of gospel with a rock and roll edge, R&B soul and a little pop style.

Cheri’s most meaningful musical influences were Prince and Madonna. Says the budding starlet, “I’m a very sensual person, so I connect with that in Prince. And with Madonna, it wasn’t so much the music as it was her power and presence.” And yes, in the most subtle ways Cheri reflects what she has learned from the both of them. She also reflects on inspirations that have come from Minnie Ripperton and Aretha Franklin, “when you think of those singers, the first thing that comes to mind is their voice. Their voices were so powerful and moving, I just hope that my singing moves people. I want people to hear me live and realize that it is not just about a studio for me, rather it is about singing well.”

But all hers are the little, yet important things on this CD, for example, the special treats like those raspy finishes that she lends to adlibs on the standout “So Complete,” a substantial, yet simple track produced by Bucwild. It’s easy to also get a sample of her pretty harmonies on “Finally Made It,” a song for anyone who accomplishes their goals. “Caught Up,” a sure hit—co-written by Cheri—is one of those rare “all year long, any time of day” joints. She’s deliberate with her phrasing in her songs, too, check out “Something,” it’s just more evidence of her impressive vocal control. Control she definitively proves with one listen to her sharp soprano lilt, which Cheri favors especially on the hooks like the fun and catchy “Remind You,” and throughout the oh-so-alluring, up-tempo “I Love You” her smash first single produced by Ryan Leslie.

There is truly something for all types on this album. People who live for dance tracks will flock to the dripping wet single “Ooh La La,” the theme song from the hit show MTV’s Making the Band 3. Listeners will also find themselves seeking out more of the fly girl flow Cheri teases on her “Act Like You Know”, and they’ll most certainly be stuck on the drama-induced, hip-hop flavored vocals of the Mary J. inspired “All I Wanna Do”.

Cheri has a rawness that’s all her own. She’s journeyed a long way to get where she is but this is only the beginning. And she promises, this debut not withstanding, that she has much more to offer. She stays passionate in her delivery and crisp vocals and, the best thing about her (not including her funky, high-end downtown fashion sense) is that she’s a new artist with a real sense of self. She doesn’t gush over folk, not Diddy (even though she calls him a legendary leader)—not anyone. Instead, Cheri remains focused on work, her work. “This is all I do, I’m focused” reveals the songstress. And after this is completed, we ask, “what then?” “I look forward to more, and more,” She answers “I expect to have a long career in this industry.” Cleveland stand up!

# # #
posted by Shelia, 10:10 AM | link | 0 comments |

Katie Melua Releases New Album and Goes on Tour

UK’s biggest selling star, Katie Melua, is releasing her album Piece By Piece in the U.S. on June 6th.



PIECE BY PIECE TRACKLISTING:
01. Shy Boy
02. Nine Million Bicycles
03. Piece By Piece
04. Halfway Up The Hindu Kush
05. Blues In The Night
06. Spider’s Web
07. Blue Shoes
08. On The Road Again
09. Thankyou, Stars
10. Just Like Heaven
11. I Cried For You
12. I Do Believe In Love

Official Katie Melua Site:
http://www.katiemelua.com/

KATIE MELUA TOUR DATES WITH IL DIVO:
June 14th Boca Raton, FL Mizner Park Amphitheater
June 15th Boca Raton, FL Mizner Park Amphitheater
June 16th Tampa, FL Ford Amphitheater
June 18th Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheater
June 20th Spring, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
June 21st Dallas, TX Smirnoff Music Centre
June 23rd Las Vegas, NV Mandalay Bay
June 24th Phoenix, AZ Cricket Pavilion
June 25th San Diego, CA Bayside Concerts at Embarcadero
June 27th Los Angeles, CA Greek Theater
June 28th Los Angeles, CA Greek Theater
June 30th Marysville, CA Sleep Train Amphitheater
July 1st Concord, CA Chronicle Pavilion
July 3rd Vancouver, BC General Motors Place
posted by Shelia, 9:59 AM | link | 0 comments |

DJ Spooky - In Fine Style: 50,000 Volts of Trojan Records

In Fine Style: 50,000 Volts of Trojan Records
In Stores June 27th

Arguably DJ culture’s most intellectual turntablist, DJ Spooky links his personal roots together with his inimitable taste in music by hand selecting 34 of his favorite tracks from the Trojan Records archives and compiling them into one collection, In Fine Style: 50,000 Volts of Trojan Records (in stores June 27th). A heady experiment where he plucks important and influential songs from the venerable Jamaican record label’s rich vaults, DJ Spooky sets out not only to create a new mood for the club scene but to take clubgoers through the vital history of Trojan and its direct impact on DJ and club culture to this day. “This mix is a combination of the old, the new, and the in between,” he explains. “That's kind of the point: DJ culture in the 21st century is as much about the soundsystem as the playlist. I wanted to make a mix that reflected that: old and new.”

The only DJ on the scene with degrees in philosophy and French literature, DJ Spooky (aka Paul Miller aka That Subliminal Kid) is as bent on creating groundbreaking sounds as he is at delving beneath the messages and implications of the beats that he pulls from. For him, the opportunity to work on In Fine Style was a perfect fit. “When Trojan Records asked me to do a ‘selections’ from their archive, one of the first things that went through my mind was how do you mix music that changed the world?”

A writer, musician, multi-media artist and critical figure in mainstreaming the DJ-as-artist concept, DJ Spooky was eager to sift through the thousands of songs that Trojan Records has released over the past four decades and carefully select the ones that best told the story and revealed the connection between the two unlikely eras and cultures. “I want you to feel history when you listen to this mix and think about how sampling, making new music from old, came from the idea of versioning. Think about the soundsystem battles of Duke Reid, Sir Coxsone and Prince Buster as a forerunner to MC and DJ battles in hip-hop. Think about Kool Herc's bass enhanced soundsystem as a stepping stone for Afrika Bambaata’s "Planet Rock." Just think about how strange the world would be if we didn't have this music of the islands. It just makes you remember that this whole planet is just an island too.”

The album is a personal journey for Spooky as well, having spent many summers in Jamaica visiting family and friends while growing up. In Fine Style is his way of introducing the vintage reggae sounds he grew up on to the DJ, club and art worlds he spins in today, and includes recordings by legends Lee Perry, John Holt, Desmond Dekker, Sly & Robbie, Peter Tosh and Barrington Levy.

DJ Spooky has released numerous albums, books, and worked on film scores including the the Cannes and Sundance Award winning film Slam and remixing the Metallica single "For Whom the Bell Tolls". His weighty theories on music and its impact on the world have made him a sought-after speaker on the college lecture circuit as well as at industry events. For further information on DJ Spooky, please log on to www.djspooky.com.


###

DJ Spooky / In Fine Style: 50,000 Volts of Trojan Records

Tracklisting

CD 1
1. Sweet Like Candy - Winston Williams
2. Nice Nice - The Kingstonians
3. 007 Shanty Town - Desmond Dekker
4. Funky, Funky Reggae - DaveBarker
5. Shades Of Hudson - Dennis Alcapone
6. Summertime - B.B. Seaton
7. Disco Devil - Lee Perry
8. Jah Jah Man - Sly and Robbie
9. Lama Lava - Augustus Pablo
10. Come Together - The Israelites
11. Old Fashion Way - Ken Booth
12. Rain - Bruce Ruffin
13. Your Ace From Outer Space - U-Roy
14. The Rooster - Tommy McCook & His Band
15. The Trial Of Pama Dice - Lloyd/Dice/Mum
16. Ba Ba Boom - The Jamaicans
17. Fever - Susan Cadogan
18. Morning Sun - Al Barry & The Cimarons

CD2:
1. DJ's Choice - Winston Williams
2. Screaming Target - Big Youth
3. The Great Musical Battle - Derrick Morgan
4. The Russians Are Coming (Take Five) -Val Bennett
5. Popcorn - The Upsetters
6. Brother Noah - The Shadows
7. Reform Institute - Isaac's All Stars
8. Bridgeport Dub - The BlackbeardAll Stars
9. King Tubby's Explosion Dub - King Tubby
10. Dynamic Fashion Way - U-Roy
11. A Yah We Deh - Barrington Levy
12. HereComes the Judge - Peter Tosh
13. Flat Foot Hustling - Dillinger
14. Hot Sauce (Aka The Agro Man Is Back) -DaveBarker
15. Rudy A Message ToYou - Dandy Livingstone
16. Rough Rider (Live) - The Special Beat
posted by Shelia, 9:55 AM | link | 0 comments |

New Video from Faith Hill

Watch "The Lucky One," the new video from Faith Hill.
“The Lucky One” is the latest single off Faith Hill's sixth album FIREFLIES.


QuickTime LOW – http://www2.fanscape.com/faithhill/redirects/2954.aspx
QuickTime HIGH – http://www2.fanscape.com/faithhill/redirects/2955.aspx
Real Media LOW – http://www2/fanscape.com/faithhill/redirects/2956.aspx
Real Media HIGH – http://www2.fanscape.com/faithhill/redirects/2957.aspx
Windows Media HIGH – http://www2.fanscape.com/faithhill/redirects/2958.aspx
Windows Media LOW – http://www2.fanscape.com/faithhill/redirects/2959.aspx
posted by Shelia, 9:51 AM | link | 0 comments |

Widespread Panic US Tour

Earth To America, released June 13, to be followed by 35-date US tour

For their latest album Earth To America (Sanctuary/Widespread Records, June 13), Widespread Panic wanted to try something new- a new producer, a new studio, even a new country in which to work. It’s what brought them to the Bahamas to work with producer Terry Manning, an inspired pairing that yielded some big rewards. Says Todd Nance (drums), “It’s like he was waiting for us to touch upon what he was thinking. It was effortless; there wasn’t a moment when we didn’t know where to go or what to do.” Adds John Bell (vocals, guitar), “He brings out some really heavy and rich tones.” Sometimes, those results took the assistance of a few surprise gifts.

JB describes the moment when Manning brought out Robert Johnson’s old dobro for him to play on “Ribs and Whiskey.” “Terry said ‘Hey guys, lemme show you something. This is one of Robert Johnson’s guitars, and I’ve never touched it or tuned it. So to the best of my knowledge, it’s still sitting exactly as it was when it left his hands.’” It was the perfect addition- JB wrote “Ribs and Whiskey” after ‘discovering’ Johnson’s music a several years ago. To complement that, Manning borrowed an upright piano for JoJo Herman (keyboards, vocals) to play from an empty lot next to the studio property, where it had been used for a religious revival meeting some two months before. JoJo actually recorded the piano part to “Ribs and Whiskey” right there in the lot outside the studio. The resulting song is a boisterous party-starter.

The album closes on a blue note, however, with “May Your Glass Be Filled,” a bittersweet tribute to late guitarist Michael Houser. JB notes that it grew out of letter he began writing to Houser after his passing, which closed with a poem. That poem became genesis for the song, which encompasses “past relationships, but also ongoing relationships.”

Widespread Panic will follow the release of Earth To America with a 35-date U.S. tour beginning June 21 in Kansas City.

Widespread Panic Summer 2006 US Tour

6/21 Starlight Theatre Kansas City MO
6/23, 24, & 25 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison CO
6/28 Bayside San Diego CA
6/29, 30, 7/1 The Wiltern LG Los Angeles CA
7/3, 4, & 5 Mont Bleu Showroom Stateline NV
7/7 & 8 The Greek Theatre Berkeley CA
7/11 Cuthbert Amphitheatre Eugene OR
7/12 Edgefield Portland OR
7/14 & 15 Marymoor Park Amphitheater Seattle WA
7/18 Treasure Valley Speedway Boise ID
7/19 Snow King Amphitheater Jackson Hole WY
7/22 & 23 Winter Park Ski Area Winter Park CO
7/26 Nokia Theatre Grand Prairie TX
7/28 & 29 Mid South Coliseum Memphis TN
7/30 Fox Theatre St. Louis MO
8/1 & 2 The Palace Theatre Louisville KY
8/4 Merriweather Post Pavilion Columbia MD
8/5 & 6 nTelos Harbor Center Portsmouth VA
8/8 The Lawn at White River State Park Indianapolis IN
8/10 Blossom Music Center Cuyahoga Falls OH
8/11, 12, & 13 Chicago Theatre Chicago IL

http://www.widespreadpanic.com
http://www.sanctuaryrecords.com
http://www.shorefire.com
posted by Shelia, 9:46 AM | link | 0 comments |

India Arie Mother’s Day Card Maker

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

This Mother's Day send a personalized e-card. Try the India.Arie Mother’s Day card maker: http://www.indiaarie.com/card/.
posted by Shelia, 3:56 PM | link | 0 comments |

My Life "Strike a Pose" Contest

Upload your best Leesha pose from the book "My Life: Is All I Have by V. Anthony Rivers" and have a chance to win a special gift pack filled with goodies (which includes a gift certificate from Bath & Body Works and autographed book from Author V Anthony Rivers).


CONTEST ENDED
posted by Shelia, 2:20 PM | link | 0 comments |

Forever Neil Diamond Contest

Tuesday, May 09, 2006




CONTEST ENDED
posted by Shelia, 12:43 PM | link | 0 comments |

Enter Barry Manilow Contest


CONTEST ENDED
posted by Shelia, 12:31 PM | link | 0 comments |

Who is that man--Kerry E Wagner?

Monday, May 08, 2006



For the month of May, every week there will be a new author featured on www.myspace.com/espire. Last week's author was V. Anthony Rivers (My Life: Is All I Have, Everybody Got Issues, etc). This week I'm bringing you an inside look to the guy who is behind a popular myspace site (www.myspace.com/kerrywagner). Be forewarned that his space is not for the faint at heart. He brings it to you raw and you'll find yourself saying "I can't believe he said that."

Shelia M Goss: Please introduce yourself to the readers.
Kerry E. Wagner:
I am a writer by the name of Kerry E. Wagner. I am really particular about calling myself an author. I am self published with 1 book that was released this past September. The title is "SHE DID THAT." A story about Life, Love, Responsibility, pain, tragedy and triumph. I have several more projects cocked and ready.

Shelia: Are your books based on your life?
Kerry:
I guess it's safe to say not actually my life per say. I prefer reality based drama/fiction-I presume that is what it is called. I am still relatively new at this and still familiarizing myself with the genre and things, forgive me.

Shelia: The characters in your book seem so real. Are they based on people you know?
Kerry:
Not necessarily. Lots of influence there though, but not exactly
their life or lifestyles.

Shelia: Your myspace page has a lot of repeat visitors. What do you think keeps the readers coming back?
Kerry:
You tell me. I am beginning to think I must have a unique brand or way of story telling. I had no idea some would find it interesting. I choose that word, because although they come and go, all are not entertained by my rhetoric. But they still come to see what I say. It surprises me still, because I am not a yes man at all. But I definitely don't let it go to my head. I am surrounded by solid people I have known all my life. They won't let me forget I am only as good as my last ball game.

Shelia: What motivates you to write?
Kerry:
Adversity, truth, shame, integrity, CHILD SUPPORT, jail (smh).

Shelia: When you're not writing or blogging, how do you spend your time?
Kerry:
A nap here or there. I haven't had a good 8 hour sleep at night since I began this literary journey and it doesn't look as though it will change either. However I really enjoy turning the phone off and just catching a game and a nap with no one
home.

Shelia: Do you think men & women can be "just friends?"
Kerry:
Certainly, they had better be able to. A word I do not confuse with acquaintances.

Shelia: How can we all make our relationships with each other better?
Kerry:
Being RESPONSIBLE. If you did something to someone you care about and did not mean to, own up to it without them having to suggest it. I think certain maturation goes with this process. I haven't always thought like that. But looking back, it was a very ineffective way of communicating my feelings for someone. No way to show someone you care by taking disregard. Not a good look...yea, just responsibility will cover it, because issues will arise. There's no way around that. We just have to rise above it, if something is important enough.

Shelia: If your life was a reality show, what would be the title and
why?
Kerry:
"PULLING FOR THE UNDER DOG"...it personifies my determination and my
will I think. I was always fascinated by dominating the bully coming up. I wanted to show others how you slay that giant. I love the lil man, nothing against that big guy. But I love for that lil guy to be in their game. Let them know you’re on the block and hell you ain't planning on going no where. It is what it is...make it do what it do.

To learn more about Kerry E Wagner or his book "She Did That," visit his world at www.myspace.com/kerrywagner.
posted by Shelia, 5:17 AM | link | 16 comments |

Tom Cruise rocking to Yung Joc's "It's Goin Down" on 106 & Park

Friday, May 05, 2006

You thought Tom Cruise was off the rocker when you saw him in that Oprah sofa scene, check him out as he rocks to Yung Joc's "It's Goin Down" on BET's 106 & Park.

CLICK HERE to see the Video

“Meet me in the trap; it’s goin down! Meet me in the mall; it’s goin down! Meet me in the club; it’s goin down! Anywhere you meet me guaranteed to go down!,” “It’s Goin Down,” – Yung Joc

I don't know about you, but I plan on seeing Mission Impossible III this weekend...and that was before I saw Tom Cruise do the "It's Goin Down" dance :)

Another good movie to see this weekend is Akeelah and the Bee. It's a good wholesome movie that the whole family can go see.

Make this a movie watching weekend.
posted by Shelia, 5:12 PM | link | 0 comments |