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Seeking Greater Diversity, Grammy Organization Alters Its Rules For Membership : NPR

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A Grammy Award, photographed in Los Angeles in 2007.

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A Grammy Award, photographed in Los Angeles in 2007.

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The Recording Academy, which gives out the Grammy Awards, is changing how it recruits new voting members. It’s a move meant to broaden the organization’s demographics in the wake of widespread criticism over its lack of gender diversity.

Artists and industry executives — both female and male alike — have called for the Grammys to revamp itself after the 2018 ceremony held in January, in which few women were honored during the televised ceremony, and the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements seemed to be relegated to token mentions. After the ceremony, the Academy’s president and CEO, Neil Portnow, said in an interview to Variety Magazine that women in the music business should “step up.”

Afterwards, calls erupted for Portnow’s resignation; this summer he announced that he would be stepping down in July 2019. And on Monday, the Recording Academy announced that it is revamping its requirements for new voting members, in a move that is meant to broaden the organization’s demographics.

However, the new stipulations seem to simply add additional requirements to gaining membership. Under the old system, prospective members had to prove that they had extensive recording credentials. In addition, the new requirements require that applicants must submit two professional recommendations. A so-called peer review panel will evaluate the applications annually, based on what the Academy calls a “range of criteria, including craft, genre and overall diversity.”



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6ix9ine Faces Life in Prison

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6ix9ine is facing serious jail time following his arrest on racketeering and firearms charges.

According to a 17-page federal indictment, obtained by TMZ, Tekashi and his Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods were charged with six counts, including discharging a firearm while committing a crime, which carries a possible life sentence and a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison.

His ex-manager, Kifano “Shotti” Jordan, is facing the same six counts. On April 3, Tekashi, Jordan, Butler, and Walter robbed gang rivals at gunpoint, according to the indictment charges. A shooting occurred April 21 inside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and Tekashi’s associate Fuguan “Fu Banga” Lovick is named as the shooter.

The indictment lists eight counts for an array of crimes to maintain the gang’s “power, territory, and profits,” reports the New York Daily News. Prosecutors claim that members of Nine Trey sold heroin, fentanyl, MDMA, and weed in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

Tekashi appeared in court on Monday (Nov. 19) with his hands and feet shackled. His family, including his mother, were present during the arraignment. He was denied bail and will remain in custody pending trial.

Last week, Tekashi fired his entire team including his manager, publicist, and booking agent, and canceled his upcoming U.S. tour. During an interview with “The Breakfast Club,” he revealed his two fears. “Only two things I’m scared of in life, God first and the FBI,” he said.



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Steve Aoki Drops Music Video Featuring BTS, Starring All-Asian Cast – Variety

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The clip was directed by Joe Hahn, who is best known as the DJ for Linkin Park.

DJ and producer Steve Aoki has released the music video for his single with “Waste It On Me,” featuring K-Pop supergroup BTS. The video stars an all Asian-American cast and director, including Ken Jeong (“Crazy Rich Asians”), Ross Butler (“13 Reasons Why”) and Jamie Chung (“The Gifted”).

Also featured are Aoki’s half-sister and model Devon Aoki, Vincent Rodriguez (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), Jimmy O. Yang (“Crazy Rich Asians”), Leonardo Nam (“Westworld”), Jessica Lu (“Reverie”), and more. The video, set in a nightclub where Steve Aoki is also shown DJing, is directed by Joe Hahn, who is best known as the DJ for Linkin Park.

“When I found out that ‘Waste It On Me’ was the number one song in the world on Apple Music I realized that this track represented more than just me and BTS,” said Aoki. “It’s bigger than music, it represents a Korean band and one Asian American DJ that can show other Asians they are also apart of the global commercial musical landscape. I feel so deeply about the Asian footprint in music culture that I wanted the music video to have an entirely Asian cast and director.”

“Waste It On Me” debuted at No. 89 the Billboard Hot 100 last week, and reached No. 6 on Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. It marks Aoki’s fifth top 10 and BTS’ first.

Aoki is one of the world’s top five highest paid DJs and performs more than 250 tour dates per year. On Nov. 9, he dropped “Neon Future III,” the latest album in his “Neon Future” series. “Neon Future IV” is set to be released in spring 2019.



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John Legend & Chrissy Teigen’s Postmates History

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The holiday season is coming up, and Postmates is there for all your hometown food needs.

The latest holiday edition of the delivery app’s celebrity spotlight series “The Receipt” focuses on John Legend and his go-to deliveries. According to Postmates, the singer placed orders in 27 different cities and from 212 different stores, accumulating more than 3000 items.

His holiday picks include Christmas Eve McDonald’s two years in a row. For Thanksgiving Eve, the Legend family’s tradition is ordering pho for dinner. “We are so used to traditional Thanksgiving meals, we just want to do something different for the day before,” he said.

Another regular order is A1 steak sauce for Teigen, who “insists on having A1 for her steak no matter how blasphemous that is to any steak people.”

Read all of Legend and Teigen’s top Postmates picks here.






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VanJess – “Another Lover” (Video)

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With Silk Canvas still in heavy rotation, especially if you spend most of your time in the bedroom, VanJess is back with a new video for one of the album’s standout tracks, the Kaytranada-produced “Another Lover.”

“One of my favourite quotes is, ‘confidence is being more of yourself,’ and that’s really what we think about when making visuals that represent us,” Ivana told Noisey. “Jessica and I are who we seem to be in our music and visuals: we’re laidback, that’s our energy. So when we’re put in a situation where we get to create this art to go with our work, it’s beautiful that we have help manifesting that vision.

“It’s funny, because we always have a mood board of what we want – an idea, a summary of how things will go – but on the day of the shoot, things come up, and it will change. Creating is really a spiritual thing and we go where the energy takes us. In the moment, you could be feeling it, you could be giving all of you, and something unexpected will jump out. It’s beautiful how we’re able to bring ourselves out to the world like that.”

Driven by dance, the Mahaneela-directed clip was also released in celebration of the singing duo’s recent signing to Keep Cool — the same label, cofounded by our friend Tunji Balogun, that houses Normani, Lucky Daye, and others.

VanJess – “Another Lover” (Video) was last modified: November 19th, 2018 by Shake





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boygenius : All Songs Considered : NPR

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Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers, and Julien Baker played a Tiny Desk Concert together as boygenius.

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Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers, and Julien Baker played a Tiny Desk Concert together as boygenius.

Bob Boilen/NPR

If you don’t know boygenius, there’s a good chance you know at least one member of this trio, Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers. They’ve just released a self-titled EP.

We gathered in the studio here at NPR just moments after they finished their Tiny Desk Concert to talk about the music they love and listen to. In this conversation with these three talented songwriters, they talk about how they inspire one another and give each other confidence. Lucy Dacus says, “I associate Phoebe and Julien with having real strength in darkness. They’re also very wise and funny people that I trust as people, not just artists. So I kind of did assume that it would be very easy to work with them. And it turned out that was right.”

Individually they’ve all performed a Tiny Desk Concert in the past. In fact, Julien Baker is one of the artists who’s done it twice before. We talk about the often nerve-wracking experience of playing in an office in daylight. I wondered if it was any easier having done it before, and the answer from all three was a resounding “no!” Lucy Dacus said, “I feel like every time I’ve been here I’ve just been blushing super hard and aware of my sinuses, like my nose has been running or my lips have been quivering, like there’s a bunch of spit in my mouth. It’s like this place just makes me flip.” Phoebe Bridgers said that “it takes an entire scale off the top and the bottom of my range, the nerves.” And for Julien Baker, “it’s carpeted. It’s in an office and also there’s so many people so close to you. And so while the format is I guess kind of analogous to a house show, the sonic properties are different, which throws you off. It’s more like a living room. This is something very quiet very intimate and I always get timid.

You can watch them perform three of those six songs in the NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert series. The one (and only) EP by boygenius is available on Matador.



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Diddy Celebrates Kim Porter at Private Memorial

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Sean “Diddy” Combs paid tribute to Kim Porter during a private memorial last night.

Over one hundred of Porter’s closest family and friends, including French Montana, Mary J. Blige, and Pharrell, gathered at Diddy’s Bel-Air mansion on Sunday (Nov. 18) to celebrate the 47-year-old actress-model, who died Thursday (Nov. 15). The entryway was filled with candles and black-and-white photos of Porter. Throughout the Welcome Home celebration, loved ones shared stories and fond memories while reflecting on her life.

Diddy's Bel-Air Mansion

Earlier in the day, Diddy returned to social media to pay tribute to the mother of his children with a heartfelt message. “For the last three days I’ve been trying to wake up out of this nightmare. But I haven’t,” he wrote. “I don’t know what I’m going to do without you baby. I miss you so much.”

He continued, “We were more than best friends, we were more than soulmates. WE WERE SOME OTHER SHIT!! And I miss you so much. Super Black Love.”

Quincy, Porter’s 27-year-old son with Al B. Sure!, also paid tribute to his mother. “I am broken…& the only thing that makes sense right now is that you were way too good for this silly world we live in,” he wrote on Instagram. “I love you so much MOMMY. Please give Mee-Maw the biggest hug and kiss for me.”

I am broken…& the only thing that makes sense right now is that you were way too good for this silly world we live in. I love you so much MOMMY. Please give Mee-Maw the biggest hug and kiss for me. ♥️💔♥️

1m Likes, 51.8k Comments – Quincy (@quincy) on Instagram: “I am broken…& the only thing that makes sense right now is that you were way too good for this…”

Porter was found dead in her Toluca Lake, Calif. home on Thursday. According to TMZ, the mother of four had recently suffered from the flu, and complained she wasn’t feeling well before going to bed Wednesday night. The cause of death will not be determined until toxicology results come in in the next several weeks.





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Columbia’s Ayelet Schiffman Headed to Island Records (EXCLUSIVE) – Variety

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Columbia Records promotion executive Ayelet Schiffman is headed to Island Records in an unspecified high-level position, sources close to the situation tell Variety. She will start at the top of the year.

A 24-year Sony Music veteran, most recently Schiffman was Columbia Records’ SVP of Rhythm & Dance Promotion, a post she’d held since January 2016.  She first joined Sony Music Distribution in 1994 as an assistant in the college department after a brief stint at MCA Music Publishing. She moved to Los Angeles in 1997 to become a Regional Alternative Marketing Manager, before Stu Bergen made her the L.A. local promo rep for Epic Records in 1999. Three years later, she was upped to Rhythm National for Epic, moving back to New York, where she still lives with her husband and two daughters.

Reps for Island and Sony had no comment when contacted by Variety.

Schiffman will replace outgoing SVP of Promotion Mike DePippa, who was named to the post last January but will be leaving at the end of 2018. In that role, reported directly to former Island chief David Massey and EVP/GM Eric Wong and worked closely with the Republic Records promo team. Massey left his post at Island in June for a role at Sony Music that sees him relaunching Arista Records as well as helming a publishing-management joint venture called Work of Art. In May, it was announced that Darcus Beese, who led Island Records U.K., would succeed Massey as President of Island U.S.



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Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Rosanne Cash, K.D. Lang Set For CMT’s ‘2018 Americanafest’ Special

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CMT will celebrate Americana music with 2018 Americanafest, a 90-minute special airing Dec. 6 on the network.

The program will feature performances from the 17th annual Americana Honors & Awards ceremony held in September at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, as well as exclusive interviews with artists including Jason Isbell and the 400 UnitBrandi Carlile, John Prine, Margo Price and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

The performances include Carlile (“The Joke”), Buddy Guy (“Damn Right, I’ve Got The Blues”), I’m With Her (“Overland”), Irma Thomas (“Time Is On My Side”), Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (“White Man’s World”), Prine (“Summer’s End”), k.d. lang (“Trail Of Broken Hearts”), Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real (“Forget About Georgia”), Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (“Hey Mama”), Fantastic Negrito, Nelson and Rateliff (“Fortunate Son”), Prine (“A Little Pain”), Rosanne Cash (“Everyone But Me”) and Tyler Childers (“Nose On The Grindstone”). The group also comes together for a never-before-seen version of “Chain of Fools.”

“Music lovers, even those who may not be familiar with Americana, will want to see this show,” said Leslie Fram, senior VP Music and Talent, CMT, in a statement.  “The level of performance and musicality with these artists is something extremely special and we hope these 90 minutes will entertain those who already love Americana music, and will turn more people into fans of the genre.”

“We are beyond thrilled to bring this incredibly special show to CMT,” added Jed Hilly, executive director, Americana Music Association, heralding Americana’s  “beautiful melding of genres that celebrates artists from all walks of life.”





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Trey Songz Salutes Jill Scott On “Jill (Sumn Real)”

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A few days ago Jill Scott made waves online when an old video of one of her sexually-charged performances surfaced. So, following the jokes that came with it, Trey Songz offers up a “tribute” song of sorts in “Jill (Sumn Real).”

Reimagining Jilly From Philly’s popular track “He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat),” the track can be heard below.

Trey Songz Salutes Jill Scott On “Jill (Sumn Real)” was last modified: November 19th, 2018 by Meka





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