Miss Colombia forgives Steve Harvey [video]

One of the worst moments of Steve Harvey’s life has been rectified by Miss Colombia’s forgiveness. What has turned Steve Harvey’s life upside down, over the past few weeks, has finally been put to rest. Death threats, people parking outside his home and all the not-so-funny and funny memes can now cease.

Miss Colombia and Steve Harvey embraced in a consoling hug as both have endured tremendous inner turmoil since the “miss-announcement” of who was to be Miss Universe. Both Ariadna and Steve shed tears of relief and even laughed at their own expense. Miss Colombia broke her silence with forgiveness. If Steve Harvey can man up, own his mistake and make great effort to correct himself; then Miss Colombia show up on Harvey’s show and forgives the man that created a moment in time that could never be erased, why would we continue to drag Steve Harvey through unnecessary issues?

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Sensere commemorates MLK Day with new Gospel Soul music “Harmony”

Miami-based ensemble Sensere recognizes a pivotal time in African American lives past and present. In retrospect, Martin Luther King peacefully fought for many liberties that are relevant to everyday existence. What has transpired over the recent past few years could be considered a “slap in the face”. The lives of those who have been violently snatched away because of police brutality are hanging in the balance because of injustices.

As we commemorate Martin Luther King’s Day, let us not forget the struggles endured, sacrifices made and advancements taken by those whose shoulders we stand on today. Remember that we all share in the responsibility in keeping his dream alive everyday, whether our contribution is great or small.

Download Sensere’s new single “Harmony” free on SoundCloud today. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Listen to a snippet below.

“Kanye, I’ll let you finish, but”

I am honored to be the new Fashion Advisor for MYReporter. Given this opportunity to voice my fashionistic judgement is what every fashionista looks forward to. Granted I believe each person is allotted their own level of fashion sense and no one has the right to tell them if it is right or wrong. But considering the world we live in that is not the case so much. And to be honest, I too pass not so favorable judgement on one’s garb here and there.

I try my best to be fair and see the artistic approach in every detail but some fashion visionists such as Kanye West makes me want to dig deeper in the, “what in the world inspired that?” Well after all fashion is a choice, right? It’s not too often when I see this guy fashionably appealing. He was quoted defending his fashion line saying, “Sweatshirts are important”. Yes, indeed they are Kanye but so are shoe strings but do we prance them down the runway of avant garde? No. As a Designer who grew up with the dream to become a Fashion Designer I find it extremely insulting when a Rapper without the training, the massive student loans, the sewing ability, the countless sweat and tears and an authentic vision produce a fashion show and get center rack in top department stores just because they can pay their way to the top. Instead of using fashion as another revenue stream I would love to see artists such as West show some level of respect for our craft and promote unknown Designers looking for their BIG break.

As a Fashion Contributor, I owe it to my fellow fashion leaders to promote those who are without a voice at this time. We already know the Donna Karens, the Ralph Laurens, and the likes of Kanye Wests. So, there is no need to be another contributor speaking on rerun topics. So, if you are interested in learning more about fashion behind the scenes and meeting Designers who have not yet made it to main stream, you are on the right page. Stay tune!

California Bible College to bestow Fred Hammond, Yolanda Adams and Hezekiah Walker with Honorary Doctorate of Theology

As of today Fred Hammond, Judy Jacobs, Omarosa Manigault, Randall Cunningham, Yolanda Adams, and Hezekiah Walker are now Doctors. The Next Dimension University in Ontario, CA (The San Diego Voice & View Point) will bestow upon these worthy candidates  Honorary Doctorate of Theology degrees. Their vast knowledge and experience in their respective ministries have garnered them one of the highest forms of appreciation and acknowledgment. According to Fred Hammond’s live broadcast on Periscope earlier today, he could not contain the good news of such an honor. Therefore, he let his loyal supporters in on his wonderful accomplishment. Congratulations!

Totally 4 Him keeps it hip, fresh and ‘quartemporary’

New groups, such as Totally 4 Him, are putting a new face on what was known to be our grandparent’s Gospel music. These guys have coined their music as “Quartemporary” (Quartet + Contemporary) for the now generation of Quartet music enthusiasts. Totally 4 Him speaks about their sound and vision for their group in a recent interview.

Two sets of brothers joined forces bringing together a sound that is sweeping the radio airwaves and captivating a multi-generational audience. After a record deal fell threw earlier in their music career, the guys regrouped and are now working with one of the most sought after award winning producers in the Gospel/Quartet music game, Stan Jones. It was “God ordained favor” that they were able to catch the attention of Jones. “If anybody knows Stan, he just don’t work with anybody…any artists,” group member Dante said amusingly. They knew of Jones playing drums with The Williams Brothers and had been admiring him for awhile. Jones listened to their first project sparking his interest; from there his “vision and [their] vision collided and we put [them] together and this is what you have today,” recalled lead singer Carlos.

Totally 4 Him’s sound closes the music divide between the older and younger generations mixing Quartet and Contemporary Gospel music with their new single “All We Need Is Love.” “We’re not boxed in. That’s what we mean by ‘Quartemporary.’ We’re traditional from our hearts, but we’re not stuck in that traditional box. We call it ‘Quartemporary,’ because we can appeal to all generations. A lot of young people have started listening to Quartet because of us,” explained Dante.

The group’s influences range from Rafael Saddiq to the Canton Spirituals. These guys are multi-faceted. While they each have their specific part to play within the group at any given time one of them could jump on the drum kit or sing another harmony part. They are a well-oiled machine in that sense.

Carlos, Dante, Michael and Jesse have their minds focused on taking the brand to the next level. They’re looking forward to working more with producer Stan Jones on the rest of their project and are eager to get on the road with their new music. “I believe the next phase for Totally 4 Him is basically breaking larger barriers in our Gospel community. That’s our mission. That’s our goal is to break a lot of traditional barriers, bridge a lot of gaps, [and] bring more souls to the body of Christ,” Dante shared.

Totally 4 Him are definitely on the right track to accomplish their goals and bring their vision to fruition. To stay abreast the of their latest happenings, follow them on InstagramTwitter and Facebook. Download their single “All We Need Is Love” on iTunes. Keep your ears open for their full project soon.

[Original article on Examiner.com by Latrea Morrow]

Billie Holiday: Chicago Jazz Festival to commemorate 100 years

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) along with the Jazz Institute of Chicago recently released the four day Jazz Fest line up, which includes a tribute to the great Billie Holiday, affectionately “Lady Day.” Celebrating 100 years of the birth of a vocal virtuoso, April 7, 1915 Eleanora Fagan made her debut into the world. Chicago prepares to honor Ms. Holiday, recognize other legends and showcase upcoming artists. Labor Day weekend Jazz music will fill downtown’s Millennium Park with thousand of enthusiasts.

The life of such of a revered presence ended abruptly at the age of 44. Despite her tumultuous battle with substance abuse and domestic abuse, Billie Holiday left crowds swooning and entranced with her vocals. Billie worked with some of the most influential musicians and singers in the business. Traveling the country with the Count Basie Band, performing with her mentor Louis Armstrong, writing, arranging and acting in films. Her life of musical triumphs lives on in her songs Strange Fruit, Summertime, God Bless the Child, and others.

Jazz heads from around the country will enjoy the reflective renditions of NPR radio host Dee Dee Bridgewater with newcomer Jose James paying homage to the late legend Billie Holiday. Among the Jazz Fest line up, the Muhal Richard Abrams Experimental Band will reunite giving honor and celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the Association of the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The Chicago Jazz Orchestra will pay homage to the legacy of William Thomas “Billy” Strayhorn with fresh rearrangements of his repertoire. For more information visit DCASE’s website for the complete line up.

[Original article on AXS.com by Latrea Morrow]

[photo courtesy of the Chicago Jazz Festival; used with permission]
[photo courtesy of the Chicago Jazz Festival; used with permission]

Dana Divine: Her gift, her Lord and her desire to remain true to herself

On top of her game, Dana Divine was the Gospel House Music Diva in the early 2000s. Her hot dance track “Gospel Slide” hit the airwaves and Dana was the “it girl” for getting crowds out of their seats in Jesus’ name. As in anything, there were critics and naysayers, however she stayed true to who she was musically. In a recent interview, Dana Divine talked about her music and being a cancer survivor.

Continue reading “Dana Divine: Her gift, her Lord and her desire to remain true to herself”