Sunday, April 29, 2012

so untimely and unfortunate

stuff: "...She spent most days at home writing, a friend told People magazine. Amy had been working on her eagerly anticipated third album, a follow up to 2006's Back to Black, recently. It was due to be released earlier this year, but that never transpired. It's understood Amy had told her record company she wanted to work on some of the lyrics as she felt they were too concerned with her ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil. Meanwhile, Cee Lo Green has spoken of his sadness following the star's passing. Despite rumours earlier this year claiming Amy and Cee Lo had recorded a track together, Cee Lo has revealed they never made it to the studio but they had been keen to collaborate. "We were discussing working together. We have a mutual friend, [producer] Salaam Remi. "There was a rumour that we had already recorded together. It wasn't true and I don't know where that came from. But we did grow fond of each other and thought we could work together," he told E! Online. "I could listen to her and she registered to me as the real thing ... It's so untimely and unfortunate. What a loss. Music has lost a daughter..." (Winehouse 'spent last days writing')

Reuters: "...Winehouse’s breakthrough “Back to Black” album, released in America in 2007, sold 37,000 copies for the sales period -- virtually all of that between Saturday morning, when her death was announced, and Sunday night, when the SoundScan sales week closed...Her numbers could be as big or bigger on next week’s chart, which will reflect a full week's worth of posthumous interest in the tragic star. Her far lesser known debut album, “Frank” -- which was only issued in America after “Back to Black” became a smash -- also reentered the chart, at No. 57, after selling 7,600 copies over the weekend. According to Nielsen SoundScan, more than 95 percent of Winehouse’s album sales were digital downloads, which is not surprising, given how most music retailers shy away from carrying catalog nowadays and might have had one CD, at most, in stock..." (Music Charts: Amy Winehouse's 'Back to Black' Back in Billboard's Top 10)

Amy Jade Winehouse (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011) was an English singer-songwriter known for her powerful deep contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres including R&B, soul and jazz. Winehouse's 2003 debut album, Frank, was critically successful in the UK and was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Her 2006 follow-up album, Back to Black, led to six Grammy Award nominations and five wins, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night, and made Winehouse the first British female to win five Grammys, including three of the "Big Four": Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. On 14 February 2007, she won a BRIT Award for Best British Female Artist; she had also been nominated for Best British Album. She won the Ivor Novello Award three times, one in 2004 for Best Contemporary Song (musically and lyrically) for "Stronger Than Me", one in 2007 for Best Contemporary Song for "Rehab", and one in 2008 for Best Song Musically and Lyrically for "Love Is a Losing Game", among other distinctions. The album was the third biggest seller of the 2000s in the United Kingdom. Winehouse is credited as an influence in the rise in popularity of female musicians and soul music, and also for revitalising British music. Winehouse's distinctive style made her a muse for fashion designers such as Karl Lagerfeld. Winehouse's problems with drug and alcohol abuse, violence, and her self-destructive behaviours were regular tabloid news from 2007 until her death. She and her former husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, were plagued by legal troubles that left him serving prison time. In 2008, Winehouse faced a series of health complications that threatened both her career and her life. Winehouse died at the age of 27 on 23 July 2011, at her home in London; police have said that the cause of her death is "as yet unexplained". Winehouse's family and friends attended her funeral on 26 July 2011. She was later cremated at Golders Green Crematorium (Wikipedia).

Friday, April 27, 2012

don’t let it change you

Digitalspy: "...Black released her follow-up single, My Moment, this week. The song addresses some of the negativity the teenager has received over the past months but insists that she will continue to follow her dreams anyway. Speaking on CBS's Early Show, the singer said: "My mom has been the best supporter through all of this. She's always been supportive of me ever since I was a little 2-year-old at dance recitals. "It's hard because you have to deal with bullying being a teen anyways and now to have the world... That's not normal. "Luckily the haters don't have to watch 'Friday' or 'My Moment'. They can turn it off if they want. They don't have to hate. It doesn't bother me anymore." Black also had a message for her fans, saying: "I think the best advice I could ever give anybody is to not let [criticism] get to you. It's OK to be sad about it for a little but but don't let it change you permanently..." (Rebecca Black: 'Haters don't have to listen to my music')

The Daily Beast: "...And Black, 13, certainly never anticipated the social media uproar, mainstream media hellfire, parodies, and remixes that greeted “Friday” as the video became nearly ubiquitous across Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. called the song–which provides a primer on the days of the week, innocently celebrates partying, and ponders the merits of “kickin’ it” in a car’s front versus the back seat from a wholesome teen girl P.O.V.--“a whole new level of bad” and “a train wreck.” Slate proclaimed “Friday” “disastrous” while Yahoo asked straight up, “Is YouTube sensation Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ the worst song ever?” “Those hurtful comments really shocked me,” Black said yesterday in her first interview since the song came to dominate a certain quadrant of popular culture and crack the iTunes Top 100 singles chart this week, besting the likes of Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber. “At times, it feels like I’m being cyberbullied.” Black’s odyssey from suburban anonymity to punchline on a blog for the Comedy Central Web-parody show Tosh.O to budding, against-all-odds pop star began inauspiciously enough. She performed musical theater and sang as part of the patriotic ensemble Celebration USA. Talent shows and vocal lessons, all the normal stuff. Until, as Black’s mother Georgina Kelly explained, a classmate fatefully told her about a Los Angeles-based vanity record label called Ark Music Factory where she could gain real-world experience in her chosen profession..." (Rebecca Black: 'I'm Being Cyberbullied')

Rebecca Black (born June 21, 1997) is an American pop singer who gained extensive media attention with her 2011 single "Friday". Her mother paid $4,000 to have the single and an accompanying music video put out as a vanity release through the record label ARK Music Factory. The song was co-written and produced by Clarence Jey and Patrice Wilson of ARK Music Factory. After the video went viral on YouTube and other social media sites, "Friday" was derided by many music critics and viewers, who dubbed it "the worst song ever." The music video has more than 160 million views, causing Black to gain international attention as a "viral star", before being removed from the site on June 16 (Wikipedia).

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

makes you step your game up for sure

Associated Content: "...The name The Few was virtually unfindable online. In today's music world, that just doesn't fly. We decided to go ahead and change the name last December. The guys were in a band and I was the singer for a different one and we played shows together for a few years. My band broke up. They lost their singer at around the same time. The rest is history...Made our live show stronger. Playing with such professional bands makes you step your game up for sure. It also helped us make some pretty amazing contacts which I hope will help in the future...I get that a lot being a female singer in a band. I think if I were to describe the sound it would be alternative dance rock. We draw influence from Muse, The Killers, Metric, Bjork, etc...We've gotten great reception to it. It's funny because the songs that are people's favorites are not the ones we assumed they would be..." (Oh No Fiasco Drew Influences from Muse and Bjork)

With their eclectic sound of dance rock and and a stage show that will make every hair on your body stand on end, Oh No Fiasco is an emerging light of the new sounds to come. After an extensive touring throughout 2010 from Florida to Michigan touring and playing with the likes of Finger 11, Train, Owl City, Sevendust, 10 years, Red, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Framing Hanley, and Saliva among many others, Oh No Fiasco has emerged stronger than ever with a new name and bringing on brand new tour dates for 2011. Fueled by the quick success of their first single, “Where You Used To Be,” the band is on the verge of releasing their debut album this spring. Formed by vocalist Lindsey Stamey, guitarist Seth Rowlette, bassist Thomas Boyd, and brothers Colin and Kamryn Cunningham, drummer and keyboardist–Oh No Fiasco, formerly known as The Few, have created one of the biggest surprise efforts to come out of Knoxville, Tennessee. “This is the most powerful project that I’ve ever been a part of,” Stamey explains, adding that the band is an evolution of their past experiences and their desire for new ones. And with new experiences comes an entirely new enticing sound that leaves dancers, head bangers, and wallflowers alike salivating. Drawing influences from bands like Muse, Mew, Circa Survive, Massive Attack, and Of Montreal, Oh No Fiasco create an intimate yet energy charged experience for listeners. “Their music is a refreshing blend of two unbelievable bands. The music this band produces in the future will be worth looking out for.” – Metro Pulse Knoxville, TN Never lacking in explosive live shows, Oh No Fiasco has plans to make 2011 a fiasco (About Us).

Monday, April 23, 2012

full of crap

Celebrity Baby Scoop: "...Realize that you're not there to be your child's friend, you're there to be their parent. And it's not a popularity contest - your child might not always like you. As long as your child respects and loves you, that's what it's all about. And try to be consistent. I think children crave discipline because they see it as attentive and loving - as long as it's administered in a loving way from a loving place - I think they need to know there's a level of consistency so they can learn the rules. When kids are consistently confused by what the rules are because one parent says one thing and the other parent says another thing, that causes confusion for them. That's when they get confused and get in trouble. Another important thing is to tell your kids frequently that you love them. Show an interest in what it is that they do. Listen to what their interests are. Make them feel safe that you are someone they can go to to 'unload' and talk about what's bothering them, and just what's going on in their life...I think a lot of parents are full of crap when they say they love going to soccer practice or going shopping for the kids. You know what happens? Suddenly you're in a marriage where the husband's like, 'Wait a minute, I'm No. 6 on the list, my wife is basically too tired to be an adult, there's toys all over the place, the relationship has become totally de-sexualized, and they wonder why they wind up getting divorced. Michelle and I are really careful not to let that happen. We're also really careful to stay in tune with the kids to make sure their wants and needs are met. But we also want to maintain our identity as adults as opposed to caretakers of children...." (Sean Kanan: Our Family Is A "Benevolent Dictatorship")

Sean Kanan (born November 2, 1966) is an American actor. He was born Sean Perelman in Cleveland, Ohio and was raised in New Castle, Pennsylvania. He attended Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, Boston University and UCLA where he earned a degree in political science. ...On July 10, 2009, Kanan reprised his role as Deacon Sharpe in The Young and the Restless. In September 2009, Kanan starred in Indie film "Abracadabra" directed by Julie Pacino (Al Pacino's daughter) and is currently being considered at Cannes Film Festival. In May 2010, Kanan is starring in "My Trip To The Dark Side" written and directed by Emmy Award winning Shane Stanley. Sean is currently writing a book called "Freeing David" due out Fall 2011 (Wikipedia).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

it’s exhausting at times

Unrated Magazine: "...Old school fans will all look forward to a great sense of humor," said Brenner "We never really put that into a record, but we are a band with a sense of humor." That shines through in the anthem that everybody at one point in their life can relate to and that is 'Hate My Life'...I always loved music. I loved listening to it and wanted to make it," Brenner said. "I picked up a guitar and have never left it. It was a new level playing live in front of people than in my bedroom, now I know how people who climb Mt. Everest feel." Growing up Brenner listened to a mixture of genres, which can explain the unique, melodic sounds that float from his array of different guitars. David listened to the likes of Elvis, The Allman Brothers with a little country mixed in until the grunge era happened along. "The Alice in Chains/Soundgarden scene hit us like a big handed slap in the face," said Brenner. Being a rock star can have its advantages and disadvantages. "Touring is like almost living the same day over and over again," Brenner said. "It just changes where and who you are playing with." "It's not like a 9-5 everyday, it's exhausting at times," Brenner said..." (Theory of a Deadman: Interview with David Brenner)

Theory Of A Deadman is a Canadian rock band from Delta, British Columbia, formed in 2001. The band is currently signed to Roadrunner Records as well as Island Records. The band also includes traits of other music styles, such as country and acoustic, as well as their post-grunge and alternative rock base. So far, they have a total of 5 top 10 hits on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, including one #1 hit, "Bad Girlfriend"...On May 25, 2011, it was announced that Theory of a Deadman will co-headline the Carnival of Madness Tour with Alter Bridge. Supporting bands include Black Stone Cherry, Adelitas Way, and Emphatic. The band contributed a new song, which was co-written with The Exies singer Scott Stevens, called "Head Above Water" to the Transformers: Dark of the Moon soundtrack, which is to be released on June 14, 2011. Another track titled "Drag Me to Hell" was made available through the official Roadrunner Records website on June 16, 2011 , for free download. The second official single, "Out Of My Head", was released on June 14, 2011 (Wikipedia).

Thursday, April 19, 2012

endured poverty and rejection

The Star: - “...My mom is so excited I can't even explain it to you,” the Calgary native says on the phone from the Los Angeles set of Glee last week. “She's just freaking out.” Here's the real shocker: not that long ago, before he became known to millions as Finn Hudson, there was very little glee in Monteith's life. He was, in fact, at genuine risk of being homeless in Vancouver. That came out in a conversation about a cause he backs: the push to create a National Youth Homelessness Awareness Day in Canada on Nov. 17. Monteith is a very committed spokesman for the cause, which is backed by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Unite “Re*Generation Canada” movement. Monteith points out that there are more than 65,000 homeless youth on the streets of Canada, and, yes, he was close to being one of them. After his parents split when he was seven, Monteith dropped out of school in Grade 9 and never went to university. For a while, he took odd jobs as a Wal-Mart greeter, roofer, even working at a car wash. His pursuit of an acting career took him to Vancouver, but he endured poverty and rejection. “I definitely experienced a marginalized situation. I was not homeless but I was definitely at risk.” Monteith was around 20 when things were at their low point. He says it was acting teacher Andrew McIlroy, who mentored him, gave him direction and got him passionate about an acting career. He also credits his “Vancouver acting collectives,” the other young hopefuls who provided family-like support. “That's pretty much where I grew up, where I moved from one period to another, from treading water dangerously to really getting excited about something...” (Cory Monteith: I was on the verge of homelessness)

Cory Allan Monteith (born May 11, 1982) is a Canadian actor and musician best known for his role as Finn Hudson on the Fox television series Glee. In April 2010, Monteith was cast in the upcoming romantic comedy movie Monte Carlo. In May 2010, the cast of Glee went on a two week live tour with stops in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago and New York City. The cast performed many hits from the show and had several skits between songs. On August 8, 2010, he co-hosted the Teen Choice Awards. Monteith hosted the Gemini Awards in Toronto on November 13, 2010. In January 2011, he shot the movie Sisters and Brothers with Dustin Milligan, and it was announced that Monteith is at the center of a new untitled workplace comedy, starring and co-producing (Wikipedia).


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I’ll Find A Way

Queeried: - "...Following Breathe Life on the album is Whatcha Doin’ To Me. Every bit as addictive as Breathe Life, this track has an equally strong dance beat, but what really makes it stand out are the strength of Kent’s vocals which are able to show far more emotion than your average dance music artist. Another track destined to be put on repeat is Drive. Trading in the dance floor beats for a much more rocky feel, this does an incredible job of showing that Kent’s vocal talents go far beyond that of the packed dance floor, and if you think you’ve heard it somewhere before then you probably as it was a featured track in the Tori Spelling film, Kiss The Bride. From Queeried’s perspective though, there’s one track that really stands out – I’m Not Crazy. The number three video of 2007 on Logo, this is a song that has it all – the dance beat, the retro layers and oodles of energy in the form of Kent’s vocals – and is guaranteed to be the one you’ll be asking the DJ why he hasn’t got it on his playlist..." (Brian Kent : Breathe Life – A Breath Of Fresh Air In A Dance World Of Copies)

Brian Kent has scored several national and international hits on global Dance Club Play charts, including his recent hit, “I’ll Find A Way” which has hit Top 20 on the UK Music Week Club Chart and several DMC World Charts including the World, World House, World Commercial, World UK and World UK Club Charts. The single features remixes by Loverush UK!, Sted-E & Hybrid Heights, Twisted Dee, DeMarko, Radboy and more. It also features a music video co-conceived and directed by Loic Maes (Infernal) that has made an international impact on the topic of bullying and self-awareness. In 2009, the singer/songwriter’s “Whatcha Doin’ To Me,” hit Top 40 Billboard Club Play Charts and also reached #1 on Sirius Satellite Radio’s Hot 20 Chart. In addition, the single topped countless record pool DJ charts across the USA and is again supported by a music video co-conceived and directed by Loic Maes. Kent’s latest EP will launch in Fall 2011 previewed by the new single “I’ll Find A Way.” The project will be produced and co-written by Jack D. Elliot who’s had several #1 Billboard hits with such artists as Britney Spears, NSync, Backstreet Boys, Taylor Dayne and has most recently collaborated with Grammy Award winning songwriter Diane Warren. With years in entertainment, touring as part of a company or backing up vocalists like Kristine W., Kent decided to focus on his love of songwriting and performing and has brought his own solo talent to life in his full length debut album “Breathe Life” released in 2008 and distributed by Centaur Entertainment. With several hits coming from this debut studio album of original material including “I’m Not Crazy”, “Breathe Life”, “Whatcha Doin To Me”, “Drive” (#1 Sirius Satellite Radio Hit), and “Don’t Stop Believin” many were found featured on such projects as Bravo’s “Project Runway,” Regent Releasing’s “Kiss The Bride” starring Tori Spelling, and other feature films including “Bear City”, “Four Letter Word” and “Violet Tendencies”. The album contains a collection of songs that take one on a high-energy, emotional voyage expressed in radio-ready and club-friendly tracks. These tracks literally pulsate with Brian Kent's signature charisma, passion and emotionality. Brian has succeeded in creating a major buzz across the nation these past few years to build up to the present. His music videos for “Breathe Life”, “Whatcha Doin’ To Me” and “I'm Not Crazy”, spread quickly to dance clubs, video bars and lounges across the globe through Promo Only, Rock America, HBO Zone,,, here! TV Networks and Screenplay. These videos spent weeks on the Top 10 countdown show The Click List on LOGO causing Brian to be voted one of the Top Artists of The Year on their end of the year special. This allowed Brian to make a name for himself internationally and tour the world, opening for such artists as Taylor Dayne, Kristine W., Crystal Waters, and Martha Wash. Kent’s evolution across multiple genres has earned him the 2009 OutMusic Award for Best Dance Song and multiple nominations for the 2010 OutMusic Awards to be held in Spring 2011. Evidence of his continued evolution as a versatile artist shows in his continued ability to cross lines and bridge gaps between all types of people through his music (Facebook).

Sunday, April 15, 2012

hopes to discourage teens from bullying

Reuters: "I had a strong desire to write 'Playground' because I wanted to explore how a kid becomes a bully," 50 Cent, who has a teenage son, said in a statement. "I drew on events from my own childhood and adolescence, but was excited to see the story take on its own life," the rapper said. 50 Cent began winning fans in the late 1990s with songs like "Thug Love" and "How to Rob," but after an attempt on his life, his record company dropped him. He staged a comeback in the early 2000s with his album "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," and since then he has recorded albums and performed in movies. He published a 2005 autobiography called "From Pieces to Weight" and followed that in 2009 with a life strategy book "The 50th Law," co-written with Robert Greene. Even though the rapper, who has sold over 22 million albums worldwide, hopes to discourage teens from bullying, he has engaged in his share of public feuds over the years..." (50 Cent writes anti-bullying book for teens)

Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American rapper and actor. He rose to fame with the release of his albums Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003) and The Massacre (2005). Get Rich or Die Tryin' has been certified eight times platinum by the RIAA and has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. His album The Massacre has been certified five times platinum by the RIAA and has sold 11 million copies worldwide. Born in South Jamaica, Queens, Jackson began drug dealing at the age of twelve during the 1980s crack epidemic.[4] After leaving drug dealing to pursue a rap career, he was shot at and struck by nine bullets during an incident in 2000. After releasing his album Guess Who's Back? in 2002, Jackson was discovered by rapper Eminem and signed to Interscope Records. With the help of Eminem and Dr. Dre, who produced his first major commercial successes, Jackson became one of the world's highest selling rappers. In 2003, he founded the record label G-Unit Records, which signed several successful rappers such as Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo. Jackson has engaged in feuds with other rappers including Ja Rule, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Cam'ron, Rick Ross, and former G-Unit members The Game and Young Buck. He has also pursued an acting career, appearing in the semi-autobiographical film Get Rich or Die Tryin' in 2005, the Iraq War film Home of the Brave in 2006, and Righteous Kill in 2008. 50 Cent was ranked as the sixth best artist of the 2000–2009 decade by Billboard magazine. The magazine also ranked him as the fourth top male artist and as the third top rapper behind Eminem and Nelly. Billboard magazine also ranked him as the sixth best and most successful Hot 100 Artist of the 2000–2009 decade and as the number one rap artist of the 2000–2009 decade. Billboard ranked his album Get Rich or Die Tryin' as the twelfth best album of the 2000–2009 decade and his album The Massacre as the 37th best album of the 2000–2009 decade.[9] He is currently working on his yet-to-be-titled fifth studio album, which is allegedly set to be released in November 2011 (Wikipedia).

Friday, April 13, 2012

it’s OK to be your own unique being

Nashua Telegraph: "...The 60-second video includes vignettes of Red Sox players and teens who have been bullied because of their sexual orientation speaking out against it. It features third-baseman Kevin Youkilis, catcher Jason Varitek and manager Terry Francona. “It’s OK to be your own unique being,” Varitek says in the video. The players and manager are spliced with videos featuring teens who have been victims of bullying. “It makes you feel like even more of an outsider,” said one girl, who said she was part of the LBGT community. Francona encourages those being bullied to get help “whether it’s teachers, counselors or friends.” “Don’t be scared. A lot of people go and get therapy – myself included,” Youkilis said. Sam’s petition was part of his “make a difference” project, something that must be completed by all students on the “Red Team” at Pennichuck Middle School. When it drew more than 9,000 signatures in just over a week, it got the attention of Red Sox officials..." (Sox release spot on anti-bullying)

The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and a member of the Major League Baseball’s American League Eastern Division. Founded in 1901 as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park since 1912. The "Red Sox" name was chosen by the team owner, John I. Taylor, around 1908, following previous Boston teams that had been known as the "Red Stockings". Boston was a dominant team in the new league, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series in 1903 and winning four more championships by 1918. However, they then went into one of the longest championship droughts in baseball history, called by some the "Curse of the Bambino" after its alleged beginning with the Red Sox's sale of Babe Ruth to the rival Yankees in 1918, an 86-year wait before the team's sixth World Championship in 2004. However, the team's history during that period was hardly one of futility, but was rather punctuated with some of the most memorable moments in World Series history, including Enos Slaughter's "mad dash" in 1946, the "Impossible Dream" of 1967, Carlton Fisk's home run in 1975, and Bill Buckner's error in 1986. Red Sox history has also been marked by the team's intense rivalry with the New York Yankees, arguably the fiercest and most historic in North American professional sports. Since 2003, the Red Sox have been perennial playoff contenders and have won two World Series, emerging as one of the most successful MLB teams of the last decade. The Red Sox are consistently one of the top MLB teams in average road attendance, while the small capacity of Fenway Park prevents them from leading in overall attendance. Every home game since May 15, 2003 has been sold out—an MLB record that has spanned almost eight years (Wikipedia).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Speak Out

EW: "...In the just-released video for “The Vision of Love,” the first single off the eighth American Idol winner’s sophomore album, Allen pleads with youth to “stand for the vision of love” as clips are shown of an abused young man and an introverted teen girl. The video suggests, optimistically, that “standing up” doesn’t need to be a dramatic, difficult action - one student puts a hand up and stops his friends from harassing another, while our lonely girl learns how to overcome her self-doubt simply by taking off her headphones and introducing herself..." - Grady Smith (READ MORE)

Hitfix: "...The song, the debut single from the “American Idol’ winner’s second album, “Thank You Camellia,” out May 22, is about standing up for those less fortunate, even when fear takes over. That theme plays itself out in two scenario’s in the video. In the first, a high schooler is bullied and one of the cool kids looks on doing nothing (both the kid being bullied and the onlooker have on hoodies with the hood up... probably shot too early to be a Trayvon Martin statement, but maybe not). In the second case, a girl, with a black eye, who yearns to be told she’s beautiful (in cliched, typical fashion, the addition of eye glasses signify her “homeliness.” Please...), but feels too scared to join a group of girls talking..." - Melinda Newman (READ MORE)

Musically Inclined Fool: "...Kris Allen does his part to speak out against bullying in this incredibly touching Lenny Bass-directed video, which tells the story of two teenagers - one insecure and lonely, the other tormented by bullying. I like how the message of the video is subtle yet clear, without being too schmaltzy and over dramatic. The video serves as THE perfect complement to this soaring and inspirational pop anthem. (I will warn you, there were tears after I watched this video. Granted, I cry while watching TV commercials, so who knows what this REALLY means.) After winning his season of American Idol, Kris Allen enjoyed moderate success with the release of his debut album back in 2009. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at #11 and featured the hit single, "Live Like We're Dying," which has a combined digital sales of over 1.7 million to date. While that single peaked at a respectable #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, none of Allen's subsequent single releases would see the same success. Follow up single, "The Truth," featuring Train front man Pat Monahan came in in at #17 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 chart, missing the Hot 100 altogether, while Allen's final single, "Alright With Me" failed to chart anywhere. I'm cautiously optimistic that after some proper exposure (American Idol performance, perhaps?) Allen can make some big moves prior to the release of his new album. Here's hoping!..." - Jamie Sward (READ MORE)

Kristopher Neil "Kris" Allen (born June 21, 1985) is an American musician and singer-songwriter from Conway, Arkansas, and the winner of the eighth season of American Idol. Prior to Idol, he self-released a 2007 album entitled Brand New Shoes. Allen's Idol coronation song, "No Boundaries" and his version of "Heartless" both charted within the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. Allen's post-Idol self-titled album was released on November 17, 2009, through 19 Recordings and Jive Records. The album debuted at number eleven on the U.S. Billboard 200. The album's lead single, "Live Like We're Dying", was released on September 21, 2009, and peaked at number eighteen in the U.S. with combined sales of over 1.7 million. Allen's second major-label album Thank You Camellia is scheduled to be released on May 22, 2012, and the lead single "The Vision of Love" was released March 26, 2012...Allen's humanitarian work has inspired his fans to organize charitable efforts in his honor. To celebrate Allen's 25th birthday, his fans donated over $25,000 to Heifer International, enough to pay for 50 cows to feed families in need. Inspired by Allen's support of music education, his fans also organized a donation of over $28,000 to Music Empowers in December 2010. In honor of Allen's 26th birthday, his fans banded together once again to donate more than $26,000 to Direct Relief International toward disaster relief..." - Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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Monday, April 9, 2012


People: "They didn't think I was cool or pretty enough, so they stopped talking to me." Another reason she was singled out? "The kids at school thought it was weird that I liked country [music]," she says. "They'd make fun of me." But all that changed in ninth grade when she moved from her hometown in Pennsylvania to Nashville and scored a record deal. A year into her career, Swift returned to perform in the place where earlier she'd been mocked – and saw the girls who made her feel so badly about herself. "They showed up, wearing my T-shirts and asking me to sign their CDs," says Swift. "It was bittersweet, because it made me realize that they didn't remember being mean to me and that I needed to forget about it, too." Besides, she says, "Really, if I hadn't come home from school miserable every day, maybe I wouldn't have been so motivated to write songs. I should probably thank them!" (Taylor Swift Suffered Bullying in School)

Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American country pop singer-songwriter, musician and actress. On September 21, 2007, Swift helped launch a campaign to protect children from online predators.[134] She has teamed up with Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen to combat internet sex crimes.[134] The year-long campaign, in partnership with the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, will distribute Internet safety information and materials to parents and students across the state. In early 2008, Swift donated the pink Chevy pick-up truck given to her by her record label to the children’s charity, the Victory Junction Gang; in June, 2008, Swift donated all the proceeds from her merchandise sales at the 2008 Country Music Festival to Red Cross, the Nashville Area Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and the National American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Swift donated $100,000 to the Red Cross in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to help the victims of the Iowa flood of 2008. Swift has teamed up with Sound Matters to make listeners aware of listening "responsibly". Swift supports @15, a teen-led social change platform underwritten by Best Buy to give teens opportunities to direct the company's philanthropy through the newly-created @15 Fund. Swift's song, "Fifteen", is featured in this campaign. Swift lent her support to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal by joining the lineup at Sydney's Sound Relief concert, reportedly making the biggest contribution of any artist playing at Sound Relief to the Australian Red Cross. Swift donated her prom dress, which raised $1,200 for charity, to On November 20, 2009 after a live performance on BBC's Children in Need night Swift announced to Sir Terry Wogan she would donate £13,000 of her own money to the cause. On December 13, Swift's own birthday, she donated $250,000 to various schools around the country which she had either attended or been involved with. Swift has donated a pair of her shoes, a gently-worn pair of black Betsey Johnson heels with her autograph on the sole, to the Wish Upon a Hero Foundation's Hero in Heels fundraiser for auction to raise money to benefit women with cancer. In response to the May 2010 Tennessee floods, Swift donated $500,000 during a flood relief telethon hosted by WSMV, a Nashville television station (Wikipedia).

Saturday, April 7, 2012

humorous and dramatic “I lived in an area that within two blocks in any direction, there was major gang activity. It could have really been easy for me to go in that direction but it was my mother’s upbringing and some guidance from William, our neighbor, and an interest taken in me by my tenth grade English teacher, Mrs. Schilling, that kept me on the straight and narrow.” Aware of his intelligence and budding oral communication skills, Lawrence’s teacher, Mrs. Shilling, enrolled him in his high school’s debate team. Soon, Lawrence found himself immersed in forensic speaking competition, involved in both humorous and dramatic interpretation of literature, prose, poetry, and theatrical literature. After winning the school district’s Literary Olympiad competition, Lawrence went on to compete on the state and national levels, eventually winning the collegiate Bovero-Tabor Award, an accolade reserved for the top Jr. College speaker in the country. Subsequently, after gaining attention from University of Southern California’s debate team coaches, he was awarded a full scholarship to attend the University. While a student, Lawrence traveled the nation competing in tournaments for USC in individual events. His forte included prose, poetry, theatrical and duo interpretation of literature, and speech to entertain, which ultimately became his springboard into stand-up comedy..." (Da Livin')

Mark Christopher Lawrence (born May 22, 1964) is an American character actor, stand-up comedian and voice-over artist. He is perhaps best known for his role as esoteric D.J., Tone Deaf, in the 1994 satirical rap mockumentary, Fear of a Black Hat. He has co-starred in popular films such as Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Planet of the Apes, Lost Treasure and The Pursuit of Happyness. Lawrence can currently be seen in his regular role as Big Mike on the NBC series Chuck. He has made guest appearances on many television programs, most notably Heroes, My Name Is Earl, Crossing Jordan, Dharma & Greg, Malcolm in the Middle, Touched by an Angel, Malcolm & Eddie, Men Behaving Badly, Seinfeld, Murphy Brown, and Martin. He is also featured on the Radio Series Adventures in Odyssey as "Ed Washington". (Wikipedia)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

to send positive messages

ABC news: "As far as I'm concerned, it's between Tracy Morgan and his conscience to figure out the right thing to do," he said. "The appropriate response has to emerge from the conscience and heart of Tracy Morgan." Tracy Morgan meets with Jayden Love at the Ali Forney Center. Siciliano said during the hour that Morgan met with two teens and mother Elke Kennedy, whose son Sean was a victim of anti-gay violence, he appeared sincere, listening attentively and relating some of his own experiences to theirs. As soon as the meeting was over, however, Morgan began to cry. "There were tears pouring down his face," Siciliano said. "I don't know what prompted it, but my impression was that they were tears of shame. To be confronted with the brutal realities of what he was talking about, he felt very remorseful and ashamed." GLAAD put Morgan in touch with the Ali Forney Center after he reached out to the organization, GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro said. "It was on his own accord that he contacted us," Ferraro said. "It really does appear he wanted to use this (incident) as a way to send positive messages out there." During today's appearance in Tennessee, Morgan is expected to apologize personally to audience members he offended during the show on June 3. He's also scheduled to hold a private meeting with gay rights activists and make remarks to the press afterward. "Returning to Tennessee and apologizing to those he offended is an important step in showing that Tracy truly understands the weight of his words," GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said on the group's website. "In a state that continues to put anti-gay laws on the books, it's now more important than ever that we let Tennesseans know that homophobia has no place on or off the stage." (Tracy Morgan's Marathon of Apologies Continues)

Tracy Jamal Morgan (born November 10, 1968) is an American actor, comedian and author who is best known for his eight seasons as a cast member on Saturday Night Live and currently known for playing the role of Tracy Jordan on the NBC series 30 Rock. In June 2011, during a standup performance in Nashville, Tennessee, Morgan made inflammatory comments about gay people, reportedly including that, if his son were gay, he would "pull out a knife and stab" him. Morgan apologized, saying that he had "gone too far," NBC Entertainment head Bob Greenblatt stated, "I speak for NBC and myself personally when I say we do not condone hate or violence of any kind, and I am pleased to see Tracy Morgan apologizing for recent homophobic remarks in his standup appearance... Unfortunately, Tracy's comments reflect negatively on both 30 Rock and NBC two very all-inclusive and diverse organizations and we have made it clear to him that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated." Tina Fey, Morgan's boss both in fiction and in real life, said, "I'm glad to hear that Tracy apologized....but the violent imagery of Tracy's rant was disturbing to me at a time when homophobic hate crimes continue to be a life-threatening issue for the GLBT community...the Tracy Morgan I know, not a hateful man and [would never] hurt another person. I hope for his sake that Tracy's apology will be accepted as sincere by his gay and lesbian co-workers at 30 Rock, without whom Tracy would not have lines to say, clothes to wear, sets to stand on, scene partners to act with or a printed-out paycheck from accounting to put in his pocket." (Wikipedia)


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Bullying is an abusive treatment, the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when habitual and involving an imbalance of power. It may involve verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed persistently towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability. The "imbalance of power" may be social power and/or physical power. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a "targeted individual" (Wikipedia).