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Harvard Honors Rihanna with a Humanitarian of the Year Award

Rihanna receives a humanitarian award from Harvard University for her contributions to health, education, and global citizenry

Today, pop star, Rihanna, picks up a Humanitarian of the Year award from Harvard University.

The Peter J. Gomez Humanitarian Award will be given to Rihanna for her contributions to women and children; chief among her contributions is a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer in her home nation of Barbados.

For Caribbean students interested in higher education, Rihanna also created the Clara Lionel Foundation scholarship program - named for her grandparents - for students from the Caribbean who attend college in the U.S.

Rihanna also supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, providing children with access to education in more than 60 developing countries.

Rihanna, shining bright like a diamond.

Ask Angelo a New Book from Music Industry Insider, Angelo Ellerbee

Music industry insider and celebrity PR guru, Angelo Ellerbee, pens a new book, Ask Angelo

Angelo Ellerbee, a music industry and celebrity publicist extraordinaire, sat down with What's The 411TV hosts Kizzy Cox and Onika McLean to talk about his new book, Ask Angelo.

Ellerbee, a 46-year entertainment industry veteran, has worked with a bevy of A-list and well-known entertainers and celebrities from Michael Jackson to Whitney Houston to Alicia Keys to Mary J. Blige to Dionne Warwick to DMX to James Mtume, and more.

In the book, Ask Angelo, Ellerbee weaves humorously crafted advice to both industry climbers and veterans alike. Through Q&A and intimate war stories (with peeks at some of his most colorful clients and adventures), he delivers an honest glimpse inside the entertainment industry... then and now.

A music industry insider, Angelo Ellerbee earned the moniker The Henry Higgins of Hip Hop while navigating the tough rap genre throughout the 80s-90s and beyond. Taking a page out of Berry Gordy's playbook, Ellerbee has helped many artists and non-entertainment industry professionals resurrect their careers and reinvent their images.

We recommend this book, Ask Angelo, to anyone seeking to start a business and for anyone in or thinking about embarking on a career in the entertainment industry.

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Prolific Musician, Prince, is Dead at 57

TMZ is reporting that the artist that we all know and love, Prince, died today. Prince Rogers Nelson's body was discovered at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota early Thursday morning.

The sheriff's office says they are conducting a death investigation currently and are notifying next of kin before releasing the name of the individual who died. An update is that his publicist has now confirmed the 57-year-old star's death.

Prince was renowned as an innovator and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range. He was widely regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound. His music combines rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip-hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop.

Prince's debut album, For You, was released in 1978, and his first platinum album, Prince featured the singles Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? and I Wanna Be Your Lover. His next three records—Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), and 1999 (1982)—continued his success, showcasing Prince's trademark of prominently sexual lyrics and incorporation of elements of funk, dance, and rock music. In 1984, he began referring to his backup band as The Revolution and released Purple Rain, which served as the soundtrack to his film debut of the same name. A prolific songwriter, Prince in the 1980s wrote songs for and produced work by many other acts, often under pseudonyms.

Last week, reports surfaced that the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was suffering from flu-like symptoms and had canceled two concerts on April 7, but he made it a point to perform a concert in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 14, even though he wasn't feeling well. On the way home, early on April 15, Prince started to feel worse so his plane made an emergency landing at Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois and he was rushed to a hospital by ambulance. Prince was treated and released three hours later, got back on his plane and went home.

Later on April 15, probably to calm down his fans, Prince tweeted: "#NowPlaying "Controversy (Single Version)" by @Prince in @TIDALHiFi : ) : )."

Prince Tweet About his illness on 04152016 cropped

Of course, there is speculation that Prince's death is connected to his previous illness; however, it has not been confirmed.

Ironically, Prince protégé and former lover, Denise Matthews, aka Vanity, of Vanity 6, also died earlier this year on February 15, 2016, at age 57.

Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota; he was 57. RIP

Terrell "T-Rex" Simon Talks About His Debut Album, New Beginnings

VIDEO: Terrell "T-Rex" Simon talks about his new Rhythm and Gospel (R&G) album, New Beginnings, and his life in the music industry

 

Terrell "T-Rex" Simon may have just dropped his first solo album, but he is no newcomer to the music industry. As a background vocalist, promoter, and manager, Terrell has worked with Lyfe Jennings, Wyclef Jean, Ne-Yo and more. As a musical director, he has helped countless people score gigs in the industry. Watch Terrell "T-Rex" Simon's interview with the ladies of What's The 411, and I am sure if you are an aspiring artist or, someone working with an artist, there are a few takeaways for you in the interview.

Singer Tyrese Gibson Receiving Unfair Treatment from Pop Radio Stations

Pop radio is not a level playing field for R&B artists

SINGER TYRESE GIBSON is not singing a happy tune when it comes to pop radio stations. The singer, whose album is number one of the billboard R&B charts, says that hit music stations are not playing his tracks. Gibson told TMZ: "When i think about Sam Smith, Robin Thicke, [and] Justin Timberlake- when they're singing R&B soul, their songs are being played on all formats of radio, including urban radio. We don't say because their white they should only be played on the white stations. If I'm number one...my song deserves to be heard by the world."

Freedom Williams of C+C Music Factory Talks Music Industry Changes

Freedom Williams gives advice to would be music and recording artists: remember you are the brand

In this interview with What's The 411TV's Courtney Rashon, hip hop artist and dancer, Freedom Williams, gives us some insight into his life today, thoughts on the state of the music industry, how he got his record deal, and how some artists today are replicas of the past.

Freedom Williams, born Frederick Brandon Williams, started as a hip-hop head and evolved into a dancer. Today, Freedom has his hands in everything. He built a recording studio for artists to use; tours several months out of the year, manages a couple of groups, directs videos; mentors artists including the Williamsburg Bullies; builds houses through his construction company; and he has two children, a son who recently graduated from Columbia University and a 15-year-old daughter. 

Regarding the state of hip-hop today, Freedom believes hip-hop has lost some of its punch. The music industry as it was when he started is no more; people are making music in their basements, everybody's sharing and record sales have plummeted.

As far as ghostwriting goes in the rap industry, Freedom thinks today it's a silly argument. However, back in the day, rap artists would have gotten beat up for ghostwriting, but today is a different day. The industry has changed and the culture has changed.

What's on Freedom's playlist? You can find Janelle Monae, Stevie Wonder, classical music, Haitian music, and even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches on Freedom's playlist. As an artist, Freedom listens to everything. Who are Freedom Williams' favorite artists? Stevie Wonder, as a producer-musician, is Freedom William's favorite artist of all time. In 2015, Freedom likes Janelle Monae; Anthony Hamilton; Drake; Immortal Technique; and Latin music. 

For those looking for a record deal, what's Freedom's advice? Remember you are the brand, work on you. The real money is in performance, so make people want to give you their money.

"Be the best that you can be, Freedom said. "Work on your songs, work on your craft, so when you are presented...the real game starts in practice, you bring that to the field."

Also, take care of your health. Freedom Williams believes in being physically fit; he says that when he's performing, he can see the audience getting tired before he does.

How does Freedom feel about social media?

Although social media is a valuable tool to market and promote artists today, Freedom advises artists to have thick skin and don't get caught up in the negativity.

Thank God there was no social media back in the day; today there are so many finger gangsters.

Would Freedom Williams go on Dancing With the Stars?

Perhaps.

Although Alfonso Ribeiro set the bar really high, if the producers of Dancing With The Stars called Freedom Williams, he would answer the phone.

Beyonce Coming Forth With Platinum Edition Box Set

Get ready for the global release of BEYONCE Platinum Edition Box Set. The 2 CD/2 DVD limited edition package will include new songs, "7/11" and "Ring Off" plus four new and unreleased remixes with some superstar collaborators. The original, critically acclaimed self-titled visual album, featuring 14 songs and 17 videos, is also included. The BEYONCE Platinum Edition Box Set is set for release on November 24.

The special edition box set features a live performance DVD that chronicles the year-long "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour," a mini version of the official 2015 Beyonce calendar, and more.

Beyonce Platinum-Edition-Box-Set

BEYONCE PLATINUM EDITION BOX SET TO RELEASE NOVEMBER 24, 2014

Each PLATINUM EDITION BOX SET contains:
• MORE audio CD with two brand new songs and four unreleased remixes with collaborations from Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Mr. Vegas and Pharrell Williams
• " LIVE" DVD featuring 10 live performances from the "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour" with artist commentary and an accompanying photo booklet
• BEYONCE Original audio CD featuring 14 songs and accompanying photo booklet
• BEYONCE Original DVD featuring 17 music videos
• The official 2015 Beyonce mini calendar

MORE AUDIO CD
7/11
Flawless Remix (Featuring Nicki Minaj)
Drunk in Love Remix (Featuring JAY Z & Kanye West)
Ring Off
Blow Remix (Featuring Pharrell Williams)
Standing on the Sun Remix (Featuring Mr. Vegas)

"LIVE" DVD
Run The World (Girls)
***Flawless
Get Me Bodied
Blow
Haunted
Drunk In Love (Featuring JAY Z)
1 + 1
Partition
Heaven
XO

ORIGINAL CD
Pretty Hurts
Haunted
Drunk in Love (Featuring JAY Z)
Blow
Angel
Partition
Jealous
Rocket
Mine (Featuring Drake)
XO
***Flawless (Featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
Superpower (Featuring Frank Ocean)
Heaven
Blue (Featuring Blue Ivy)

ORIGINAL DVD
Pretty Hurts
Ghost/Haunted
Drunk In Love
Blow
Angel
Yonce/Partition
Jealous
Rocket
Mine
XO
***Flawless
Superpower
Heaven
Blue
Grown Woman

Prince, Lenny Kravitz and Other Music's Greats Coming to a Book Near You

There are several books about music’s greatest wonders coming out this autumn. Some of the books, we think you will want to know about are:

Prince Let-s-Go-CrazyLet’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain by Alan Light

Are you a Prince fan or know a Prince fan?

If so, then you may want to put Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain on your holiday shopping list.

Purple Rain is a song, an album, and a film—each one a commercial success and cultural milestone. How did this semi-autobiographical musical masterpiece that blurred R&B, pop, dance, and rock sounds come to alter the recording landscape and become an enduring touchstone for successive generations of fans? For the answer, check out Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain by Alan Light, an acclaimed music journalist and former senior editor of Rolling Stone; due out in December 2014.

 

 

Carlos SantanaThe Universal Tone: My Life by Carlos Santana

Legendary guitarist Carlos Santana is one of those rare artists whose music has an immense reach within the mainstream from '60s classic rock (the Abraxas album) to '90s commercial pop (the multiplatinum Supernatural).

In 1967 in San Francisco, just a few weeks after the Summer of Love, a young Mexican guitarist took the stage at the Fillmore Auditorium and played a blistering solo that announced the arrival of a prodigious musical talent. Two years later -- after he played a historic set at Woodstock -- the world came to know the name Carlos Santana, his sensual and instantly recognizable guitar sound, and the legendary band that blended electric blues, psychedelic rock, Latin rhythms, and modern jazz, and that still bears his name.

Carlos Santana documents his rise as one of rock's great guitarists and career highs in this forthcoming book, The Universal Tone: My Life, due out in November 2014.

 

 

Lenny-Kravitz resized 299x400Lenny Kravitz by Lenny Kravitz (with Anthony DeCurtis, Pharrell Williams and Marla Hamburg Kennedy)

Lenny Kravitz is the quintessential rock god: he has musical chops, glamorous style, and sex appeal for miles. Kravitz’s talents as a writer, producer, actor, and multi-instrumentalist are without question: he has won four consecutive Grammy Awards, setting a record for the most wins in the "Best Male Rock Vocal Performance" category, has sold more than thirty-eight million albums worldwide, and remains always in the public eye by appearing in blockbuster films.

This book, Lenny Kravitz, includes photographs spanning Kravitz’s time in the public eye, from his earliest days kicking around in New York City in the 1980s to traveling the world; from shots of Lenny composing in hotel rooms to performing in front of massive crowds; and from fashion shoots to intimate personal settings.

A visual celebration of one of rock’s sexiest, most magnetic stars, Lenny Kravitz, includes a conversation with Pharrell Williams. Lenny Kravitz illustrates the raw sensual power that has captivated his fans all over the world.

In stores and on Amazon now.

 

 

George-Benson resized 233x350Benson: The Autobiography by George Benson with Alan Goldsher

Over the course of his fifty-year career, George Benson has performed for hundreds of millions of fans around the world, received 10 Grammy Awards, and recorded with some of the most revered musicians of his era. In 2011, he earned a National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Masters Award. And he has finally decided to tell his story.

An open and truthful storyteller, Benson discusses in Benson: The Autobiography, his near-arrest for domestic abuse, the tragic illnesses that afflicted his family, the secret lives of his musical cohorts, and racism’s effect on his life and art. His long-awaited book allows readers to meet one of the most beloved, prolific, and bestselling musicians of any era.

In stores and on Amazon now.

 

 

Herbie-Hancock resized 232x350

Herbie Hancock: Possibilities by Herbie Hancock with Lisa Dickey

In Herbie Hancock: Possibilities, the legendary jazz musician and composer reflects on a life and a thriving career that has spanned seven decades. A true innovator, Herbie Hancock has had an enormous influence on both acoustic and electric jazz, R&B and hip-hop, with his ongoing exploration of different musical genres, winning fourteen Grammy awards along the way.

From his beginnings as a child prodigy to his work in Miles Davis’s second great quintet; from his innovations as the leader of his own groundbreaking sextet to his collaborations with everyone from Wayne Shorter to Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder; Herbie Hancock: Possibilities reveals the method behind Hancock’s undeniable musical genius.

Hancock shares his musical influences, colorful behind-the-scenes stories, his long and happy marriage, and how Buddhism inspires him creatively and personally. Honest, enlightening, and as electrifyingly vital as the man who wrote it, Herbie Hancock: Possibilities promises to be an invaluable contribution to jazz literature and a must-read for fans and music lovers.

In stores and on Amazon now.

 

Ol-Dirty-Bastard resized 232x350The Dirty Version: On Stage, In the Studio, and in the Streets with Ol’ Dirty Bastard by Buddha Monk and Mickey Hess

On the tenth anniversary of his death, The Dirty Version is the first biography of hip hop superstar and founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, to be written by someone from his inner circle: his right-hand man and best friend, Buddha Monk.

Ol’ Dirty Bastard rocketed to fame with the Wu-Tang Clan, the raucous and renegade group that altered the world of hip hop forever. ODB was one of the Clan’s wildest icons and most inventive performers, and when he died of an overdose in 2004 at the age of thirty-five, millions of fans mourned the loss. ODB lives on in epic proportions and his antics are legend: he once picked up his welfare check in a limousine; lifted a burning car off a four-year-old girl in Brooklyn; stole a fifty-dollar pair of sneakers on tour at the peak of his success. Many have questioned whether his stunts were carefully calculated or the result of paranoia and mental instability.

Now, Dirty’s friend since childhood, Buddha Monk, a Wu-Tang collaborator on stage and in the studio, reveals the truth about the complex and talented performer. From their days together on the streets of Brooklyn to the meteoric rise of Wu-Tang’s star, from bouts in prison to court-mandated rehab, from Dirty’s favorite kind of pizza to his struggles with fame and success, Buddha tells the real story—The Dirty Version—of the legendary rapper.

The Dirty Version: On Stage, In the Studio, and in the Streets with Ol’ Dirty Bastard is in stores and on Amazon in November 2014.

 

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