*Ron Funches is the voice of Murphy the rabbit in Disney’s “The One and Only Ivan.”
No stranger to voice captivation, he is the voice of Cooper in the “Trolls” franchise and King Shark in Harley Quinn. With a string of other roles, Ron tells EUR he has done quite “a bit of voice acting,” and much more.
What is it about Murphy that speaks to you?
Oh, Murphy definitely speaks to me. He speaks through me. He is me. We’re this guy who kind of love where we are. We love our jobs. We love being entertainers, and he loves snacks and his firetruck. So we’re a lot alike.
And how does this film speak to what’s going on during a pandemic?
I think basically at a time where everyone is so stressed out, and there’s so many bad things going on, it’s nice to have a sweet, funny film that has a lot of heart. It’s about family, it’s about embracing your culture and who you are. And I think that’s a message that is surely needed right now. It’s also a message about treating each other with love and respect, no matter who you are. No matter if you’re the guy running the circus, or you’re Ivan, or you’re a rabbit in a firetruck; everybody deserves love and respect.
With so many important messages, is there one particular message you want viewers to walk away with?
Well, I think the message that I love the most is about home and just how important your background and your culture can be for you. And that when it gets taken away from you, sometimes it harms you without you even knowing. I think we have to, just as a society, learn to respect and honor each other’s cultures, each other’s homes, and each other’s faith. And I think that’s a big message in this movie and the one that resonates with me very much.
Were you able to wrap your head around the fact that the real Ivan drew pictures?
You’re funny. He had a lot of time on his hand [laughs].
That is funny, a comedian telling me I’m funny. So what ever happened to the show you and LeBron James were going to do?
Oh, yes. I worked with LeBron and SpringHill and their production company on writing a project for them. Unfortunately, the series didn’t get picked up, but it was a great experience for me just to work with SpringHill and Maverick Carter, and all those people.
That project from what I understand involved gentrification. Gentrification and redlining are important issues in the black community and I think the subject is timely.
Hey, I like how you’re talking. I might have to make some phone calls after this interview because I had forgotten about it. But yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. I think it is an important subject, and I think it’s something that needs to be tackled from a particular perspective as well, so I would love to keep working on that.
What else are you up to?
I’m always doing standup comedy. I have a live stream special that I’m doing September 5th, on YouTube. In the meantime I want everyone to check out ‘The One and Only Ivan” streaming August 21, on Disney+.
Alicia Keys Announces Launch of Her MasterClass [VIDEO]
*Alicia Keys has teamed with MasterClass to share her songwriting approach in an online-video class.
Keys’ class is available through the $180 annual subscription plan, which generally consists of more than 3 hours of lessons. The plan also gives users access to the full catalog of 90-plus classes.
Here’s more from AOL:
In the 19 video lessons, the 15-time Grammy winner will teach a class on songwriting and producing, in which she’ll share her philosophies on how to unlock authenticity, empathy and vulnerability.
Shot in her personal studio, Keys will take members through her entire process, starting with developing lyrics at the piano in the Live Room, recording and layering vocals in the Iso Booth, and finally, arranging sonics in the Control Room.
Our newest instructor has sold more than 40 million albums and connected with audiences worldwide with her powerful music. Now she’s sitting down with you to share her creative process.
— MasterClass (@MasterClass) November 24, 2020
“I cannot stress enough the power you have when you’re truly confident in yourself,” Keys said in announcing the class. “In my MasterClass, I’m excited to connect on a different level. We’re gonna talk about what I’ve learned, my process and how to access what’s inside of you, so you can connect and get it out into the world.”
Watch the trailer for Keys’ MasterClass course.
Other music classes on MasterClass include: Usher, Christina Aguilera, Timbaland, St. Vincent, Sheila E., Danny Elfman, Reba McEntire, Jake Shimabukuro, Itzhak Perlman, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and Hans Zimmer.
The Weeknd Calls Out ‘Corrupt’ Grammys After 2021 Nominations Snub
*The Weeknd has called out the Recording Academy after he was snubbed for next year’s Grammy Awards.
His fans are giving the Grammys the side-eye after the singer received zero nominations, even though, as TMZ points out, his single, “Blinding Lights,” topped the charts and his album, “After Hours,” hit to #1.
The Weeknd responded to the diss in a tweet hours after the nominees for the 63rd Grammy Awards were announced on Tuesday.
“The Grammys remain corrupt,” he wrote. “You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”
The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 25, 2020
Meanwhile, TMZ reports that The Weeknd’s snub may have to due with him headlining next year’s Super Bowl, but Harvey Mason Jr., Recording Academy Chair and Interim President/CEO, tells PEOPLE that’s not the case.
In a statement to the publication, he said “We understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated,” Mason Jr. says. “I was surprised and can empathize with what he’s feeling. His music this year was excellent, and his contributions to the music community and broader world are worthy of everyone’s admiration.”
According to TMZ’s report, Grammy officials gave The Weeknd an ultimatum between the two events, and after heated negotiations, they came to an agreement.
“We were thrilled when we found out he would be performing at the upcoming Super Bowl and we would have loved to have him also perform on the GRAMMY stage the weekend before,” Mason Jr. adds in his statement. “Unfortunately, every year, there are fewer nominations than the number of deserving artists. But as the only peer-voted music award, we will continue to recognize and celebrate excellence in music while shining a light on the many amazing artists that make up our global community.”
“To be clear, voting in all categories ended well before The Weeknd’s performance at the Super Bowl was announced, so in no way could it have affected the nomination process. All GRAMMY nominees are recognized by the voting body for their excellence, and we congratulate them all,” the statement continues.
BLIND ITEM: Singer Holds Housekeeper Hostage
This foreign born former A list singer in a group and solo has, over the years turned into an awful human being. The antithesis of who everyone thought he was when he was in the band. He recently went on a drug fueled rage against his housekeeper and terrorized her for 48 straight hours and wouldn’t let her leave the house or use the phone.
Can you guess the foreign born/former A list singer? Here’s a hint: he’s not Black
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