Los Angeles – With the goal of fostering a community and the creativity it curates, UMe’s Urban Legends division will launch “Women With A Message,” a campaign highlighting grassroots activism, leadership innovation and self-determination from women who have redefined industry, sports and political activism.
The campaign will feature conversations amongst influential women who are crafting and delivering the global message of equality in real time. Rooted in the importance of representation and inspiration, the campaign’s music and editorial (video and written) content is designed to motivate both women and men to help spread the message of equality and respect. Available, HERE.
“Through their stories and voices, we hope to inspire more women to empower themselves and to participate in the upcoming elections. Inspiring more women to exercise their right to vote is about emphasizing the fact that we are all empowered to make choices about this country, in part through engagement in the process of choosing our leaders,” comments Katina Bynum, EVP, East Coast Labels, Urban, UMe.
“From board rooms to conference rooms to classrooms and beyond, heroic women have used their voices both to question and encourage others, and Motown is proud to present pioneers who paved the way in all aspects of culture,” adds President of Motown Records & EVP Capitol Music Group, Ethiopia Habtemariam.
Urban Legends and its editorial partner uDiscoverMusic invited community leaders, athletes and music executives to discuss how music and songs inspire, motivate and play a role in their lives.
Artist features include: Erykah Badu; Kelis; Janet Jackson; Mary J. Blige; Queen Latifah; Salt-N-Pepa; Zhane; and Mariah Carey, whose new memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, is available now. Additional features showcase past trailblazers, including Nina Simone, Billie Holiday and Marlena Shaw.
Music industry professionals tell their stories from adversity to accomplishments and how they are enacting change: Ethiopia Habtemariam, President of Motown Records and EVP Capitol Music Group; LaTrice Burnette, EVP and GM, Island Records; Sujata Murthy, SVP Media & Artist Relations, UMe; Anastasia Wright, VP Rhythm Nation.
Urban Legends will introduce athletes’ stories as a way of amplifying the pursuit of equality. And of course, a look at the many ways that music motivates is sure to be part of the discussion with professional athletes, including Tamera “Ty” Young, star forward with WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces; Essence Carson, guard/forward for WNBA’s Connecticut Suns and Senior Manager of Label Relations and Production for Motown, Caroline and Priority; Taylor Townsend, tennis professional; and Lia Neal, champion swimmer and two-time Olympic medalist.
Activists will round out the “Women With A Message” campaign wtih Ciara Taylor, a founding member of the Dream Defenders community organizers, and a conversation with Alicia Garza, Creator of Black Futures Lab / Co-founder Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Katina Bynum, EVP, East Coast Labels, Urban, UMe.
About Urban Legends
Urban Legends is the UMG label imprint and cross-platform initiative devoted to the curation and celebration of over three decades of urban catalog music and culture. Urban Legends celebrates the revolutionary and defining recordings primarily of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. At its core, Urban Legends serves as both an editorial content site and e-commerce platform, delivering daily news, editorial features and franchises, and video updates on hip-hop and R&B artists within the UMG ecosystem. Urban Legends is a division of UMe.
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.
Fantasia Announces Pregnancy in Sweet Instagram Video with Husband Kendall Taylor [WATCH]
*Singer Fantasia has announced that she and her husband of five years Kendall Taylor are expecting their first child together.
The couple revealed the news during an Instagram Live, check out the cute moment via the clip below.
View this post on Instagram
Fantasia has two children from previous relationships; 19-year-old Zion and 8-year-old Dallas.
The singer gave birth to Zion as a teenager and last year she posted a series of photos and videos of her daughter in honor of her 18th birthday.
In the caption she wrote: “I remember the day my water broke. It was the scariest feeling in the world. We lived in Winston Salem at the time and Papa Joe had left the house for a second and so I called the ambulance. Zi, I was terrified because I was so young and I wanted to give you the world but I didn’t know how I was going to do it. You came a little early and at the time I was thinking it was because you were either nosey (lol) or you heard all my cry’s and felt you needed to come on out and protect me. Now I see it was the protection part and still to this day you go hard for Mommy!”
Fanny also recalled a funny memory of Zion as a toddler and the family pet.
“We had a dog named Diva,” she explained. “Zion would hit her from time to time, she was 3 years old, and Diva would always get her butt right back. When she did, Zion would run in the room crying, ‘Diva Said, Diva Said.’ I told her DIVA CANT TALK ZION!!”
In a second post she noted of watching her daughter grow up: “[I’m] having a hard time with this 18 thing.”
‘She’s At the Fridge Again’ Lady Back with Another Banger: ‘It’s Thanksgiving Time’ (Watch)
*Back in August, gospel singer KD French appeared on “Today” to perform “The Fridge Again,” her hilarious ode to putting on pandemic pounds while quarantined.
Now she’s back with an original song making its premiere: “It’s Thanksgiving Time.”
She says family members inspired the new bop.
Watch her “Today” interview below and the full “It’s Thanksgiving Time” video above.
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