Connect with us

Entertainment

R&B lost three legends this weekend in Little Richard, Andre Harrell and Betty Wright

Published

on

From CNN – Delivered by Black Video News

By Amir Vera, CNN

(CNN) – It was a tough weekend for rhythm and blues with the deaths of three musical icons.Singers Betty Wright and Little Richard along with music executive Andre Harrell died this weekend. All had major impacts on R&B and the music industry as a whole. If one wasn’t moving the genre forward, another was introducing the world to new acts.

Betty Wright influenced a generation of female artists

Betty Wright performs on stage at The 12th Annual Jazz In The Gardens Music Festival on March 18, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  Betty Wright performs on stage at The 12th Annual Jazz In The Gardens Music Festival on March 18, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida.The soulful Betty Wright died from cancer Sunday at the age of 66 in her Miami home, according to Billboard.She had been diagnosed with endometrial cancer in the fall, Steve Greenberg, president of S-Curve Records who worked with Wright, told The New York Times.Wright’s career started with her family’s gospel group, according to Billboard, and she released her first album at the age of 14 in 1968.The Grammy-award winner and six-time nominee is known for her hits “Clean Up Woman” and “Tonight is the Night.”Many of her hits have been sampled by rappers and singers like BeyoncéColor Me Bad and Chance the Rapper.

Little Richard was an early figure in rock

Little Richard at his concert performance in the Hamburg Star Club, singing in the 1960sLittle Richard at his concert performance in the Hamburg Star Club, singing in the 1960sThe screaming, preening, scene-stealing wild man of early rock ‘n’ roll first came on the scene in the 1950s with hits like “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally” and “Slippin’ and Slidin‘.”The Macon, Georgia, native had a long career after that saw him becoming one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, getting a street named after him in his home town and receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1993 Grammys.Aside from music, Little Richard’s most noted ambivalence was in his attitude toward his sexuality. He told Charles White he was “omnisexual.” A decade later, he told Penthouse magazine he always knew he was gay.”I’ve been gay all my life and I know God is a God of love, not of hate,” he told the magazine in 1995. “How can I (put) down the fisherman when I’ve been fishing all my life?”

Andre Harrell had an everlasting footprint in hip-hop

Andre Harrell, left, and Sean "Diddy" Combs pose for a photo at a party after Lifebeat's Urban Aid benefit concert at Madison Square Garden on October 5, 1995 in New York City, New York.Andre Harrell, left, and Sean “Diddy” Combs pose for a photo at a party after Lifebeat’s Urban Aid benefit concert at Madison Square Garden on October 5, 1995 in New York City, New York.Harrell is credited with mentoring Sean Diddy Combs as well as discovering and launching the careers of various artists and entertainers.He got his start in 1980s with as one of two members in the rap group Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. Harrell was then hired by Def Jam Records where he worked as vice president and then became a general manager of the label.It was when he founded Uptown Records that things really took off. He hired Diddy as an intern and launched the careers of Mary J. Blige, Heavy D and The Boyz, Jodeci and Teddy Riley.”Known to have the midas touch when it came to discovering and developing talent, Andre was responsible for changing the sound of R&B music and crossing artist and executives over into what was then known as ‘pop culture,'” the Combs Enterprises website said.

CNN’s Todd Leopold, Chloe Melas, Hollie Silverman and Jay Croft contributed to this report.

Advertisements

Entertainment

US Navy’s First Black Female Tactical Air Pilot Earns Wings of Gold in Texas

Published

on

The U.S. Navy’s first Black female tactical air (TACAIR) pilot received her Wings of Gold July 31, marking a significant milestone for Naval Aviation.

Virginia native Lt. j.g. Madeline G. Swegle was designated a naval aviator and received her Wings of Gold with 25 classmates during a small ceremony at Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville, Texas.

Swegle is assigned to the “Redhawks” of Training Squadron (VT) 21 under Training Air Wing 2 at NAS Kingsville and completed her final undergraduate TACAIR training flight in a T-45C Goshawk jet trainer aircraft July 7. VT-21 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Matthew Maher presented Wings of Gold to each of his graduates during the ceremony.

Amidst the Navy’s response to the global pandemic, instructors and students adjusted to COVID-19 spread mitigation measures including sterilizing surfaces, wearing masks, and social distancing when practical. Despite these challenges, this is the largest graduating class of strike aviators in almost a decade.

Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Robert Westendorff oversees all undergraduate flight training from the command headquarters at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas.

“We are all incredibly proud of Lt. j.g Swegle and the entire class,” Westendorff said. “This is a wonderful personal achievement but also a testament to their dedication and drive to succeed in the tactical air training pipeline. I wish them all every success at the next level learning to fly our fleet aircraft.” [

A 2017 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Swegle reported to Naval Aviation Schools Command at NAS Pensacola, Florida, where she completed Initial Flight Screening and Aviation Preflight Indoctrination. She completed Primary flight training with the “Boomers” of VT-27 at NAS Corpus Christi, and after selecting the TACAIR, or Strike, pipeline, Swegle progressed to Intermediate and Advanced training with VT-21.

Swegle is part of a new generation of TACAIR pilots to qualify on state-of-the art Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) unique to aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78): the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG). She completed carrier qualifications in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast, May 20.

“I’m excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet,” Swegle said. “It would’ve been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it’s encouraging to other people.”

Chief of Legislative Affairs Rear Adm. Sara Joyner, a career naval aviator, served as guest speaker for the ceremony via teleconference.

“I’m incredibly proud of Lt. j.g. Swegle and her classmates and am excited to welcome them all to the fleet,” Joyner said. “There’s more work to do to make sure that we recruit, train and retain a diverse force that represents the best and brightest of this nation. Everything in Naval Aviation requires teamwork, and you will be judged by your professionalism, demonstrated capability, and leadership.”

Swegle and her classmates will advance to graduate-level flight training at their respective fleet replacement squadrons. Specific platform selection for the TACAIR training pipeline (F/A-18 Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, or F-35C Lightning II) typically occurs shortly before the winging ceremony. Swegle will report to the “Vikings” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129 at NAS Whidbey Island in Washington to begin training as an EA-18G Growler pilot. VAQ-129 trains new naval aviators, naval flight officers, and naval aircrewmen in electronic warfare tactics, techniques, and procedures in preparation for their fleet assignments.

Swegle follows in the footsteps of Brenda E. Robinson, the Navy’s first African American female naval aviator. Robinson earned her Wings of Gold June 6, 1980 and was the 42nd woman to be designated a naval aviator.

“Lt. j.g. Swegle has proven to be a courageous trailblazer,” Commander, Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. DeWolfe “Bullet” Miller III said. “She has joined a select group of people who earned Wings of Gold and answered the call to defend our nation from the air. The diversity of that group—with differences in background, skill and thought—makes us a stronger fighting force.”

Chief of Naval Air Training trains the world’s finest combat quality aviation professionals, delivering them at the right time, in the right numbers, and at the right cost to a naval force that is where it matters, when it matters.

For more news from Chief of Naval Air Training, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnatra/ or www.cnatra.navy.mil. Get more information about the Navy from U.S. Navy facebook or twitter.

(U.S. Navy video by Austin Rooney/released)

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Entertainment

New TV One Premiere

Published

on

DON’T MISS THE PREMIERE OF TV ONE’S ORIGINAL ROMANTIC DRAMA COINS FOR LOVE ON SUNDAY, JULY 19 AT 9 P.M. ET/8C

Stars Essence Atkins, Stephen Bishop, TC Carson, Karon Joseph Riley and Kendrick Cross Return in this Sequel to COINS FOR CHRISTMAS

TV One follows the success of its popular film COINS FOR CHRISTMAS with the premiere of the sequel, COINS FOR LOVE. The film’s stars Essence Atkins (“Ambitions,” “Marlon”), Stephen Bishop (“Imposters,” “Being Mary Jane”), TC Carson (“Living Single”), Kendrick Cross (“Ambitions”) and Karon Joseph Riley (“35 and Ticking,” “A Christmas Blessing”) return to continue this blossoming love story. It will air on Sunday, July 19, at 9 P.M. ET/8C, followed by an encore presentation at 11 P.M. ET/10C

The sequel reunites audiences with single mother Madison Morris (Atkins), who finds herself starting over. Madison lands her dream job at a publishing company. To her dismay, however, she must complete a probationary period and will not receive her full salary until the process is over, leaving her in a financial struggle. With a new career and struggling to make ends meet, she works under the demands of her new job while raising two teens on her own. Making matters even more complicated, she finds herself torn between an old flame and a new love interest. 

Alec Darby (Bishop) has also started the job of his dreams on a national sports network but soon clashes with his co-host Demarco (Cross). Madison and Alec have a chance encounter and connect to discuss their career challenges, prompting Alec to offer Madison a side gig as his personal assistant to help supplement her income. The two embark on a great working relationship, and sparks eventually start to fly but not before Alec’s ex-fiancée reemerges in the picture. Madison’s ex-husband also comes crawling back with promises of a fresh start adding to the drama. Tune in to see if the couple’s budding relationship will be able to withstand the ultimate test – their Exes – in this romantic drama. 

COINS FOR LOVE is executive produced by Urban One Founder and Chairwoman Cathy Hughes, written by Susan Banks and directed by Jamal Hill, with casting by George Pierre. The film is produced for TV One by Swirl Films, with Eric F. Tomosunas serving as Executive Producer. James Seppelfrick, Ron Robinson and Keith Neal serve as producers. For TV One, Jason Ryan is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production, Donyell Kennedy-McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting and Robyn Greene Arrington is Vice President of Original Programming and Production. 

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Entertainment

Netflix to Move $100 Million into Black-Owned Banks

Published

on

By

Netflix, the world’s leading streaming entertainment service, has announced that it will be allocating two percent of its cash holdings – initially up to $100 million – into Black-owned financial institutions and organizations that directly support Black communities in the U.S. They are the first Fortune 500 company in history to ever do anything like this!

According to a press release on the company’s web site, Netflix will start its $100 million commitment by first moving $25 million to a newly established fund called the Black Economic Development Initiative. It will be managed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a non-profit with a track record of developing underinvested communities. They will invest the funds into Black financial institutions serving low and moderate-income communities and Black community development corporations in the U.S.

In addition, $10 million will immediately go to Hope Credit Union in the form of a Transformational Deposit to fuel economic opportunity in underserved communities across the Deep South. Bill Bynum, CEO of HOPE, has spent the last three decades advancing economic mobility in distressed communities.

Another announcement will be made in the near future regarding the remaining $65 million, which will likely be split up among several other institutions including the nation’s largest Black-owned bank, OneUnited Bank.

Other Fortune 500 companies encouraged to do the same

Netflix reports that “if every company in the S&P 500 allocated a modest amount of their cash holdings into efforts like the Black Economic Development Initiative, each one percent of their cash would represent $20-$30 billion of new capital. And that would help build stronger communities, offering more Black families pathways to prosperity and a more equitable future.”

The company says, “Black banks have been fighting to better their communities for decades but they’re disadvantaged by their lack of access to capital. The major banks, where big multinational companies including ours keep most of their money, are also focusing more on improving equity, but not at the grassroots level these Black-led institutions can and do. So we wanted to redirect some of our cash specifically toward these communities, and hope to inspire other large companies to do the same with their cash deposits.”

Launched in 1997, Netflix currently has more than 183 million paid memberships in over 190 countries. Their annual revenue is usually around $20 billion.

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Hot Topics