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.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 Beyoncé, Color 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 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.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.
The Stage Is Set
The NFL season is just a few weeks in, but the halftime time show is booked. Singer, actress, and business woman Rihanna will headline the 2023 NFL Super Bowl halftime show in Glendale, Arizona on February 12, 2023. This will be her first performance since she performed in public at the 2018 Grammy Awards, and since her 2016 album release. In 2018 it was reported that Rihanna and a number of other artist declined an invitation to perform at the Super Bowl in support of Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who was at the center of a National Anthem kneeling controversy.
Rihanna, Rock Nation and the NFL are believed to bring music and sports fans a momentous show. This will be Apple Music’s first time sponsoring the halftime show as they have now replaced long time sponsor Pepsi.
New Highly Anticipated Season Premiere
All-new episodes of TV One’s original docu-series, “UNSUNG” and “UNCENSORED” debut Sunday, September 25. “UNSUNG” leads with R&B legend Tony Terry at 9 p.m. ET/8C followed by “UNCENSORED” featuring award-winning actor and entertainer Kadeem Hardison at 10 p.m. ET/9C. Each episode will be published on TV One’s website TVOne.tv. “UNSUNG,” one of the network’s longest-running and seven-time NAACP Image Award-winning series, highlights the careers and explores the personal lives of some of the most talented and influential Black artists, performers and musicians in history. On this season’s premiere episode, singer Tony Terry shares the journey of his early success, experiencing longevity in the entertainment industry and clears the air in his own words.
The season also includes:
“Women Take The Mic” Sunday, October 2
Reggae Revolutions Sunday, October 9
Jean Carn Sunday, October 16
Warryn Campbell Sunday, October 23
Norman Conners Sunday, October 30
Solar Records Sunday, November 6
“UNSUNG” is narrated by actor Gary Anthony Williams and is executive produced by Frank Sinton and Arthur Smith of A. Smith & Co. Productions. Mark Rowland, Kysha Mounia and Jamecia Blount also serve as Executive Producers. For TV One, Austyn Biggers is the SVP of Programming and Jason Ryan is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production.
Directly following “UNSUNG” is the return of the hit, autobiographical series “UNCENSORED,” which explores the lives of popular celebrities and personalities as they provide first-hand accounts of their successes and the obstacles they faced throughout their careers. The premiere episode highlights award-winning actor Kadeem Hardison. While best known for his iconic role as Dwayne Wayne in the classic “A Different World,” Kadeem transparently and authentically shares the story of his nearly four-decade career.
This season also includes:
Keshia Knight Pulliam Sunday, October 2
Tyson Beckford Sunday, October 9
Garcelle Beauvais Sunday, October 16
KeKe Wyatt Sunday, October 23
Mario Van Peebles Sunday, October 30
Deon Cole Sunday, November 6
“UNCENSORED” is produced for TV One by Eric Tomosunas, Keith Neal, and James Seppelfrick (Executive Producers), Jay Allen and Nikki Byles (Co-Executive Producers), and Rachel Valley (Producer) of Swirl Films. For TV One, Austyn Biggers is the SVP of Programming and Jason Ryan is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production.
For more information on “UNCENSORED” and “UNSUNG,” visit TV One’s YouTube Channel and check out exclusive, behind-the-scenes content on http://www.tvone.tv. Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TV One’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) Be sure to follow “UNCENSORED” & “UNSUNG” on Facebook and Instagram (@UncensoredTVOne) using the hashtag #UncensoredTVOne and #UNSUNG.
Blacks Win Big
This year at the 2022 Emmy Awards black actors and writers made their presence known. It was an extraordinary night at the Emmys with wins for the history books in major categories. Abbott Elementary and cast members walked away with Emmys including Quinta Brunson, Writing for a Comedy Series and Cheryl Lee Ralph who picked up her first-ever Emmy for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Abbott Elementary). Ralph portrays Mrs. Howard, a tough but loving kindergarten teacher.
Actress Zendaya won her second Emmy for her role in HBO’s hit “Euphoria.” She made history because at age 26 she became the youngest to win two Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. (Her first Emmy was won in 2020 in the same category for her portrayal of troubled teen Rue Bennett.) Lizzo’s “Watch Out for the Big Grrls” won in the Competition Program category, and Jerrod Carmichael won his first Emmy for Writing for a Variety Special Rothaniel.
The Stage Is Set
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