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

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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.

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LIVING BY DESIGN WITH JAKE AND JAZZ

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CLEO TV WELCOMES THE SECOND SEASON OF LIVING BY DESIGN WITH JAKE AND JAZZ

This week, the Smollett sibling duo return to CLEO TV for the second season of LIVING BY DESIGN WITH JAKE AND JAZZ on Saturday, May 1, at 9 p.m. ET/8C.As they perform revitalize homes, they also celebrate their trendy renovations with delectable recipes from the Smollett family. 

On the season opener, Jake and Jazz tackle a split-level family home inherited by the owner’s parents. Though full of memorable nostalgia, the fami ly would like to feel as though the gift is their home as well. The talented duo create their own design flair and expertise to surprise the deserving family and bring their decades old home to life. 

LIVING BY DESIGN WITH JAKE AND JAZZ is produced by Powerhouse Productions with co-owners Rochelle Brown and Sonia Armstead as Executive Producers. For TV One, Susan Henry is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production, Donyell McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting and Robyn Greene Arrington is Vice President of Original Programming and Production.

For more information about CLEO TV’s upcoming programming, including original movies, visit the network’s companion website at www.tvone.tv. CLEO TV viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TwitterInstagram and Facebook (@mycleotv) using the hashtag #LIVINGBYDESIGN.

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Urban One Honors

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URBAN ONE HONORS CELEBRATES WOMEN LEADING THE CHANGE IN ITS ANNUAL COMMEMORATION OF BLACK EXCELLENCE HOSTED BY ERICA CAMPBELL AND ROLAND MARTIN SET TO AIR ON MAY 16 AT 9 PM ET/8C ON TV ONE AND CLEO TV

Voting Rights Champion, Investigative Journalism Crusader, Health Equality Advocate, Business Alchemist, Family Needs Ambassador, Reparations Trailblazer, among other Categories in Which Women Will be Recognized

(SILVER SPRING, MD) March 18, 2021 – The annual URBAN ONE HONORS heralds the exemplary accomplishments of African American women in this year’s tribute show premiering on Sunday, May 16, 2021, at 9 p.m. ET/8C.  It will be simulcast for the first time on the sister network CLEO TV.  Grammy-Award-winning gospel artist, author, and syndicated radio personality Erica Campbell and award-winning journalist, author, and news anchor Roland Martin will host the event. This year’s theme is ‘Women Leading the Change’ and will highlight the extraordinary contributions of women in business, media, health, politics, leading to impactful change within the Black community. Now in its third year, URBAN ONE HONORS was created to acknowledge and pay homage to individuals and organizations whose work significantly impacts society and culture.

“I am thrilled to co-host this year’s URBAN ONE HONORS with Roland Martin,” said Erica Campbell. “I love anything that celebrates and exemplifies Black excellence, and I am grateful to Cathy Hughes and Radio One for continuing to honor our peers for doing the work that uplifts and inspires our community.”

“Black women played a crucial role in saving our democracy in 2020,” remarked Roland Martin. “Not just in the election, but also on the ground in numerous cities fighting for freedom. I’m proud to join Urban One in honoring these American sheroes.”

This year’s URBAN ONE HONORS will commemorate the myriad achievements of women leaders who are blazing trails and creating new pathways for others in their respective areas of expertise. Categories of recognition reflect the tireless effort and triumphant accomplishments achieved by the honorees and include: Voting Rights Champion, dedicated to a fearless leader whose efforts help to build political infrastructure by turning out voters and protecting their votes; Business Alchemist, presented to a leader tapped for successfully breaking the glass ceiling to blaze new trails in corporate America; Investigative Journalism Crusader bestowed upon a media maven who is reframing the national conversation by covering the impediments and contributions made by Black Americans; Health Equality Advocate, awarded to a champion of health who answered the call to eliminate institutional barriers preventing healthcare to those in her community; Reparations Ambassador who is working to break down systemic racism and barriers that have held African Americans back; and the Family Needs Ambassador, presented to a resilient provider of direct service and resources to individuals in crisis within the community she serves. The inspiring night of excellence will also feature exciting musical performances, unprecedented collaborations, and surprise appearances to be announced in the coming months. 

URBAN ONE HONORS is executive produced for TV One by Eric Tomosunas, Robert Boyd of Swirl Films and Jazz Smollett. Susan Henry serves as Executive Producer for TV One. Kashon Powell, Vice President of Programming for Radio One, and Donyell Kennedy-McCullough is Senior Director of Talent and Casting. Robyn Greene Arrington is Vice President of Original Programming and Production.

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TV ONE’S CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED SERIES UNSUNG RETURNS

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TV One announced all-new episodes of its original, award-winning series UNSUNG premiering on Sunday, March 21 starting at 9 p.m. ET/8C. The return of UNSUNG kicks off a night of back-to-back premieres of auto-biographical content joining the previously announced premiere of UNCENSORED, immediately following at 10 p.m. ET/9C.

The six-time NAACP Image Award-winning series UNSUNG returns with nine new tantalizing episodes. UNSUNG, one of the network’s longest-running series’, highlights the careers and explores the personal lives of some of the most talented, versatile, and influential black vocal artists. The new episodes will launch with a profile of one of the 80’s most electrifying performers, Morris Day. The season continues with equally unforgettable stories from a wide array of artists including Leela James, Hezekiah Walker, Keith Washington, Mystikal, Syleena Johnson, Bobby V, Lyfe Jennings, and The Jones Girls.

UNSUNG delves into the lives of trailblazing musical legends whose full stories and journeys have yet to be explored. The series celebrates the lives and careers of artists or groups who, despite great talent, have been under-appreciated or under-recognized. Through first-hand accounts, interviews with family and friends, and archival footage, each episode weaves a tale of the highs and lows of a life in the limelight.

Airdates of TV One’s upcoming new episodes of UNSUNG are detailed below:

Morris Day premieres Sunday, March 21 at 9pm ET/8c

Leela James premieres Sunday, March 28 at 9pm ET/8c

Hezekiah Walker premieres Sunday, April 4 at 9pm ET/8c

Keith Washington premieres Sunday, April 11 at 9pm ET/8c

Mystikal premieres Sunday, April 18 at 9pm ET/8c

Syleena Johnson premieres Sunday, April 25 at 9pm ET/8c

Bobby V premieres Sunday, May 2 at 9pm ET/8c

Lyfe Jennings premieres Sunday, May 9 at 9pm ET/8c

The Jones Girls premieres Sunday, May 16 at 9pm ET/8c

For more information on UNSUNG visit TV One’s Youtube Channel and check out exclusive, behind-the-scenes content on 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 UNSUNG on Facebook using the hashtag #UNSUNG on Facebook and Instagram.

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