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.
Rapper Biz Markie Dead at 57
Born Marcel Theo Hall, he was known around the world and in Hip Hop as rapper Biz Markie a.k.a the “Clown Prince.” Unlike other rappers of his time, his fun and humorous lyrical style made him a household name that spanned generations. Best known for his most memorable 1989 hit single ‘Just a Friend’ became a top 40 hit in several countries and an anthem even for dating skeptics. Markie was a talented rapper, human beatboxer, singer-songwriter, DJ, and record producer. He also did some acting, appearing and guess starring in movies and various television episodes.
Markie reportedly battled some heath issues over the years and suffered complications from diabetes, peacefully passing July 16, 2021. He leaves to mourn his wife Tara who was by his side the evening he passed.
BAD DAD REHAB: THE NEXT SESSION
Following the success of its popular film BAD DAD REHAB, TV One recently announced the premiere of BAD DAD REHAB: THE NEXT SESSION. The film features a brand-new cast that includes rapper Anthony “Big Daddy Kane” Hardy (Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, Dead Heist)as Owen, Lamman Rucker (“Greenleaf”, “Why Did I Get Married”) as Mr. Arnold, Blue Kimble (“Monogamy,” “Ruthless”) as Chauncey, Onye Eme-Akwari (“Queen of the South”) as Marshall, Carlo Mendez (“90210,” “Parks and Recreation”) as Hosea, Chrystale Wilson(“The Rich and the Ruthless”) as Marjory. The film will air on Sunday, June 20 at 8 P.M. ET/7C.
BAD DAD REHAB: THE NEXT SESSION follows the new class of Bad Dads hailing from Jersey City, New Jersey who must confront their personal demons in order to get their act together and become better dads. Hosea (Mendez) is more concerned about being his rebellious son’s best friend than disciplining him. Marshall (Eme-Akwari) works pyramid schemes in his mancave instead of helping his frustrated wife and son. Chaucey (Kimble) holds a grudge against his ex-girlfriend oblivious that it’s hurting their young daughter. Owen (Hardy) spent thirty years denying his daughter from an affair but now wants to make amends before her impending wedding.
Bad Dad Rehab: The Next Session is written by Keronda McKnight, directed by Juwan Lee with casting by George Pierre. The film is produced for TV One by Swirl Films with Eric Tomosunas, Keith Neal, Ron Robinson and James Sepplefrick serving as Executive Producers. For TV One, Jason Ryan 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.
Complimentary One-day Ticket To Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Six Flags Fiesta Texas is partnering with SA Metro Health to give away 20,000 one-day tickets – over $1.5 million in value – to people who get a COVID-19 vaccination at any Metro Health or partner vaccine clinic.
Beginning Tuesday, May 25, individuals who get vaccinated at any of these clinics will receive a complimentary one-day ticket to Six Flags Fiesta Texas valid through Sept 6, 2021 to enjoy a fun day at the park.
“Six Flags Fiesta Texas is honored to partner with city leaders to encourage residents to get vaccinated, especially in underserved communities,” said Park President Jeffrey Siebert. “We appreciate Mayor Nirenberg’s leadership on this initiative and we look forward to partnering with the City of San Antonio Metro Health to assist with their vaccine campaign efforts.”
Metro Health will also share the theme park tickets with its partners – including UT Health San Antonio, University Health System, University of the Incarnate Word, WellMed, San Antonio Fire Department, Bexar County Health Collaborative and Curative – to give to those who receive their vaccine at designated vaccine clinics.
“With so many people who enjoy visiting Six Flags Fiesta Texas each year, we hope people take advantage of this generous ticket giveaway and go get vaccinated. This could mean that 20,000 more residents get vaccinated to help us end the pandemic,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.
As a reminder, people can get vaccinated either by walk-in or appointment at the Alamodome drive-thru clinic from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday.
For a list of locations of Metro Health vaccine clinics around the city, visit http://covid19.sanantonio.gov.
For more information about Six Flags Fiesta Texas, including operating hours, visit https://www.sixflags.com/fiestatexas.