April 04, 2013
LAWT News Service
For those who thought that they’d never get an opportunity to walk a red carpet or brush shoulders with their favorite celebrity, BET Networks, AEG and L.A. LIVE have teamed up to provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—aptly called The BET Experience at L.A. LIVE. For the first time ever, public can purchase tickets to attend the BET Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, which grants them exclusive access to the red carpet and special VIP entrance to performances during the BET Experience weekend, June 28-30, 2013.
Even though Beyoncé’s North American tour kick-off concert at STAPLES Center is completely sold out, guests purchasing specially created VIP Ticket Packages can rest assured that they are guaranteed great seats for all of the sold-out weekend performances as well as numerous other events, receptions and programs taking place during the BET Experience. Fans are warned to buy early as these special packages are limited. The three VIP packages provide access to the entire STAPLES Center weekend concert series featuring Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Miguel, ScHoolboy Q, legendary artists The Jacksons, R. Kelly and New Edition. Packages also include intimate show performances by comedian Mike Epps, songstress Erykah Badu, The Roots & Friends, and a gospel showcase including Kirk Franklin over the BET Experience weekend at Club Nokia.
“The BET AWARDS weekend has evolved into a tremendous 3-day experience,” said Debra Lee, BET’s Chairman and CEO. “Attendees will be treated to a specially curated BET GRAMMY® Museum Exhibit; empowerment seminars that range from money and cultural to entertainment, family and health; a film festival; fan fest; the Music Matters stage, celebrity appearances and more.”
Special hotel package pricing is available for the weekend’s events. The official host hotels for the BET Experience are the JW Marriott Los Angeles, L.A. LIVE and The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles. The BET Experience will offer special rates to consumers at more than 20 other hotels in the downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills areas.
“I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend than by enjoying all the sights and sounds at the BET Experience. Who wouldn’t want a chance to hobnob with the stars while sipping champagne on the red carpet in sunny Los Angeles? It just doesn’t get any better than this,” said AEG’s Sean Dee, President, Global Branding AEG Live.
For more information on the BET Experience and access to the limited VIP packages, visit www.BETExperience.com. Tickets are also available at www.axs.com/ betexperiencevip. To receive updates and announcements, follow the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE on Twitter @betexperience.
Motown Records takes a giant step into the ever-expanding Gospel music field as the result of a joint venture partnership with EMI Gospel, creating a new label Motown Gospel. The announcement was made by Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO, UMG East Coast Label Group and Bill Hearn, President & CEO, Capitol Christian Music Group.
“UMG’s acquisition of EMI music offered the ideal opportunity to merge the EMI Gospel label with the strength of the newly revitalized Motown Records,” said Mr. Weiss. “The new Motown Gospel label will offer broader Urban AC crossover potential and further opportunities and synergy between Motown Gospel artists and the Motown and Island Def Jam urban roster.”
Motown Gospel was officially launched tonight, with a gala press reception and artist showcase at the Arc Theatre in Los Angeles. The evening featured performances by Gospel best sellers Smokie Norful, Tasha Cobbs, Tye Tribbett, and Kierra Sheard. In addition to the artists who performed at the showcase, the Motown Gospel roster includes multiple Stellar Award winning artists VaShawn Mitchell, Pastor Charles Jenkins and Fellowship Chicago and Grammy nominee Anita Wilson, among others.
The structure of Motown Gospel will include Ken Pennell and the executive leadership of EMI Gospel, based in Nashville, coupled with new hires, particularly in the A&R areas. As such, the first appointment of Motown Gospel is VP of A&R, songwriter and producer extraordinaire Aaron Lindsey. Mr. Lindsey, one of the most respected talents in gospel music today, has four Grammy awards and multiple Stellar and Dove awards. His songwriting credits include “Again I Say Rejoice,” “My Testimony” and “He Saw the Best in Me” and he has produced such bestselling artists as Israel Houghton, Byron Cage, and Marvin Sapp’s “Never Would Have Made It” from the platinum-selling album Thirsty.
Platinum seller and multi-Grammy winning CeCe Winans has also announced her intention to be the first new signing to the Motown Gospel label. The Gospel superstar’s first all new recording in more than five years is planned for an early 2014 release.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Barry Weiss for years” said Mr. Hearn. “Through his leadership of the Verity Label in the past, he’s been responsible for much of the growth and artist development in Gospel Music today. I can't wait to partner with Barry, Motown through A&R collaboration, and promotion and marketing support from Steve Bartels and the amazing IDJ team. I’m confident Motown Gospel will now be even more effective at connecting our artists with their fans and growing their fan base.”
Motown Gospel’s strong 2013 release schedule was also showcased at the event with Tasha Cobbs performing her hit single “Break Every Chain” from her current Top 5 charting album Grace. Tye Tribbett introduced his new album and label debut, Greater Than which is set for June 4 release and performed his first single “If He Did It Before Same God” which debuted Top 20 on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs Chart in March. Kierra Sheard also debuted her new Rodney Jerkins produced song “Trumpets Blow” which will lead her new Karew Records release later this summer. And Gold selling, Grammy winning Smokie Norful debuted songs from his long awaited new album set for fall 2013 release.
In response to current reports regarding the R&B group En Vogue and the legal proceedings between founding members Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron, and Maxine Jones, my client Dawn Robinson would like to make it very clear that she is not, nor has she ever been in a legal battle over the use of the En Vogue name.
Ms. Robinson left the group many years ago, and at that time gave up the legal right to use the name En Vogue for personal performances. She is currently in production on the new reality series R&B Divas LA; a spin-off of the popular reality series R&B Divas Atlanta, she is also working on new music, and authoring a book.
Although Ms. Robinson is saddened that her former band members are in the midst of court proceedings, she wishes all of the ladies well and hopes they can move forward and allow the En Vogue brand to continue to represent talent, class, and dignity.
April 04, 2013
You may feel an extra burst of energy this week. This is a good time for you wrap up any miscellaneous details on a project that you’ve been working on. Your vibrations are very conducive towards generosity and general well-being that you’ll want to extend to friends and family. Soul Affirmation: I find many things about myself that I really love.
Any nervous energy you may be feeling can be dispelled with some physical activity. You are doing just fine, so take long walks or try a yoga class and leave your worries behind you. Everything is working out in a perfect way. Soul Affirmation: Helping others is the true measure of my worth.
A conflict may arise, but you can handle it. Let your life be shaped by the choices you make, not through choices made by others. You’re a very independent sign, and you may be feeling downright feisty this week! Act with love. Soul Affirmation: This week I forgive myself for everything that has happened.
Love gets you back on an even keel, and you feel balance and much appreciation for all of the blessings in your life. Your creativity is soaring; let some of your wilder ideas free and watch them fly! Soul Affirmation: Success is mine because I feel successful.
This week your thoughtfulness and generosity is very evident among those close to you. Do something adventurous, and surprise & impress your lover. Try to sneak away at lunchtime together and enjoy each other’s company. Things will be looking even brighter for you in the next few weeks. Stay happy! Soul Affirmation: I face each week with a smile and the week smiles back at me.
Exercise your social skills in a new and inventive way at work. Make yourself noticed in a positive way. Buy a new scent or wear that daring red item that you’ve been too shy to put on! Try to resolve the conflict between two of your friends, but you might have to let them go through the motions of anger, and stay out of it. Soul Affirmation: Time is the greatest peacemaker of them all.
Nobody expects the world from you, but a little more effort would be appreciated. Let go of the grudge that you’ve been harboring and start living again! You’ll feel much more light-hearted and free when you forgive and forget about the past. Soul Affirmation: With my spirit I co-create my week.
This week you will feel like you’re on top of the world when you finish completing the project that you’ve been working feverishly on. Take some time off and splurge on a vacation spot that has been tantalizing you! Soul Affirmation: I focus on the positive things that are happening in my life.
This week is a good week for remembering that without the help of your colleagues it would be impossible for you to expedite the tasks that need to be done. Thank them ahead of time. Thank them graciously and celebrate with them. Soul Affirmation: Appreciation leads to recognition.
Little by little you will come to realize that you are too good to be second choice. This week don’t even think about why your recent romance failed. It wasn’t meant to be. There are many more fish in the sea ready for you to hook them. Go for it! Soul Affirmation: There are other fish in the sea waiting for me.
Offer a shoulder to cry on to someone you know that has been going through some difficulty. They need a friend right now, and you can be that person. Listen and don’t speak. Your sensitivity and compassion will mean a lot right now. Soul Affirmation: Newness of outlook helps me deal with the monotonies of life.
If you need some time to yourself this week, take it. You’ll be doing yourself an act of kindness. Since you do so much for others, why not treat yourself as well as you treat them? Your world is the way you are living. Live with love. Soul Affirmation: I let go of the old in order to make room for the new.
By Kenneth Miller
LAWT Contributing Writer
The jury selection for the trial of giant concert promoter AEG live began this week with Katherine Jackson, the mother of late music icon Michael Jackson and his children seeking $40 billion in damages. Nearing the four-year anniversary of the pop superstar’s death and following the manslaughter conviction of physician Conrad Murray, the latest and perhaps final legal saga will focus on the culpability of AEG in the hiring of Murray as Jackson’s physician. It was Murray’s ill-fated propofol treatment that led to Jackson’s death on June 9, 2009.
While he is in prison for Jackson’s death, the civil trial will question if AEG should be held liable for the doctor’s criminal mistreatment of Michael Jackson. Katherine Jackson and Michael’s children are alleging that AEG Live should be held responsible although a contract between Murray and AEG was not signed until the final month prior to singer’s demise.
The case is expected to last three months. Once the Los Angeles jury is empaneled it will be required to sort through medical records and contracts of both Jackson and Murray for the “This Is It” concert tour.
At question is whether it was Jackson or AEG Live who hired Murray, and whether or not it was possible for AEG to predict that Murray would administer a fatal dosage of propofol.
If the jury determines that AEG was responsible, then it would be required to determine how much in damages should be assessed against AEG.
Katherine Jackson and her lawyers claim that AEG Live hired, supervised and controlled Dr. Murray, “putting its desire for massive profits from the tour over the health and safety of Michael Jackson.” AEG Live says that only Michael hired the doctor and it had no responsibility for how Dr. Murray treated Michael.
Originally, the heirs’ attorneys brought many different wrongful death claims against AEG Live, its parent corporation, and others associated with it. But the defendants asked the judge to dismiss the claims for various reasons. The judge agreed that AEG Live breached no direct duties of care to Michael Jackson and could not be legally responsible for Dr. Murray’s actions as an employee. But the judge allowed one claim to proceed to trial.
AEG Live will focus on Michael Jackson’s troubled past, including his child molestation trial, in an effort to shift the blame onto Michael. Its legal team will try to focus on Michael’s drug addictions and say he — not AEG Live — was responsible for compelling Murray to administer so much propofol.
The Jackson heirs will rely heavily on key e-mails between AEG executives, including ones that stated that AEG, not Michael Jackson, was paying Dr. Murray, and another that stated that AEG had checked out Dr. Murray, who was “extremely successful”. Further, other emails showed that someone within AEG was so concerned with Michael’s health and well being in the months leading up to his death that he recommended immediate psychological intervention. The head of AEG Live denied that request.
Court resumes on April 10.
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