Monthly Archives: April 2011

2011 ESSENCE Music Festival Announces Additions to Line-Up

Multi-platinum superstar Jennifer Hudson will make her debut Festival performance, joined by R&B/Funk icon Chaka Khan and the reunion of New Edition at the 2011 Essence Music Festival celebrating the “Roots of R&B” July 1, 2 and 3 in New Orleans.

In addition, Kem, Miguel, Naughty By Nature, Doug E. Fresh, Marsha Ambrosius, Mavis Staples, Eric Benet, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Trin-i-tee 5:7 and Brian Courtney Wilson have been added to the previously announced line-up, which includes Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz, Jill Scott, Charlie Wilson, Boyz II Men, Fantasia, George Clinton, Macy Gray and more.

Now in its 17th year, the ultimate destination for entertainment and inspiration hosted over 400,000 attendees last year. What began in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of ESSENCE magazine has now grown into one of the country’s “Top 10 Leading Brand Events” by Advertising Age.  

The Festival is the nation’s largest annual gathering of African-American music and culture.  Throughout its history, the Festival has featured an array of performers including Alicia Keys, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, Chaka Khan, Destiny’s Child, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, The Isley Brothers, Lionel Richie, Luther Vandross, Maxwell, The O’Jays, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Toni Braxton, Patti LaBelle and Yolanda Adams, among others.

For information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the Essence Music Festival, visit or become a fan of 2011 Essence Music Festival on Facebook.

R. Kelly to Bring His Love Letter Tour to the U.S.

Three-time Grammy winning singer R. Kelly will bring his Love Letter tour to the United States beginning June 2, 2011. Kelly will tour in support of Love Letter his R.I.A.A. gold-certified eleventh studio album.  Love Letter has produced two hit singles, When A Woman Loves and the title track which held the # 1 position on the Urban AC chart for four consecutive weeks.

Kelly is one of the biggest-selling R&B artists in the world selling over 34 million albums, releasing 12 No. 1 singles and eight No. 1 albums. Love Letter incorporates classic soul music influences and features chivalrous lyrics concerning love and forgiveness.  Kelly, who wrote, produced and arranged Love Letter, pays homage to soul artists such as Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Donny Hathaway, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder.

Joining Kelly on the tour are four-time Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter Keyshia Cole and six-time Grammy nominated singer/songwriter/producer Marsha Ambrosius who achieved success as the “Songstress” in the now defunct duo Floetry. Ambrosius released her solo debut album Late Nights & Early Mornings, which entered at #1 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart and #2 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart. 

For more information, please go to

June 2  Southaven, MS       DeSoto Civic Center
June 3  New Orleans, LA UNO Lakefront Arena
June 4  Mobile, AL Civic Center
June 5  Houston, TX Toyota Centre
June 10  Oakland, CA Coliseum
June 11  Los Angeles, CA Nokia Theater L. A. Live
June 16  Chicago, IL Allstate Arena
June 17  St. Louis, MO Chaifetz Arena
June 18  Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
June 19    Dallas, TX Verizon Theater
June 24  Raleigh, NC RBC Center
June 25  Atlanta, GA Philips Arena
June 26  Birmingham, AL BJCC
June 29  Cleveland, OH CSU Wolstein Center
June 30  Newark, NJ Prudential Center
July 1  Baltimore, MD 1st Mariner Arena
July 2  Washington, DC Verizon Center
July 3  Philadelphia, PA Mann Music Center

What People Are Talking About

Beyonce’s New Single

Kanye’s performance at this year’s Coachella

Diddy “The Actor” on  Hawaii Five-O

Nas Makes Us Laugh

Red Bull Thre3Style Comes to Chicago for the Best Local DJ

Eight hand-selected DJs in Chicago, three music genres, and one unforgettable party sums up the Red Bull Thre3Style that will take place Thursday, April 28, 2011 at The Mid, 306 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL.

Red Bull Thre3Style is an innovative concept that gives highly skilled DJs a platform to battle, perform, gain notoriety and express themselves in a party atmosphere. Eight DJs fight for the crowd’s favor, each with a 15-minute set that MUST contain at least three different musical genres.

The participating DJs (Charlie Glitch, Zebo, Big Once, DJ Trentino, Matt Roan, Marco Morales, DJ Jem and Jay Illa) will be judged on their track-selection, technical skills, creativity and most importantly their ability to bring the house down. All participants are judged by a panel of industry professionals, DJs, and party starters. More than 20 US Qualifiers will take place this year.

The winner of the Chicago qualifier will be flown to Las Vegas in November for the Red Bull Thre3style National Championship. The national champ will then travel to Vancouver, Canada to represent the US in the global finals against the world’s best party-rock DJs: in hopes of being crowned the International Red Bull Thre3style champ.

Doors open for the event at 9:00 p.m. and the competition begins at 10:00 p.m. Cost is $5 in advance  ( and $10 at the door. For more information, visit

Say Hello To My Little… Design!

 Tony Montana’s got a gig for you!

Enter the SCARFACE KINGPINS OF DESIGN CONTEST for a chance to win a trip for two where you may see your design on a billboard and as an art card in the upcoming SCARFACE Blu-ray release.

Fans can design Scarface-inspired artwork using classic Tony Montana images from the film. Universal will select the top 25 submissions based on creativity, originality, quality of composition/design and utilization of the Scarface theme. Fans will vote on their favorite 10 submissions and the winners will be featured as the exclusive art cards in the Blu-ray set. The designer who garners the highest number of fan votes will become the grand prize winner and the winning artwork will also be featured on a high-profile billboard in a major U.S. city to promote the release.

The deadline for submission is April 26, 2011. For more information on how to submit your Scarface-themed artwork, please visit the official Scarface page on facebook at  SCARFACE arrives on Blu-ray on September 6, 2011.

Get to sketching, you cockroaches!

David Guetta Brings International Sound to Chicago

By Aliki Marinos

This Scorpio is not only a world recognized Grammy winning music producer and DJ, but has been wowing crowds since the 80’s bringing incredible dance music to audiences around the globe.

You may have heard of him more recently due to his overnight skyrocketing US attention with collaborations featuring artists including Akon, Kelly Rowland, Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, LMFAO, Kid Cudi, Rihanna, JLo, and Madonna. But before this, proudly hailing from the city of Lights, you may have seen him spin at Rex Club or Le Central.  Fast forward to 2001, with the talented Chris Willis on vocals for “Just a Little More Love,” the breakthrough was officially ignited… Hits like “Love is Gone,” “Memories,” “When Love Takes Over,” “Gettin Over You,” “Sexy Chick,” “Baby When the Lights Go Out,” moved and grooved adrenaline pounding fans uncontrollably. Today, you’re bound to find him at sold-out venues anywhere from Singapore, Brazil, Belgium, Mexico, Miami, Quebec, etc.  You can definitely say this is one man who is TRULY staying true to his concept of “The World is Mine!”

On his 2011 World Tour, Monsieur Guetta hit Chicago on April 1st in front of non-stop moving fans at the Congress Theatre, on the city’s north side.  Paying his respects to Chicago where house music was born, he showed a lot of love for his people- and they undeniably delivered it right back. The main floor sold-out in the blink of an eye, so if you were lucky you purchased your tickets early, or bought VIP tickets on the upper balcony, which included free drinks flowing all night. As you looked around the gargantuous theatre, the room was packed with a diversity of mixed generations who remember him from his early beginnings, to the recent hipsters who recently discovered his unique sound as soon as they were able to “click” and “download.” 

The intense light show directly behind the DJ set enchanted fans as “C H I C A G O” came on in big bright lights multiple times throughout the show. You also needed plenty of hydration at this concert, as it seemed to get very hot in the there, sometimes because of the temperature and sometimes because of the pretty people surrounding you…  Some wore dresses, and others mini-mini-dresses, tank tops, shorts, boy shorts, and skorts. Whatever enabled you to move your body to the beats.  And who said he had to start on time? Even though he came on a little bit before midnight, (doors opened at 7pm) no one seemed to mind.  Ah, memories…!