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'The Sing-Off': Afro-Blue After Their Exit!

November 28th, 2011 11:10am EST
The Sing-Off
It's down to the wire on NBC's The Sing-Off. Before tonight's live finale, I chatted with Danielle Withers from the much beloved Afro-Blue.

The jazz ensemble from Howard University tackled a mash-up of R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" combined with "Fly" by Nicki Minaj with Rihanna, and then the judges handed them the Sam Cooke classic "A Change Is Gonna Come." They battled it out with the Dartmouth Aires for the final spot in tonight's finale, but ultimately came up short.

That didn't stop them from leaving an impression on the audience or even their fellow contestants - you'll recall ...
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Hugh Martin, 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' Songwriter, Dies At 96

March 13th, 2011 11:54am EDT
Hugh Martin | Photo Credits: Jesse Grant/WireImage
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" songwriter Hugh Martin has died. He was 96.

Martin is best known for composing the score to the 1944 musical Meet Me In St. Louis, in which Judy Garland famously performs the song that became a seasonal classic. Martin and songwriting partner Ralph Blane received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for writing the film's "The Trolley Song."

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Other Links From TVGuide.com

Meet Me In St. LouisGood NewsBette MidlerFrank SinatraJudy GarlandLou RawlsWhitney HoustonBarry ManilowGarth BrooksTony BennettChristina Aguilera...
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30 Quick Interesting Facts About African Americans In Entertainment

February 15th, 2011 12:00pm EST
Ray Charles
In celebration of Black History Month, we compiled a list of quick facts that consists of record-breaking moments, first accomplishments, and obscure facts that relate to African Americans in Entertainment.

The quick facts were taken from the 366 Fast Facts list that was created by Biography.com. Some of the facts include information about Aretha Franklin, Halle Berry, Harry Belafonte and Beyonce, just to name a few.

Here are the 30 quick facts about African Americans in Entertainment. Be sure to take a look at the list and let me know what you think.

Fact #1
Comedian Bill Cosb...
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Stevie Wonder To Be Inducted Into Apollo Theater's Hall Of Fame

February 3rd, 2011 8:47am EST
Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder is the latest legend to be inducted into the Apollo Theater's Hall of Fame in New York.

The Isn't She Lovely? hit-maker will be named an Apollo icon in a ceremony in the Big Apple on June 13th.

The honor will be a significant one for Wonder - he started his career at the Apollo in 1962 when he was just 12 years old, when he performed as a multi-instrumentalist and was dubbed the Wonder Child.

The veteran performer will join a stellar list of former inductees, including Michael Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin.

Click Here For More Stevie Wonder...
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Beyonce Honored For Her Charity Work In The New SELF

August 20th, 2010 12:35am EDT
Beyonce
According to Beyonce, "when you look around at all that's wrong in the world, the need to do something, no matter how big or how small, is clear." The superstar and "Friday Night Lights" actress Minka Kelly join three remarkable women as the winners of the 2010 sets out to find inspiring women who are making a difference in the world, whether it is globally, nationally or in their communities. After sorting through mountains of nominations that readers sent in, Lisa Scarpinato, JJ Ramberg and Haley Kilpatrick stood out among all others. Each lady will be honored in New York City this fall ...
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Throw An Anti-Valentine's Day Party!

February 13th, 2010 8:47am EST
Anti-Valentine
Whether you're brokenhearted and bitter, single and spectacular, or just plain sick of the over-hyped Hallmark holiday that falls on February 14, don't let Valentine's Day get the best of you. Turn it into a cynical celebration!

If you're a singleton staying in to avoid all the schmoopy-schmoopy hand-holding, there's still no reason you should have to spend V-Day all alone. Ladies, invite your gal pals over and get loaded on champagne while playing silly games like "Truth or Dare" or "I Never." And guys, you can get all the dudes together to do all the things your girlfriends complain ab...
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'American Idol' Recap: Ellen Degeneres Is Finally Here

February 10th, 2010 9:22am EST
Ellen Degeneres - American Idol
And she's finally here. It's strange to think this was the most anticipated moment since 'American Idol' first began, I mean it didn't involve singing in any way, and this is supposed to be a music competition, but at long last the Ellen finally landed, and the early returns are good.

Ellen definitely brings a brand new vide to the proceedings. Gone is Paula's insane ramblings, and here to stay is somebody with the potential to be funnier than Simon, while maintaining the positivity that actually made Paula worthwhile.

This is still a competition; however, and there were a lot of pro...
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Marilyn Scott Releases Set of Jazz Standards

July 3rd, 2008 9:00am EDT
Marilyn Scott
With Every Time We Say Goodbye, Marilyn Scott is taking her love for jazz to the ultimate place her heart has always desired, to make an acoustic jazz album in New York City the way the legends used to do it - with the singer and musicians all cutting and working out arrangements together in the studio.

Although the physical CD is currently only available as a Japanese import, jazz fans can download the album on iTunes or purchase the CD from Marilyn's website, though soon it will also be available on Amazon.com. The 10-song collection is comprised of standards such as the Cole Porter-...
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Our Favorite Summer Songs

June 24th, 2008 8:43am EDT
Rihanna
Everyone has favorite summer tunes, and since summer officially arrived over the weekend, what better way to celebrate the end of school, a day at the beach or a road trip than to listen to summer-inspired music?

Four Starpulse contributing writers have compiled lists of their favorite summer tunes (including several that were picked by more than one writer). Whether they are summer inspired, make you feel like summer, or are just cheerful tunes to listen to during the hot sticky months, we're sure they'll get you in the mood for sipping pina coladas, dipping your foot in the pool, or...
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Estelle Discusses Her Album 'Shine,' American Boys And Her Sense of Fashion

April 28th, 2008 9:00am EDT
Estelle
UK sensation Estelle has been dubbed John Legend's protégé. She's been compared to Lauryn Hill and has collaborated with a number of great artists (Kanye West, Swizz Beatz, Wyclef Jean, Will.i.am, Mark Ronson and Cee-lo & Jack Splash) to come up with an amazing album called "Shine," which drops in the states tomorrow.

This 28-year-old dynamo is one artist who is comfortable in her own skin. She is willing to take risks to further her career, which characterizes an extreme sense of self-determination that cannot be ignored. Being the first artist to be signed to John Legend's new lab...
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Jazz Vocalist Karrin Allyson Gives A Taste of Brazil With 'Imagina: Songs Of Brasil'

April 8th, 2008 5:30pm EDT
Karrin Allyson
Critically acclaimed and Grammy nominated artist, Karrin Allyson returns with Imagina: Songs of Brasil on March 25, 2008. The album will be released on Concord Jazz and is Allyson's 11th release for the label.

While Karrin has included Brazilian music on her albums and in her live shows throughout her career, the release of Imagina: Songs of Brasil is the first time she has devoted an entire album to the music of Brazil. Produced by Karrin and Nick Phillips, Imagina is a beautiful collection of 14 tracks that features songs sung fully in Portuguese, as well as Brazilian songs with ...
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Check Out A Fine Frenzy's New Video For 'Almost Lover'

March 24th, 2008 6:30pm EDT
A Fine Frenzy
Alison Sudol inhabits a vivid imaginary world populated by siren songs and sailors, sightless creatures and fragile fallen eagles, a place where almost lovers and hopeless dreams are bid a melancholy musical farewell.

And on One Cell in the Sea, Sudol allows the listener inside that often-fantastical world, revealing her inner life via songs Harp magazine praised as "fraught, haunted and beautiful."

One Cell in the Sea is the 14-song debut from A Fine Frenzy, the lineup fronted by 22- year-old singer/pianist Sudol. While A Fine Frenzy's songs are ethereal, the musical and ly...
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Up And Coming Music: The Soul-Sational Pairing Of Bubbles & Cheesecake

November 4th, 2007 11:00am EST
Bubbles & Cheesecake
As with any great duo, the soul-sational pairing of Bubbles & Cheesecake is a delicately balanced tightrope act - two distinct elements in a yin-yang harmony that enhances its partners' similarities and orchestrates their contrasts. Think of Ella & Duke, Lennon & McCartney, Sam & Dave, peanut butter & jelly - new power flows out of their togetherness.

As cool as that complementary magic is for Renaissance woman/multi-media artist Allee Willis - a GRAMMY-winning, Emmy and Tony-nominated composer whose songs have sold over 50 million records including Earth, Wind & Fire's "September" an...
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You Oughta Know Tour Features Brandi Carlile With Special Guest A Fine Frenzy

August 29th, 2007 5:44pm EDT
Brandi Carlile
Last spring, VH1 expanded its successful "You Oughta Know" new music promotion franchise to concert halls across the country with its first-ever "You Oughta Know" tour featuring Mat Kearney and special guests The Feeling and Rocco Deluca & The Burden. The tour was a hit and VH1 is proud to give the ladies a turn this time with the second YOK tour featuring Brandi Carlile with special guest A Fine Frenzy.

A Fine Frenzy is the music of 22 year-old Alison Sudol. Born in Seattle to dramatic-arts teacher parents, she developed a strong love for the fantastic literary worlds of CS Lewis, Cha...
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Starbucks Entertainment and Concord Records Co-Release Ella Fitzgerald CD, "Love Letters From Ella"

August 8th, 2007 7:00pm EDT
Ella Fitzgerald
SEATTLE and LOS ANGELES; - To celebrate what would have been Ella Fitzgerald's 90th birthday, Starbucks Entertainment and Concord Records are co-releasing Love Letters From Ella, a collection of never-before-released love songs. Recorded with some of her favorite collaborators, including Count Basie and his Orchestra, Joe Pass, and André Previn, "Love Letters From Ella" also pairs the singer with The London Symphony Orchestra for the first time. The CD will be available at Starbucks Company-operated locations in the U.S. and Canada and traditional music retail beginning on July 31, 2007.

...
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Ledisi's First Outing With Major Label Marked By 16 Track Release, 'Lost And Found'

August 2nd, 2007 6:30pm EDT
Ledisi
On Tuesday August 28th 2007, The Verve Music Group will release Lost And Found, a stellar 16-track body of work from Ledisi, the critically-acclaimed soul vocalist who first came to attention of the music-loving public with her two self-produced and independently released CDs –2000's Soulsinger and 2003's Feeling Orange But Sometimes Blue.

Ledisi (whose name means "to bring forth" in the Yoruba language of Nigeria) has been known for delivering electrifying and memorable live performances, and over the course of her career she has earned the respect of fans and music writers alike. N...
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New Series Of Jazz Icons(tm) DVDs Features Vintage Unseen Concerts

July 18th, 2007 8:00pm EDT
John Coltrane
The eagerly anticipated release of the second series of Jazz Icons(TM) DVDs is here. Reelin' In The Years Productions and Naxos are proud to announce the September 4, 2007 release of the next seven titles in the illustrious DVD series featuring performances by John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Dexter Gordon, Wes Montgomery, and Charles Mingus.

Filmed in Europe between 1958 and 1966, this set of Jazz Icons(TM) DVDs features concerts by seven of the most influential jazz artists of the 20th century captured in their prime and accompanied by some of the most leg...
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Chrisette Michele's 'I Am' In Stores Today; Will Tour With Musiq (Soulchild) This Summer

June 19th, 2007 9:00pm EDT
Chrisette Michele
New Def Jam recording artist Chrisette Michele, whose soulful, jazz-influenced debut album I Am will be released June 19th, has been tapped as opening act on the upcoming North American tour with platinum Grammy nominated Atlantic Records recording artist Musiq (Soulchild). The tour begins July 6th at Afram in Baltimore, and wraps up one month later at the Fillmore in San Francisco, on August 6th.

Chrisette personally auditioned for and was signed by Antonio "L.A." Reid, Chairman, Island Def Jam Music Group, who told the singer he had "goose bumps" after the first time he heard her. ...
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Stars Praise Ella Fitzgerald With 'We All Love Ella: Celebrating The First Lady Of Song'; Out June 5

May 29th, 2007 12:47pm EDT
Ella Fitzgerald
A sensational assemblage of stars honors the incomparable songstress Ella Fitzgerald on the Phil Ramone-produced 'We All Love Ella: Celebrating The First Lady Of Song' (June 5, Verve Records). These stars' love of Ella shines through on their musical performances, but they also cite Ella's artistry and music as moving and influential to their own careers.

You can almost hear Natalie Cole smile as she sings Ella's famous hit "A Tisket A Tasket." This was the first jazz song Cole ever learned and she practiced it so she would sound exactly like Ella. "When I was seven, I was singing like...
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Celebrity Birthdays, April 25

April 25th, 2007 3:00am EDT
Jason Lee
Happy Birthday To San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan (1976), "My Name Is Earl" actor Jason Lee (1970), "Bridget Jones" actress Renee Zellweger (1969), "Firefly" actress Gina Torres (1969), Erasure singer Andy Bell (1964), "The Simpsons" voice talent Hank Azaria (1964), "Rocky" actress Talia Shire (1946), "The Godfather" actor Al Pacino (1940), film director Paul Mazursky (1930), bluesman Albert King (1923; d. 1992), jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald (1917; d. 1996), and British statesman Oliver Cromwell (1599; d. 1658).
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Michael Buble's "Call Me Irresponsible" Set For May 1st Release

April 19th, 2007 8:30pm EDT
Michael Buble
The one and only Michael Buble's eagerly awaited new CD "Call Me Irresponsible' will be released on May 1st, it was confirmed by his record label, Reprise Records. The first single from the new album, the Buble penned "Everything", has just been released and will be performed by the artist on The Today Show on the day of the release.

The Vancouver native, whose collective worldwide record sales are over 11 million units, is also scheduled to begin a global concert tour in Reno, Nevada on July 13th with stops including Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Seattle.
...
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Postal Service Honors Ella Fitzgerald With Stamp

January 5th, 2007 3:53pm EST
Ella Fitzgerald
The U.S. Postal Service will honor Ella Fitzgerald as the 30th inductee into its Black Heritage stamp series. Fitzgerald was widely known as "The First Lady of Song." Her extraordinary vocal range and flexibility, combined with her gift for pitch, rhythmic sense, and flawless diction, made her a favorite of fans, songwriters and other singers.

The stamp image is a portrait based on a photograph taken circa 1956 that captures the joy and excitement that Fitzgerald brought to music.

The Postal Service began issuing its popular Black Heritage stamp series in 1978 with a stamp hono...
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Stacie Orrico's New Album, "Beautiful Awakening," Hits Stores Jan. 16; Check Out The New Single

December 31st, 2006 4:00pm EST
Stacie Orrico
More and more pop artists are stepping into the R&B world and releasing soulful and seductive albums in hopes of reaching a wider audience. In 2006 Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera both did it, and in 2007 Stacie Orrico will also cross over with her new album Beautiful Awakening, in stores January 16, 2007. Soulful influences have always infiltrated the pop world, and album sales prove that the trend is ‘here to stay'. Listen as Stacie Orrico describes her soulful new album, Beautiful Awakenings, and what ‘soulful' means to her: (Quicktime Video)

Stacie Orrico started her care...
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Stacie Orrico Premieres New Video For Hit Single "I'm Not Missing You"

December 17th, 2006 11:00am EST
Stacie Orrico
Stacie Orrico is back with a new sexy music video for her hit single "I'm Not Missing You." The soulful songstress exploded on the pop music scene a few years back best known for her catchy songs, powerful voice and cute teeny bopper-good looks. As she gears up for the release of her newest album "Beautiful Awakenings," which hits stores January 16, 2007, fans will notice a more mature look and sound to both her and the new album. The new album creates an 'Old-School Jazz Club' atmosphere that can best be compared to Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald and most recently Christina Aguilera.

Sta...
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New Holiday Releases From Chris Botti, Bette Midler, James Taylor and Mary Mary In Stores Now

November 5th, 2006 8:00pm EST
Chris Botti
-Special 2006 Edition of Classic Holiday Collection Premieres Four Newly-Recorded Never-Heard-Before Chris Botti Yuletide Tracks

Columbia Records released a new edition -- featuring four newly-recorded tracks and two brand-new songs -- of Chris Botti's best-selling seasonal album, December, on Tuesday, October 10.

Produced by Bobby Colomby, the yuletide 2006 edition of December premieres two new songs: a breathtaking interpretation of Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria," featuring the Choir of St. John's, Smith's Square, and "I Don't Really Want Much For Christmas" (featuring Eric Benét)...
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Diana Krall Says New Album Has A "Personal Connection;" Win A Copy!

November 1st, 2006 10:37am EST
Diana Krall
Diana Krall's new CD 'From This Moment On' (September 19th, Verve) not only proves her signature smoky voice and stellar arrangements are at their swingin' best, but it also documents very personal sentiments.

"This album coincides with a happier time in my life. I think it's very obvious in the music. It reflects how I'm feeling now, the joy that I have in my marriage and family, and hopefully in the future."

Krall says the tone of the record was drawn from some of her musical influences like Nat King Cole, Count Basie Orchestra, Ray Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra. "I ...
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Legendary Jazz Pianist Oscar Peterson To Play Three Rare UK Concerts

June 13th, 2006 12:54pm EDT
Oscar Peterson
"One of the most brilliant pianists in the history of jazz, [his] prodigious technique and unparalleled swing makes him a master in every style… from boogie and stride to bebop and beyond." - BBC Radio 3

Universally acclaimed musician jazz pianist Oscar Peterson returns to the UK to play a series of three rare concerts - London Royal Albert Hall on Thursday June 29, Liverpool Big Top Arena on Saturday July 1, and Birmingham Symphony Hall on Monday July 3.

All three UK concerts will be performed as a quartet featuring Ulf Wakenius (guitar), David Young (bass) and Alvin Queen (drums...
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Christina Aguilera Goes Vintage on Upcoming Album

May 11th, 2006 11:49am EDT
Christina Aguilera
Paying tribute to the music that inspired her, pop icon Christina Aguilera will release her third studio album, "Back To Basics," August 15. A modern take on vintage jazz, soul and blues from the 1920s, '30s and '40s, the album is wildly inventive with a throwback style creating a sound that's gritty and raw.

"This is a concept album that follows a bold, set vision," stated Aguilera. "The touchstones are Billie Holiday, Otis Redding, Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald ... what I used to call my 'fun music' when I was a little girl."

"Back To Basics" utilizes an orchestra, choir, stri...
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Celebrity Birthdays, April 25

April 25th, 2006 3:00am EDT
Jason Lee
Happy Birthday To San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan (1976), "My Name Is Earl" actor Jason Lee (1970), "Bridget Jones" actress Renee Zellweger (1969), "Firefly" actress Gina Torres (1969), Erasure singer Andy Bell (1964), "The Simpsons" voice talent Hank Azaria (1964), "Rocky" actress Talia Shire (1946), "The Godfather" actor Al Pacino (1940), film director Paul Mazursky (1930), bluesman Albert King (1923; d. 1992), jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald (1917; d. 1996), and British statesman Oliver Cromwell (1599; d. 1658).
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Diana Krall Christmas Album Due Nov. 1

October 22nd, 2005 8:18pm EDT
Diana Krall
Diana Krall's first full-length Christmas album, 'Christmas Songs, Featuring the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra' (due on Verve Records November 1), was produced by Krall and longtime friend and fellow Grammy-winner Tommy LiPuma. Recorded with other good friends and respected musical associates Grammy-winning engineer Al Schmitt, guitarist Anthony Wilson, bassist Robert Hurst and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Krall has made a Christmas record inspired by Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald.

She proclaims, "This is the first time I ha...
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