Date: Apr 09, 2021
Posted By: Stefan Archuleta
DMX, the iconic hip-hop artist behind the songs Ruff Ryders Anthem and Party Up (Up in Here) whose distinctively gruff voice and thoughtful messages in his rhymes made him one of raps biggest stars, has died, according to a family statement Friday. He was 50.
The Grammy-nominated performer died after suffering catastrophic cardiac arrest, according to a statement from the hospital in White Plains, New York, where he died. He was rushed there from his home April 2.
His familys statement said DMX, whose birth name was Earl Simmons, died with relatives by his side after several days on life support.
Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart, and we cherish the times we spent with him, the family said, adding that his music inspired countless fans across the world.
Memorial plans were not yet set.
DMX -- who rapped with a trademark raspy delivery that was often paired with growls, barks and What! as an ad-lib -- built a multiplatinum career in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but he also struggled with drug addiction and legal problems that repeatedly put him behind bars.
His message of triumph over struggle, his search for the light out of darkness, his pursuit of truth and grace brought us closer to our own humanity, his record label, Def Jam Recordings, said in a statement describing him as nothing less than a giant.
Fellow hip hop artists remembered him likewise, with Eve praising him as one of the most special people I have ever met and Nas calling him Gods poet in an Instagram post.
DMX made a splash in 1998 with his first studio album, Its Dark and Hell is Hot, which debuted No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The multiplatinum-selling album was anchored by several hits including Ruff Ryders Anthem, Get At Me Dog, Stop Being Greedy and How Its Goin Down.
DMX followed up with four straight chart-topping albums including ... And Then There Was X, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, The Great Depression and Grand Champ. He released seven albums, earned three Grammy nominations and was named favourite raphip-hop artist at the 2000 American Music Awards.
DMX arrived on the rap scene around the same time as Jay-Z, Ja Rule and others who dominated the charts and emerged as platinum-selling acts. They were all part of rap crews, too: DMX fronted the Ruff Ryders collective, which helped launch the careers of Grammy winners Eve and Swizz Beatz, and relaunch The Lox, formerly signed to Bad Boy Records. Ruff Ryders had success on the charts and on radio with its Ryde or Die compilation albums.
Along with his musical career, DMX paved his way as an actor. He starred in the 1998 film Belly and appeared in 2000s Romeo Must Die with Jet Li and Aaliyah. DMX and Aaliyah teamed up for Come Back in One Piece on the films soundtrack.
The rapper would later open Aaliyahs tribute music video, Miss You, alongside her other friends and collaborators, including Missy Elliott, Lil Kim and Queen Latifah, after Aaliyahs 2001 death in a plane crash at age 22.
The rapper also starred in 2001s Exit Wounds with Steven Seagal and 2003s Cradle 2 the Grave with Li.
But while DMX made his mark as one of hip-hops most recognizable names for his rap artistry and as an actor, the rapper was personally stifled by his legal battles -- he was repeatedly arrested and jailed within a decade -- and drug addiction. His addiction first took hold at age 14 when smoked a marijuana cigarette that was laced with cocaine.
Earl Simmons was a wonderful, caring father, and a sensitive, thoughtful man, said Lyor Cohen, a former executive at Def Jam, in a statement. Unfortunately, Dark Man X took over and ran amok, tormented and struggling to find the light. ... DMX gave me the inspiration to keep going at Def Jam when rap became soft and silly.
DMX pleaded guilty in 2004 after he posed as an undercover federal agent and crashed his SUV through a security gate at New Yorks Kennedy Airport. He was arrested in 2008 on drug and animal cruelty charges following an overnight raid on his house in Phoenix. He tried to barricade himself in his bedroom but emerged when a SWAT team entered his home.
In 2010, he was sentenced to a year in prison for violating terms of his probation. After he was admitted to rehab numerous times over the next year, he said he had finally beat his drug addiction.
First responders helped bring DMX back to life after he was found in a hotel parking lot in New York in 2016. The rapper said he suffered from asthma.
A couple years later, DMX was sentenced to a year in prison for tax fraud. Prosecutors said he concocted a multiyear scheme to hide millions of dollars in income from the IRS and get around nearly 2 million in tax liabilities.
After his release, DMX planned a 32-date tour to mark the 20th anniversary of Its Dark and Hell is Hot. But the rapper cancelled a series of shows to check himself into a rehab facility in 2019. In an Instagram post, his team said he apologized for the cancelled shows and thanked his fans for the continued support.
Besides his legal troubles, DMX took the initiative to help the less fortunate. He gave a group of Philadelphia men advice during a surprise appearance at a homeless support group meeting in 2017, and helped a Maine family with its back-to-school purchases a couple years later.
Last year, DMX faced off against Snoop Dogg in a Verzuz battle, which drew more than 500,000 viewers.
You cant be a fan and not feel empathy for him in his journey, hip-hop and electronic music producer Flying Lotus said in an interview while DMX was hospitalized this week. You think of `Belly and all the great stuff that he was part of. But he was dealt such a weird hand, I think, with the drug stuff. And I just have empathy.
Survivors include his 15 children and his mother.
Date: Apr 04, 2021
Posted By: Leila Anderson
May you enjoy this day surrounded by friends, family, and plenty of chocolate!
Date: Mar 27, 2021
Posted By: Ryan Mccormick
Ultra Music Festival faces a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of ticket holders who paid hundreds of dollars to attend the event but did not receive refunds after this year’s festival was effectively canceled as the COVID-19 pandemic began to disrupt life in South Florida.
The Miami city government’s agreement with the electronic dance music festival allowed organizers to stage the three-day event at Bayfront Park in March. When the fears over the spread of the novel coronavirus caused local governments to cancel large events and eventually shut down the local economy, Ultra was among the first events taken off the calendar.
Organizers and the city insisted the festival had not been canceled, simply “postponed” for a full year, and organizers refused to issue refunds. Most tickets cost several hundred dollars, depending on when they were purchased, with VIP tickets selling for 1,500.
Instead, people could receive credits for either the 2021 or 2022 event in Miami — even though, at this point, those events are not even guaranteed under Ultra’s contract. Miami commissioners have yet to consider approving a deal to bring the festival back in 2021.
That decision, whenever it is made, will be set against a backdrop of uncertainty over the future of large-scale events in Miami and persistent opposition from downtown condo dwellers who say Ultra poses a threat to their health and hearing, disrupts their enjoyment of Bayfront Park and creates a nuisance right outside their homes.
Date: Mar 20, 2021
Posted By: Jasmine Decker
Demi Lovato is speaking candidly about her road to recovery after overdosing on heroin in 2018.
In a preview of her upcoming interview with CBS Sunday Morning, the 28-year-old singer touches on the her past substance abuse and how shes learning to take back control over her life.
The doctors told me that I had five to 10 minutes, Lovato tells CBS Tracy Smith, recalling her near-fatal overdose. Like, if no one had found me, then I wouldnt be here. And Im grateful that Im sitting here today.
The singer also opened up about the progress shes made in dealing with her substance abuse issues since last appearing on CBS Sunday Morning in 2016.
I was probably 24 when we did the interview, Lovato says. Im in recovery for a bunch of things and I had been sober for how many years, but Im still miserable. For the first time in my life, I had to essentially die to wake up.
Lovatos CBS Sunday Morning interview -- which airs March 21 at 9 a.m. ET -- arrives ahead of the singers four-part documentary series, Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil, premiering March 23 on YouTube.
The tell-all docuseries explores Lovatos devastating overdose, which left her with three strokes and a heart attack, as well as blind spots in her vision that block her from driving.
I didnt control any of my life at that period of time, Lovato tells CBS Sunday Morning. But, yes, I also needed to grow up and take control. And thats something I havent done until the past two years of my life, which is [why] Im now in control of my finances. Im now in control of … the food that I eat, how often I work out.
In addition to her upcoming YouTube docuseries, Lovato is also releasing a companion album, Dancing With the Devil… The Art of Starting Over, on April 2. She announced that her new single Dancing With The Devil will arrive on March 26.
Date: Mar 03, 2021
Posted By: Kiera Duval
Janet Jackson will celebrate the 40th anniversary of her self-titled 1982 album with a special two-night documentary event that will simulcast on AE and Lifetime in 2022.
Boasting unprecedented and unfettered access to the best-selling pop icon, the documentary, tentatively titled JANET, offers an intimate look at her story for the first time through exclusive archival footage, never-before-seen home videos and celebrity interviews. The two-night, four-hour special will uncover the hardest moments in her personal life and professional career, including the passing of her father and the Jackson family patriarch Joe, her 2004 Super Bowl halftime show performance with Justin Timberlake the death of her brother Michael Jackson, and becoming a mother later in her life.
Ben Hirsh directed JANET, with Workerbee producing for Lifetime and AE and Associated Entertainment Corporation co-producing. Janet Jackson and Randy Jackson are executive producers on the project, while Rick Murray is credited as the executive producer for Workerbee and Brie Miranda Bryant is serving as executive producer for A+E Networks.
JANET will air in early 2022 on Lifetime and AE, two of A+E Networks flagship channels. The top-rated television network announced 2,500 hours of new programming in the pipeline for 2021 and 2022 on Wednesday (March 3), including 70 hours of premium documentaries and 221 movies.
Our brands have clear identities with a strong foundation of hit series. Across our entire portfolio and in a variety of genres, we continue to have an incredible roster of A-list, diverse talent in-front of and behind the camera, said A+E Networks Group President Paul Buccieri in an official statement. Our ongoing efforts to launch and invest in best-in-class original programming for our linear properties, as well as further expanding our 360-experiences, demonstrates a deep commitment to being available wherever and however viewers want to be entertained, whether through high-performing podcasts, virtual experiences or digital multiplatform content.
Reba McEntire scored a two-picture deal with A+E Networks, where she will both star and produce a holiday film Christmas in Tune and a non-holiday film in development for 2022. Christmas in Tune, which follows a marketing executive named Bella who reunites her parents to sing at a charity Christmas concert, will be included in the networks annual holiday slate Its a Wonderful Lifetime and will include an original holiday tune by McEntire. Her hit TV series Reba aired in syndication on Lifetime.
I am thrilled to partner with Lifetime for a return to television movies! My fans and I enjoy their programming and loved watching the Reba show there for so many years, the legendary country singer and actress said in an official statement.
Reba has been a creative force in both music and television for many years. We are thrilled to have her on board to produce and star in not just one -- but two movies for us, added Tanya Lopez, executive vice president of movies, limited series original movie acquisitions, Lifetime and LMN. Reba has been part of Lifetime’s air many years ago and we can’t wait to welcome her back!
Juliet Giglio and Keith Giglio wrote Christmas in Tune, which is produced by Hartbreak Films. McEntire and Paula Hart will serve as executive producers.