Wednesday, 30 September 2009

United Negro College Fund, Lionel Richie Honored

Legendary singer Lionel Richie was honored with an Award of Excellence by the United Negro College Fund on Saturday night.
Celebrities such as Natalie Cole, Stevie Wonder, Akon, Katharine McPhee and comedian Cedric the Entertainer attended the 31st annual An Evening of Stars event, held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
“(Richie) is a national treasure and we’re proud to claim him, not only as a graduate of our storied member school, Tuskegee University, but as an artist of international renown and longtime supporter of UNCF and the work we do to make sure that every child in America gets an education that starts in preschool and doesn’t end until college graduation,” said UNCF’s CEO Michael L. Lomax.
“It is such an honor to receive this award from UNCF,” said Lionel Richie. “I am a product of a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) and that experience has had a tremendous influence on my life. I understand the importance of a college education and the impact it can have on our children and our nation. I am honored to join stars like Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Lou Rawls, Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson and Patti LaBelle who have received UNCF’s Award of Excellence and who support UNCF and its students.”
The event will air nationwide on January 23rd and 24th, 2010 on BET Networks and WGN and on more than 40 stations in major cities.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Obituary: Skip Miller / Former president of Motown Records

Skip Miller, a Los Angeles music industry veteran who rose from stock clerk to president of Motown Records and helped rejuvenate the black music division at RCA Records, has died. He was 62.
Mr. Miller, who also managed Lionel Richie's solo career, was being treated for an enteral infection when he died of a heart attack Sept. 4 at a Los Angeles hospital, his family announced.
He was a Vietnam stager with a degree in chemistry when he joined Motown Records in 1971 and was quickly promoted to various management positions in sales, marketing and artist relations.
Elevated from vice president to president in 1987, he oversaw the company during a major reorganization in which it tried to regain a leadership role in black music. But company founder Berry Gordy sold the label less than a year later.
In 1988, Mr. Miller joined RCA in the newly created position of senior vice president of black, jazz and progressive music.
Among the acts he signed were the R&B-pop trio Sisters With Voices, popularly known as SWV. When the trio complete a difficult feat placing two singles, "I'm So Into You" and "Weak," in the Top 10 at the same time in 1993 Mr. Miller said he was not surprised by their success.
"We were thinking the next big trend would be hip hop with singing," Mr. Miller told the Los Angeles Times in 1993.
He also wrote the foreword to a 1992 three CD set, "The RCA Records Label: The 1st Note in Black Music." The comprehensive package was RCA's first to recognize its black music artists "from the early gospel and blues eras" to "R&B and rap," Mr. Miller told Billboard magazine in 1992.
He was born Alvin Miller in 1946 in New York City. After graduating from Hofstra University, Mr. Miller joined the Army in 1968 and served in Vietnam. After the war, he had connections at Motown and started his career there.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

'Unsure Where Sparrow Came From' Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie is not sure why his daughter Nicole came up with the name 'Sparrow' for her newborn son.
The baby was delivered last week and is the second child for Nicole and Good Charlotte rocker Joel Madden (they already have a 20 month old daughter called Harlow).
When asked how they decided upon such a strange name, Lionel said: "I have no idea where that came from. I will ask her, it is very interesting. With the excitement of the baby, you don't go into the name just yet."
"When I heard it, I thought it was my job just to go 'absolutely'. I will ask about Sparrow and she will have a story."
Lionel currently revealed he had already bought the toddler a football helmet.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Lionel Richie confused by grandson Sparrow's name

Lionel Richie has "no idea" why his grandson is called Sparrow.
The legendary musician, whose daughter Nicole gave birth to her son last week, is waiting to discuss the strange name choice with his offspring.
He said: "I have no idea where that came from. I will ask her, it is very interesting. With the exhilaration of the baby, you don't go into the name just yet.
"When I heard it, I thought it was my job just to go 'absolutely.' I will ask about Sparrow and she will have a story."
Despite reserving judgment on the new addition's moniker, Lionel is thrilled to be a grandfather again.
He is especially pleased with the way Nicole who also has 20 month old daughter Harlow with partner Joel Madden has turned her life around.
Before meeting Joel, Nicole was caught with heroin, and in 2006, she was sentenced to time in jail for driving under the influence (DUI).
Lionel told FOX News: "One thing I love about Nicole is when she makes her mind up to do something, it's done. When Joel came along she found that one person, that partner that she needed to get her into that mode of taking care of herself and paying attention to her lifestyle.
"And then of course when Mouse number one and Mouse number two came along that was it, and I can tell you right now she is a different person."

Monday, 14 September 2009

VMAs 2009, Janet Jackson’s Tribute to Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie Proud Grandpa

2009 MTV Video Music Awards had more than the usual award night drama! Kayne West’s bad behavior towards Taylor Swift was the big story of the night, while Lady Gaga stepped out with Kermit the Frog! The fabulous Lady GaGa told MTV that it was her first date with the famous muppet, who wore a tux. No word on who designed the frog’s dress for the awards. Beyonce saved the day at the VMAs by sharing her spotlight with Taylor Swift. Janet Jackson rocked the house at the VMAs when she performed a dance protection to her brother Michael Jackson. Before Janet took the stage, Madonna spoke a few words Michael and his everlasting impact on music. Lionel Richie is singing the praises of his new grandchild Sparrow these days. Acting like a very proud grandpa, Richie told People magazine that he was so impressed with daughter Nicole and Joel Madden. The second time grandfather says his new grandson Sparrow “looks exactly like Harlow.” How sweet!

'Sparrow Looks Just Like Harlow', Lionel Richie

"I am so proud of Nicole and Joel," boasted second...
"I am so proud of Nicole and Joel," boasted second time grandfather Lionel Richie, at the UNSF's An Evening of Stars Saturday, honoring the legendary singer, just days after his daughter Nicole Richie, 27, and Joel Madden, 30, welcomed son Sparrow into the world. "(Nicole) is the happiest woman ever. She is just in total control," he said. "I'm the one that's nervous!" How is Sparrow's big sis Harlow adjusting to her new sibling? "Harlow right now is enjoying the baby until she finds out its staying," jokes Richie. And, thusly Sparrow is truly one of the family. "He looks just like Harlow," says grandpa. "All babies sort of look the same as their siblings, but this is identical." Which parent does Sparrow resemble most? "Mom did that," Richie says steadfastly. Continuing his spoiling tradition, the singer says he already brought the baby a "football helmet and cleats." But admits that he's a little ahead of the game. "They told me it wasn't time yet," he says with a laugh. Determined for his grandson to be a cheeky boy, Richie says, "Sparrow may not be the football playing name, but he'll get injured somewhere in the game." Though his exhilaration peaked when becoming a grandfather the first time "When I hear the words Papa or Popi, forget about it," says Richie of Harlow's names for him he says his second grandchild has him feeling "just over the top!"

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Lionel Richie at evening

Pop and R&B music legend Lionel Richie will add to his prestigious collection of five Grammy Awards and an Oscar at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12 when he’s prestigious with the United Negro College Fund’s Award of Excellence in the UNCF’s 31st annual “An Evening of Stars” ceremony at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
The public ceremony will feature an raiment of top music stars performing protection to Richie’s greatest hits, and might also include a selection of songs performed by Richie himself. He was chosen for the honor because of his longtime commitment to elevation money for UNCF, joining past honorees such as Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder.
“The Award of Excellence is given to one person each year who has supported the UNCF cause,” said event publicist Toni Thompson. “President Obama has talked about America competing with more countries and graduating more people from colleges. Lionel Richie is really a graduate of the Tuskegee Institute, a UNCF university.”