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Music Industry Quarterly and Urban Network Digital’s The Business of Music Conference honored an elite group of industry professionals to recognize their achievements in the music and entertainment at Lynn Jeter, Founder, Toast to Urban Entertainment Executives at the three day conference.

This years’ Award Honorees included; Edna Sims, Owner, ESP Public Relations, Thornell Jones, Marketing Exec./Educator, Ovation Agency, Adai Lamar, KJLH-Los Angeles’s Local Morning Show Host, Steve Harvey Morning Show, Walter Jones, VP, Universal Music Publishing, Corey Llewelly, Founder, Digiwaxx, Jennifer Horton, President, Matrix Artists, and Tommy Brown, Platinum record producer and songwriter.

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L-R: Corey Llewelly, Founder, Digiwaxx, Walter Jones, VP, Universal Music Publishing, Adai Lamar, KJLH-LA’s Steve Harvey Morning Show, Edna Sims, ESP Public Relations, Jennifer Horton, Matrix Artists, Tommy Brown, Platinum record producer/songwriter, and Thornell Jones, Marketing Exec./Educator, Ovation Agency.

Photo Credit: Edna Sims, ESPPR

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VIP Long Beach logoFor 40 years, the World Famous VIP Records and Tapes was central Long Beach’s cornerstone. Not only was it the mecca of G-funk, but it also provided a cool place to pass the time while shielded from the ills of street life on Pacific Coast Highway and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. For those who needed it most, VIP was an open door.

Subwoofers in front of the shop rattled the windows. DJs spun bass-heavy jams in a booth fashioned after the bow of the Queen Mary, luring OGs and youngsters to flip through racks of vinyl, tapes and CDs. When the store wasn’t packed for in-store appearances from LL Cool J, Shaq and Too $hort, mounted TVs lit up with throwback music videos. The walls were cluttered with billboards, artist posters and T-shirts, and cardboard cutouts featured rap stars such as Snoop, Warren G, Daz Dillinger and Nate Dogg—all were neighborhood kids who started rapping in the store’s backroom studio over beats from an E-mu SP-1200 drum machine. Their demos brought G-funk to the world.

“People used to come to VIP just for the experience,” says Kelvin Anderson Sr., a spry 64-year-old known as “Pops” to the community. Despite his role as the Berry Gordy of Long Beach, his southern drawl hints at his upbringing in rural Mississippi. “They didn’t just come to buy music. They wanted to come because we had a DJ there; they wanted to come because we had a stage. They wanted [to come] because there was no telling who they might bump into.” Read more from the OCWeekly.

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Nicolas Gallardo might seem like your average Southern California Twenty Something. He enjoys watching anime, playing video games like Super Smash Bros., and drinking a cold beer with his buddies. As a profession he works the night shift as a security guard for a university dorm. What people don’t know behind the stocky build, gauged earrings, and Oakley glasses is that Gallardo is a young rap star in the making.

Ghost Stories Vol 1

Ghostie 8k is Gallardo’s alter ego. Through singing with auto-tune over a medley of trap beats, and electronic dream pop instrumentals he’s developed an interesting sound. Still early in his career, Ghostie 8k has about 200 followers on SoundCloud with three projects available for streaming. This September he self released his debut album Ghost Stories Vol. 1. Here he details his ambitions of fame, riches and the Hollywood lifestyle. Most of all Ghostie 8k aims to become as successful as possible in his rap career.

Raised in a multi-cultural household, he is of Mexican, Dutch, and Italian descent, but has half-brothers who are African American. Some of his early influences are 2pac, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Outkast along with Linkin Park, The Germs, Nirvana, and Sublime.  Today’s SoundCloud super stars like Xavier Wulf and Thouxanbanfauni, have driven Ghostie 8k to develop his anime meets trap sound and aesthetic.

Never judge a book by its cover. Ghostie 8k may look nothing like a typical rapper, but has the chops and lyrical abilities of being the next sensation. If only one song from his catalog of work could be selected, listen to “Bright Lights, Fast Cars.” He’s a member of the San Gabriel Valley based rap collective Void Gang alongside close friends Pryne and Lil Snorlax. They’ve collaborated on a couple tracks so be sure to check those out as well. Ghostie 8k is a compassionate young man and a proud supporter of P A L M.

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Instagram: p.a._l_m

Twitter: @dylanisPALM

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Beginning today (Sept. 20), Spotify will begin allowing a select group of independent artists the ability to upload their music directly onto the streaming platform through their Spotify For Artists account, the company announced. The program, which is launching in beta format, has been quietly tested with a small group of artists — including NonameMichael BrunVIAA and Hot Shade — and will be made available by invitation to “a few hundred U.S.-based independent artists,” according to a blog post, with more artists able to sign up for a mailing list to receive invites in the coming weeks or months.

For those artists who control their copyrights and do not have label or distribution agreements in place, they can log into their Spotify For Artists account, upload their music, fill in relevant metadata information, preview how the upload will look on their page and set the song to go live at a pre-scheduled time.

“We’ve focused on making the tool easy, flexible and transparent,” Spotify For Artists’ senior product lead, creator marketplace Kene Anoliefo tells Billboard. “There will be no limit or constraint on how often they can upload. We think that can open up a really interesting creative space for artists to begin sharing their music to their fans on Spotify.” Read more from Billboard.

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John Legend is joining NBC’s The Voice as a coach for the show’s 16th season that starts in the spring of 2019. Legend will take over the spot currently held by Jennifer Hudson, who will serve as a coach on Season 15, which debuts Monday, Sept. 24. Legend joins returning coaches Kelly ClarksonAdam Levine and Blake Shelton, and host Carson Daly. “I’m thrilled to join the coaches of The Voice,” Legend said. “I’ve been a guest and mentor on the show multiple times and I’m so excited to discover talented singers and help them make the most of their gift. I hope the world is ready for #TeamJL.”
The news comes just days after Legend joined the distinguished group of EGOT winners (Emmy, Oscar, Grammy & Tony Award). Legend, who already has 10 Grammy Awards on his mantel, solidified his EGOT status with an Emmy win last Sunday as a producer of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, which took home the Emmy for Best Live Variety Special. He previously won an Oscar in for his original song “Glory” (co-written by Common) from the movie Selma. His Tony win came in 2017 as producer of August Wilson‘s Jitney, which won for “Best Revival of a Play.”

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Music fans’ ire toward Ticketmaster for expensive concert tickets may be somewhat justified, according to a fiery investigation by CBC News and the Toronto Star on Wednesday detailing a secret scalping scheme run by the ticket sales company itself. The two outlets sent journalists undercover as scalpers to a live entertainment convention this summer, where Ticketmaster reportedly pitched them on its underground professional resale program, through which it takes a cut of profits.

Ticketmaster, which is owned by live entertainment juggernaut Live Nation, enlists resellers to grab batches of tickets from its site and then flip them for higher prices on a Ticketmaster-owned, invite-only platform called TradeDesk (touted by the company as “The most powerful ticket sales tool. Ever”), according to the report. Ticketmaster gets extra fees from the pricier resale tickets on top of its fees from selling the original ticket. CBC and Toronto Star journalists were told that despite the existence of a Ticketmaster “buyer abuse” division that looks for suspicious online activity in ticket sales, the company turns a blind eye to its TradeDesk users. A sales representative told one of the undercover journalists that there are brokers with “literally a couple of hundred accounts” on TradeDesk, and that it’s “not something that we look at or report.” Read more from Rolling Stone.

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The MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT has sailed through THE SENATE via unanimous consent, VARIETY reports. The bill, which now only needs passage in the HOUSE before it winds up on the President TRUMP’s desk to become law, combines three separate pieces of legislation:

* The MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT of 2018, S.2334, introduced by SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT) and SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN), updates licensing and royalties as pertains to streaming.

* The CLASSICS ACT (or COMPENSATING LEGACY ARTISTS FOR THEIR SONGS, SERVICE, & IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO SOCIETY ACT), introduced by CHRIS COONS (D-DE) and JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA), ensures that songwriters and artists receive royalties on pre-1972 songs.

* The AMP ACT (or ALLOCATION FOR MUSIC PRODUCERS ACT), introduced by SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE Chairman CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-LA) and ranking committee member DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA.) with the support of and Sens. BOB CORKER (R-TN) and KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA).

“Today is a momentous day for songwriters, artists, composers, producers, engineers and the entire industry that revolves around them,” NATIONAL MUSIC PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION Pres./CEO DAVID ISRAELITE said. “THE SENATE vote marks a true step forward towards fairness for the people at the heart of music who have long been undervalued due to outdated laws. This was a long and complex process but ultimately the music industry has come out stronger and more united than ever. We commend SENS. ORRIN HATCH, LAMAR ALEXANDER, CHUCK GRASSLEY and SENATE Leadership for swiftly moving this bill to the floor. Now we anxiously await THE HOUSE’s final approval of the MMA and seeing it signed into law.”

“As legendary band THE GRATEFUL DEAD once said in an iconic pre-1972 song, ‘what a long strange trip it’s been,’” RIAA Pres. MITCH GLAZIER said. “It’s been an epic odyssey, and we’re thrilled to almost be at our destination.

“For the modern U.S. SENATE to unanimously pass a 185-page bill is a herculean feat, only achievable because of the grit, determination and mobilization of thousands of music creators across the nation.  The result is a bill that moves us toward a modern music licensing landscape better founded on fair market rates and fair pay for all.  At long last, a brighter tomorrow for both past and future generations of music creators is nearly upon us. We are indebted to the leadership of SENS. HATCH, GRASSLEY, FEINSTEIN, ALEXANDER, COONS, KENNEDY and WHITEHOUSE for helping get us there.”

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We have the first daytime syndicated series set for next fall, a one-hour talk show hosted by former American Idol winner and current The Voice coach Kelly Clarkson. NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution has sold The Kelly Clarkson Show to the NBC Owned TV Station group for a fall 2019 debut.

The show is getting a prime slot on the NBC stations where it will air as the lead-in to daytime anchor Ellen in all but one market. That is a time period that had been occupied by a Steve Harvey talker for seven seasons now, first Steve Harvey and currently Steve.

Steve giphyIt is not clear what will happen to Steve, produced by IMG Original Content, which replaced the Endemol Shine North America-produced Steve Harvey starting last fall. It is being distributed by NBCU TV Distribution but I hear the company has been telling stations it would no longer handle it. IMG could take it elsewhere, and I hear that the company has had preliminary conversations. In the new incarnation under new ownership structure, Steve, which relocated from Chicago to Los Angeles, is pretty expensive, which could make finding a new home challenging, but I hear IMG intends to continue with the show.

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