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Actor and Comedian Kevin Hart has started the “Help from the Hart Charity Scholarship” providing scholarships to students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Heart’s fund partnered with the “Knowledge is Power Program” and the “United Negro College Fund” to raise $600,000 for 18 students. Hart surprised the recipients by appearing at an event held for the winners in Los Angeles.

“Education and knowledge are powerful,” Hart said in a statement. “I just wanted to do my part in providing opportunities for our future leaders, especially from my Philly hometown, and show support for HBCU’s. This is just the beginning; trust me when I tell you there are a lot more kids who want to go to college who don’t have the money to make it happen.”

The students receiving the Help From The Hart Charity Scholarship graduated from KIPP public charter schools in West Helena, Arkansas, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. They are attending Spelman College, Xavier University, Florida Memorial University, Morehouse College, Bethune-Cookman University, Fisk University, Tuskegee University, Lincoln University, Clark Atlanta University, Philander Smith College and Dillard University.

This is Hart’s second time making a donation to the United Negro College Fund. In 2015, the comedian gave UNCF $100,000 to support four students’ college educations.

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Black-ish creator and Girls Trip writer Kenya Barris has landed at Netflix with a multi-million-dollar overall deal, just six months after ABC scrapped a politically themed episode of the writer-producer’s sitcom for “creative differences.” The pact is no surprise: In April, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news Barris was looking to leave ABC’s studio arm for Netflix, and late last month, Barris and the Disney-owned company confirmed they were breaking up three years before their existing agreement was set to expire. Read more from Vulture.

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Snoop Dogg is the star of a new stage play about the rapper’s life and storied career called Redemption of a Dogg, as Consequence of Sound reports. The show, written, produced, and directed by Je’Caryous Johnson, will tour the United States throughout October and November, and will also star R&B singer Tamar Braxton. Watch a commercial for Redemption of a Dogg above.

Here’s the plot of the show, from a press release: “Redemption of a Dogg examines the internal battle one man has between preserving his life-long legacy and losing the love of his life when he is faced with choosing fame and fortune over faith and family.” The show wil reportedly feature music from across Snoop’s legendary catalogue, including his most recent album, a gospel project called Bible of Love.

Check out tour dates for Redemption of a Dogg below.

Redemption of a Dogg tour dates
10/5 – Houston, TX – Hobby Center
10/6 – Houston, TX – Hobby Center
10/7 – Houston, TX – Hobby Center
10/11 – Newark, NJ – NJPAC
10/12 – Philadelphia, PA – Tower Theater
10/13 – Philadelphia, PA – Tower Theater
10/14 – Brooklyn, NY – Kings Theatre
10/19 – St. Louis, MO – Stifel Theatre
10/20 – Chicago, IL – Arie Crown
10/21 – Chicago, IL – Arie Crown
10/25 – Detroit, MI – Music Hall
10/26 – Detroit, MI – Music Hall
10/27 – Detroit, MI – Music Hall
10/28 – Cleveland, OH – KeyBank State Theatre-Playhouse Square
11/2 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre
11/8 – Norfolk, VA – Chrysler Hall
11/9 – Washington, DC – Warner Theatre
11/10 – Washington, DC – Warner Theatre
11/11 – Washington, DC – Warner Theatre
11/16 – Los Angeles, CA – Microsoft Theater
11/17 – Long Beach, CA – Terrace Theater
11/18 – Oakland, CA – Paramount Theatre

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Industry notables reflect on the passing of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin

A national treasure to everyone.  But to me personally, Aretha Franklin was my dear, dear friend, my homegirl, and I loved her a lot.  From seeing her as a baby singing and playing at the piano at her father’s home, to her giving  a rousing performance atthe White House, she has always been amazing.  No matter how the music has changed over the years, she remained so relevant.
Though never signed to Motown, Aretha was considered part of my family.  We always shared fond memories of the Motor City, life, and just things. Her passing is not only a tremendous personal loss for me, but for people all over the world who were touched by her incredible gift and remarkable spirit. Aretha Franklin will always be the undisputed Queen of Soul, and her legacy will live forever.
My condolences go out to her sons, other family members, friends and fans.  I will miss her.
Berry Gordy, Founder of Motown

Aretha Franklin was truly one of the great singers of our time. She was blessed with a once in a lifetime voice. A blessing only handed down to a chosen few. I had the pleasure of knowing and sharing some wonderful times with her. We were label mates on Arista Records, we had planned to do a duet together and somehow we never got it done. So sad to lose someone who was such and integral part of our history of music. Her music will continue to soothe the souls of everyone across the planet and ring out through the gates of heaven. —Jeffrey Osborne

It’s a sad day for the world with the loss of our Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. My career is one of many that stand on the shoulders of not only a phenomenal voice but also an extraordinary woman. My family and I send love and prayers to her family. Her legacy will live on forever. —Bobby Brown

KBLX-SF, breaks format today in honor of the loss of legendary superstar, Aretha Franklin. The Morning Dream Team abandoned their normal format as soon as it was confirmed that the world lost an iconic star. Listeners called in with nostalgic memories of Aretha Franklin. The KBLX Dream Team members, Antoine Davis, Tony Sco. and Kimmie Tee shared their memories of Aretha as well. KBLX will honor Aretha Franklin in song all day today, playing her biggest hits back to back. According to Operations Director/Program Director, Elroy Smith, we started at 7 a.m. with this tribute and we will continue until 7 p.m. tonight. This Aretha Franklin take-over is well deserved. Listen to KBLX.COM.–Elroy Smith, OM/PD KBLX-San Francisco

“I am deeply saddened about the passing of the Queen of Soul and my sister in song, Aretha Franklin,” LaBelle said in a statement on Twitter. She termed Franklin “a rare treasure whose unmatched musical genius helped craft the soundtrack to the lives of so many.”–Patti LaBelle

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Aretha Franklin, the Hall of Fame singer and undisputed Queen of Soul, has died at age 76. Read more from Rolling Stone.

“Rest in Power Aretha Franklin! Your music is the soundtrack to my childhood and many others. As we all mourn, celebrate, and reminisce, we are “saying a little prayer for you,” and your family. As I selfishly look back, I must acknowledge that music has served as an extreme comfort to my unquiet spirit during troubled times, and the music of Gospel group, Shekinah Glory, in particular, helped me embrace the process of rededicating my life to Christ. But as a child, nothing more than can be credited with formulating the fabric of my being more than Soul Music from the 60s & 70s. Placing the needle to record to hear the music of Lady Soul runs parallel to the many occasions I served as a young Master of Ceremonies for my Mother Carole Fobbs who must have owned every single album Aretha Franklin ever made. Aretha’s music also touched my younger sister Kim Woolfalk who earlier this week eloquently wrote about tales of her nickname coined as Baby “Rock Steady.” As I reminisce growing up in New York City and having to walk down to the local record store on Broadway to purchase records for my Mom, I remember the album covers of each of Aretha’s early albums vividly. The irony of my humble beginnings perfecting my DJ/Personality skills as I would play the DJ for my mother, her girlfriends and children in a house filled with music and love. Soul Music served as the common denominator for uniting people of all races growing up at Westgate which illuminated the lives of so many. We were raised by a village, but Soul Music was the conduit to our happiness, and our foundation and Aretha was the Queen of it all!” –Lorenzo “Ice T” Thomas, Live From The MIA

Aretha Franklin was truly one of the great singers of our time. She was blessed with a once in a lifetime voice. A blessing only handed down to a chosen few. I had the pleasure of knowing and sharing some wonderful times with her. We were label mates on Arista Records, we had planned to do a duet together and somehow we never got it done. So sad to lose someone who was such and integral part of our history of music. Her music will continue to soothe the souls of everyone across the planet and ring out through the gates of heaven. –Jeffrey Osborne

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Sirius the groove (2)Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation Radio will take over The Groove channel for an entire week starting this Friday August 17, at noon Eastern .  

Fresh off her highly lauded performance at Panorama Music Festival, the multi-award-winning, global phenomena opened up to SiriusXM about her new music, her classic albums, her influences and the current music she’s loving.  Listeners can expect to hear not only the interviews with Janet, but also her classic hits, new songs and the artists she’s listening to now.

Janet Jackson’s new single, “Made for Now,” in collaboration with Daddy Yankee, will also be released on Friday, August 17th.

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Radio One Washington is excited to announce the return of market vet DJ QuickSilva, who has been named as the host of the all-new QuickSilva Show, which on August 6 launched in afternoon drive on Urban WERQ (92Q) in his hometown of Baltimore, and will also debut in pm drive on sister WKYS/Washington next Monday, August 20.

The move makes perfect sense, as QuickSilva is a well-known veteran of both stations — he’s the former co-host of The FAM morning show on 92Q, which in Dec. 2015 transitioned over to mornings on WKYS, where it reigned until last month, when Angie Ange moved up from afternoons to mornings, replacing The Fam — QuickSilva, Danni Starr and DJ 5’9. Over on 92Q, QuickSilva succeeds Vernon Kelson, who has come off the air to focus on his OM duties.

Quick said, “I’m really excited to be back on the air doing what I love to do, which is to inspire and motivate all while making a party on your radio daily. The QuickSilva Show’s mission is to use my platform and voice to help others. #InRealLife.” WKYS PD Joshua “J1” Raiford said, “WKYS is in a great place right now and afternoon drive is a key day-part. I am very excited about the future and continued growth of the station.” Colby “Colb” Tyner, VP of Programming for Radio One, added, “We are excited to give both DC and Baltimore a dose of QuickSilva daily — his energy and commitment to both communities is unparalleled.”

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Aretha Franklin is gravely ill and friends and family are gathering for their final goodbye … TMZ has confirmed.

A source very close to Aretha and a longtime dear friend tells TMZ he was told a week ago, “Prepare yourself, she’s dying.” The source adds Aretha was down to 86 pounds and her health was failing. The source says 2 weeks ago everyone in Aretha’s circle was told “she could go any time.”

Another source — someone who has been close to Aretha for decades — tells TMZ she has been battling cancer.

Franklin, who is 76, has been in poor health over the last few years. She has performed, but only on a limited basis … most recently last November at an Elton John AIDS Foundation event.

The news that her health is failing first came from Roger Friedman over at Showbiz411, and WDIV TV in Detroit says Aretha’s family confirmed she is gravely ill.

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