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In a major executive reorganization, The Recording Academy has named Valeisha Butterfield Jones and Panos A. Panay as Co-Presidents, effective August 16. The announcement was made today by Harvey Mason, Jr., whose title will shift to CEO.

Butterfield Jones and Panay will join recently elevated Chief Operating Officer Branden Chapman and Chief Industry Officer Ruby Marchand as part of a modernized leadership team. This new structure is recognition that further progress and building of the organization requires exceptional leaders with different strengths and areas of focus to drive innovation and accountability. With the aim of better serving Recording Academy members and the music industry at-large, the team will work directly under Mason.

As Co-President, Butterfield Jones will continue to serve as the Academy’s Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer as she has since joining the organization last year. Panay will serve as Co-President and Chief Revenue Officer and joins the Academy from Berklee College of Music, where he was SVP of Global Strategy and Innovation.

“The successful evolution of the Recording Academy is dependent on strong and innovative leaders, and I’m thrilled to elevate Valeisha and welcome Panos as Co-Presidents to help drive the Recording Academy’s continued transformation,” said Mason. “Both Valeisha and Panos are incredible leaders who have a proven record of progress, and together with the rest of the team, will continue to push the envelope at the Recording Academy and shape the organization to better serve, protect and celebrate the music community.”


Top 10 Now & Then, helps you celebrate the July 4th weekend with Top 10 Now & Then’s The Old School 500, a 45-hour music special that counts down the 500 greatest Old School hits. Yes, we said 45 hours! Tabulated nationwide from Rhythmic Oldies and Adult Urban radio station playlists, The Old School 500 is more than a countdown — it tells the stories behind the hits, from the people who made the music, spotlighting 450 interviews in 45 hours of great radio. The Old School 500 can slide easily into your  programming schedule with 14 minutes per hour for local spots and promos.

The Old School 500, hosted and written by Rick Nuhn, and produced by Ron Shapiro is available now through Friday, July 2. For more information or to get The Old School 500 4th of July Weekend countdown special for your station, go online or contact Benztown’s Masa Patterson at mp@benztown.com or 818-842-4600.


On Thursday (June 17), the National Museum of African American Music honored Chaka Khan, Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones and Smokey Robinson with the Rhapsody & Rhythm Award during the seventh annual Celebration of Legends Benefit Concert in Nashville, in recognition of their decades-long contributions in music.

Khan delivered a heartfelt, in-person speech after Bobby Brown presented her with the honor. She began, “This award goes to not just myself, but so many women who went before me. Some were my contemporaries, others were not, from Billie Holiday to Whitney Houston. This award goes to them, my sisters on this planet and in this field.”

She continued: “I’ve had a beautiful career so far and I’m not finished yet,” to which the audience applauded. Khan went on to reveal that she was tearful when she learned of her honor. “I love you, bye, bye,” she concluded.

During Richie’s previously recorded speech, he spoke about some of the challenges he faced during his early years while trying to define his own sound in music. “This award is the heartfelt confirmation that when I have kids that walk up to me and say, ‘I wanna be like you,’ that’s when I figured I did the right thing.”

Jones was the last to virtually accept his award. He said, “I did want to take a moment to share how honored I am to be recognized with this award and how proud I am that the doors of the National Museum of African American Music are open.”

The star, who began his musical career at just 14, also noted that he was wearing a shirt that was gifted to him by the late Nelson Mandela 46 years ago. Jones said, “I know he’d like to be here with us, so I brought him with me.”

“It is with great humility and gratitude that I accept this award from the National Museum of African American Music and I share it with all the great singers, songwriters and musicians that I’ve worked with over the years,” Jones said. “But most importantly, I want to say thank you to all the men and women who worked to make this museum a reality, from the carpenters, brick layers, electricians to the business leaders, government officials and corporate donors.”


Tyler Perry and T.D. Jakes got the go-ahead from local authorities Thursday to purchase over 130 acres in Atlanta including a proposed expansion of Tyler Perry Studios for an entertainment district with theaters, retail shops and restaurants.

Perry will acquire 37 acres adjacent to Tyler Perry Studios, adding to the more than 330 acres he purchased in 2015 and grew into one of the biggest production facilities in the country.

Religious leader, author and filmmaker Jakes is buying 94 acres. Both purchases were approved by the Fort Mac LRA Board (McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority), which is overseeing the reuse of a 145-acre former military base site in southwest Atlanta.

Read more in Deadline.com.


The underground scene In Pittsburgh is tingling with talent, but there’s only one person holding it down on the emo front. That’sJT Loco! The 23 year old just released a new album called Pittsburgh Pariah 2 which is actually the 3rd installment in the series. Loco sings stories of stoner sorrows over some emo/trap production. The auto tuned flow and melancholy subject matters clearly intertwine his influences of Speaker Knockerz, Kid Cudi, and blink-182. This is the perfect time to start bumping JT Loco! Follow him on Instagram at jtloco_


Introducing T’Melle and her radio ready single, “Do Me”

T’Melle “Do Me”

Impacting R&B Radio June 28th & 29th

“‘Do Me’ is a self love song. It’s about loving myself in spite of what others may think.

I’m sexy, I’m strong, and I’ve learned– I’m enough. I freely, Do Me!”


Follow T’Melle:

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


Ken Wilson at wilson.ken@mac.com

Eddie Sims at esimss@aol.com

Colleen Wilson at colleen402@gmail.com


One of the most unique establishments within Gastonia, North Carolina’s only shopping mall to date plans to open for business this summer.

Legacy Music – a multi-tiered recording and production studio housed in one of Eastridge Mall’s largest in-line spaces – was a solution to frustrations in the music and entertainment industry, explains Nathaniel “Nature” Jones, who works to help guide musicians who want to become successful.

“We were spending a lot of money on studio time. I’m a business person, and I thought this doesn’t make sense, so we need to build our own studio so we can continue to record and reduce some of these costs,” said Jones, who lives in Charlotte and graduated with a recording engineering degree from Elizabeth City State University in 1996. Jones got his start in the music industry in Atlanta shorty after and moved to the Charlotte area in 2009.

Read more in the GastoniaGazette.com


Elroy Smith announces his new project, ELROY SMITH – THE COACH. Elroy will be laser focused on
coaching YOU into a BRAND. If you are an on-air personality or a podcaster, you are one of many. However,
you will WIN if you develop yourself into a brand.

Personalities that are making a difference are the ones that have something substantive, compelling and commanding to say. Content is now “KING.” Unfortunately, the list of personalities that are brands is very short. With listeners having so many choices to hear music, they are looking for more than just music when they turn on the radio. They want to be entertained and intrigued with radio or podcast hosts. Talking up to the vocals, reading liner cards perfectly and doing birthday shouts have no value.

Based on his experience as one of the industry’s most prominent radio programmers, Smith believes that
on-air talent and program directors are too close to the product to have an objective point of view.
According to Smith “When consultants have given me feedback about my radio station, it did hurt.
However, when I thought about the critique, many points were valid. I have enjoyed a lengthy and
memorable career working with some of the best in the radio business. Uniqueness, being distinctively
different and being transparent are just a few traits in establishing your brand. My goal is “Coaching YOU
into a BRAND” no matter what format and no matter what country.” This eight- session curriculum will
prepare you for branding and marketing success.” For details: Elroythecoach.com

Elroy Smith is a career radio programmer with over 30 years of experience and has competed successfully
in major markets such as Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco. He has also worked/coached notable
personalities like Steve Harvey, Tom Joyner, Russ Parr, Rick Party, Charlamagne, Yolanda Adams, Doug
Banks, to name a few.


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