The Songwriters Hall of Fame recently announced its 2017 inductees and for the first time in the organization’s 38-year history, it includes the category of rap. It’s first inductee under the rap category? Jay-Z!
Jay Z will be joined by Swedish mega-songwriter Max Martin; Motown founder Berry Gordy (who wrote for superstar Jackie Wilson prior to forming Motown Records); Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds; Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis ; Peter Cetera, Robert Lamm, and James Pankow of Chicago. Songwriter Nile Rodgers, who was inducted last year, when asked what took so long for the Songwriters Hall of Fame to recognize rappers as songwriters, offered that “Jay Z was in a space where, even though he’s had more pop albums than anyone else, (it’s) because he did it through rap, which isn’t considered part of the normal pop music scene,” according to a report on National Public Radio’s web site.
Songwriters Hall of Fame co-chairs, the producer/songwriting team of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, who were inducted previously, wrote that the organization is moving “definitively into recognizing music creators of the 21st century while continuing to honor the greats of earlier decades.”
Could Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls be next?
The induction ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, June 15, in New York.
The Center for Asian American Media announced that tickets are now available for its 35th annual media festival. The theme for this year’s festival is Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow. Celebrating Asian American film, music, and food, the event will be held in Oakland and San Francisco, California venues from March 4 (CAAMFeast) through March 19, and will feature special presentations, CAAMFeast (guess what that’s about), films (of course), events, narratives, documentaries, shorts, and a few other nice touches. “While every birthday is special, turning 35 is a proud moment for CAAMFest. This year, we celebrate 35 years of advancing Asian American media and evolving our platform for Asian and Asian American voices. As a special treat, join us as we revisit three powerful films from the CAAMFests of yesterday.” Those three films are: Who Killed Vincent Chin?; The Fall of the I-Hotel; Yellow (with actor John Cho twenty years ago). Tickets and venues: http://CAAMmedia.org. Other information: http://CAAMfest.com/2017/ . And on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CAAMFest
Rock & Roll and Rockabilly icon Ritchie Valens, whose meteoric rise in the industry and sudden death was chronicled in the 1987 film, La Bamba, may have a section of California highway named in his honor. Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D-Pacoima, introduced a bill recently to rename a portion of California Interstate 5 after the legendary Los Angeles County resident.
Bocanegra’s bill introduced to the California State assembly calls for a section between the 170 and 118 freeways to be rebranded “The Ritchie Valens Memorial Highway.” “His music has inspired a generation of Chicano artists in our community and throughout the world. “Ritchie Valens is part of the cultural fabric of the 39th District and the northeast San Fernando Valley, ” Bocanegra said in a statement reported on public station KCET’s web site posted by the respected City News Service. “His music has inspired a generation of Chicano artists in our community and throughout the world. It’s only fitting to name a highway after a rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Famer who grew up right here in Pacoima.” Valens attended Pacoima High School; Pacoima is a suburb of Los Angeles.
Valens, who was born Richard Steven Valenzuela, died on Feb. 3, 1959, when just 17 years old, in a plane crash that also took the lives of Buddy Holly (That’ll Be The Day, Peggy Sue) and J.P. `’The Big Bopper’ Richardson (Chantilly Lace). In 1994, the City of Los Angeles renamed a Pacoima park in Valens’ honor, the Ritchie Valens Recreation
Center. Valens is also honored on the city’s Wall of Murals.
Tennis superstar Serena Williams spread her wings in a new direction recently. Returning to Sports Illustrated magazine for its annual swimsuit edition, she broke new ground by posing in her first thong. And she wore it to great effect.
ENews quoted the newly engaged sports icon as saying, “I’ve never worn a thong bikini, so for that to be my first shot was like a shot of espresso for me because I had to wake up immediately,” she explained in a behind-the-scenes clip of her SI shoot. “The thong is perfect, it really made me feel comfortable. I’m officially a thong girl now!”
The sports phenomenon indicated that she preferred the one-piece swimsuits, but no one was disappointed with any of her poses. Treat yourself here: http://www.si.com/swimsuit/model/serena-williams/2017/photos#1 and here: http://www.si.com/swimsuit/model/serena-williams/2017/videos/uncovered
Watch Willie sing “Summertime” off the new album ‘Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin’
Pre-order the album here: http://smarturl.it/wn_smtme_amzn?iqid=fb.wn