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In a rare television appearance, the incomparable Prince takes over The Arsenio Hall Show tonight kicking the show off with a debut performance of FUNKNROLL, a track off his upcoming album. The pop icon took a moment to answer questions from Arsenio’s audience, revealing his biggest pet peeve and what got his blood boiling at a recent Oscar party.
Prince also performed his classic hit, “She’s Always in My Hair,” and debuted a new cut of “Mutiny” with the help of a 30-piece band that included 3RDEYEGIRL and The New Power Generation.
Tune-in tonight, March 5th, for the full Prince experience!
The Arsenio Hall Show / Courtesy CBS Television Distribution.
R&B Singer/Songwriter Noel Gourdin is a fan of powerful music with potent messages. Influenced by iconic voices like Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and Johnny Taylor, Gourdin has learned a thing or two about crafting songs that speak to the heart, mind and soul. His rich buttery smooth alto, flavored with a gritty and bluesy undercurrent and punctuated by agile gospel riffs, make him instantly recognizable. The title of his new CD “City Heart, Southern Soul” directly speaks to the dichotomy of his roots and influences.
One of the new singles from his new album features the amazing Avery Sunshine entitled “I Can’t Wait To Love You.” Today the label has released a lyric video for the track. Check it out.
In Case You Missed It: Exclusive UB Interview with Noel Gourdin!
Southern Cali hip-hop duo The Gooneez recently dropped the video for their new single “Hittin’ Hard” featuring Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s Bizzy Bone. The visual for the DJ Sidereal produced track has the two young rhymers and Bizzy in a playful exchange, trading bars and cruising the streets of Downtown Los Angeles in a drop-top 65′ Impala Super Sport.
The Gooneez, comprised of cousins Andre Abella and Frank Clark, were named one of XXL Magazine‘s “The Break” artists and have gained steady momentum for their songs with Mac Miller and Kendrick Lamar. The budding rappers have released 4 projects to date, with their album “Bonez Brigade” which dropped today.
Erica Hubbard is a Chicago native. Erica attended Columbia College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in three years. After graduating, Erica already had her own television show on WPWR, a UPN affiliate in Chicago. Before Erica‘s third season was aired, she received a Regional Emmy and earned a Service To America Award from the National Association of Broadcasters. This was a result of hosting the children/teen show: Up ‘N Running. Erica Hubbard has also been nominated in ‘What Would Jesus Do‘ stageplay, for the NAACP Theatre Awards!
Erica‘s dynamic resume includes credits such as Save The Last Dance, A Cinderella Story, Light It Up and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (a New York Times Best Selling Novel) and Akeelah and the Bee alongside another Chicagoan-Keke Palmer portraying Kiana (her older sister). Erica also has lend her voice to the Disney Animation The Replacements.
Erica played Cassie Sutton on the critically acclaimed series “Lincoln Heights” for four seasons which originally aired on ABC Family. “Lincoln Heights” won the NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Best Drama Series.” Erica Hubbard is now Kita Whitmore on BET’s “Let’s Stay Together” which returns for season four this month. Erica is also currently starring in the new film “Black Coffee” with Darrin Dewitt Henson and Christian Keyes.
Erica Hubbard spoke with Aries from UrbanBridgez.com recently about her role in “Black Coffee“, the new season of “Let’s Stay Together,” challenges she’s faced in the business, what’s coming up for her and much more!
UrbanBridgez.com: How did you get your first start in the business?
Erica Hubbard: I got my first start in the business at 9 years old. I was doing some modeling back in Chicago, I was with Ford Models for years. Then finally they were like, you need to do television & film. I was like really! So I started doing commercials at first when I was a kid. I did a lot of theater as a kid also, being from Chicago we were really serious about our theater. Later I started doing television and then film.
UrbanBridgez.com: What can we expect this season from Kita on Let’s Stay Together?
Erica Hubbard: Kita has fallen in love and she’s trying to fall in love with her job too as a cop. So she’s balancing having a relationship and being a police officer at the same time. She’s trying to be more responsible with her life.
UrbanBridgez.com: Tell us about your role in Black Coffee?
Erica Hubbard: In Black Coffee I play Mita and Mita is a young girl looking for love. A lot of people think Mita is a gold digger because she’s looking for love with financial security. I don’t want to say she’s a gold digger, I want to say she just wants to be secured financially that’s it (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: What do you want people to get out of the film once they see it?
Erica Hubbard: That love comes in all different levels. No matter where a person is at financially, you can still love them. As long as that person has ambition and is a go getter and wants more for his life then support that person. Just as the person is not down and out and they do have high hopes for their life, than a relationship can work.
UrbanBridgez.com: What was your experience like working with the cast, crew and director?
Erica Hubbard: Oh my god, the overall experience working on Black Coffee was like a dream come true. It was like we were immediately family because we all knew each other. You know from being out here in California I knew Gabrielle Dennis, I worked with Darrin Dewitt Hensen on this movie Ideal Husband. I work with Christian Keyes on Let’s Stay Together. So when we got together it was perfect. It was just perfect, perfect chemistry with all of us.
UrbanBridgez.com: I absolutely loved you in Lincoln Heights and loved the show as a whole, how was that experience for you and do you keep in contact with the cast?
Erica Hubbard: Thank you so much! I definitely keep in contact with the cast from Lincoln Heights. I talk to Russell Hornsby, I try to talk to him at least once a year, because he’s so busy doing his show and I’m doing Let’s Stay Together on BET. Also, Nicki Micheaux I talk to her a lot it’s really cool. That was a dream come true to be on there all of those years. Then to win the NAACP for Best Outstanding Drama Series was a dream come true.
UrbanBridgez.com: What’s been the biggest challenge for you in the business?
Erica Hubbard: It’s a list, let me narrow it down to one thing (laughs). Image is everything in the business, so for me going from Lincoln Heights a drama series to Let’s Stay Together which is a comedy, then I’m going back and forth with movies where I’m doing comedic roles and then drama roles; the biggest thing is sometimes people don’t know if I should stick with the drama or stick with the comedy. So we’re all trying to figure it all out right now, as we speak like with my manager and agent. Like where to take my career so I can focus on one thing. But right now, they’re like you’re getting phone calls for both. For dramatic and comedic roles and usually that’s not heard of with African American actresses in Hollywood. So it’s like just trying to find which lane I want to stay in. So right now, we’re just taking calls and doing whatever until we figure it out. But I feel blessed that people are calling me for all of these opportunities as well.
UrbanBridgez.com: Who are some of your favorite R&B/Hip-Hop artists right now?
Erica Hubbard: Right now I would say Drake, Rich Homie Quan, Jay-Z, Kanye West and I have to put Miguel in there, yes (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: What’s next for you?
Erica Hubbard: I’m filming a movie right now called My Favorite Five that’s coming out this year. It’s with Quinton Aaron from the Blind Side, Brian White, Jay Ellis from BET’s The Game. It’s a hot cast, I’m very excited about it. I play the character Sybil. The movie is based on dating and relationships and how to find the perfect match. But you have to go through a lot of people sometimes (laughs). Sometimes you have to in order to find the perfect match and personality that fits you. It’s kind of like going through the dating game type of situation. And of course Let’s Stay Together, I want to thank everyone for tuning in and watching us on that show and supporting Kita. I just love how everyone tweets me and Facebooks me who supports that show.
UrbanBridgez.com: Anything else you want to leave with your fans?
Erica Hubbard: I just want to say thank you to everyone who reaches out to me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Those who support me, whether you like Lincoln Heights or Let’s Stay Together or Black Coffee, I just want to say thank you to everyone who supports my career. I truly appreciate it and I need that support being in the industry.
Fresh off of R&B Divas L.A. Season One, Kelly Price is preparing to release her new album “Sing.Pray.Love Vol. 1” on April 15th. Price’s first studio album under Entertainment One (eOne). Earlier this month, Kelly released the first single from the album entitled “It’s My Time” which is classic KP and has been getting amazing feedback.
The new album features 11 tracks UrbanBridgez.com has learned, peep the UB First Look of the official tracklisting below.
Price’s double-platinum debut, Soul of a Woman, featured the record-breaking single, “Friend of Mine.” The song made history as the first to garner the #1 spot on the singles chart without an accompanying video clip, a rare feat during the era when music videos were the driving force of popular culture. She returned to center stage three years later with the platinum-plus seller, Mirror, Mirror, led by her remake of the R&B classic, “As We Lay,” and followed up with the gold-selling holiday collection, One Family: A Christmas Album in 2001. Three years after releasing Priceless, she returned to her roots for This Is Whom I Am, a live gospel album recorded at her church home in Long Island. The album included the uplifting single, “Healing,” which not only reached the top of the gospel charts, but was also credited and awarded at the 2007 ASCAP Awards as one of the top five songs played across both R&B and Gospel genres during 2006. She also released the simply titled Kelly a few years ago.
Along her journey, she’s collaborated with the likes of Mariah Carey, George Michael, Elton John, The Isley Brothers, Brian McKnight and Sean “Diddy” Combs as well as Faith Evans, Whitney Houston, Donnie McClurkin, Eric Clapton, the late James Brown, Shirley Murdock.
She’s also taken her talents to the screen and stage with roles in Soul Food, the series Bringing Down the House and the stage plays Why Did I Get Married? and The Bible Experience. In 2005, she added the title of ‘self-published author’ to her resume with the release of the inspirational tome, Inscriptions of My Heart. The audio book is currently in the works.
UB First Look: Official Tracklisting (subject to change)
It’s My Time
Back 2 Love
Through The Fire
Never Been Scared
Conversations with Her
People are talking about her because of a diva-like stint on TVOne’s R&B DIVAS: LA but Kelly Price is a grown woman who has grown up in the music industry. She’s been background singer to Mariah and sang hooks for Diddy and Biggie. Kelly Price–singer, songwriter, producer, wife, mother, businesswoman, multiple Grammy nominee–has always handled her name with care and with flair. After our first interview almost 20 years ago, KP and KT sit down and we talk drama, image, standing your ground and what it’s like to be “too fat for fame!”
Born Case Woodard, R&B star Case inherited his musical gifts from his father who was once a member of 70’s funk band Cameo. The oldest sibling of 3, the New York native grew up in a strict household and although music was the bond that tied him and his father together, it would also tear them apart.
While the family struggled financially, they often found solace in music. Crediting his grandmother with introducing him to his first love of music, at the age of 5, he would perform constantly for family and friends in his living room. However, growing up in a religious household made perusing secular music difficult. His desire to become a professional musician was met with harsh resistance from his parents resulting in mounting family tension. “I wanted to sing so badly. I was willing to leave everything behind” remembers Case.
Armed with the spirit of his greatest influence, Michael Jackson, Case’s love affair with music revealed itself through his writing and after stints with R&B group “Future” and a duo called “Black”, Case got work co-writing and singing background for artist including Usher, Christopher Williams and Al B. Sure. It was a song written by Faith Evans which would be his professional career catalyst and lead to Russell Simmons signing him to Def Jam Records. “Everything changed with this deal,” says Case, “I was in heaven, on cloud nine because all of the faith and hard work was finally paying off.”
Case’s solo career took off in 1996 with the release of “Touch Me, Tease Me” (with rapper Foxy Brown and R&B singer Mary J. Blige) from The Nutty Professor soundtrack, going gold and reaching #4 on the R&B charts and #63 on the Hot 100. His self-titled debut Case soon followed along with the minor R&B hit singles “More to Love” and “I Gotcha.” Case followed the success of his first album with the release of Personal Conversation in 1999. The album featured the hits “Happily Ever After” (which reached #3 on the R&B charts and #15 on the Hot 100) and “Faded Pictures,” (released April 20, 1999), which featured R&B singer Joe and reached #3 on the R&B charts and #10 on the Hot 100. “Happily Ever After” featured Beyoncé in the video as Case’s love interest. The album’s third single, “Think Of You” managed to only reach #50 on the R&B charts and Personal Conversation achieved platinum status.
In 2001, as the first artist on the new Def Soul imprint, Case released his third album Open Letter and topped the charts with the Tim & Bob produced hit song “Missing You.” Open Letter, Case’s most well-known album went gold. “Missing You” is Case’s only #1 single to date as it topped the R&B charts and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later that year, Case also appeared on rapper Ja Rule’s hit “Livin’ It Up,” as well as releasing one more single from his album, “Not Your Friend.”
After the success of Open Letter, Case moved to Atlanta to be closer to his children, and fell into life as a father. In 2002 a miraculous tragedy would strike and threaten not only his life but his career when he was moving his cousin’s registered handgun, and it accidentally discharged striking him in the throat nearly missing his spine by a half inch. Case suffered no vocal damage and to the further dismay of family and friends, was released from the hospital 4 hours later. In 2004 Case due to artistic differences asked to be released from his Def Soul label and took some time away from music.
After a few years away from the music industry, Case reappeared in 2008 on the track “Face to Face” (a duet with singer Coko) which was included the soundtrack of Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns (film). His fourth studio album, The Rose Experience which had undergone various title changes and a label shift (from Def Jam to his own indie imprint, Indigo Blue) was released on March 24, 2009. It was preceded by a single, “Lovely” which reached #72 on the R&B chart.
He has since worked through the challenges of a changing music industry and 5 years of not feeling like making music largely in part to two life changing events. The Summer of 09 his Grandmother passed away in May and then Michael Jackson passed in June. “Michael Jackson was my idol and was the biggest influence for me musically and my grandma always forced the best out of us growing up and their passing took me back to that place and lit the fire under me again.”
With a new creative approach and the universe in alignment his latest project “Heaven’s Door” reveals his maturity, growth and renewed love affair with his craft. “If I knew then what I know now I wouldn’t have made my music so dark, but this time around I’m at peace. I got my son through high school and my daughters in line and “Heaven’s Door” is my gratitude that my life is finally in alignment.” With production from producer’s Flossy (Kandi Burress) Mike Snodi(?) Carvin Hagen, and TL Cross “Heaven’s Door” promises to delve into a refined reflection of the authentic soul music Case fan’s are used to and sure to captivate the hearts of new fans. “Heaven’s Door” drops spring 2014.
Check out his new teaser single “Damn Girl.”
On Valentine’s Day, smart decided to help spread the love around New York City by dolling out personal serenades from R&B stars Case and Ruben Studdard that people could request via Twitter. It’s a day many will never forget, all thanks to a compact car with one big heart.
Watch Case serenade people in NYC
J. Holiday hit Arsenio Hall last night, which was renewed for another season this week. J. Holiday appeared on the show in support of his new release “Guilty Conscience” available on iTunes now. J. sat in with the Posse for the night and started the show with a performance of Marvin Gaye‘s classic “I Want You.” J. Holiday ended the show with a performance if his latest single “Incredible.”
Check out both performances below and make sure you pick up “Guilty Conscience” if you haven’t already!
In Case You Missed It: UB Exclusive Interview with J. Holiday!
Academy Award® nominated actress Taraji P. Henson has been chosen to host BET’s #1 gospel music special, “Celebration of Gospel.” The multi-talented Taraji takes over the role as Steve Harvey, king of comedy and all things media, ends his historic 13-year run. Taraji will bring her own charming and high voltage personality to the stage as the best singers in gospel, R&B and pop music come together for one powerful night of television.
“I am thrilled to join the BET ‘Celebration of Gospel’ family. I look forward to a great evening of incredible music and continuing the rich history of BET and gospel music which started 14 years ago hosted by the talented and very funny Steve Harvey,” said Taraji Henson.
This year, “Celebration of Gospel” will feature even more captivating pairings between gospel and R&B artists including “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard, “Sunday Best” winner Le’Andria Johnson, and soulful crooner Kem, who will join forces to raise the praise as a triumphant trio. Acoustic soul artist India.Arie will team up with Christian contemporary artist Jonathan McReynolds for a special performance. Female R&B group SWV and the renowned Rance Allen Group will also join together to anoint the crowd through song.
“Celebration of Gospel” will also offer dynamic duets by Donnie McClurkin and Tye Tribbett; Lalah Hathaway and Zacardi Cortez; and Chanté Moore and VaShawn Mitchell. A touching tribute to gospel music pioneer Richard Smallwood and rousing spoken word pieces from Pastor Shirley Caesar and Dr. Bobby Jones will also highlight the night.
“Since its’ inception, ‘Celebration of Gospel’ has brought together the best voices from both the secular and gospel music worlds to give praise like only they can,” said President of Music Programming & Specials, Stephen Hill for BET Networks. “This year is no exception because at the end of the day, everyone’s roots are in gospel music. A gathering of powerful singers like these on one show can only happen on BET.”
Experience the life-changing power of gospel music with rousing, spirit-filled performances by powerhouses including Yolanda Adams, Erica Campbell, Hezekiah Walker, Tamela Mann, Tasha Cobbs, Deitrick Haddon, J.J. Hairston, “Sunday Best” Season 6 winner Tasha Page-Lockhart and current “American Idol” Candice Glover. Additionally, NAACP Image Award winner, Charlie Wilson will share his testimony in a sanctified song titled “If I Believe” that’s sure to shift the atmosphere.
BET’s annual gospel music special, “Celebration of Gospel” tapes Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 7 p.m./PST at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, CA, and will premiere on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 8 p.m./EST.
Rico Love has something to say in his brand new single “B**ches Be Like.” #TTLO Check it out.