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Author Archives: WSS News

Grammy Winning Artist, Erykah Badu, to be Honored at Essence “Black Women in Music”

LOS ANGELES, CA- Essence, the preeminent brand for African-American women, will host its highly anticipated 8th annual “Black Women in Music”—an official GRAMMY® Week event—on Thursday, February 9, in Los Angeles. The invitation-only soiree will salute the year’s extraordinary GRAMMY nominees and fête four-time GRAMMY winner Erykah Badu on the 20th anniversary of her groundbreaking debut album, “Baduizm.” The evening will also feature a performance by Roc Nation management artist Tiwa Savage, an award-winning Nigerian singer songwriter making an indelible impact in the U.S.

“From the time that she first hit the scene with her album ‘Baduizm,’ we all fell in love with the genius that is Erykah Badu. It is only fitting that we honor the accomplishments of our neo-soul queen, whose remarkable artistry still moves us 20 years later,” said Essence Editor-in-Chief Vanessa De Luca. “We congratulate Erykah on her incredible career, as well as all of this year’s GRAMMY nominees, who share their amazing gifts with the world.”

“Our collaboration with The Recording Academy® underscores the mission of our ‘Black Women in Music’ platform,” said Essence President Michelle Ebanks. “Essence, like the GRAMMYs, has always been at the forefront of recognizing the genius of so many artists and influencers—from iconic legends to the next generation’s rising stars, like Tiwa Savage. We also applaud our event sponsor, Lincoln, for returning once again to support the vision of this event.”

“We’re closely aligned with the inspiration behind the ‘Black Women in Music’ event that helps bring a highly talented group of artists together through the power of music,” said Evan Greene, chief marketing officer of The Recording Academy. “The Recording Academy has always strived to recognize and celebrate diversity within the music industry.”

Established in 2010, ESSENCE ‘Black Women in Music’ has heralded the accomplishments of both emerging and established artists and influencers during GRAMMY week. Previous celebrants include GRAMMY Award winners Jill ScottMary J. BligeKelly Rowland and Janelle Monáe, GRAMMY Award nominees Solange and Andra Day, as well as music industry veteran Sylvia Rhone and singer/songwriters Lianne La Havas and Emeli Sandé.

The 2017 ESSENCE ‘Black Women in Music’ event is sponsored by Lincoln. Stay tuned to Essence.com for highlights and behind-the-scenes access. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @essence #BlackWomeninMusic. Join in the discussion on Facebook.

Grammy Nominated, Andra Day, is up for San Diego Music Award

Neo-R&B singer Andra Day, who earned two Grammy Award nominations last year, is nominated for Artist of the Year and Album of the Year (for “Cheers to the Fall”).

Online voting runs from Jan. 16 through Feb. 26 at sandiegomusicawards.com. The public can vote in every category except the eight best album categories, which is voted on by members of the San Diego Music Academy. Tickets for the March 21 awards fete go on sale Monday through the event’s website.

Newbirth Baptist Church Pastor, Eddie Long, Succumbs at 63

Eddie Long

Eddie Long

On Sunday, January 15, many received the news on the passing of megachurch pastor Bishop Eddie Long. He was 63-years-old.

Long died after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer, according to a statement by the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. He was a preacher who led an infamous march against same-sex marriage and denounced homosexuality, but he also settled a lawsuit by four young men who said he pressured them into sexual relationships.

“When he spoke, black people all over the country listened to him,” said Shayne Lee, a sociologist who studies the black Pentecostal church. “He was part of the repackaging of Christianity for post-civil rights African-Americans.”

Long’s wife, who stood by him through his rise and fall from national fame, released a statement.

“Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate and be happy for him, knowing he’s at peace,” Vanessa Long said.