Shawn "JAY Z" Carter Signs 10-Year Touring Contract With Live Nation

 (PRNewsfoto/Live Nation Entertainment)
Deal Continues Long-Standing Partnership with Largest Producer of Live Music Concerts

Shawn "JAY Z" Carter and Live Nation announced an exclusive touring partnership. The agreement continues JAY Z's longstanding partnership with the world's leading live entertainment company. The deal includes worldwide touring, in which Live Nation will produce and promote JAY Z concert events. 

"Live Nation and I entered uncharted territory in 2008. Over 9 years, we have traveled the world producing historic music experiences. Michael Rapino is an industry visionary, and this renewed partnership is a testament to our longstanding relationship and the talented individuals at Live Nation. For the next 10 years, we will continue redefining the live event landscape," stated JAY Z. 

"JAY Z is one of the world's preeminent touring artists," added Michael Rapino, president and chief executive officer, Live Nation Entertainment. "This strengthens the creative and business partnership of someone that continues to expand his touring base and reach."

Radio One, Inc. Officially Launches Name Change To "Urban One" On The 18th Anniversary Of Its IPO

Urban One
New Name Reflects Long-Standing Role as the Only Integrated Multimedia Company Representing Black Culture

Commemorating the 18th anniversary of its IPO on May 5, the only integrated, multimedia company focused on Black culture, Radio One, Inc., is changing its name to Urban One, Inc. Reflecting its longstanding, rich history as the most trusted source to inform, entertain and inspire the African-American community, Urban One will continue to provide culturally relevant integrated content through its iconic brands and platforms – TV One, Radio One, Reach Media, iOne Digital and One Solution. "

More than 35 years ago, we proudly began representing Black culture by lifting our voices boldly, courageously and unapologetically," said CEO Alfred C. Liggins III. "

Urban One's mission is to enhance and maintain our position as the largest distributor of urban content in the country." Urban One is at the epicenter of Urban America and is the only multimedia company reaching 82 percent of Black America. Its diverse audience is seeking one thing – high-quality, relevant urban content that reflects, acknowledges and pays homage to the Black culture that has impacted every fiber of American life. 

Dedicated to diversifying its overall business portfolio away from dependence on advertising revenues, Urban One will continue to establish mutually beneficial partnerships like the One VIP card from American Express Serve© and its investment as a Principal Entity of MGM National Harbor, LLC. 

Urban One is also committed to connecting with Black America, urban enthusiast and lovers of Black culture one person at a time and does so through its annual live and public affairs events reaching over 1 million people a year. In addition, the company offers actionable insights to help the community make informed decisions with consumer insights and research studies.

Atlanta's Musical Comedy 'Nobody Loves You' is Back For FREE in the Park this Summer!

Audiences couldn’t get enough of Horizon’s Nobody Loves You, and its back – this time for FREE and under the stars on the large stage in Piedmont Park! Horizon Theatre’s exciting musical sensation Nobody Loves You will be outside in the ATL this summer when it hits Piedmont Park, June 14th through the 17th – and thousands of FREE tickets are available to the public! Tune into “Nobody Loves You,” the hilarious Off-Broadway hit musical about a reality TV dating show that follows attractive singles pairing up to find love. Among the tangled web fighting for affection are a slew of wacky contestants- the hunky Christian, the sexy party girl, and the uptight schoolteacher. Whether you love or love-to-hate reality TV, you’ll laugh at this fast-paced, high stakes game of love. Get ready to experience an Atlanta hit in the center of our city, for FREE in Piedmont Park! 

For the last two summers, Horizon’s sold-out musicals Avenue Q and The Toxic Avenger were rollicking fun parties in the Park, playing to thousands who came to picnic, play and watch fantastic professional musical theatre in Piedmont Park. “These shows were so amazing and special for the last two summers – audiences of all ages and types came together for a truly unique Atlanta experience. There is just nothing else like it - live performance under the stars. And it’s free!” says Lisa Adler, Horizon’s Co-Artistic/Producing Director. “Nobody Loves You was another runaway hit for Horizon in our Little Five Points home this spring. It’s just so much fun – upbeat, smart, sexy, silly, and even romantic with a hugely energetic and talented cast, fantastic music and a live band. Everyone leaves smiling every night, so it’s another perfect show to bring together Atlantan’s in the heart of our city under the sky and treetops this summer.” 

Full of clever humor and a catchy pop score, Nobody Loves You is guaranteed to have the audience laughing on the green. In its spring run at Horizon, Atlanta INtown called it “hugely entertaining,” while ArtsATL said it was “both funny and pretty sexy!” Audiences raved that “it was the best show I’ve seen in Atlanta,” and “I laughed for two straight hours.” The Bachelorette meets Big Brother and Unreal in this hit musical comedy about singles looking for love on the reality TV show, “Nobody Loves You”. Along the way, we hit all the high points – tearful confessionals, the steamy Hot Tub Room, the Crush Ceremony, and explosive truths in the Minefield Tango. Take a behind-the-scenes ride through the intimate and gut-wrenching quest for love while millions of viewers watch! 

Thanks to a major grant from The Charles Loridans Foundation, a supporting grant from the Mark and Evelyn Trammell Foundation and a partnership with the Piedmont Park Conservancy, Horizon continues for the third year the tradition begun by Georgia Shakespeare of bringing free professional theatre to Piedmont Park this summer, giving new audiences a chance to experience Horizon. “Our mission is to connect people, inspire hope and promote positive change through the stories of our times – and this gives us the chance to do that on a larger scale and with great joy.” said Adler. “There has been a huge influx of new residents in town, and this is the perfect show to introduce them to the amazing work they will find at Horizon and our other professional Atlanta theatres and the talented theatre artists who are thriving here.” 

Park performances will be Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, June 14-17 with pre-show starting at 7:30 PM, and audiences will provide their own blanket or low beach chair. Grounds open for picnicking at 6 PM. Free General Admission and $15 Reserved Seating Section Tickets are available ONLINE ONLY. General admission tickets will be available for free for each performance, but must be reserved online in advance. Reserved Seating section tickets are $15 (plus a small service charge) and get you in the reserved seating area up close to the stage. Arrive at your leisure early or at the last minute and walk past the crowds to come right down front! Limited Table Seating Tickets close to the stage on the sides are $35 ($200 for a table of 6). Tickets are available online only at Audiences will bring their print-at-home or mobile tickets. 

For seating, audiences will need to bring their own low chairs (30” back height maximum, 6” seat height maximum) or blankets. There will be limited numbers of low beach chairs available for low cost rental, first come, first serve. Anyone bringing a taller chair will be directed to the rear to allow good sight-lines for all. Food and non-alcoholic beverages may be brought in for picnics – although no glass is allowed. No firearms allowed. Food trucks will provide dinner options for purchase and wine, beer, water and soft drinks will be available for sale onsite. The stage is in the Promenade green space at the North end of the Park, conveniently located near the Park/Botanical Gardens Sage parking garage and The Prado entrance to the Park.

Atlanta's Little Five Arts Alive Returns

Building upon the success of the 2016 program, Little Five Arts Alive, a free weekly series of outdoor arts events, returns to the heart of Little Five Points! Arts will enliven Findley and Davis Plazas (at the corner of Euclid and Moreland Avenues) every Saturday and Sunday from 5pm-8pm beginning April 22nd and running through November 5th.

This year’s programming will highlight a wide variety of artists -- music, dance, theatre, visual arts, crafts, circus, performance art and more. Little Five Arts Alive will be mixing it up with lots of surprises, including chances to be both spectators and participants. You might listen to a great band or duet, try your hand at a graffiti wall or chalk sidewalk art, or get an impromptu salsa lesson. New this year, you can sit, watch, nosh and sip at tables on Findley Plaza with food and drink service provided by The Porter Beer Bar, 4-9pm on Saturday and Sunday. And the plazas are getting a face lift with some new plantings and yarn bombing through a beautification project courtesy of a Little Five Alive, a community organization made up of neighborhood representatives and members of the L5P Business Association. 

Each month, Little Five Arts Alive will feature one spotlight weekend with a theme that artists and partners will use as their jumping off point. On the second Sunday of each month, Little Five Arts Alive will provide local artists the opportunity to sell their work through a curated creative Little Five Arts Alive Artist Market. 

This coming Opening Weekend, Little Five Arts Alivee celebrates Record Store Day on Saturday, April 22, so the spotlight theme for the weekend is the Atlanta Music Scene. Sound artist Meredith Kooi brings her Bucky Dome to Findley Plaza where she will set up shop with her hyper-local radio show, broadcast only in our plaza area. Come by and listen to her interviews of some of Atlanta’s most interesting musicians and check out all of the Record Store Day events at nearby Criminal Records. We’ll also be hosting performances of R&B and gospel music (Mandi Strachota) and neo-funk soul (Nubian Sounds), and you’ll have the chance to make your own free music-inspired button with cool collage materials while you listen, courtesy of artist Chelsea Steverson. On Sunday, you can listen to Americana music (Blackfoot Daisy), watch and learn salsa dance, experience freestyle rap in the round (Soul Food Cypher), and be amazed at King Quic’s street style-and break dancing.

In conjunction with Record Store Day, Little Five Arts Alive will spotlight the Atlanta Music Scene

Saturday, April 22

Findley Plaza:

Meredith Kooi: 

Enter The Bucky Dome Zone 5-8pm

Hyper-local live radio show


Davis Plaza:
Mandi Strachota 5-7pm

Nubian Sounds 7-8pm

Neo-funk Soul

Button Making with Chelsea Steverson

Sunday, April 23

Findley Plaza:
Blackfoot Daisy 5-7pm
Americana Music

Soul Food Cypher 7-8pm

Freestyle Rap in the Round

Davis Plaza:
Salsa Arte 5-7pm
Latin Dance Demo & Instruction

King Quic 7-8pm
Street-Style Dance


A Personal Testament By Bonita Stewart, VP, Global Partnerships

Inline image 2Bonita Stewart with Dr. Wayne Frederick at Googleplex in Mountain View, CA (credit: Google)
When I joined Google a decade ago, there was hardly any discussion of diversity in tech. This was long before we published our diversity numbers or understood how important it was for our workforce to reflect the diversity of our users. This was also long before we started formally recruiting from Howard University, a historically Black institution.

Howard happens to be my alma mater, so I am especially proud to share that our formal recruiting from the university has evolved into a residency for Black CS majors right here at the Googleplex"Howard West" is now the centerpiece of Google's effort to recruit more Black software engineers from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)-and to make them feel right at home here in Mountain View.

One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from acclaimed management consultant Peter Drucker: "The best way to predict the future is to create it." This is exactly the thinking behind Howard West, as the program is a way to manifest a future that reflects the values of diversity and inclusion Google has held since day one. With a physical space on campus where Howard students and Googlers can grow together, I can only imagine what incredible innovation and creativity will come to light.

Rising juniors and seniors in Howard's computer science program can attend Howard West, a dedicated space at Google, for three months at a time.Senior Google engineers and Howard faculty will serve as instructors. The program kicks off this summer and we plan to scale it to accommodate students from other HBCUs in the near future.

HBCUs are a pillar in the computer science (CS) education community, producing more than a third of all Black CS graduates in the U.S. Google already has a strong partnership with Howard through Google in Residence (GIR), a program that embeds Google engineers as faculty at Howard and other HBCUs.  

Through GIR we've learned a lot about the hurdles Black students face in acquiring full-time work in the tech industry. The lack of exposure, access to mentors and role models are critical gaps that Howard West will solve. We've also heard that many CS students struggle to find the time to practice coding while juggling a full course load and part-time jobs. Left unchecked, systematic barriers lead to low engagement and enrollment in CS, low retention in CS programs and a lack of proximity and strong relationships between the Silicon Valley, HBCUs and the larger African American Community.

"Howard West will produce hundreds of industry-ready Black computer science graduates, future leaders with the power to transform the global technology space into a stronger, more accurate reflection of the world around us. We envisioned this program with bold outcomes in mind - to advance a strategy that leverages Howard's high quality faculty and Google's expertise, while also rallying the tech industry and other thought leaders around the importance of diversity in business and the communities they serve."
- Dr. Wayne Frederick, President of Howard University

During my time at Howard, I worked side-by-side with future lawyers, doctors, writers, entertainers, architects and business leaders. The spirit of total possibility put me on my path to Harvard Business School and ultimately Google. Howard West will continue Howard's tradition of providing unprecedented access to opportunity, only now with a presence in the heart of Silicon Valley.


Advice guide shows readers how to present their best selves via social media, networking and their personal image

In this age of social media, there's never been a more critical time to understand the power of personal branding. The newly-released
Make Your Mark: Personal Branding Through 'On-Purpose' Living does just that.

A timely advice tool from author, marketing strategist and entrepreneur Courtney R. Rhodes, Make Your Mark is designed for the modern-day professional, college student or dreamer looking to achieve lifelong goals through smart use of their personal brand. Rhodes has channeled her 20+ years of sales and marketing expertise into relatable strategies that will motivate you to harness your most valuable asset -- you! -- and show you how to take your dream from vision to victory.

In Make Your Mark, readers will learn:

1.     What your personal brand is and why it matters
2.     How to embrace your authenticity to build your 'on-purpose' brand
3.     Effective communication skills for a positive lasting impact
4.     How to build and engage your network through social media platforms
5.     Designing a personal image that aligns with your brand story

"I have always believed that we innately hold the power to change our lives," says Rhodes. "Much of that power lies in understanding our personal brand - essentially our authentic selves - and how to present our brand to the world. I wrote 'Make Your Mark' because I've witnessed firsthand how just a few smart changes to your communication skills, relationships and overall image can significantly impact your career, goals and life."
Make Your Mark: Personal Branding Through 'On-Purpose' Living is now available on and

Follow Courtney on Instagram and Twitter at @thebrandista.

Super Producer Drumma Boy Fresh Joins 66 Raw


Grammy nominated super producer Drumma Boy Fresh, known for his plethora of hits for major artists and one of his latest "Look At My Dab" for Migos which cause the "Dabbing" frenzy across the world has joined 66 Raw as official Brand Ambassador and will be debuting his own show "2 Hours of Fresh" exclusively on 66 Raw very soon. Drumma Boy also has several business ventures which includes 2 alcohol brands and his Fresh Phamily Clothing Line where 66 Raw will hold contests to give a way.


Tune-In at 10PM ET/PT on Centric
Sneak Peak of BEING
SATURDAY, MARCH 25, 2017 at 10PM ET/PT
"BEING" on Centric
will feature Kierra Sheard
Kierra Sheard and her episode of BEING is the story of a young woman born into a family of Gospel music royalty (The Clark Sisters) and a heavy Christian faith. With expectations set high to follow the successful blueprint already written, Kierra struggles to find her own way in both artistry and ministry. Not wanting to be boxed in by the presets of her mother and father, she is a lot more honest about her shortcomings than the gospel fan base is used to experiencing. Kierra is an open book and she connects to the masses by often discussing her weight issues, cosmetic surgery and her own character flaws - including her choices in men. She is boldly creating her own path, in hopes of reaching those who aren’t interested in stepping inside a church. But she is learning that sometimes the road less traveled, is a hard one…


Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat and Michael Mauldin pictured with Seasons 1 - 3 Cast Members: Nova, Mani, Miss Mulatto, King Roscoe, Supa Peach, Deetranada, Nia Kay, Lil Key and J.I. the Prince of NY
[Photo credit: Chris Mitchell/So So Def, Michael Walker/Umeek Images, Thaddaeus McAdams/]

On Wednesday, So So DefScream Nation and Live Nation hosted a press conference at Topgolf Atlanta Midtown to formally announce the upcoming "Jermaine Dupri Presents: SoSoSUMMER 17 Tour" featuring the stars of the hit Lifetime series "The Rap Game."

So So Def CEO and "The Rap Game" executive producer Jermaine Dupri, rapper and radio/tv personality Da Brat and Scream Nation CEO Michael Mauldin were on hand to share details on the teen concert tour and to present the performers: Miss Mulatto (winner, Season 1 of "The Rap Game"), Mani (winner, Season 2 of "The Rap Game"), Lil Key (Season 2 cast), J.I. the Prince of NY (Season 2 cast), Nia Kay (Season 2 cast), Supa Peach (Season 1 cast), Nova (Season 3 cast), Deetranada (Season 3 cast) and King Roscoe (Season 3 cast).

"Jermaine Dupri Presents: SoSoSUMMER 17 Tour" begins May 25 in Louisville at the Louisville Palace, with stops in Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, Memphis, and many more. Tickets go on sale TODAY, March 24 at livenation.comComplete tour dates and cities below:

Jermaine Dupri Presents SoSoSUMMER 17 Tour
Thu May 25
Louisville, KY
Louisville Palace
Fri May 26
Detroit, MI
Fox Theatre
Sun May 28
Chicago, IL
Chicago Theater
Thu Jun 01
Norfolk, VA
Chrysler Hall
Fri Jun 02
Columbia, SC
Township Auditorium
Sat Jun 03
Baltimore, MD
Pier Six
Sun Jun 04
Cleveland, OH
State Theatre
Wed Jun 07
St Louis, MO
Peabody Opera House
Fri Jun 09
Indianapolis, IN
Murat Theatre
Sat Jun 10
Charlotte, NC
Ovens Auditorium
Sun Jun 11
Raleigh, NC
Raleigh Memorial  (Duke Energy Center)
Thu Jun 15
Richmond, VA
Altria Theater
Fri Jun 16
New York, NY
Beacon Theatre
Sat Jun 17
Washington DC
DAR Constitution
Thu Jun 22
Atlanta, GA
Wolf Creek Amphitheater
Sat Jun 24
Houston, TX
Revention Music Center
Sun Jun 25
Dallas, TX
Music Hall Fair Park

Michael Mauldin (CEO of Scream Nation) and Jermaine Dupri (So So Def CEO and "The Rap Game" executive producer) share their excitement with media

Jermaine Dupri is joined by Da Brat and Season 1-3 cast members
Jermaine Dupri hits the carpet with Da Brat and Michael Mauldin

(left) Mani (season 2 winner), Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat, Michael Mauldin and Miss Mulatto (season 1 winner)
(right) Jermaine Dupri with season 1 rivals Miss Mulatto and Supa Peach

(left) Jermaine Dupri with season 2 cast members Mani, J.I. the Prince of NY, Lil Key and Nia Kay
(right) Jermaine Dupri with season 3 cast members Nova, King Roscoe and Deetranada

Montana (BET's "Ink, Paper, Scissors"), Cornbread (recording artist) and Da Brat sharing some love

Atlanta media made sure to pack the house!