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Sarah Dash, who sang on 'Lady Marmalade' with Labelle, dies at 76LOS ANGELES - Sarah Dash, the legendary R&B singer who ...
09/21/2021

Sarah Dash, who sang on 'Lady Marmalade' with Labelle, dies at 76

LOS ANGELES - Sarah Dash, the legendary R&B singer who gained prominence as part of the group Labelle in the 1970s, has died.

She was 76.

Labelle's publicist confirmed Dash's death to Variety.

Trenton, New Jersey, Mayor Reed Gusciora also shared the news on his page, writing: "Our resident legend and Trenton's very first music ambassador, Sarah Dash, has passed away... Our motto, 'Trenton Makes, the World Takes' was alive and well with Sarah. What Sarah made was beautiful music refined by a lifetime of experience and numerous contributions to the arts and the community. What the world takes is a timeless inspiration of a woman who touched the highest peaks of stardom and never forgot where she came from."

Beyond Labelle, Dash lent her smooth vocals to the recordings and live shows of some of the biggest artists in music, including the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, Stevie Wonder, Laura Nyro, Alice Cooper, the O'Jays, Wilson Pickett, Bo Diddley and more. She also had a lucrative solo career, seeing success with songs like 1978's "Sinner Man" and 1983's "Low Down Dirty Rhythm."

Born in Trenton, Dash got her start singing gospel music as the daughter of a pastor. After moving to Philadelphia in the '60s, Dash met Patti LaBelle, Cindy Birdsong and Nona Hendryx, and the quartet soon formed the Bluebelles, which would later become Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. In 1967, Birdsong departed the group to join the Supremes and the trio changed their name to Labelle. After signing to Warner Bros. Records, Labelle released its self-titled debut album in 1971, followed by "Moon Shadow" in 1972. Labelle's mainstream success came with a trio of albums released in the mid-'70s: "Nightbirds," "Phoenix" and "Chameleon." "Lady Marmalade," a single from "Nightbirds," proved to be the group's most successful song, topping the Billboard Hot 100 and earning international acclaim.

Sarah Dash, who sang on 'Lady Marmalade' with Labelle, dies at 76

LOS ANGELES - Sarah Dash, the legendary R&B singer who gained prominence as part of the group Labelle in the 1970s, has died.

She was 76.

Labelle's publicist confirmed Dash's death to Variety.

Trenton, New Jersey, Mayor Reed Gusciora also shared the news on his page, writing: "Our resident legend and Trenton's very first music ambassador, Sarah Dash, has passed away... Our motto, 'Trenton Makes, the World Takes' was alive and well with Sarah. What Sarah made was beautiful music refined by a lifetime of experience and numerous contributions to the arts and the community. What the world takes is a timeless inspiration of a woman who touched the highest peaks of stardom and never forgot where she came from."

Beyond Labelle, Dash lent her smooth vocals to the recordings and live shows of some of the biggest artists in music, including the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, Stevie Wonder, Laura Nyro, Alice Cooper, the O'Jays, Wilson Pickett, Bo Diddley and more. She also had a lucrative solo career, seeing success with songs like 1978's "Sinner Man" and 1983's "Low Down Dirty Rhythm."

Born in Trenton, Dash got her start singing gospel music as the daughter of a pastor. After moving to Philadelphia in the '60s, Dash met Patti LaBelle, Cindy Birdsong and Nona Hendryx, and the quartet soon formed the Bluebelles, which would later become Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. In 1967, Birdsong departed the group to join the Supremes and the trio changed their name to Labelle. After signing to Warner Bros. Records, Labelle released its self-titled debut album in 1971, followed by "Moon Shadow" in 1972. Labelle's mainstream success came with a trio of albums released in the mid-'70s: "Nightbirds," "Phoenix" and "Chameleon." "Lady Marmalade," a single from "Nightbirds," proved to be the group's most successful song, topping the Billboard Hot 100 and earning international acclaim.

Anthony ‘AJ’ Johnson, ‘Friday’ and ‘House Party’ actor, dead at 55Anthony “AJ” Johnson, the actor best known as the scen...
09/21/2021

Anthony ‘AJ’ Johnson, ‘Friday’ and ‘House Party’ actor, dead at 55

Anthony “AJ” Johnson, the actor best known as the scene-stealing Ezal in the hit “Friday” comedy franchise, has died at the age of 55.

Johnson’s rep LyNea Bell confirmed the comedian’s passing, though the cause of death has not been disclosed.

“We lost an icon. He will be greatly missed,” Bell told the Hollywood Reporter. “He has left with us amazing memories of his laughter, dynamic acting skills, but most of all his enormous personality and heart of gold.”

The performer’s nephew reportedly told TMZ his uncle was found unconscious in a Los Angeles store earlier in September. He was rushed to an emergency room where he was pronounced dead.

Johnson boasted roles in a string of hit feature films, including “House Party,” “Menace II Society,” “Lethal Weapon 3” with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, “The Players Club,” “I Got The Hook Up” and “B.A.P.S” with Halle Berry. Among his varied television credits were national commercials for Dodge and guest spots on “Martin” with Martin Lawrence, “Moesha” with Brandy and “The Jamie Foxx Show,” to name just a few of his hilarious contributions.

Anthony ‘AJ’ Johnson, ‘Friday’ and ‘House Party’ actor, dead at 55

Anthony “AJ” Johnson, the actor best known as the scene-stealing Ezal in the hit “Friday” comedy franchise, has died at the age of 55.

Johnson’s rep LyNea Bell confirmed the comedian’s passing, though the cause of death has not been disclosed.

“We lost an icon. He will be greatly missed,” Bell told the Hollywood Reporter. “He has left with us amazing memories of his laughter, dynamic acting skills, but most of all his enormous personality and heart of gold.”

The performer’s nephew reportedly told TMZ his uncle was found unconscious in a Los Angeles store earlier in September. He was rushed to an emergency room where he was pronounced dead.

Johnson boasted roles in a string of hit feature films, including “House Party,” “Menace II Society,” “Lethal Weapon 3” with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, “The Players Club,” “I Got The Hook Up” and “B.A.P.S” with Halle Berry. Among his varied television credits were national commercials for Dodge and guest spots on “Martin” with Martin Lawrence, “Moesha” with Brandy and “The Jamie Foxx Show,” to name just a few of his hilarious contributions.

Biz Markie, Hip-Hop’s ‘Just a Friend’ Clown Prince, Dies at 57An innovative yet proudly goofy rapper, he had an unlikely...
07/17/2021

Biz Markie, Hip-Hop’s ‘Just a Friend’ Clown Prince, Dies at 57
An innovative yet proudly goofy rapper, he had an unlikely crossover hit with a tune that led one critic to call him (favorably) “the father of modern bad singing.”

Biz Markie, the innovative yet proudly goofy rapper, D.J. and producer whose self-deprecating lyrics and off-key wail on songs like “Just a Friend” earned him the nickname Clown Prince of Hip-Hop, died on Friday. He was 57.

His death was confirmed by his manager, Jenni Izumi, who did not specify the cause or say where he died.

He had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in his late 40s and said that he lost 140 pounds in the years that followed. “I wanted to live,” he told ABC News in 2014.

A native New Yorker and an early collaborator with hip-hop trailblazers like Marley Marl, Roxanne Shanté and Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie began as a teenage beatboxer and freestyle rapper. He eventually made a name for himself as the resident court jester of the Queensbridge-based collective the Juice Crew and its Cold Chillin’ label, under the tutelage of the influential radio D.J. Mr. Magic.

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On “Goin’ Off” (1988), his debut album, Biz Markie introduced himself as a bumbling upstart with a juvenile sense of humor — the opening track, “Pickin’ Boogers,” was about exactly that — but his charm and his skills were undeniable, making him a plausible sell to an increasingly rap-curious crossover audience.

With direct, often mundane lyrics written in part by his childhood friend Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie was a hip-hop Everyman whose chief love was music, a journey he broke down over a James Brown sample on his first hip-hop hit, the biographical “Vapors”; Snoop Doggy Dogg later adapted the song for his own 1997 version.

“When I was a teenager, I wanted to be down/With a lot of MC-D.J.-ing crews in town,” Biz Markie rapped. “So in school on Noble Street, I say, ‘Can I be down, champ’/They said no, and treated me like a wet food stamp.”

But Biz Markie soon outpaced his peers commercially, becoming a pop sensation with the unlikely 1989 smash “Just a Friend,” from “The Biz Never Sleeps,” which was released by Cold Chillin’ and Warner Bros. Over a plunked piano beat, borrowing its melody from the 1968 song “(You) Got What I Need,” recorded by Freddie Scott and written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Biz Markie raps an extended tale about being unlucky in love.

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But it was his pained, rough-edged singing on the song’s chorus — along with the “yo’ mama” jokes and the Mozart costume he wore in the music video — that made the song indelible: “Oh, baaaaby, you/You got what I neeeeeed/But you say he’s just a friend/But you say he’s just a friend.”

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Continue reading the main story

Writing in The New York Times, the critic Kelefa Sanneh called Biz Markie “the father of modern bad singing” and wrote, “His bellowed plea — wildly out of tune, and totally unforgettable — sounded like something concocted after a day of romantic disappointments and a night of heavy drinking.”

Biz Markie has said he was never supposed to be the vocalist handling those notes. “I asked people to sing the part, and nobody showed up at the studio,” he explained later, “so I did it myself.”

“Just a Friend” would go platinum, reaching No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart and No. 9 on the all-genre Hot 100. He said he realized how big it had gotten “when Howard Stern and Frankie Crocker and all the white stations around the country started playing it.” And although Biz Markie would never again reach the heights of “Just a Friend” — he failed to land another single on the Hot 100 — he brushed off those who referred to him dismissively as a one-hit wonder.

“I don’t feel bad,” he said. “I know what I did in hip-hop.”

Biz Markie, Hip-Hop’s ‘Just a Friend’ Clown Prince, Dies at 57
An innovative yet proudly goofy rapper, he had an unlikely crossover hit with a tune that led one critic to call him (favorably) “the father of modern bad singing.”

Biz Markie, the innovative yet proudly goofy rapper, D.J. and producer whose self-deprecating lyrics and off-key wail on songs like “Just a Friend” earned him the nickname Clown Prince of Hip-Hop, died on Friday. He was 57.

His death was confirmed by his manager, Jenni Izumi, who did not specify the cause or say where he died.

He had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in his late 40s and said that he lost 140 pounds in the years that followed. “I wanted to live,” he told ABC News in 2014.

A native New Yorker and an early collaborator with hip-hop trailblazers like Marley Marl, Roxanne Shanté and Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie began as a teenage beatboxer and freestyle rapper. He eventually made a name for himself as the resident court jester of the Queensbridge-based collective the Juice Crew and its Cold Chillin’ label, under the tutelage of the influential radio D.J. Mr. Magic.

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue reading the main story

On “Goin’ Off” (1988), his debut album, Biz Markie introduced himself as a bumbling upstart with a juvenile sense of humor — the opening track, “Pickin’ Boogers,” was about exactly that — but his charm and his skills were undeniable, making him a plausible sell to an increasingly rap-curious crossover audience.

With direct, often mundane lyrics written in part by his childhood friend Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie was a hip-hop Everyman whose chief love was music, a journey he broke down over a James Brown sample on his first hip-hop hit, the biographical “Vapors”; Snoop Doggy Dogg later adapted the song for his own 1997 version.

“When I was a teenager, I wanted to be down/With a lot of MC-D.J.-ing crews in town,” Biz Markie rapped. “So in school on Noble Street, I say, ‘Can I be down, champ’/They said no, and treated me like a wet food stamp.”

But Biz Markie soon outpaced his peers commercially, becoming a pop sensation with the unlikely 1989 smash “Just a Friend,” from “The Biz Never Sleeps,” which was released by Cold Chillin’ and Warner Bros. Over a plunked piano beat, borrowing its melody from the 1968 song “(You) Got What I Need,” recorded by Freddie Scott and written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Biz Markie raps an extended tale about being unlucky in love.

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Continue reading the main story

But it was his pained, rough-edged singing on the song’s chorus — along with the “yo’ mama” jokes and the Mozart costume he wore in the music video — that made the song indelible: “Oh, baaaaby, you/You got what I neeeeeed/But you say he’s just a friend/But you say he’s just a friend.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue reading the main story

Writing in The New York Times, the critic Kelefa Sanneh called Biz Markie “the father of modern bad singing” and wrote, “His bellowed plea — wildly out of tune, and totally unforgettable — sounded like something concocted after a day of romantic disappointments and a night of heavy drinking.”

Biz Markie has said he was never supposed to be the vocalist handling those notes. “I asked people to sing the part, and nobody showed up at the studio,” he explained later, “so I did it myself.”

“Just a Friend” would go platinum, reaching No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart and No. 9 on the all-genre Hot 100. He said he realized how big it had gotten “when Howard Stern and Frankie Crocker and all the white stations around the country started playing it.” And although Biz Markie would never again reach the heights of “Just a Friend” — he failed to land another single on the Hot 100 — he brushed off those who referred to him dismissively as a one-hit wonder.

“I don’t feel bad,” he said. “I know what I did in hip-hop.”

03/17/2021
Anita Baker Asks Fans To Stop Streaming Her Music In Efforts to Retrieve Her MastersTHE LEGENDARY SINGER SAYS THE LABEL ...
03/17/2021

Anita Baker Asks Fans To Stop Streaming Her Music In Efforts to Retrieve Her Masters

THE LEGENDARY SINGER SAYS THE LABEL IS GOING TO MAKE HER FIGHT FOR IT AND SHE'S PREPARED TO DO IT

Despite a legendary catalog of music that includes five Platinum-selling albums, R&B icon Anita Baker is now asking fans to halt the purchase and streaming of her music.

In a host of tweets, Baker disclosed a battle she’s currently embroidered in with her label. Commenting on how she’s “miraculously” outlived her artist contracts, the Detroit native pointed out that her rightfully-owed masters are still not in her possession. Referencing copyright reversion, which is an artists’ ability to regain copyright of their work after an allotted period of time, Baker says she prepared to fight for her bodies of work.

“They no longer ‘Own’ My Name & Likeness,” she wrote. “And, by Law…30 yr old, Masters are 2B Returned, 2 Me.”

Masters recordings aren’t owned by artists initially because record labels finance the money to produce and promote the album and artists are paid via record sales. For singers like Baker, who have outlived their contracts, royalties from their work are still being paid elsewhere when they don’t have copyright possession of their master recordings.

Responding to a fan who showed support on Twitter, the ballad vocalist wrote, “Hello Sweetheart Thank You 4 Sending Me, Your Love. But, let’s not Advertise *Spotify Streaming, which is, a Publicly Traded Company, with a 50 Million$ Valuation… but doesn’t pay Artists/Creators what their Worth.”

Since its inception, many artists have become overwhelmingly hesitant of music streaming services. Prince notably removed his catalog from Spotify and YouTube as he believed that digital sales brought no real profit to artists. The legendary musician later signed an exclusive streaming deal for his discography with Tidal in 2015.

In following tweets, Baker broke down rates of streaming services and even referenced streaming service giants as “thieves in the temple” who use her name and likeness for free advertising.

Anita Baker Asks Fans To Stop Streaming Her Music In Efforts to Retrieve Her Masters

THE LEGENDARY SINGER SAYS THE LABEL IS GOING TO MAKE HER FIGHT FOR IT AND SHE'S PREPARED TO DO IT

Despite a legendary catalog of music that includes five Platinum-selling albums, R&B icon Anita Baker is now asking fans to halt the purchase and streaming of her music.

In a host of tweets, Baker disclosed a battle she’s currently embroidered in with her label. Commenting on how she’s “miraculously” outlived her artist contracts, the Detroit native pointed out that her rightfully-owed masters are still not in her possession. Referencing copyright reversion, which is an artists’ ability to regain copyright of their work after an allotted period of time, Baker says she prepared to fight for her bodies of work.

“They no longer ‘Own’ My Name & Likeness,” she wrote. “And, by Law…30 yr old, Masters are 2B Returned, 2 Me.”

Masters recordings aren’t owned by artists initially because record labels finance the money to produce and promote the album and artists are paid via record sales. For singers like Baker, who have outlived their contracts, royalties from their work are still being paid elsewhere when they don’t have copyright possession of their master recordings.

Responding to a fan who showed support on Twitter, the ballad vocalist wrote, “Hello Sweetheart Thank You 4 Sending Me, Your Love. But, let’s not Advertise *Spotify Streaming, which is, a Publicly Traded Company, with a 50 Million$ Valuation… but doesn’t pay Artists/Creators what their Worth.”

Since its inception, many artists have become overwhelmingly hesitant of music streaming services. Prince notably removed his catalog from Spotify and YouTube as he believed that digital sales brought no real profit to artists. The legendary musician later signed an exclusive streaming deal for his discography with Tidal in 2015.

In following tweets, Baker broke down rates of streaming services and even referenced streaming service giants as “thieves in the temple” who use her name and likeness for free advertising.

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