R&B/Hip-Hop Briefs: Ledisi, Sly Stone, Nina Simone, Public Enemy
- Grammy nominee Ledisi will join gospel singers Yolanda Adams and Donald Lawrence for BET's 10th anniversary of "Celebration of Gospel." Hosted by comedian/actor Steve Harvey, the Dec. 12 event will be taped at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles for broadcast on Jan. 10, 2010. Additional performers include Fantasia, Anthony Hamilton and his wife Tarsha Hamilton, BeBe & CeCe Winans and Marvin Sapp.
- R&B/funk legend Sly Stone has signed with Los Angeles-based Cleopatra Records. The former Sly & the Family Stone frontman is recording an album for release in early summer 2010, featuring new original material and re-recorded versions of his greatest hits. Cleopatra (cleopatrarecords.com), distributed in the U.S. and Canada by E1 Entertainment, is headed by founder/CEO Brian Perera.
- PBS series "Independent Lens" will present three films about hip-hop in the new year. The first, "Copyright Criminals" (Jan. 19, 2010), will examine the creative and commercial value of music sampling, featuring such acts as Public Enemy, De La Soul and George Clinton. "Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes" (Jan. 26) will concentrate on gender roles in hip-hop and rap through the lens of college quarterback-turned-activist Byron Hurt. Third film "P-Star Rising" (Feb. 2) follows a father-daughter duo as the pair pursues the young daughter¹s dream of becoming a successful rapper. "Independent Lens" is hosted by actress Maggie Gyllenhall.
- Coming Feb. 2, 2010 is a new biography of singer/songwriter and civil rights activist Nina Simone, "Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone." The Pantheon Books publication is written by Nadine Cohodas, the author of "Queen: The Life and Music of Dinah Washington" and "Spinning Blues Into Gold: The Chess Brothers and the Legendary Chess Records."