-- Aretha Franklin has reunited with her longtime agent, Dick Alen, and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment. The legendary singer, due to release a new album in late summer, will also perform at the first annual Nelson Mandela Birthday concert (July 18) at Madison Square Garden. She joins a lineup that includes Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, will.i.am, Alicia Keys and Dave Stewart.

-- Ledisi, Norman Brown, Angie Stone, Ramsey Lewis and David Sanborn will be among the R&B and jazz artists performing at the 22nd annual Long Beach (Calif.) Jazz Festival (Aug. 7-9) at Rainbow Lagoon Park. Billed as "The Ultimate Summer Groove," the festival is dedicated to the late jazz musician Wayman Tisdale. Slated to perform at this year's event, Tisdale will be given a special tribute on opening night.

-- Veteran music executive Clarence Avant and funkmeister George Clinton head the slate of honorees at the 20th annual Heroes and Legends (HAL) Awards. Clinton will receive the Pioneer Award while Avant will be given the Triumph Award. Additional music industry honorees include the O'Jays' Eddie Levert, producer/arranger H.B. Barnum, songwriter/artist Dennis Coffey and Universal Music Publishing urban music VP Maani Edwards. The Hal Awards (halawards.com) will take place Sept. 27 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.

-- Former Atlantic Records act Pretty Ricky will release its next album through their own indie label, Bluestar Entertainment International. The first single from the group's self-titled CD is "Tipsy in Dis Club." A release date for the album will be announced shortly.

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