-Jermaine Dupri will receive the 2008 Bill of Rights Award from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California on Dec. 8. Dupri, president of Island Records Urban Music, will join fellow honoree Earvin “Magic” Johnson for the ceremony, which will take place at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

-Veteran musician/producer Norman Connors will release a new album, “Star Power,” via Shanachie Entertainment in Feb. 2009. Featuring a mix of classics and new material, the album pairs Connors with a lineup that
includes Peabo Bryson, Howart Hewett, Marion Meadows, Christopher Williams, Ray Parker Jr. and Bobby Lyle.

-Beyoncé will headline the 2009 Essence Music Festival, which returns to the New Orleans Superdome July 3-5. Beginning today (Dec. 1) through Jan. 31, 2009, a 15% discount on select tickets is being offered in celebration of the festival’s 15th anniversary.

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