Gail Mitchell’s R&B/Hip-Hop Briefs: BMG/Primary Wave Artist Services Signs Artists, Ethiopia Habtemariam To Keynote Back to Basics, An Evening of Stars Line-up Announced

--- Singer/songwriters Eric Benét, Calvin Richardson and Goapele are the first R&B artists to sign deals with BMG/Primary Wave Artist Services to release their next albums in the U.S. Benét will be releasing his seventh studio album. Responsible for bringing Richardson and Goapele to BMG/Primary Wave, Benét has been working as a producer on their next projects. Richardson’s next album is due this summer. Its first single, “We Gon’ Love Tonight,” arrives in May. Goapele’s fourth studio album will be released in the fall. Last month, Primary Wave Music appointed Benét as head of its new Urban AC Division and industry veteran Ken Wilson as head of in-house urban radio promotion. BMG/Primary Wave Artist Services was established in September 2013.

--- Newly appointed Motown president and Universal Music Publishing executive VP/head of urban music Ethiopia Habtemariam will be the keynote speaker at Back to Basics, a music/entertainment summit hosted by Urban Network Digital and Amalgamation Magazine. The confab will be held May 1-4 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego. Among other summit panelists: Kobalt Music Publishing senior VP Al McLean, Motown Gospel VP/GM Larry Blackwell, SESAC VP James Leach, Rondor Music executive VP Kevin Hall, BET senior director/music supervision Kelly G., Roc Nation Music A&R executive Omar Grant and Strange Music VP of label development Violet Brown.

 --- Jill Scott, the Isley Brothers and Tye Tribbett will perform at the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) 35th annual An Evening of Stars. Actor/comedian Anthony Anderson returns as host for the telecast, being taped April 6 at the Atlanta Civic Center. BET will air the event on April 13. Also performing: Alice Smith, Sevyn Streeter, August Alsina and Spoken Reasons. Sponsors include McDonald’s, Wells Fargo, Target, Buick and Clear Channel.