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Film and Television Actress Kerry Washington
Category: Celebrity Pick
Tags: film tv actress kerry washington scandal series word life production new quality entertainment

Born in New York City on January 31, 1977, actress Kerry Washington started performing during her school years. She earned a degree in performance studies from George Washington University. After making her film debut in 2000's Our Song, Washington starred in such films as Save the Last Dance and Bad Company. She earned wide acclaim for her work in Ray (2004) and The Last King of Scotland. In 2012, she began her run on the TV drama Scandal.

The daughter of a real estate broker and an education professor, actress Kerry Washington was born in New York City on January 31, 1977, and grew up in the South Bronx. She started out with ballet lessons as a young child, but her first career ambition involved a certain large mammal. "I wanted to work with Shamu at Sea World," Washington told Giant. "I thought that was the best job in the world, to care for and feed dancing whales."

Washington attended the Spence School in Manhattan, a prestigious private school. In addition to appearing in school productions, she was a member of a theater group that tackled social issues. Washington soon won a theater scholarship to George Washington University, where she earned a degree in performance studies.

While she made her film debut in Our Song in 2000, Washington had one of her first career breakthroughs the following year. She won over audiences with her role in Save the Last Dance (2001), starring Julia Stiles. Soon after the release of this popular teen drama, Washington moved on to comedy. She appeared in the humorous action film Bad Company (2004), starring Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins.

Washington's career really took flight in 2004; she took on several major movie roles that year, including Della Rae Robinson, the wife of blind singer and musician Ray Charles, in the biopic Ray. Washington received strong reviews for her performance, and her co-star, Jamie Foxx, won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Charles. That same year, she starred opposite Anthony Mackie in Spike Lee's dramatic comedy She Hate Me.

The versatile actress tried her hand at the comic book action genre with 2005's Fantastic Four, starring Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis. The following year, Washington once again showed off her skills as a dramatic actress in The Last King of Scotland. She won raves for her nuanced turn as the wife of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin—played by Forrest Whitaker—in the film. Around this time, Washington also had a recurring role on the hit television series Boston Legal.

In 2007, Washington reteamed with Chris Rock for I Think I Love My Wife. She played a vixen who gets involved with a married man (Rock) in the film. The part gave Washington the opportunity to branch out from the many devoted wife roles she had tackled in the past. She went on to explore interracial relationships with Lakeview Terrace (2008), in which she plays an African-American woman married to a white man (Patrick Wilson). The couple is harassed by an African-American cop (Samuel L. Jackson) in this thriller.

With For Colored Girls (2010), Washington worked with an impressive ensemble of actresses, including Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Janet Jackson and Thandie Newton. The film, directed and written by Tyler Perry, was an adaptation of a play by Ntozake Shange. In 2012, Washington moved to the small screen to star on the dramatic political series Scandal. She plays a "fixer," a person who cleans up scandals and other messes for her clients, on the show.

That same year, Washington reunited with Ray co-star Jamie Foxx for Quentin Tarantino's western Django Unchained (2012). She plays Broomhilda von Shaft, a slave married to Foxx's character, Django. In the film, the pair is separated, and Django teams up with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to find her.

Source: Biography.com

 

Celebrating the life and legacy of Arthur Ashe Tags: life legacy arthur ash moment silence word life production new quality entertainment featured blog

On July 10, 1943 Arthur Robert Ashe Jr. was born to parents Arthur Sr. and Mattie C. Ashe in Richmond, Virginia. Arthur began learning tennis from an early age, in part because his father took a post at Brook Field in 1947. The position came with a house that was located in the middle of the blacks-only playground at Brook Field, which was an 18-acre park that included tennis courts. At the same time as he was playing tennis, he was an avid reader and straight A student. In 1950, a few months before Arthur's 7th birthday, his mother died of complications from surgery. In 1950 Arthur met Ronald Charity, one of the best black tennis players in the nation and a part-time tennis coach, who took an interest in Arthur. He began working with him regularly, teaching him strokes and proper form. By 1953 it was apparent that Arthur had a talent for tennis but needed a proper coach in order to keep improving. At this point Charity introduced him to Dr. Walter Johnson, who would become his lifelong coach and mentor. Dr. Johnson was also the coach of the only African-American competing in world tennis at that time, Althea Gibson.

Teen Years
Arthur continued with his tennis under Johnson's instruction and in 1958 became the first African-American to play in the Maryland boys' championships. This was also his first integrated tennis competition. During the summer Arthur could travel and participate in competitive tournaments around the country; during the school year his competition was much more limited because he was limited to black opponents from Richmond and there were only outdoor tennis courts for blacks. In order for him to continue his tennis, he was sent away before beginning his senior year in high school to St. Louis, Missouri. He stayed with a friend of Johnson, Richard Hudlin and enjoyed a number of strong tennis opponents. At this time he was also making a name for himself, having won multiple junior tennis tournaments around the nation and being featured in the December 12, 1960 issue of Sports Illustrated as a Face in the Crowd. It was at this time that the University of California, Los Angeles offered him a full scholarship to attend college there.

College Years
Upon graduating from high school first in his class, Arthur went to UCLA, which had one of the best college tennis programs. Playing there brought him more recognition amongst tennis enthusiasts. That year he was also named to the U.S. Davis Cup team as its first African-American player. He continued to play on the team until 1970, and then again in 1975, 1976 and 1978. As a sophomore at UCLA, Arthur was featured again in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd as an up and coming athlete of some note. During his time in college he maintained good grades while pursuing tennis. He was active in other things, joining the Upsilon chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity on campus. In 1966 Arthur graduated with a degree in business administration, the first member on the paternal side of his family to graduate college. In addition to finishing his studies Arthur had in 1965 won the individual NCAA championship and had significantly contributed to UCLA's winning the team NCAA tennis championship.

Military Service
Following school Arthur served his country, joining the U.S. Army from 1966-68. While stationed at West Point in New York, he eventually reached the rank of second lieutenant. During his time in the army he continued to play tennis, participating in the Davis Cup and other tournaments.

Still an amateur, Arthur triumphed over Tom Okker of the Netherlands on September 9, 1968 to win the first U.S. Open. Unfortunately, because of his amateur status he could not accept the prize money, which was given to Okker despite his loss. He is the only African-American man to ever win the title.

Upon returning to West Point, Arthur entered the dining hall that evening where, unexpectedly, everyone gave him a enthusiastic standing ovation. Soon thereafter in 1969 Arthur co-founded the National Junior Tennis League with Charlie Pasarell, a tennis player who later went on to be a tournament director and commentator, and Sheridan Snyder, a tennis enthusiast. 

The program was designed to expose children to tennis who might not otherwise have opportunities to play while fostering a sense of discipline and attention to academics.

This was the first of many programs with which Arthur would become involved, many of them focusing on youths, minorities, education, tennis, or some intersection thereof. For Arthur, however, the tennis programs he was involved with were not oriented toward producing professional athletes but instead used tennis as a vehicle for teaching life skills.

Professional Years
In 1969 Arthur first applied for a visa to travel to South Africa and compete in the South African Open. At the time the country's government enforced a strict policy of racial segregation called Apartheid. Because of this they denied him a South African visa despite his number 1 U.S. ranking.

He continued to keep applying for visas, and the country continued to deny him. In protest he used this example of discrimination to campaign for the expulsion of the nation from the International Lawn Tennis Federation. This was the beginning of his activism against Apartheid, which would become a central issue to him for the next two decades.

In January of 1970 Arthur won the Australian open, the second of his three career grand Slam singles titles. By the early 70s he had become one of the most famous tennis players. Along with Arthur's growing celebrity status, the sport of tennis was becoming more and more popular. However, the earnings of tennis players did not reflect the increased interest and therefore revenue. In response to this he partnered in creating the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) in 1972 with Jack Kramer and others. The ATP was formed to represent the interests of male tennis pros. Prior to its formation players had less control over their earnings or their tournament schedule. Two years later he was elected as the President of ATP.

South Africa eventually granted Arthur a visa in 1973. He was the first black pro to play in the national championships there where he reached the singles finals and won the doubles title with Tom Okker.

1975 would prove a banner year for Arthur. On July 5, 1975 he defeated the heavily favored Jimmy Connors in four sets to win the Wimbledon singles title. He was the first and only black man to win the most prestigious grass-court tournament. This year he also attained the #1 men's ranking in the world.

Family Life
In 1976 Arthur met Jeanne Moutoussamy, a photographer, who he married on February 20, 1977. The ceremony was held at the United Nations chapel in New York and was presided over by Andrew Young, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. In 1979 Arthur suffered a heart attack while holding a tennis clinic in New York. He was hospitalized for ten days afterwards and later that year underwent quadruple-bypass surgery. He continued to suffer chest pains though and in 1980 decided to retire from tennis with a career record of 818 wins, 260 losses and 51 titles.

Arthur's retirement from tennis in no way meant slowing down. He took on many new tasks: writing for Time Magazine, the Washington Post and Tennis Magazine; commentating for ABC Sports; and continuing his activism against the South African Apartheid regime. That same year, in fact, he was appointed captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team. Under his leadership—including members such as John McEnroe, Peter Fleming and Jimmy Connors over his period as captain—the U.S. won the Davis Cup in 1981 and 1982. In 1981 he also served as national chairman of the American Heart Association.

In 1983 Arthur went through a second bypass surgery. After the operation, in order to accelerate his recovery, he received a blood transfusion. It was this transfusion that resulted in him contracting human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. Also in 1983, along with Harry Belafonte, he founded Artists and Athletes Against Apartheid, which worked toward raising awareness of Apartheid policies and lobbying for sanctions and embargoes against the South African government. Two years later the immense courage of his convictions were displayed when he was arrested outside the South African embassy in Washington during an anti-apartheid protest on January 11, 1985. That same year his career was officially commemorated by his induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI.

The next year marked another very important milestone for Arthur Ashe. On December 21, 1986 his daughter, Camera, was born. Around this time he also agreed to teach a course at Florida Memorial College, "The Black Athlete in Contemporary Society." In preparation for this, he searched libraries for a book detailing history of Black Americans in sports up through the present. The most up-to-date and comprehensive text available was from 20 years before. This was the inspiration for him to begin work on his 3-volume book "A Hard Road To Glory," which was published in 1988. During this period he also founded the ABC Cities Tennis Program, the Athlete-Career Connection, and the Safe Passage Foundation.

After feeling numbness in his right hand, Arthur was hospitalized again in 1988. Tests showed that he had a bacterial infection called toxoplasmosis, most often present in people with HIV. After further testing it was revealed that he had HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS. This information was kept private at the time.

Continuing to work he returned to South Africa again in 1991 to witness the change to which his tireless work had contributed. As part of a 31-member delegation, he got to observe the political changes in the country as it began repealing apartheid legislation and moving toward integration. His commitment and efforts toward this cause were such that when Nelson Mandela, a political prisoner of the South African government for 27 years, was first set free and was asked whom in the U.S. he wished to have visit, he said, "How about Arthur Ashe?"

In 1992 the newspaper USA Today contacted him about reports of his illness, which had hitherto been secret. Arthur decided to preempt the paper and go public on his own terms holding a press conference with his wife on April 8, 1992 to announce that he had contracted AIDS. This incited a whirlwind of publicity and attention, which Arthur used to raise awareness about AIDS and its victims. In his memoir "Days of Grace" he wrote, "I do not like being the personification of a problem, much less a problem involving a killer disease, but I know I must seize these opportunities to spread the word." In the last year of his life he founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS, which raised money for research into treating, curing and preventing AIDS, the end goal being the eradication of the disease. He also spoke before the U.N. General Assembly on World AIDS day imploring the delegates to increase funding for AIDS research and discussing the need to address AIDS as a world issue, anticipating the global spread of the disease in the coming years. He also continued his activism in other sectors. He was arrested during a protest against U.S. policy toward Haitian refugees outside the White House. That year Arthur Ashe was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year, an honor bestowed upon "the athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement," undoubtedly due to his incessant work and indefatigable spirit.

Two months before his death he founded the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, to help address issues of inadequate health care delivery to urban minority populations. He also dedicated time in his last few months to writing "Days of Grace," his memoir that he finished only days before his death.

On February 6, 1993 Arthur Ashe died of AIDS-related pneumonia in New York at the age of 49. His body was laid in state at the Governor's Mansion in his hometown of Richmond, VA. He was the first person to lie in state at the mansion since the Confederate general Stonewall Jackson in 1863. More than 5,000 people lined up to walk past the casket. His funeral was attended by nearly 6,000 people including New York City mayor David Dinkins, Virginia governor L. Douglas Wilder, Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and Rainbow Coalition chairman Jesse Jackson. Andrew Young, the former U.N. ambassador and Atlanta mayor who had married Arthur, delivered the eulogy.

On what would have been Arthur's 53rd birthday, July 10, 1996, a statue of him was dedicated on Richmond's Monument Avenue. Before this, Monument Avenue had commemorated Confederate war heroes; in fact, as a child Arthur would not even have been able to visit Monument Avenue because of the color of his skin. Arthur is depicted carrying books in one hand and a tennis racket in the other, symbolizing his love of knowledge and tennis. In 1997 the USTA announced that the new center stadium at the USTA National Tennis Center would be named Arthur Ashe Stadium, commemorating the life of the first U.S. Open men's champion in the place where all future U.S. Open champions will be determined.

Source: Arthur Ash Learning Center

This Week's celebrity pick is the gorgeous, Phylicia Rashād
Category: Celebrity Pick
Tags: celebrity pick phylicia rashad cosby show word life production new quality entertainment

Phylicia Rashād (born Phylicia Ayers-Allen; June 19, 1948) is an American Tony Award-winning actress, singer and stage director, best known for her role as Clair Huxtable on the long-running NBC sitcom The Cosby Show. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for this part in 1985 and 1986.

In 2004, Rashād became the first African-American actress to win the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, which she won for her role in the revival of A Raisin in the Sun. She resumed the role in the 2008 television adaptation of A Raisin in the Sun, which earned her the 2009 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special. Rashād was dubbed "The Mother" of the African-American community at the 42nd NAACP Image Awards.

Rashād was born in Houston, Texas. Her mother, Vivian Ayers, was a Pulitzer-prize nominated artist, poet, playwright, scholar, and publisher. Her father, Andrew Arthur Allen (d. 1984), was an orthodontist.[3][4] Rashād's siblings are jazz-musician brother Tex (Andrew Arthur Allen, Jr., born 1945), sister Debbie Allen (1950), an actress, choreographer, and director, and brother Hugh Allen (a real estate banker in North Carolina). While Rashād was growing up, her family moved to Mexico, and as a result, Rashād speaks Spanish fluently.

Rashād studied at Howard University, graduating magna cum laude in 1970 with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She was initiated into the Alpha chapter during her tenure at Howard University.

Rashād first became notable on the stage with a string of Broadway credits, including Deena Jones in Dreamgirls (she was Sheryl Lee Ralph's understudy until leaving the show in 1982 after being passed over as Ralph's full-time replacement) and playing a Munchkin in The Wiz for three and a half years. In 1978, she released the album Josephine Superstar, a disco Concept album telling the life story of Josephine Baker. The album was mainly written and produced by Jacques Morali and Rashād's second husband Victor Willis, original lead singer and lyricist of the Village People. She met Willis while they were both cast in The Wiz.

Other Broadway credits include August: Osage County, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Gem of the Ocean, Raisin in the Sun (2004 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play/Drama Desk Award), Blue, Jelly's Last Jam, Into the Woods, and Ain't Supposed To Die A Natural Death. Off-Broadway credits include Lincoln Center’s productions of Cymbeline and Bernarda Alba (musical); Helen, The Story and Everybody's Ruby at the Public Theater; The Negro Ensemble Company productions of Puppet Play, Zooman and the Sign, Sons and Fathers of Sons, In an Upstate Motel, Weep Not For Me, and The Great Mac Daddy; Lincoln Center's production of Ed Bullins' The Duplex; and The Sirens at the Manhattan Theatre Club. In regional theatre, she performed as Euripedes' Medea and in Blues for an Alabama Sky at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. Other regional theatres at which she has performed are the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. and the Huntington Theatre in Boston.

Rashad was the first African-American actress to win the Best Actress (Play) Tony Award, which she won for her 2004 performance as Lena Younger in a revival of the play A Raisin in the Sun by playwright Lorraine Hansberry. She was nominated for the same award the following year, for Gem of the Ocean. Several Black women have won in the Best Actress (Musical) category, including the late Virginia Capers, who won in 1973 for her portrayal of Lena in the musical adaptation of Hansberry's play, entitled "Raisin.". Rashad also won the 2004 Drama Desk award for Best Actress in a play for A Raisin in the Sun by tying (split award) with Viola Davis for the play "Intimate Apparel".

In 2007, Rashād made her directorial debut with the Seattle Repertory Theatre’s production of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean.[6] More recently, in early 2014 Rashād directed a revival of Fences, also by Wilson, at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ, which ran to generally positive reviews, and continued an ongoing focus on Wilson's work.

Rashād received a career boost when she joined the cast of the ABC soap opera One Life to Live to play publicist Courtney Wright in 1983. She is best known for another television role, that of attorney Clair Huxtable on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show. The show, which ran from 1984 to 1992, starred Bill Cosby as obstetrician Cliff Huxtable, and focused on their life with their five children.

When Cosby returned to TV comedy in 1996 with CBS's Cosby, he called on Rashād to play Ruth Lucas, his character's wife. The pilot episode had been shot with Telma Hopkins, but Cosby then fired the executive producer and replaced Hopkins with Rashād. The sitcom ran from 1996 to 2000. That year, Cosby asked Rashād to work on his animated television series Little Bill, in which the actress voiced Bill's mother, Brenda, until the show's end in 2002. She also played a role in the pre-show of the "Dinosaur" ride at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom theme park as Dr. Helen Marsh, the head of the Dino Institute.

She played Kill Moves' affluent mother on Everybody Hates Chris on Sunday, December 9, 2007. In 2007 she appeared as Winnie Guster in the Psych episode Gus's Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy. She returned to the role in 2008, in the episode Christmas Joy.

In February 2008, she appeared in the television adaptation of A Raisin in the Sun. She starred on Broadway as Big Mama in an all-African American production of Tennessee Williams's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof directed by her sister Debbie Allen. She appeared alongside stage veterans James Earl Jones (Big Daddy) and Anika Noni Rose (Maggie), as well as film actor Terrence Howard, who made his Broadway debut as Brick. She next appeared as Violet Weston, the drug-addicted matriarch of Tracy Lett's award-winning play, August: Osage County at the Music Box Theatre.

In November 2010, Rashād starred in the Tyler Perry film For Colored Girls, based on the play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange. In 2012 she starred in another Tyler Perry movie Good Deeds. In that same year, Rashād played Clairee Belcher in the remake of Steel Magnolias (the role originated by Olympia Dukakis). This version has an all African American cast.

Personal life

Rashād's first marriage, in 1972, was to dentist William Lancelot Bowles, Jr. They had one son, William Lancelot Bowles III, who was born the following year. The marriage ended in 1975. Rashād then married Victor Willis (original lead singer of the Village People, whom she met during the run of The Wiz) in 1978. Their divorce was finalized in 1982.

She married former NFL wide receiver and sportscaster Ahmad Rashād on December 14, 1985. It was a third marriage for both of them and she took his last name. They were married after he proposed to her during a pregame show for a nationally televised Thanksgiving Day football game between the New York Jets and the Detroit Lions on November 28, 1985. Their daughter, Condola Phyleia Rashād,[12] was born on December 11, 1986 in New York. The couple divorced in early 2001.

Source: Wikipedia

Classic Hip Hop legends - Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
Category: Classic Hip Hop
Tags: grandmaster flash furious five rock hall fame word life production.classic hip hop feature weekly

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five fomented the musical revolution known as hip-hop. Theirs was a pioneering union between one DJ and five rapping MCs. Grandmaster Flash (born Joseph Saddler) not only devised various techniques but also designed turntable and mixing equipment. Formed in the South Bronx, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were one of the first rap posses, responsible for such masterpieces as “The Message,” “Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel” and “White Lines.” The combination of Grandmaster Flash’s turntable mastery and the Furious Five’s raps, which ranged from socially conscious to frivolously fun, made for a series of 12-inch records that forever altered the musical landscape.

Flash, along with DJ Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa, pioneered the art of break-beat deejaying – the process of remixing and thereby creating a new piece of music by playing vinyl records and turntables as if they were musical instruments. Disco-era deejays like Pete “DJ” Jones, an early influence on Grandmaster Flash, spun records so that people could dance. Turntablists took it a step further by scratching and cutting records, focusing on “breaks” – what Flash described as “the short, climactic parts of the records that really grabbed me” — as a way of heightening musical excitement and creating something new.

Flash’s days as a deejay date back to 1974, when he and other deejays who were too young to get into discos began playing at house parties and block parties in their South Bronx neighborhoods. Flash worked briefly with Kurtis Blow, but Cowboy became the first MC to officially join Grandmaster Flash in what would become the Furious Five. Cowboy’s rousing exhortations, including now-familiar calls to party, like “Throw your hands in the air and wave ‘em like you just don’t care!,” became essential ingredients of the hip-hop experience.

Grandmaster’s squadron of MCs expanded to include Kidd Creole, Melle Mel, Mr. Ness (a.k.a. Scorpio) and Raheim, in that order. Melle Mel, one of the most phonetically and rhythmically precise rappers in the genre – and the authoritatively deep voice who delivered the anti-cocaine rap “White Lines” – recalled the early days of hip-hop: “Disco was for adults, and they wouldn’t let the kids in. That forced us to go out on the streets and make our own entertainment.”

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five issued their first record, “Superrappin’,” on the Enjoy label in 1979. They then signed to Sylvia Robinson’s New Jersey-based Sugarhill label, where they made the R&B charts with a 12-inch single called “Freedom,” which ran for more than eight minutes. Various combinations of Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel and the Furious Five placed 10 records in the charts during a three-year span from 1980 to 1983. These included Grandmaster Flash’s dizzying turntable showcase, “Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel,” and the group’s acknowledged masterpiece, “The Message.” The latter offered a series of unflinchingly honest and discomfiting observations about life in the ghetto, with lead rapper Melle Mel returning to the same weary conclusion: “It’s like a jungle sometime, it makes me wonder how I keep from going under.”

As Rolling Stone observed, “’The Message’ was [the first record] to prove that rap could become the inner city’s voice, as well as its choice.” This slice of unvarnished social realism sold half a million copies in a month, topped numerous critics’ and magazines’ lists of best singles for 1982, and cemented Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s place in hip-hop’s vanguard. “I ask myself to this day, ‘Why do people want to hear this?’” Grandmaster Flash wondered of “The Message” in 1988. “But it’s the only lyric-pictorial record that could be called ‘How Urban America Lived.’”

In 1984, disagreements over business matters, including a lawsuit with Sugarhill, caused the group to split into two factions, and their commercial momentum was lost. However, they reunited in 1987 for a charity concert hosted by Paul Simon at Madison Square Garden in New York. The result was another album, On the Strength, released in 1988. On the Strength contained another example of Grandmaster Flash’s turntable genius (“This Is Where You Got It From”) and a history lesson for those who didn’t understand hip-hop’s roots and longevity (“Back in the Old Days of Hip-Hop”). In the ensuing years, Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel have made records under their own names, and numerous anthologies have been released, including Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel and the Furious Five: The Definitive Groove Collection.

Source: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Psalmist, songwriter, and minister, Tasha Cobbs will give you a true worship experience Tags: Tasha cobbs true worshippers word life production feature

When Tasha Cobbs took the stage on June 14, 2012 at Northview Christian Church, in Montgomery, Alabama, she did so neither as a nationally renowned vocalist, nor as a recording artist making her major-label debut.  Instead, with microphone in hand, she ascended the platform prepared to do what she had done every week since her teenage years—lead the congregation into worship.

It is no surprise then that the result of her effort, Grace, stands as a moving example of the raw power of a live worship experience. Produced by multi-award-winning artist and producer VaShawn Mitchell, the eight-song project reveals Tasha at her best as a psalmist, songwriter, and minister.

From the opening chant “Get Up” through the powerful declaration “Break Every Chain” (featuring celebrated vocalist Timiney Figueroa) to the show-stopping “Confidence,” Grace is overflowing with moments that are sure to be recreated by worship teams across the nation.

A pastor’s kid and long-time worship leader, Tasha has developed her gifts as a songwriter and psalmist to become a nationally recognized minister. She currently serves as Worship Leader for the Young Adult Division of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, while simultaneously holding the position of Worship Pastor at the dReam Center Church of Atlanta.

For the songs included on this recording, Tasha chose material of personal significance to her as well as songs from her own catalog.  “The first time I heard ‘Break Every Chain’ I listened to it all night long,” she recalls. “I have ministered it at my church a few times, and it always has the same affect—chains are broken.  I have messages on Facebook and Twitter from people who have been freed as a result of the song.  It releases freedom.”

The upbeat, infectious “Happy” has quickly become a frequently requested, signature song for Tasha.  “I have to minister that one everywhere I go,” she says. “That’s a song that I wrote about four years ago.  One of my cousins called me one day and said, ‘I just wanna know if you’re happy.’  I started to think that there are things in life that would make me sad or that I don’t like, but at the core of who I am I have the joy of the Lord.  That means I can command my circumstances.  The attitude of the Believer is that we have the victory in everything.”

With the release of Grace, Tasha Cobbs is sure to become a recognized name in churchgoing households across the nation. Despite the broader exposure, for Tasha the goal remains clear: “I know my assignment as a worship leader is to, without fail, lead God’s people into His presence. A national platform only gives me a greater opportunity to fulfill that purpose.”

Source: http://tashacobbs.org/?page_id=2

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