Aug 24, 2017 03:40 pm
For the first time, Native American artists will be standing up to celebrate a major nomination during this year’s MTV Video Music Awards in the newly-added “Best Fight Against the System” category.
The music video “Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL” was recorded by Taboo of Black Eyed Peas and “Magnificent Seven” Native American artists from different tribes, including Zack “Doc” Battiest, Spencer Battiest, Emcee One, Drezus, PJ Vegas, SupaMan, Natalia Aka “My Verse.” The song serves as a statement of support to those who have embraced the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Native American actor Martin Sensmeier and pipeline activist Shailene Woodley also make appearances in the nominated music video.
Taboo, who has Shoshone Tribe heritage, and other Native American artists including those from the Seminole Tribe of Florida, banded together to create the song, which is meant to serve as both a tool to promote awareness, as well as an anthem for the indigenous people across the country who have united in the effort against the DAPL. The video features real footage from the water protectors on the front lines at Standing Rock, and looks to rally people from across the country and draw together the Native communities of North America in an unprecedented way.
“The purpose of this video was to shine the light on this very important cause – pairing that with recognition from MTV is incredible,” said Spencer Battiest, Hard Rock Records alumnus, member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and one of the “Magnificent Seven.” “This song is the only one nominated without a record label, which I think is very powerful and special – and we’re proud to be doing our part to raise awareness for native issues.”
The addition of the “Best Fight Against the System” category was added to the 2017 MTV VMAs to continue reflecting the audience’s passion and activism around social justice issues such as environmental justice, immigration, LGBTQ equality and racial justice. Fans can cast their vote now through August 27th at 3 p.m. as a means of supporting the Native American artists and spreading awareness of #NoDAPL and other indigenous resistance messages. The 2017 MTV Video Music Awards will air live from The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. on Sunday, August 27 at 8 p.m. ET.
Aug 24, 2017 01:30 pm
Playing For Change, the multimedia company responsible for the popular ‘Songs Around The World’ video series, has announced it will host WE ARE ONE, a concert benefitting the Playing For Change Foundation and celebrating 10 years of positive change through music.
Official partners for the event include Los Angeles’ premier rock radio station 95.5 KLOS, LA Weekly, and Japan-based music app Nana. The concert will take place on Tuesday, October 3, at the historic Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles and feature performances from The Doobie Brothersmembers Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons, and John McFee; as well as Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett from Little Feat; The Playing For Change Band, that features 10 respected musicians from 10 different countries; world-renowned drummer James Gadson; The Ambassador of Soul, Ellis Hall; legendary harmonica player Lee Oskar; and more. Ticketing options include an exclusive VIP experience with a pre-show meet and greet reception with The Doobie Brothers and musicians, bar offerings, a priority seating area, and VIP gift bag which includes a commemorative poster. Tickets for the benefit will be available at 10 a.m. PST on Friday, August 25 here.
Playing For Change has garnered much success over the years by combining musicians from all walks of life, all over the world and showcasing music’s unifying power. Their videos have more than 450 million total online views, with their first ‘Songs Around The World’ video, “Stand By Me,” accumulating more than 100 million views on YouTube since its release in 2008. Artists such as Keith Richards, Bono, Jack Johnson, David Crosby, Jimmy Buffett, Sara Bareilles, Manu Chao, and many others have participated in these multi-cultural videos performing songs such as Bob Marley’s “One Love” and “War/No More Trouble,” Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Playing For Change’s new record, being released next year, features The Doobie Brothers along with more than 20 musicians from across the globe in a Song Around The World version of the band’s iconic hit song, “Listen to the Music.” The video for this song will be premiered at the show on October 3rd.
The Playing For Change Foundation, a separate 501©3 organization, was established in 2007 in order to give back to the communities of the musicians met while filming these videos. Now embarking on its 10th year, the foundation has developed 15 music programs in 11 countries including South Africa, Rwanda, Nepal, Thailand, and Argentina, and serves more than 1200 children. All proceeds from the WE ARE ONE benefit will support free music education as well as supplemental primary educational support, and life enhancement services provided by the Playing For Change Foundation and assist in its effort to serve even more communities.
“When one thinks of the thousands of children around the world positively impacted by the Playing For Change movement, gaining free access to music education in their own homelands, the love over a decade is simply immeasurable,” said John McKenna, Executive Director of Playing For Change Foundation. “What better place to celebrate than right here where it all started? We look forward to an unforgettable evening of joy, celebration, and recommitment to the children everywhere, through united love and song.”
“This concert represents 10 years of traveling to over 50 countries connecting the world through music. From the streets and villages to the stage to the hearts of the people, Playing For Change,” states Mark Johnson, Co-Founder of Playing For Change.
Aug 24, 2017 11:30 am
What do Waka Flocka Flame, Russell Simmons, and Myahave in common? Not only are they some of the biggest names in music, they’re also part of the growing vegan movement that’s sweeping up everyone from RZA to Ne-Yoand Jhené Aiko to Raury.
And in a new PETA video shot at Crossroads Kitchen in Los Angeles, Waka, Russell, and Mýa discuss the many different reasons why they ditched animal and dairy “products” for good.
Health was Waka’s inspiration after his weight ballooned in 2014. “I was fat. I had stretch marks. . . . I just got tired of it,” he says. But the “Round of Applause” hitmaker slimmed down after trying vegan meals, and he says, “I got on stage, I felt better. My attitude was better. Like, everything about me was better.”
Russell, who’s been vegan for nearly 20 years, adds, “It’s the 100 billion animals that I worry about . . . . When you’re looking at your plate … you see the process of the throats being slit, the mistreatment of animals, the souls that they do have.”
And Mýa agrees: “So now it’s a lifelong commitment, because now I can’t turn back.” She notes that she went vegan over three years ago when she learned about the meat industry’s impact on human health. “I was awakened to things that my parents didn’t know,” she says. “I was raised on pork … steak, chicken, everything. . . . And everyone in my family pretty much of the older generation has diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer. My mother is a two-time cancer survivor.”
Aug 24, 2017 09:30 am
Morgan Freeman – Academy Award winning actor, producer, voice actor and activist – has been named the 54th recipient of SAG-AFTRA’s highest tribute: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.
Freeman will be presented the performers union’s top accolade at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards,which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 at 8 p.m. (ET), 7 p.m. (CT), 6 p.m. (MT) and 5 p.m. (PT). Given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” the SAG Life Achievement Award will join Freeman’s exceptional catalog of preeminent industry and public honors, which includes a Screen Actors Guild Award, an Academy Award, HFPA’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, seven Image Awards, a Silver Berlin Bear, several Obies, a Kennedy Center Honor, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“I am thrilled to announce Morgan Freeman as this year’s recipient of the SAG Life Achievement Award. Some actors spend their entire careers waiting for the perfect role. Morgan showed us that true perfection is what a performer brings to the part,” said SAG–AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “He is innovative, fearless and completely unbound by expectations. As a chauffeur, convicted murderer, boxing gym attendant, pimp or president, Morgan fully realized every character baring their souls and showcasing their humanity. It has been a privilege to see his genius at work.”
A Life Devoted to His Art and Craft
Freeman first earned recognition for his acting skills at age 12, when he won a statewide drama competition in Mississippi. As a young actor he paid his dues in small roles, pausing only to serve in the U.S. Air Force. Theater beckoned first, then film and television.
As he breathed life into memorable characters, widespread critical acclaim came accompanied by enraptured audiences and commercial success. Freeman invariably ranks as one of the five worldwide top-grossing actors of all time, with his films having earned over $4.5 billion in cumulative ticket sales.
An Indelible Presence in Film
Freeman has earned four Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. He received the SAG Awards Actor® for his performance in the Best Picture Oscar winning Million Dollar Baby, a role that also garnered him a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award and an Image Award. Two films starring Freeman are held in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry: Unforgiven, which received four Oscars, and The Shawshank Redemption, for which Freeman received Best Actor nominations for a SAG Award, Oscar and a Golden Globe.
Among Freeman’s extensive list of credits – now nearing 100 films – another milestone is Invictus. His portrayal of Nelson Mandela received the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor and an Image Award along with nominations for another SAG Award, Oscar and Golden Globe. In addition, the picture was produced by Revelations Entertainment, the company Freeman and Lori McCreary co-founded in 1996 with a mission “to produce films that reveal truth” and to stay in the forefront of digital entertainment.
Other credits in that still-growing list include Street Smart (Freeman’s 1987 breakthrough role), The Dark Knight, The Bucket List, Glory, Lean on Me, Se7en, Amistad, Bruce Almighty, and Along Came a Spider.
Further demonstrating his astonishing versatility, Freeman most recently starred in Warner Bros.’ Going In Style, Paramount Pictures’ Ben-Hur, Summit Entertainment’s Now You See Me 2 and Focus Features’ London Has Fallen. Freeman’s upcoming films include Broad Green Pictures’ Villa Capri and Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
Integrity and Inspiration in Television
Freeman first became nationally known and loved in 1971 when he starred in the seminal Children’s Television Workshop (CTW) show The Electric Company, for which he created characters including the iconic Easy Reader. Known as the most popular instructional show on television over its six-year run, the series won an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Series and a Grammy® for its soundtrack album. Freeman’s indelible impact on a generation was reflected when fellow cast member Rita Moreno, a life-long friend he met on the show, asked that he presented her with the 50th SAG Life Achievement Award.
Most recently, Freeman is an executive producer with McCreary on the Revelations Entertainment series Madam Secretary for CBS, which will air its fourth season starting in October. Freeman hosts and is an executive producer for the Revelations Entertainment, three-time Emmy nominated series Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, which recently completed its seventh season for the Science Channel. Also through Revelations, he hosted the Emmy nominated event series The Story of God with Morgan Freeman on the National Geographic Channel, which completed its second season. Through Revelations, he will next host The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman, which premieres October 11 on the National Geographic Channel.
A Respected, Trusted Voice
Freeman’s is one of the world’s most recognizable and beloved voices. He most recently narrated The C Word, the latest in a string of prestigious documentaries that includes the IMAX film Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, Science Channel’s Stem Cell Universe with Stephen Hawking, and the informative IMAX feature We the People. Three previous narrations are the Peabody Award winning ESPN 30 For 30 documentary The 16th Man and two Academy Award-winning documentaries, The Long Way Home and The March of the Penguins.
He could also be heard in the presidential campaigns for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In a lighter vein, Freeman was the overwhelming choice when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asked the millions of Facebook users what voice Zuckerman’s smart home system should have.
Authenticity and Insight on Stage
After earlier roles in the off-Broadway stage productions of The Niggerlovers and the transformational all African-American production of Hello Dolly, Freeman’s 1978 role as Zeke in The Mighty Gents earned him a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award® nomination. His arresting, moving performances went on to earn three Obie Awards even before he portrayed Hoke Colburn in Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Driving Miss Daisy, a role for which Freeman received an Oscar nomination when he reprised it for the Best Picture Oscar winning film of the same name. Freeman most recently trod the boards in the triumphant revival of Clifford Odets’ The Country Girl, directed by Mike Nichols.
Helping to Shape the Future
In 1973 Freeman co-founded the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop, now in its 37th season, which supports and nurtures promising African-American playwrights to ensure those voices can be heard. He additionally supports Artists for a New South Africa and the Campaign for Female Education, organizations working to create hope and better lives for countless people.
Freeman provides a boost for another group of artists on an immediately practical level. He co-owns the Ground Zero Blues Club, which celebrates and features performances by authentic blues musicians. It’s next-door to the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi, in the heart of the area’s rich blues heritage that Freeman loves.
In his spare time, Freeman enjoys the freedom of both sea and sky – he is a long-time sailor and has earned a private pilot’s license.
Aug 24, 2017 07:30 am
The TJ Martell Foundation is announcing today that Hollywood/Republic Records recording artist and Disney Channel star, Sofia Carson, will headline the organization’s 8th Annual Family Day Celebration in Los Angeles at The Grove on Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 12p.m. – 4p.m. PT.
Families can enjoy fantastic food, a live auction, live music, games, prizes and other carnival activities while raising funds for cancer research. Tickets and sponsorship packages are available now and can be purchased here.
L.A. Family Day will kick off with the Spirit of Excellence Awards Dinner on Monday, October 2 at the Luxe Hotel -Sunset, and presented by Live Nation. The evening event will include an elegant dinner, silent auction, a live performance by Grammy Nominated Artist Andy Grammer, best known for his hits “Fresh Eyes” and “Honey I’m Good”, and the reveal of the T.J Martell Foundation GuitarTown Kids guitars that will be auctioned off to fund pediatric cancer research at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. CITI cardmembers will have exclusive access to purchase tickets for Family Day and Spirit of Excellence starting September 5th. For complete details on presale and preferred tickets for CITI cardmembers, visit www.citiprivatepass.com. General admission and sponsorship tickets can be purchased here.
L.A. Family Day is presented by CITI, The Grove, GuitarTown Kids and Gibson Foundation. The honorees for L.A. Family Day include Greg Thompson, President of Maverick, Amy Howe, COO of Ticketmaster and her family and Dr. Robert Seeger, Principle Investigator, Cancer Research Program Director, Cancer Research Program 1989-2017, at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. In addition to the honorees and sponsors, the Foundation’s co-chairs Ken Bunt, President of Disney Music Group and David Schachter, Vice President of UBS Wealth Management will also be in attendance.
Multi-hyphenate Sofia Carson is set to release her new single, “Ins And Outs,” this Friday. The combined views of her first two singles, “Love Is The Name” and “Back To Beautiful” are over 100 million. Carson has starred in five movies, including her most recent role as Evie in the Disney Channel original movie “Descendants 2.” The soundtracks for the Descendants franchise have yielded two top 5 albums as well as over 200 million views of official music videos. Carson has hosted several high-profile events, including “The Oscars: All Access,” “Radio Disney Music Awards,” ABC & Disney Channel Holiday Specials, and the upcoming Arthur Ashe Kids Day.” Carson is a fashion icon, and has appeared on several best-dressed lists, including Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar and Los Angeles Times.”
Multi-platinum selling pop artist Andy Grammer is all about inspiring and empowering the world by communicating his truths through his music. The first male pop star in a decade since John Mayer to reach the Top 10 at Adult Pop Radio on his first two singles, Grammer has taken the music world by storm with a succession of anthemic pop hits, 6 of which are certified gold or better. His debut album featured the platinum singles “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me.” Andy’s second album, Magazines or Novels, featured the triple platinum infectious smash hit “Honey, I’m Good,” which was one of the best-selling songs of 2015, and the certified gold anthem “Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah).” His brand new single “Give Love” is the follow up to the certified platinum streaming phenomenon “Fresh Eyes” with over 250 million streams.
More musical acts will be announced in the near future. For more information on T.J. Martell Foundation and L.A. Family Day, visit www.tjmartell.org.
Aug 24, 2017 07:00 am
Michael recorded a John Lennon song for a CD compilation to raise funds for Amnesty International.
Stipe teamed up with Chris Martin, Coldplay, Justin Timberlake, will.i.am and Joseph Arthur to create a CD benefitting Mercy Corps. The proceeds benefit Hurricane Katrina victims. The CD, In the Sun, is available for purchase on iTunes.
Charities & foundations supported
Michael Stipe has supported the following charities:
Read more about Michael Stipe’s charity work and events.
Aug 24, 2017 06:00 am
Starkey Hearing Foundation is the Global Leader in the Gift of Hearing, delivering more than 50,000 hearing aids annually through hearing missions in 86 countries. Founded by William F. Austin in 1984 with the vision So the World May Hear, countless numbers of lives are touched by better hearing through SHF missions.
With the goal to heighten social consciousness on the importance of hearing, Starkey Hearing Foundation launched a Hearing Conservation program, Sound Matters, to educate the public about responsible listening.
Today the Foundation is sustained by the selfless efforts of volunteers and donors spanning the globe. Since 2000, the Foundation has distributed more than 305,420 hearing aids to those in need around the world.
How you can help
People interested in helping the Foundation are able to contribute through a number of avenues. They can become a Hearing Mission sponsor in which they would raise funds to attend a Hearing Mission, sponsor a future Hearing Mission recipient, recycle hearing instruments/volunteer their time through our Hear Now program or become a Foundation partner. Visit SoTheWorldMayHear.org for more information.
Starkey Hearing Foundation has 44 known supporters, including Elton John, Sting, and Jordin Sparks
Areas of work
Read more about Starkey Hearing Foundation’s work and celebrity supporters.