Singer Mary J. Blige was in NYC last night for a listening session of Growing Pains, her eighth studio album slated for release Dec. 18. Despite the challenges of promoting a CD during a writer's strike, which has knocked new episodes of many shows, including nighttime talk, off the air, Mary J's staying busy. Tonight, she'll perform on "Movies Rock," airing on CBS at 9 p.m. ET. On Jan. 31, she'll kick off the NFL Pepsi Smash Super Bowl concert series. The shows will be aired as a VH1 special on Super Bowl Eve, Feb. 2 at 9 p.m. EST. You may have also seen Blige's new iPod commercial which features her new single "Work That."WAIT... THERE'S MORE STUFF
Donald N. David, general counsel for Afeni Shakur's Amaru Entertainment (AE) released a statement announcing that he will be seeking lawyer fees and a cancellation of the Marco Bellini "MB" mark on behalf of Makaveli Branded, the clothing line produced by the estate of iconic rapper Tupac Shakur. The owner of the Marco Bellini t-shirt line, Isaiah Israel, had filed two complaints this year against AE, claiming trademark infringement. Shakur launched Makavelli Branded in tribute to her son Tupac seven years after his highly publicized 1996 death; Israel filed his "MB" mark in 1998; and in 2004, AE received the Trademark Office's approval for their "MB" design. "There is no basis for Mr. Israel's suit and an appropriate answer has been filed in the action that he has commenced denying all of his baseless allegations," David said. "While it is obvious that anyone can commence an action under our legal system, Amaru fully expects that it will not only prevail in this action, but that it will seek and be awarded attorneys' fees and that Mr. Israel's mark will be cancelled."
Rapper Andre "3000" Benjamin of Outkast is definitely starring in a basketball comedy slated for Feb. 29 release, though the current trailer for it features a nude Will Ferrell and no sign of Dre. The flick, "Semi-Pro," is set in 1976 and follows an independent league that gets the chance to merge with the NBA. Hilarity - most probably - ensues. Woody Harrelson of "Anger Management" and "White Men Can't Jump" rounds out the three-musketeer-lead cast.
Despite "Pinkville" being put on hold due to the Writer's Guild of America strike, rapper Xzibit is still bowling for Hollywood. He was recently announced as part of the cast for an upcoming X-Files movie (based on the science fiction television series) scheduled to begin filming this month for release in July. Though details have yet to be confirmed (Fox studio employees are apparently sworn to secrecy), Hollywood Reporter says sources told them that Xzibit will be playing a FBI agent.
Producer Swizz Beatz teamed up with The Source magazine and Music Video 2.0 for a "Share the Studio" contest. Participants can submit their videos to be reviewed by industry staffers from the two companies. The grand prize winner will get a demo session with Swizzy at Quad Studios in NYC and an opening performance with him at a Music Video 2.0 concert early next year. For more information, visit www.musicvideo20.com.
MTS Centre, Winnipeg - May 26, 2008
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