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Alicia Keys To Launch Initiative For Female Advancement In Music

"We have to do something because the statistics are brutal." 

Alicia Keys is launching a new initiative dedicated to elevating women in the music industry. The Grammy Award-winning artist recently announced She Is the Music, a women-led music industry initiative for female advancement, Variety reports.

Keys made the announcement during her speech at the National Music Publishers Association's annual meeting on Wednesday (June 13), where she was accepting the award for Icon Songwriter. The singer didn't provide too many details regarding the initiative's agenda, but in the wake of the Me Too and Time's Up movement, she stressed its importance.  "We have to do something because the statistics are brutal," Keys said.  providing statistics backed by a University of Southern California's Annenberg  2018 Inclusion Initiative study. "Of almost 3,000 pop songwriters credited last year, only 12 percent were female. Only 3 percent of the engineers were female, and one of them is [Keys' engineer] Ann [Mincieli]. Only 2 percent of producers are female and one of them is me."

Keys also touched on the importance of diversity within the industry. "Songwriters tell our stories, they sing who we are as people – don't we all want to hear from all of us?," she continued.

Roc Nation executive and Voices in Entertainment co-founder, Meg Harkins also spoke about the new initiative and its impact. "She Is Music is an important concrete step forward, providing a platform for inclusion, support and conversation," Harkins stated. The Annenberg study’s stark data has become a catalyst for positive change within the music industry as we network and focus our energy towards meaningful change."

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Earth, Wind & Fire Make History For Kennedy Center Honors Recognition

Award-winning musical group, Earth, Wind, & Fire, has made history. The "September" artists became the first R&B group to receive recognition at the Kennedy Center Honors on Thursday (July 18), Billboard reports.

"The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates icons who, through their artistry, have left an indelible stamp on our collective cultural consciousness," stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. "Earth, Wind & Fire's hooks and grooves are the foundation of a seminal style that continues to shape our musical landscape."

Lead singers or paramount songwriters are predominantly honored. Yet, Earth, Wind & Fire join three other talented groups that have been acknowledged with the distinction: American rock band the Eagles in 2016, and English rock bands Led Zeppelin in 2012, and The Who in 2008.

Other honorees for the upcoming ceremony include Academy Award-winning actress, Sally Field, best known for starring in Forrest Gump (1994), Steel Magnolias (1989), among other films and television series. American singer Linda Ronstadt, who holds 10 Grammy Awards, one Emmy, three Academy of Country Music Awards in addition to her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. PBS quintessential-series, Sesame Street, has bridged the gap for both cultural and educational narratives for children and adults over the last 50 years. American conductor, composer, and pianist Michael Tilson Thomas is the music director of the San Francisco Symphony, Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony.

The 42nd annual Kennedy Center Honors will celebrate the honorees on Sunday (Dec. 8), in Washington, D.C.

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Paras Griffin

Young Dro Arrested For Throwing A Plate Of Banana Pudding At His Girlfriend

Young Dro is facing two counts of misdemeanor battery and family violence for reportedly hurling a plate of banana pudding at his girlfriend while at the couple's Atlanta-area home.

The food-flying fiasco between Dro, real name D'Juan Montrel Hart, and his girlfriend took place over money. Yet despite Hart's girlfriend insisting she doesn't want to press charges, local law enforcement booked the 40-year-old Bankhead rapper.

TMZ reports Dro is also being held on a child support contempt order. He owes a whopping $41,000 in back child support and in order to be released he must pay $10,000.

The back child support is for another child with a different woman, not the current girlfriend and Dro alleges that he's paid his previous debt.

Dro rose to prominence in 2006 with fellow ATLien T.I. with the release of the insanely sticky "Shoulder Lean." Most recently, in 2017 he released Da Real Atlanta.

Glad the food-fight and custody payments have been settled.

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Nicki Minaj Links With DaBaby For “Suge” Remix

Nicki Minaj took over DJ Felly Fell’s show on L.A.’s Power 106 radio station Friday (July 19) where she premiered the remix to DaBaby's “Suge” single.

“Ya’ll already know I’m back on my bull! We got a lot more in the motherf**kin’ chamber,” said Minaj.

The “Megatron” rapper  also sent a shout out to Da Baby. “I just think he’s super dope and he actually spits actual bars.”

Prior to the song premiere, Minaj shared her first public statement on the death of Nipsey Hussle. The Queens native explained that she wasn’t on the internet at the time of Hussle’s murder, but wanted to send condolences to Lauren London, and the rest of his family.

“When he passed I didn’t get a chance to be online at that time,” Minaj told Power 106's DJ Carisma. “Lauren London happens to be somebody that I adore. I felt like my heart ripped out when I heard [that he was killed]. I just wanted to finally send my condolences to his family and his fans.”

Earlier in the interview, Minaj sent love to her fans in Saudi Arabia after canceling her appearance at the Jedah World Festival over the country’s treatment of women, and members of the LGBTQ community. Minaj added that she turned down $1.5 million by pulling out of the performance. She also confirmed that she will be heading out on tour after the release of her upcoming new album.

Listen to Minaj and DaBaby on the “Suge” remix below.

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