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Oldies but Goodies: Cornelius Grant's Gift

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By Victoria Taylor –

Cornelius Grant, the gifted guitarist, artist, and music director for The Temptations (and one of their surviving members) has a relentless pursuit to carry on the legacy of his day. Here is a small glimpse on a large scale of what Mr. Grant is working on. One thing for certain about Mr. Grant is his love for the past, present, and future. He is not the typically retired artist, and music director, in fact he is the opposite, constantly looking for new talent to promote, and old school talent to appreciate. He is the CEO of Flashback International a multifaceted company, which showcases new talented artists, musicians, and writers, while it embraces the forerunners of the past. This energetic, highly exclaimed talented man is boiling with bright ideas. He can be spotted in West Hollywood, California where he resides. Getting to know Mr. Grant all over again is easier than it seems. Anyone can catch up with him through social networking mediums such as Facebook and Myspace, but to really get to know Mr. Grant one must listen to him on his internet radio station called Cornelius Grant’s Flashbacks and NewTraks, which can be streamed online from his website.

Mr. Grant himself hosts the online radio show along side Ms. Sylkie Green, an award winning radio and television personality. The two of them make this an “engaging twohour program” highlighting “old school jams from the 60s, 70s, and 80s” combined with “one-on-one interviews with artists from the past.” His plan is to one-day convert the radio show into a television show giving its viewer a visual glimpse into the lives of their favorite artist.

Mr. Grant is also pleased to announce the launch of his magazine, a line of cigars, some Temptation memorabilia, and music that can be purchased on his company’s website and his non-profit organization called Starz of Tomorrow. His aim for this organization is to showcase new solo artists, group artists, choreographers, writers, directors, sound engineers, and those working behind the scenes. He wishes to give them an opportunity of a lifetime because he remembers what it was like being a young aspiring artist. Starz of Tomorrow is making room for everyone to have their chance at being a star.

In the world of entertainment, and music it’s obvious that new talent is on the horizon, but one must not forget about the old school. Mr. Grant has felt the need to appreciate artists of the past not only by interviewing them and playing their music on his radio show, but also by awarding those who are still around. The ‘Skoole Award’ is something Mr. Grant has been diligent in seeing come to pass.

“It is an award for old school artist that have paved the way for us,” said Mr. Grant with pleasure. The 2011 Skoole Awards will be held on February 11, 2011 at Los Angeles Marriott, Grand Ballroom in Los Angeles, California, where he will be presenting an award to artists such as Little Richard, and others. This event is going to be an exciting day for all those in attendance it’s a mixture of a Valentines Dinner, a Pre-Grammy Party, a Silent Auction (where they will be auctioning off an Escalade), live performances from the Starz of Tomorrow, and so much more.

To purchase a ticket contact 424-209-0156, or visit the website at corneliusgrant.com.

Drake Gears Up To Perform At San Manuel

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Inland Empire Gets a Big Dose of Chart-topping R&B Artist

Thursday, February 10, 2011, San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino welcomes rising rapper, R&B singer and chart topper Drake to the stage. Tickets on sale now, and available at Ticketmaster.com and the San Manuel Box Office for $70, $80 and $90.

Known initially for his role as Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Canadian born Drake stepped out as a rapper and singer with pop appeal in 2006. His first major exposure as a singer was “Replacement Girl,” which featured up-and-comer Trey Songz that was featured on BET’s 106 & Park program as its “Joint of the Day.”

Supported by the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne, a songwriter since age 10, he began recording his first official album with Universal Motown Records in 2009. The debut album, “So Far Gone” peaked at number six on the U.S Billboard 200 chart, won a 2010 Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year and was certified gold by the RIAA with over 500,000 copies sold in the United States. The album released the successful hit “Best I Ever Had,” which reached number two on the Billboard Top 100.

“Thank Me Later”, his next album released in 2010, provided the hit single “Over,” which hit #14 on the Top 100. The second single “Find Your Love” became his most successful single from the album, and peaked at number five on the Hot 100. The latest single, “Miss Me” featuring Lil Wayne, reached number 15.

“Thank Me Later” sold 447,000 copies in its first week and reached number one on the Billboard 200. Not only is Drake a successful singer and television actor, he has taken on roles in video games and hosting, including the first annual Ovo Festival, which featured a rap star list of Jay-Z, Eminem, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, and many more.

The successful artist, who is also a philanthropist, was featured on K’Naan’s “Wavin Flag” song to help with Haiti relief efforts.

Every Thursday night with headliner entertainment, San Manuel gives away $1,000 just for seeing the show. To be eligible to win, guests only need a ticket to the show, a Club Serrano card and to be 21 or older. Guests can enter beginning at noon on such days. Three drawings will be held on those nights: $250 at 7:20 p.m., $250 at 10:00 p.m. and $500 at 11:00 p.m. Winners must be present.

NOTE: Doors open at 6:30. Must be 21 to enter Casino. Please gamble responsibly.

Russian National Ballet Presents the Magic of Cinderella

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The Russian National Ballet will present the classic rags-to- riches story of “Cinderella,” Jan. 30 at the California Theatre of the Performing Arts, 562 W. Fourth St.

The three-act ballet, about a young girl abused by her stepmother and stepsisters and whose dreams come true thanks to her Fairy Godmother, is known for its color and grace, as well as its deft comedic touches and beautiful choreography.

The 6 p.m. performance is a presentation by the City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency. Tickets are $38.50-$77.50, www.ticketmaster.com, www.livenation.com, (909) 885-5152.

The Russian Ballet Theater version of “Cinderella” features sets and costumes by Elisaveta Dvorkina, music by Sergei Prokofiev, libretto by Nicolai Volkov, and choreography by Rostislav Zakharov.

Prokofiev’s “Cinderella” is considered one of his most popular compositions. It was written between 1940 and 1945, and first performed in November 1945 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

The Russian National Ballet, currently on a four-month tour of the United States, was founded in Moscow in the late 1980s.

The ballet company presents major Russian ballet works as well as great classics.

The dance company was first called the Soviet National Ballet, and it featured graduates from the great Russian choreographic schools of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Perm. The principal dancers came from the great ballet companies and academies of Russia, and the ballet companies of Riga, Kiev and Warsaw.

Today, the Russian Ballet Theater features more than 50 dancers, many of whom have been with the company since its founding. In 1994 the legendary Elena Radchenko, a former principal dancer at the Bolshoi, was selected to assume the first permanent artistic directorship of the troupe.

The dance company has performed to great acclaim for their performances throughout the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Italy, and the United States. It also has performed in Istanbul, Athens, Hong Kong and Singapore.

WHAT: Presented by the Russian Ballet Theater
WHEN: 6 p.m. Jan. 30
WHERE: California Theatre of the Performing Arts, 562 W. Fourth St., San Bernardino.
ADMISSION: $38.50-$77.50
TICKETS: Available through www.ticketmaster.com, www.livenation.com or theater box office
ON THE WEB: www.californiatheatre.net

Oprah's OWN Wins Over Cynics But Many Fans Lost Out

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(Reuters) - Oprah Winfrey's bold gamble on her OWN TV network debuted to mostly positive reviews and encouraging audience numbers at the weekend, winning over some cynics with its feel-good tone.

But many stalwart Oprah fans expressed dismay that they could not receive the new OWN network without paying to upgrade their cable television packages -- money that several said they could not afford.

The OWN network, a joint venture between the influential talk show host and Discovery Communications that is aimed mostly at middle-aged women, made its debut on Saturday after three years of planning.

According to preliminary Nielsen figures, OWN was watched by an average one million Americans in prime time on Saturday, and was the third biggest ad-supported cable network with women aged 25-54.

Daytime talk show "The Oprah Winfrey Show", on free-to-air ABC, attracts about six million U.S. viewers daily. Winfrey, 56, will end the show in the fall of 2011 to focus on OWN.

Initial OWN programing included a behind-the-scenes show about the making of the last season of "The Oprah Winfrey Show", lifestyle advice from the likes of Dr. Phil MGraw and Suze Orman, and the first of a series of in-depth interviews with celebrities including record producer Jay-Z and journalist Diane Sawyer.

New York Times reviewer Alessandra Stanley called the channel a "no cynicism zone" which had "not a snicker of malice or a hint of raillery." Caryn James at Indiewire noted that beneath the "huge amount of lifestyle fluff" there was "a surprising layer of substance."

Media blogger Dan Abrams, a former general manager at cable news channel MSNBC, said his skepticism over whether OWN could create a clear identity in a crowded market had been overcome.

OWN's mission of self-discovery and celebration of one's own "best self" has impeccable timing, Abrams said.

"Weary Americans have grown fatigued with the national sports of bickering and finger pointing. Many are now seeking out a safe place on television far removed from the partisan hectoring, staged altercations and alcohol-induced 'hook-ups' that have come to dominate the airwaves," Abrams wrote in a column for his Mediaite.com website.

Matt Zoller Seitz at Salon.com said he was won over, to his surprise. "We won't just watch OWN; we will gaze upon it with awe and affection and marvel at the sweet magnificence of its founder," he said.

OWN is available in some 80 million homes, or 67 percent of U.S. households, on the channel that used to be occupied by Discovery Health. But many of Winfrey's millions of loyal fans were upset to find they could not access OWN without forking over hundreds of dollars extra to cable TV providers.

"I just cannot tell you how disillusioned (Oprah said "watch, watch, watch my new network") & disappointed. Oprah, did I miss the show that told us your new network was gonna cost us (the viewer) $$$$." wrote joeyskc on the OWN message boards on Monday.

A fan in New Orleans congratulated Winfrey on the new venture, but was concerned that "many people in our area will not be able to watch" the pay-to-view OWN channel. "We love you and will miss you," added Chey925.

(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

Jackson Doctor Defense May Say Singer Killed Self

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(Reuters) - Lawyers for the doctor charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson could claim the pop star killed himself when a hearing begins next week, a prosecutor said on Wednesday.

In a court session to discuss evidence in the case against Dr. Conrad Murray, Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney David Walgren said he believes it is clear defense attorneys are looking into that theory, which has long been a consideration.

Outside the courtroom, Murray's attorney J. Michael Flanagan declined to comment on Walgren's statement.

"I'm not going to respond to that characterization. But apparently it is a consideration of Mr. Walgren," Flanagan told reporters.

Walgren spoke at a hearing in which a judge cleared the way for Murray's defense to test residue from syringes and an IV tube used to administer drugs to Jackson.

The "Thriller" singer died at age 50 on June 25, 2009, of an overdose of prescription drugs, primarily the powerful anesthetic propofol which can be used in surgery. Other drugs in Jackson's system included lorazepam, known under the brand names Ativan and Temesta, and diazepam, the generic version of Valium.

Murray, hired as Jackson's physician while the singer prepared for a series of concerts that would have begun in July 2009, has admitted giving Jackson propofol to help him sleep. But Murray has pleaded not guilty to the charge of involuntary manslaughter.

The court session on the syringe testing came only days before a January 4 start date for a preliminary hearing in which a judge will decide if there is enough evidence against Murray to proceed to a full trial.

Representatives for the prosecution and defense told Reuters they expect the preliminary hearing to begin as planned and take roughly two weeks to complete.

(Editing by Xavier Briand)

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