Entertainer Eddie Murphy releases reggae single “Oh Jah Jah” on VPAL

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By Tiffany Mea

VPAL Music, the subsidiary label and distribution arm of VP Records, Jamaica’s largest distributor of reggae music worldwide, teamed up with revered comedian/actor/singer Eddie Murphy to release a new single “Oh Jah Jah.” The single will be available January 27, 2015.

The song’s release is not the first time that Murphy has dabbled into the reggae genre.  “Oh Jah Jah” follows Murphy’s 2013 collaboration “Red Light” which featured the formerly named rap star Snoop Dogg who now goes by the name Snoop Lion after spending time recording reggae music in Jamaica.

Murphy penned and co-produced “Oh Jah Jah”  which was recorded and mixed at Soul Mountain Studios in Beverly Hills, California. Ralph Hawkins Jr. and Trenten Gumbs also had a hand in the production.

Murphy released his first single, “Party all the time” with the late Rick James in 1985. He has recorded more singles since then and seems determined to be taken seriously as a single as well as an actor and comedian.

For more information contact VP Records/VPAL at Tiffanym@vprecords.com or through Murphy’s contact Arnold Robinson at arobinson@rogersandcowan.com–OnPointPress.net

Beloved Grammy Award- winning gospel icon Andrae Crouch, 72, has died

Gospel legend Andrae Crouch died on January 8 after a long battle with cancer.

Gospel legend Andrae Crouch died on January 8 after a long battle with cancer.

By Carmen Glover

Andrae Edward Crouch, a multiple Grammy Award-winning American entertainer and pastor who has soothed a strong fan base with compelling, uplifting gospel music for more than 50 decades, died on January 8, 2015 at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was hospitalized on Monday, January 5. He was 72 years old.

Crouch, who was a musician, arranger, songwriter and record producer, revealed that he had cancer in 2006. He lost his parents and brother to the disease. In a statement, his surviving twin sister Sandra Crouch said that her “twin has gone home to be with the Lord.” She asked for prayers on his behalf earlier in the week when he was hospitalized in grave condition. Crouch played the piano and organ throughout his life and recorded on labels such as Light, Warner Brothers, Quest and Verity.

Andrae Crouch giving his all during a performance.

Andrae Crouch giving his all during a performance.

Crouch was born on July 1, 1942 in San Francisco, California, was often described as the “father of modern gospel music’ due to his extensive influence on the Christian, gospel and contemporary music scene. he wrote his first gospel song when he was 14.  Among his well-known compositions are “Soon and Very Soon,” “They Blood Will Never Lose It’s Power” and “My Tribute.” His hits include “Take Me Back,” “Through It All,” “I’ve Got Confidence” and “The Promise.”

Crouch has been involved in creating gospel music since he was 15. He collaborated with other artistes by leading choirs on the late Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” and Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.” He also collaborated with Qunicy Jones, Paul Simon, Diana Ross, Barbara Mandrell, Vanessa Williams, Elton John and several others. Crouch also did the score for the movie “The Color Purple.” He was the co-pastor of the New Christ Memorial Church in San Fernando, California.

Crouch contributed vastly to the echelons of music and he will be sorely missed for his talent and impact which spanned the globe.–OnPointPress.net.

From “Hustle & Flow” to “Empire,” Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard click

The cast of the sitcom "Empire" which debuts on Fox, Wednesday, January 7 at 9;00 p.m. and stars Academy Award nominees Tariji P. Henson and Terrence Howard.

The cast of the series “Empire” which debuts on Fox, Wednesday, January 7 at 9:00 p.m. and stars Academy Award nominees Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard.

By Carmen Glover

After displaying undeniable chemistry in the 2005 American independent film “Hustle & Flow,” Academy Award nominees Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard reprise their palpable connection, this time appearing in the new television drama “Empire” which debuts on the Fox network Wednesday, January 7 at 9:00 p.m.

In “Hustle & Flow” Henson played Shug, a prostitute, while Howard played Djay, a drug dealing pimp who was aiming to become a rapper. The movie, which won Three 6 Mafia an Academy Award for Best Original Song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” was written and directed by Craig Brewer. It was produced by John Singleton of “Boyz in the Hood” fame and Stephanie Allain. At the time the movie hit theaters moviegoers were conflicted, enthusiastically rooting for the raw talent of the two stars but cringing at the subject matter.

Tariji P. Henson and Terrence Howard star in "Empire."

Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard star in “Empire.”

“Empire” picks up where “Hustle & Flow’ left off, it seems, since it casts Howard as Lucious Lyon, a music impresario who operates Empire Records, a successful music enterprise. Henson plays his wife, Cookie, who has her own ax to grind as she returns home from a seventeen-year stint in prison or “vacation” as it is euphemistically described in the ‘hood. Meanwhile, top flight music producer helms the music in “Empire” giving the series street credibility and an authentic vibe and Lee Daniels provides expert direction.

Armed with deep-seated resentment and spunk, Henson demands her share of the company which she helped build and usher to success. Howard, on the other hand, wants to select a successor from the ranks of the couple’s three sons: Andre (Trai Byers) whose the oldest; Jamal (Jussie Smollett), who is gay but remains on the down low and Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) who is skilled and self-centered.

Unquestionably, sparks will fly, egos will emerge and competing agendas will lead to explosive, dramatic acting that will be riveting to fans of Howard, Henson and great, relatable storytelling. —OnPointPress.net.

 

 

ESPN Anchor Stuart Scott, 49, succumbs to cancer, leaving inspiring legacy

Stuart Scott, ESPN anchor, died on Sunday, January 4, after a long battle with cancer.

Stuart Scott, ESPN anchor, died on Sunday, January 4, after a long battle with cancer.

By Charles Glover

ESPN SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott died this morning, January 4,  succumbing to the cancer he battled  for several years. Scott was 49 and leaves behind two daughters, Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15.

In a statement, President Barack Obama said: “Twenty years ago, Stuart ushered in a new way to talk about our favorite teams and the day’s best plays. I will miss Stuart Scott. Over the years, he entertained us and, in the end, he inspired us with courage and love.”

Scott, who joined ESPN in 1993, will forever be remembered by co-workers and fans alike for his effervescent presence and quick wit on screen, and in particular, for expressions such as “Boo-Yah” and  “As cool as the other side of the pillow.” In a touching tribute to Scott that was narrated by his friend and former colleague Robin Roberts, fellow “SportsCenter” anchor Jay Harris, who grew up watching — and hoping to be like — Stuart, spoke out. Harris  said “Think about that phrase, ‘As cool as the other side of the pillow.’ It’s a hot, stifling night. You’re having trouble sleeping. But then you think to turn the pillow over, and, wow, it’s cool, and it feels so good. “Well, that’s who Stuart is. He is ‘the other side of pillow,’ the man who made sportscasting cool. God bless whoever it was who thought to rearrange the bedding at ESPN.”

Scott will also be remembered for his generosity and willingness to help others, which has been reflected in an outpouring of grief from former colleagues, athletes and people whom he interviewed during his illustrious career. Ines Bebea, a New York-based freelance journalist recalled meeting the gracious Scott one year at a convention for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). “He was very nice,” she said.

 

Scott, who graduated from the University of North Carolina, brought the ESPYs to tears on July 16 2014 when he was presented the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance after undergoing more cancer treatment. Accepting the award from Kiefer Sutherland, who stars as counter terrorism agent Jack Bauer in the iconic television thriller “24,” Scott relished the poignancy of the moment, stating that “24” was his favorite television show. Addressing his fight with cancer he said: “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live an din the manner in which you live.” He went on to say that “When you get too tired to fight, it’s time to let someone else fight for you.”  Scott then called his daughter on stage saying “Daddy needs a hug right now.”

 

Scott doted on his two daughters and spoke lovingly of them as often as he could. He leaves behind a legacy of warmth, excellence, and triumph. Many who were fortunate enough to get to know him have expressed their condolences and sadness. Former co-host with Scott and current lead anchor at NFL Network, Rich Eisen shared an emotional response upon hearing the news. He summed it up the way many would, “I love you Stuart. Wherever you are, Godspeed.”–OnPointPress.net.

Ranking the NFL job openings after Black Monday’s bloodbath

The core of the San Francisco 49ers (l-r) Navarro Bowman, Colin Kaepernick, and Patrick Willis remain intact for the next head coach.

The core of the San Francisco 49ers (l-r) Navarro Bowman, Colin Kaepernick, and Patrick Willis remain intact for the next head coach.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The NFL playoffs start on Saturday, January 3, but the week began with a range of changes on Black Monday. The Atlanta Falcons and San francisco 49ers parted ways with their head coach, while the New York Jets and Chicago Bears terminated their general manager and head coach. Jeff Fisher amazingly retains his head coaching job of the St. Louis Rams despite another mediocre season, but there are five current openings that need to filled.

The next Raiders head coach will have last season's 1st two picks in Khalil Mack (l) and Derek Carr (m) to do a better job than last year's head coach Dennis Allen (r).

The next Raiders head coach will have last season’s first two picks in Khalil Mack (l) and Derek Carr (m) to do a better job than last year’s head coach Dennis Allen (r).

6) The Oakland Raiders have been the model of consistency the last dozen NFL seasons, unfortunately they have been consistently dreadful. The Raiders will not bring back interim head coach Tony Sparano. Raiders rookies Khalil Mack, Derek Carr and second year running back Latavius Murray are some of the bright spots on a roster that needs major changes. The next head coach will not only have to contend with a losing culture but also another season of massive overhaul to the roster. They would be best served in hiring a head coach with plenty of NFL experience.

The Jets will have to decide whether Geno Smith (r) and Eric Decker (l) are part of the long-term solution as the team looks to improve quickly.

The Jets will have to decide whether Geno Smith (r) and Eric Decker (l) are part of the long-term solution as the team looks to improve quickly.

5) The New York Jets pulled the plug on the Rex Ryan/John Idzik era with much fanfare to long- suffering Jets fans. The next GM will have the #6 pick in this upcoming draft and a lot of cap space to try to address a myriad of needs. Second year quarterback Geno Smith and high-priced free agent wide receiver Eric Decker had career days in the last game of the season. The next head coach will have the daunting task of grooming a franchise quarterback, something that has escaped the Jets for quite some time.

The first step  for the turnaround for the Bills is to find a long-term answer at quarterback to throw the ball to last year's first round pick Sammy Watkins.

The first step for the turnaround for the Bills is to find a long-term answer at quarterback to throw the ball to last year’s first round pick Sammy Watkins.

4) The Buffalo Bills and head coach Doug Marrone decided to go their separate ways after two disappointing seasons. The Bills expected Marrone to help their offense grow, instead the defense has been much stronger. There are a number of veteran defensive players that are likely to remain on the roster next season but the team has to solve the issue at starting quarterback. The team started journeyman quarterback Kyle Orton for the majority of last season so it is imperative the Bills address that situation. Their next head coach will have to make the offense as good as the defense has been the past couple of years.

The next GM and head coach of the Bears will have to solve the riddle of how to win with Jay Cutler.

The next GM and head coach of the Bears will have to solve the riddle of how to win with Jay Cutler.

3) The Chicago Bears appear to have enough pieces in place to complete a quick turnaround. However, their defense will require a number of changes to improve, their lousy, hopeless, big money quarterback Jay Cutler seems to have regressed, and they play in one of the toughest divisions. The Bears will first have to find a GM who will determine whether they want an offensive or defensive minded head coach. Ultimately, the next head coach will have to do something that no previous head coach has been able to do, win consistently with Jay Cutler, who is a bust, regardless of his exorbitant contract.

The Falcons feel they have cornerstone players in Julio Jones (l) and Matt Ryan (r). The next head coach has to vastly improve their defense and make the offense more balanced.

The Falcons feel they have cornerstone players in Julio Jones (l) and Matt Ryan (r). The next head coach has to vastly improve their defense and make the offense more balanced.

2) The Atlanta Falcons have been trending backwards since making it to the NFC Championship in 2012. Mike Smith was relieved of his duties in part because the defensive oriented head coach has been unable to put a suitable defense on the field. The Falcons will not only have to make huge strides on defense to turn things around, but their offense is way too dependent on their passing attack. Julio Jones is extremely talented but injury prone and the next head coach is going to have to get more out of quarterback Matt Ryan.

The next 49ers head coach will have large shoes to fill as Jim Harbaugh (l) helped restore the franchise to it's winning ways by helping identify Colin Kaepernick as the next franchise quarterback.

The next 49ers head coach will have large shoes to fill as Jim Harbaugh (l) helped restore the franchise to its winning ways by helping identify Colin Kaepernick as the next franchise quarterback.

1) The San Francisco 49ers ended the season 8 – 8 after going to 3 consecutive NFC Championship games. Head coach Jim Harbaugh’s departure was not celebrated by 49ers fans but anticipated. The team has many positive components in place including quarterback Colin Kaepernick and an excellent defense. All-Pro linebackers Navarro Bowman and Patrick Willis should be healthy returns to the roster that will need to improve at cornerback and wide receiver. The main task for the next head coach is to vastly improve a predictable and largely unproductive offense. The 49ers have the best chance to turn things around next season and return to the playoffs.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a training and benefits consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com. For business inquiries contact (646)309-1938.

Happy New Year: Have a blessed, healthy and prosperous 2015

happynewyear

The dawn of a new year offers an opportunity for reflection, introspection, prayers and planning. It’s a time to review what has transpired so far in our lives, make honest assessments and strategize for the upcoming period, which is like drawing on a clean canvas.

For some, the focus will be on striving for a more healthy lifestyle through proper diet, weight loss and regular doctor’s visits to practice preventive healthcare. Others will concentrate on achieving financial, spiritual, emotional or educational health so that all areas of life can be fully aligned for optimum success and progress. Still others will devote more time and attention to family cohesion, friendships, career growth or retirement and estate planning.

Happy 2015!

Whatever aspects of life that heightens your attention and attracts your efforts, we pray that you will find the tools to develop the discipline that is necessary to ensure success. It is very easy to make resolutions at the beginning of each new year but it is far more difficult to follow through and remain motivated consistently to achieve the desired results.

At OnPointPress.net we have one message: Never give up on your dreams, regardless of how difficult the journey to success becomes. Growing up as a child on the picturesque island of Jamaica, in the Caribbean, I clung to three mottos which have defined my life to this day. One is the Chinese saying: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” the second is “Obstacles are those terrifying things you see when you take your eyes off your goals,” and the final one is a painting that hung on the wall to my living room, for all to see upon entering our home: “Do not pray for an easy life, pray to be a strong person.”

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Those ideas defined my life and, coupled with my deep faith, allowed me to overcome challenges and remain committed to my dreams and the goals that have been important to me.

For 2015, the staff of OnPointPress.net would like to urge you all to dream big, work hard, live with a sense of purpose and remember to put your faith and family ahead of any career that you pursue. Career success is empty without a loving family to push you forward, encourage you when you feel lost and to celebrate with you when you are successful. Have a happy, blessed, fulfilling, successful and prosperous 2015. Cheers!!–OnPointPress.net.