Sunday August 4th, 2002


New CD's this week:

Amerie - All I have
Maysa Leak - Out of the blue
Lamya - Learning from falling


Short news stories this week:

Black Coffey On The Kentucky Invasion

Black Coffey, the latest Motown Records find, recently released its
first single, "Country Boyz" featuring Rob Jackson. The song was
produced by Isaac Hayes III and features the group singing about its
home state of Kentucky. The group joins an emerging contingent of
entertainers from Kentucky that are making a splash, including
Kentucky-based rap outfit Nappy Roots and R&B singer Keke Wyatt.
Black Coffey member Jason Coffey recently shared that the invasion of
the music industry by Kentucky-based artists is great: "I mean, it's
been like the underground railroad in Kentucky trying to come up because
there's really no outlet there. But like you said, you got my brother,
myself, Rob Jackson, Nappy Roots, Keke Wyatt, Athena Cage, Playa, two of
the Backstreet Boys...There's very good talent in Kentucky. I know some
people who are still there trying to do their thing, you know what I'm
sayin', and by us being able to get in we can take it back home now, and
then we can show the rest of world that, 'OK, there's more from Kentucky
that's coming,' but the invasion is great."

Diana Ross Cancels Summer Tour

Diana Ross has canceled the remaining dates on her summer tour. The
former Supremes diva was due to kick off an 11-date outing August 9 with
two shows at the Cerritos Center in Southern California. Other affected
shows include dates in San Diego, Livermore, Saratoga, and Santa Rosa in
California, as well as Seattle, Washington, and a three-night stint in
Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
In mid-May, Ross checked herself into Promises, a California rehab
center that specializes in the treatment and recovery of those addicted
to drugs, alcohol, and other substances. At the time, her publicist Paul
Bloch said Ross entered the facility to "clear up some personal issues"
and that "she wanted to be in great shape because she is someone who
feels a sense of responsibility to her family and her fans."
A spokesperson for Ross said there is no reason being given at this time
for the tour cancellation, and there is no word about whether or not the
dates will be rescheduled.

Janet Jackson Among Shareholders Of Largest Black-Owned Bank

Singer Janet Jackson is among the shareholders of the largest
black-owned bank in the United States. Jackson, as well as former Los
Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson, are owners of shares in Boston Bank
Of Commerce, which has just merged with Family Savings Bank, making the
resulting entity the biggest banking institution owned by
Bank executives say the $460 million deal will result in more banks
being built in black neighborhoods across the U.S., and is meant to
inspire others. Boston Bank Of Commerce's Kevin Cohee said, "This merger
will serve as a model and source of strength for black businesses as we
unite to share resources and expertise."
Cohen has also described Johnson's successful efforts at bringing movie
theaters, Starbucks coffee shops, and T.G.I. Friday's restaurants to
inner-city neighborhoods as an example of what the merged banks hope to
accomplish once the deal is approved by stockholders and regulators.

India.Arie Is On A New 'Voyage'

Neo-soul singer-guitarist India.Arie is gearing up for the release of
her sophomore album, Voyage To India, due out from Motown Records on
September 24. The first single, "Little Things," will turn up on radio
next week.
Voyage To India is the follow-up to Arie's Grammy-nominated debut set,
Acoustic Soul, which featured the hit, "Brown Skin." That first set,
which came out in May of 2001, continues to perform well and is
currently Number 121 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Acoustic Soul
has sold more than 1,650,000 copies since its release.
Arie will preview Voyage To India during a special performance at New
York City's Bryant Park on August 14.

New Motown Act Jene Names Mariah As Influence

New Motown artist Jene--who is promoting her debut single, "Get Into
Something"--said she was inspired to become a professional singer after
seeing Mariah Carey sing "Hero."
"I was watching TV one day and seeing Mariah Carey sing 'Hero,' and it
was like the clouds broke, and I could see clearly," Jene said. "I knew
what I wanted--and needed--to do with my life. I'd found my calling, my
The singer--raised in both Shreveport, Louisiana, and Orlando,
Florida--features the production of a number of hitmakers on her debut
album, Jene's Reign, which is due out September 17. Among the producers
are Full Force, Daron from 112, Teddy Bishop, Chris Henderson, and Allen
"Allstar" Gordon.

Jackson Claims Signature On Debt Admission Is A Forgery

Michael Jackson has been slapped with a hefty lawsuit by Myung-Ho Lee.
Lee claims that on September 14, 2001, in Los Angeles, the "King of Pop"
signed a piece of paper in which he admitted to owing his former
business manager $13 million.
Jackson has come out to denounce the lawsuit by saying it was impossible
for him to sign the agreement on that date since he was traveling in a
bus with his family at that time. Jackson and his family were in New
York on September 10 after the second of his two anniversary concerts.
The next morning, Jackson and company, along with the rest of the
nation, watched in shock as four planes were hijacked by terrorists and
used to attack the Pentagon and World Trade Center. Fearing for their
lives, the Jackson clan, including Michael, rented buses to transport
them back to Los Angeles.
Michael's brother Jermaine Jackson tells us: "We got these huge tour
buses and finally got the family out (of New York), and everybody, and
we drove from New York back to California. We had a lot of fun, though."
Even if the buses went nonstop back to L.A., it would have been nearly
impossible for Michael to have signed off on the admission of debt on
September 14, as Lee claims.
As for what that family reunion bus drive was like, Jermaine tells us:
"It felt like old times 'cause we would stop in the truck stops and go
in these sandwich places, and they recognize my mother everywhere. Then
they would see one of us come through, then my father, then another
brother, then another brother, and they would be surprised. Just driving
across America was a lot of fun because we got a chance to see the
countryside and just watching what was going on."
In an affidavit submitted to the court, Jackson argues, "I specifically
looked at the signature that appears at the end of this document above
my typed name. This is not my signature. I did not sign this document
and have never seen it until a few weeks ago. I would never knowingly
sign a document that expressly requires me to pay over $13 million to
Mr. Lee or anyone else, alone in a room and without review of counsel by
one or more of my attorneys."


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