Rosario Dawson Earns Two Black Reel TV Awards Nominations

Rosario Dawson is reeling in the recognition…

The Black Reel TV Awards nominations have been revealed, with the 43-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American actress and activist earning two nods.

Rosario DawsonDawson is nominated in the Outstanding Actress, TV Movie/Limited Series category for her performance in HBO Max’s limited series DMZ.

She is also nominated in the Outstanding Supporting Actress, TV Movie/Limited Series category for her performance in Hulu’s limited series Dopesick.

Colman Domingo is nominated in the Outstanding Guest Actor, Drama Series category.

The 52-year-old Guatemalan American actor earned the callout for his work on HBO’s Euphoria.

 

Nadine Velazquez and Kasseem Swizz Beatz Dean earned a nod in the Outstanding Original Song category for their single “Nasty Girls,” from the ABC series Queens.

Velazquez, a  Puerto Rican actress/singer, earned the nod as a performer, while Swizz Beatz, a half-Puerto Rican recording artist, music producer and entrepreneur, co-wrote the single.

Latina music supervisor Mary Ramos earned a nod in the Outstanding Music Supervision category for her work on the Hulu series Wu-Tang: An American Saga.

The Black Reel Awards annually recognize the excellence of African Americans, as well as the cinematic achievements of the African diaspora, in the global film and television industry.

“This is a big transitional year for Black television,” said Black Reel Awards founder Tim Gordon. “With the conclusion of perennial Black Reel favorites like This Is Us, Insecure and Black-ish and more, it is wonderful to see that there are so many new shows, new stories and outlets willing to add these refreshing and new stories to their programming.”

Here’s a look at the nominees:

COMEDY

Outstanding Comedy Series

  • “Abbott Elementary” | Quinta Brunson, showrunner (ABC)
  • “Atlanta” | Stephen Glover, showrunner (FX)
  • “Black-ish” | Courtney Lilly, showrunner (ABC)
  • “Insecure” | Prentice Penny, showrunner (HBO)
  • “South Side” | Bashir Salahuddin & Diallo Riddle, showrunners (HBO Max)

Outstanding Actor, Comedy Series

  • Anthony Anderson | “black-ish” (ABC)
  • Don Cheadle | “Black Monday” (Showtime)
  • Donald Glover | “Atlanta” (FX)
  • Keegan-Michael Key | “Schmigadoon!” (Apple TV+)
  • Lamorne Morris | “Woke” (HULU)

Outstanding Actress, Comedy Series

  • Quinta Brunson | “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
  • Regina Hall | “Black Monday” (Showtime)
  • Issa Rae | “Insecure” (HBO)
  • Tracee Ellis Ross | “black-ish” (ABC)
  • Robin Thede | “A Black Lady Sketch Show” (HBO)

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Comedy Series

  • Jay Ellis | “Insecure” (HBO)
  • Brian Tyree Henry | “Atlanta” (FX)
  • Dulé Hill | “The Wonder Years” (ABC)
  • LaKeith Stanfield | “Atlanta” (FX)
  • Tyler James Williams | “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Comedy Series

  • Zazie Beetz | “Atlanta” (FX)
  • Janelle James | “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
  • Yvonne Orji | “Insecure” (HBO)
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph | “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
  • Natasha Rothwell | “Insecure” (HBO)

Outstanding Directing, Comedy Series

  • “Abbott Elementary” (“Ava v. The Superintendent”) | Matthew A. Cherry, director (ABC)
  • “Atlanta” (“Rich Wigga, Poor Wigga”) | Donald Glover, director (FX)
  • “Atlanta” (“Tarrare”) | Donald Glover, director (FX)
  • “The Flight Attendant” (“Drowning Women”) | Pete Chatmon, director (HBO Max)
  • The Wonder Years (“Love & War”) | Numa Perrier, director (ABC)

Outstanding Writing, Comedy Series

  • “Abbott Elementary” (“Pilot”) | Quinta Brunson, writer (ABC)
  • “Atlanta” (“Rich Wigga, Poor Wigga”) | Donald Glover, writer (FX)
  • “Atlanta” (“Three Slaps”) | Stephen Glover, writer (FX)
  • “Insecure” (“Out, Okay?”) | Issa Rae, writer (HBO)
  • “Ted Lasso” (“Do the Right-est Thing”) | Ashley Nicole Black, writer (Apple TV+)

Outstanding Guest Actor, Comedy Series

  • Reggie Hayes | “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
  • Lil Rel Howery | “South Side” (HBO Max)
  • Orlando Jones | “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
  • Sam Richardson | “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)
  • Kofi Siriboe | “Insecure” (HBO)

Outstanding Guest Actress, Comedy Series

  • Quinta Brunson | “A Black Lady Sketch Show” (HBO)
  • Lizzo | “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
  • Michelle Obama | “black-ish” (ABC)
  • Adriyan Rae | “Atlanta” (FX)
  • Da’Vine Joy Randolph | “Only Murders in the Building” (HULU)

DRAMA

Outstanding Drama Series

  • “Bel-Air” | Morgan Cooper, showrunner (Peacock)
  • “Euphoria” | Sam Levinson, showrunner (HBO)
  • “Lupin” | George Kay, showrunner (Netflix)
  • “This Is Us” | Dan Fogelman, showrunner (NBC)
  • “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” | Max Borenstein, showrunner (HBO)

Outstanding Actor, Drama Series

  • Sterling K. Brown | “This Is Us” (NBC)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor | “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (Showtime)
  • Damson Idris | “Snowfall” (FX)
  • Omar Sy | “Lupin” (Netflix)
  • Forest Whitaker | “Godfather of Harlem” (EPIX)

Outstanding Actress, Drama Series

  • Tawny Cypress | “Yellowjackets” (Showtime)
  • Naomie Harris | “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (Showtime)
  • Queen Latifah | “The Equalizer” (CBS)
  • Patina Miller | “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” (Starz)
  • Zendaya | “Euphoria” (HBO)

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama Series

  • Giancarlo Esposito | “Better Call Saul” (AMC)
  • Wood Harris | “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” (HBO)
  • Adrian Holmes | “Bel-Air” (Peacock)
  • Clarke Peters | “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (Showtime)
  • Olly Sholotan | “Bel-Air” (Peacock)

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama Series

  • Adjoa Andoh | “Bridgerton” (Netflix)
  • Coco Jones | “Bel-Air” (Peacock)
  • Audra McDonald | “The Gilded Age” (HBO)
  • Lorraine Toussaint | “The Equalizer” (CBS)
  • Susan Kelechi Watson | “This Is Us” (NBC)

Outstanding Directing, Drama Series

  • “Bel-Air” (Dreams and Nightmares”) | Morgan Cooper, director (Peacock)
  • “Better Call Saul” (“Axe and Grind”) | Giancarlo Esposito, director (AMC)
  • “Bridgerton” (“The Viscount Who Loved Me”) | Cheryl Dunye, director (Netflix)
  • “This Is Us” (“Our Little Island Girl: Part Two”) | Kevin Hooks, director (NBC)
  • “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” (“Pieces of a Man”) | Tanya Hamilton, director (HBO)

Outstanding Writing, Drama Series

  • “Bel-Air” (“Dreams and Nightmares”) | Malcolm Spellman, Morgan Cooper, TJ Brady & Rasheed Newsome, writers (Peacock)
  • “Snowfall” (“Celebration”) | Walter Mosley, writer (FX)
  • “This Is Us” (“Every Version of You”) | Kay Oyegun, writer (NBC)
  • “This Is Us” (“Our Little Island Girl”) | Eboni Freeman & Susan Kelechi Watson, writers (NBC)
  • “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” (“Acceptable Loss”) | Rodney Barnes & Max Borenstein, writers (HBO)

Outstanding Guest Actor, Drama Series

  • Colman Domingo | “Euphoria” (HBO)
  • Ron Cephas Jones | “This Is Us” (NBC)
  • Delroy Lindo | “The Good Fight” (Paramount +)
  • Jonathan Majors | “Loki” (Disney+)
  • Rob Morgan | “Stranger Things” (Netflix)

Outstanding Guest Actress, Drama Series

  • Rosario Dawson | “The Book of Boba Fett” (Disney+)
  • Whoopi Goldberg | “Star Trek: Picard” (Paramount+)
  • Cush Jumbo | “The Good Fight” (Paramount+)
  • Sanaa Lathan | “Succession” (HBO)
  • CCH Pounder | “The Good Fight” (Paramount+)

TV Movie or Limited Series

Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series

  • “Colin in Black & White” | Michael Starrbury, showrunner (Netflix)
  • “DMZ” | Roberto Patino, showrunner (HBO Max)
  • “The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray” | Diane Houslin, showrunner (Apple TV+)
  • “True Story” | Eric Newman, showrunner (Netflix)
  • “We Own This City” | George Pelecanos, showrunner (HBO)

Outstanding Actor,TV Movie/Limited Series

  • William Jackson Harper | “Love Life” (HBO Max)
  • Kevin Hart | “True Story” (Netflix)
  • Derek Luke | American Refugee (EPIX)
  • Samuel L. Jackson | “The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray” (Apple TV+)
  • Jaden Michael | “Colin in Black & White” (Netflix)

Outstanding Actress, TV Movie/Limited Series

  • Viola Davis | “The First Lady” (Showtime)
  • Rosario Dawson | “DMZ” (HBO Max)
  • Cynthia Erivo | “Roar” (Apple TV+)
  • Zoe Kravitz | Kimi (HBO Max)
  • Wunmi Mosaku | “We Own This City” (HBO)

Outstanding Supporting Actor, TV Movie/Limited Series

  • Michael Ealy | “The Woman Who in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window” (Netflix)
  • Jamie Hector | “We Own This City” (HBO)
  • David Oyelowo | “The Girl Before” (HBO Max)
  • Wesley Snipes | “True Story” (Netflix)
  • Glynn Turman | “Women of the Movement” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress, TV Movie/Limited Series

  • Rosario Dawson | “Dopesick” (HULU)
  • Dominique Fishback | “The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray” (Apple TV+)
  • Regina Hall | “Nine Perfect Stranger” (HULU)
  • Moses Ingram | “Obi-Wan Kenobi” (Disney+)
  • Natasha Rothwell | “The White Lotus” (HBO)

Outstanding Directing, TV Movie/Limited Series

  • “Colin in Black & White” (“Cornrows”) | Ava DuVernay, director (Netflix)
  • “The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray” (“Ptolemy”) | Hanelle C. Culpepper, director (Apple TV+)
  • “The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray” (“Robyn”) | Debbie Allen, director (Apple TV+)
  • “We Own This City” | Reinaldo Marcus Green, director (HBO)
  • “Women of the Movement” (“Mother and Son”) | Gina Prince-Bythewood, director (ABC)

Outstanding Writing, TV Movie/Limited Series

  • “Colin in Black & White” (“Cornrows”) | Michael Starrbury, writer (Netflix)
  • “The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray” (”Ptolemy”) | Walter Mosley, writer (Apple TV+)
  • “The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray” (”Robyn”) | Walter Mosley & Jerome Hairston, writer (Apple TV+)
  • “Maid” (“Sea Glass”) | Marcus Gardley, writer (Netflix)
  • “We Own This City” (“Part Three”) | D. Watkins, writer (HBO)

DOCUMENTARY

Outstanding Documentary

  • “Biography: Bobby Brown” | J. Kevin Swain, director (A&E)
  • “Black and Missing” | Geeta Gandbhir, Samantha M. Knowles, Yoruba Richen & Nadia Hallgren, directors (HBO)
  • “JANET JACKSON” | Benjamin Hirsch, director (A&E)
  • “They Call Me Magic” | Rick Famuyiwa, director (Apple TV+)
  • “We Need to Talk About Cosby” | W. Kamau Bell, director (Showtime)

VARIETY / TALK / SKETCH – Series or Special

Outstanding Talk/Sketch/Variety Series or Special

  • “The Amber Ruffin Show” | Jason Carden, Jennifer Sochko, Zoie Mancino, producers (Peacock)
  • “A Black Lady Sketch Show” | Robin Thede, showrunner (HBO)
  • Dave Chappelle: The Closer | Sina Sadighi, producer (Netflix)
  • Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel | Bo Burnham, Jerrod Carmichael, Eli Bush, Josh Senior, Matthew Vaughn, executive producers (HBO)
  • “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” | Jen Flanz, showrunner (Comedy Central)

MUSIC

Outstanding Music Supervision

  • “Atlanta” (FX) | Jen Malone, music supervisor
  • “Bridgerton” (Netflix) | Alexandra Patsavas, music supervisor
  • “Euphoria” (HBO) | Jen Malone, music supervisor
  • “Insecure” (HBO) | Kier Lehman, music supervisor
  • “Wu-Tang: An American Saga” (HULU) | Mary Ramos, music supervisor

Outstanding Musical Score

  • “Bridgerton” | Kris Bowers, composer (Netflix)
  • “Euphoria” | Labrinth, composer (HBO)
  • “Insecure” | Raphael Saadiq, composer (HBO)
  • “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” | Nicholas Britell & Robert Glasper (HBO)
  • “Wu-Tang: An American Saga” | RZA, composer (HULU)

Outstanding Original Song

  • “All I Know” (The Wonder Years) | Scotty Grand, performer; Scotty Grand, Jacob Yoffee & Roahn Hylton, writers – ABC
  • “Change” (We the People) | H.E.R. performer; Flippa, Max Moore, Jeff “Gitty” Gitelman, H.E.R. & Swagg R’Celious, writers – Netflix
  • “Get It Girl” (Insecure) | Saweetie & Raedio, performers; Fresh Kid Ice, Luther Campbell, Lil’ Jon, David Hobbs, Liana Banks & Saweetie, writers – HBO
  • “I’m Tired” (Euphoria) | Labrinth & Zendaya, performers; Labrinth, Zendaya & Sam Levinson, writers – HBO
  • “Nasty Girl” (Queens) | Brandy, Eve, Naturi Naughton, Nadine Velazquez, performers; Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges & Algernod “Piles” Lanier Washington, writers – ABC

Swizz Beatz to Produce Amazon Studios’ Verzuz-Inspired Documentary Film “Gifted & Black”

Swizz Beatz is celebrating the gifted and talented…

The 43-year-old half-Puerto Rican recording artist, music producer and entrepreneur is set to produce Amazon Studios’ feature-length documentary Gifted & Black for Prime Video.

Swizz BeatzThe project, which hails from Amazon Studios, Hillman Grad Productions and Good Trouble Studios, will be directed by James Adolphus.

Lena Waithe will produce under her Hillman Grad Productions alongside Swizz Beatz and Timbaland.

Inspired by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s music phenomenon VerzuzGifted & Black explores the traditions of Black music to connect, going from the plantation to the Pulitzer Prize. Set against the backdrop of the pandemic and the recent racial reckoning, Gifted & Black frames those traditions in the context of the collective resiliency fundamental to the Black experience.

While tracking the exponential growth of Swizz and Timabland’s Triller-owned Verzuz music enterprise from its onset, the documentary interweaves the roots of Black music, embedding in Black communities and with Black musical artists, through poignant interviews, gripping vérité and magnetic archival footage, offering insights into how Black music continues to be an uplifting and uniting salvation that endures through uncertain times.

“I’m grateful to Swizz and Tim for trusting us with something so historic,” said Waithe on behalf of Hillman Grad Productions. “Verzuz is more than just two artists going song-for-song. It’s a testament to the power of Black people. It’s the joyful celebration of legacy that we all needed. With this documentary, we’re excited to take audiences behind the scenes of this global phenomenon, while also paying tribute to the artists that shaped us. We could not be more grateful to Amazon for seeing the vision, and this film wouldn’t be possible without our amazing filmmakers, James Adolphus and Ben Selkow. They have flown to every city, interviewed every artist, and continue to capture history as it happens. We can’t wait for the world to see how this whole thing comes together.”

“When we first started this mission the entire world had hit rock bottom. People were going through so much and Tim and I felt we should do something to help folks escape,” Swizz Beatz added, “The rest is history, we made the magical call to Hillman Grad because we only wanted people to see the best of the best.”

“Swizz and I are excited to show the world everything that took place behind scenes during the process, while celebrating the artists that helped us build Verzuz,” said Timbaland. “Thank you to our entire team, Hillman Grad, James Adolphus, Ben Selkow, Amazon, Triller, and everyone involved. Verzuz came from our love of culture and our love of music and the fact that it has become the force it is today is way beyond anything Swizz or I could’ve imagined.”

“The launch of Verzuz reminded us of the multigenerational excitement for music ‘battles,’ which gave us the escape we all craved in 2020,” said Matt Newman, co-head of movies at Amazon Studios. “We are thrilled to work with Hillman Grad, Good Trouble, Swizz Beatz, and Timbaland to give audiences a behind-the-scenes look at the building of the Verzuz franchise.”

Swizz Beatz to Be Honored at This Year’s Ebony Power 100 Event

Swizz Beatz has the Power (100)

The 43-year-old half-Puerto Rican recording artist, music producer and entrepreneur will be among the honorees at this year’s Ebony Power 100 event on October 23 in Los Angeles.

Swizz Beatz

Ebony – the American title championing Black voices and culture since its inception in 1945 – is recognizing “the outstanding leaders across a variety of fields and disciplines from business, sports, media, activism, music to entertainment and more,” according to a press statement.

Honorees were categorized by discipline, in such categories as music impact, entertainment powerhouse, NextGen, ceiling breaker and breakthrough creators. In addition, a few individuals have received special awards for their contributions to the community.

Swizz Beatz and Timbaland will be honored under music impact category for creating Verzuz.

MJ Rodriguez, the 30-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress/singer, who earned an Emmy nomination for her work on FX’s Pose, and Tessa Thompson, the 38-year-old half-Afro-Panamanian and part-Mexican American actress/singer, are being recognized in the entertainment powerhouse category.

“From grassroots organizers to the arts and entertainment to the corporate boardrooms, we are very excited to shine a light on these amazing people because no one can celebrate Black excellence quite like Ebony,” said Michele Ghee, CEO of Ebony, in a statement.

Here’s the complete list of honorees.  The individual awards are listed first.

Corporate citizen award: Marc Pritchard, Damon Jones and Stephanie Headley of P&G
Entertainer of the year award: Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris, Red Table Talk
Game changer of the year: Deion Sanders
Innovator of the year: Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett
Rising star award: Storm Reid
Trailblazer award: MC Lyte

Breakthrough creators: Nae Nae Twins, Coodie & Chike, Brandice Daniel, Chad Easterling, Imani Ellis, Brandon Pankey, Demetria Lucas, Patrick “Fresh” Henry, Law Roach and Misha Green

Ceiling breaker: Thasunda Brown Duckett, Rosetta Bryson, Rashida Jones, Harvey Mason Jr., Fawn Weaver, Miriam Vales, Karine Jean-Pierre, Letitia “Tish” James and Melanie Boulden

Community builder: Regina Jackson, Trae the Truth, Missionary Ellen K. Clark, Eunique Jones Gibson, Emil Wilbekin, Alice Marie Johnson, Dr. Kendell Jasper and Kainon Jasper, Brandon McEachern, Darryl Perkins and Marcus Allen and Deon T. Jones

Entertainment powerhouse: Andra Day, Regé-Jean Page, Anthony Mackie, MJ Rodriguez, Liesl Tommy, Tessa Thompson and John David Washington

Excellence in journalism: Don Lemon, Abby Phillip, Charles Blow, Tamron Hall, W. Kamau Bell, Tomi Adeyemi, Ebro Darden and Nischelle Turner

Game changer: Shaquille O’ Neal, Francis Ngannou, Lewis Hamilton, Sydney Michelle McLaughlin, Stephen A. Smith, Brehanna Daniels and Maya Moore

Innovation leader: Beatrice Dixon, Songe LaRon and Dave Salvant, Isaac Hayes III, Joy Buolamwini, MC Hammer, Dr. Patrice A. Harris, Dr. Angela D. Reddix, Tanya Van Court and Arlan Hamilton

Music impact: Big Freedia, Erica Campbell, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, Derrick “D- Nice” Jones, Lil Baby, Questlove, Joi Brown, Jeanine McLean-Williams, Rapsody, Anderson .Paak and Travis Scott

NextGen: Nicolas Johnson, Noah Harris, Nia DaCosta, Cheick Camara, Chloe & Halle Bailey Jon Moody, Ermias Tadesse, Zaila Avant-garde and Amanda Gorman

Social justice champion: Rep. Cori Bush, the CROWN Coalition (Kelli Richardson Lawson, Esi Eggleston Bracey, Orlena Nwokah Blanchard, Adjoah B. Asamoah and Senator Holly J. Mitchell), Erica Ford, Darnella Frazier, Nikole Hannah- Jones, Shaun King, Keith Meadows, Brittany Packnett and Senator Raphael Warnock

Bad Bunny Named One of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People of 2021 (TIME100)

Bad Bunny is having the TIME of his life…

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican superstar has been named one of the Most Influential People of 2021 by TIME.

Bad Bunny

This week, the magazine revealed its annual TIME100, featuring “extraordinary leaders from around the world working to build a better future, from entertainers striving to make Hollywood more inclusive to activists fighting for sustainability and human rights. … They are disrupters, fixers, doers, iconoclasts, problem solvers — people who in a year of crisis have leaped into the fray,” said Edward FelsenthalTIME CEO and editor in chief, in a press statement.

J Balvin was selected as the guest contributor to write about Bad Bunny. The two global reggaeton stars were introduced to each other in 2016 by DJ Luian at one of Balvin’s concerts in Puerto Rico. The rest, as they say, is history.

“When I saw him, I was like, ‘Oh, he’s another weirdo like me. I’m not the only one now.’ We immediately went to the studio and cut a song, ‘Si Tu Novio Te Deja Sola.’ It blew up,” Balvin wrote in his essay. “He’s a phenomenon when it comes to music, but it didn’t happen overnight; he was working at the supermarket back then, and had to struggle too. We’ve since worked together on an album, Oasis, and the Super Bowl halftime show.”

The Colombian artist describes Bad Bunny’s career evolving from a “little monster” to “Godzilla,” who has reached superstar status and has connected with fans through his “amazing lyrics,” creation of his brand, advocacy for self-expression, and freedom.

“He’s an artist, period. A true artist,” he wrote. “Now he’s at his peak, taking Latin culture to another level. The records he’s broken are amazing. He’s different. Special. People wait for someone to die to say, ‘Oh, he was a legend.’ But I’m telling Benito now: You are one of the greatest artists in Latin music history.”

But Bad Bunny isn’t the only Latinx person to make this year’s list.

Olimpia CoralMelo Cruz, a women’s-rights activist from the Mexican city of Puebla, is a survivor of revenge porn—sexual content that is shared without the consent of those featured within it. She turned her experience into action, and in April 2021, Mexico passed Olimpia’sLaw, federally prohibiting the sharing of such content without the subject’s permission.

Swizz Beatz and fellow hip-hop icon Timbaland have been named for creating the hip-hop phenomenon and game-changing hip-hop battle series, Verzuz.

In a business world still dominated by men, a Brazilian woman, Luiza Trajano, has managed to make Magazine Luiza a massive success. She is the only Brazilian to appear on this year’s list.

Elisa Loncón Antileo is a Mapuche linguist and indigenous rights activist in Chile. In 2021, Loncón was elected as one of the representatives of the Mapuche people for the Chilean Constitutional Convention. Following in the inauguration of the body, Loncón was elected President of the Constitutional Convention.

A staunch believer in the science of climate change, GM CEO Mary Barra spearheaded General Motors’ (GM) commitment to sell only zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

In a sea of despair, a Cuban doctor is a ray of hope. Dairon Elisondo Rojas, who is seeking asylum in the US, provides lifesaving care to fellow migrants in the Matamoros makeshift camp.

The knowledge possessed by Mónica Ramírez‘s giant heart is just what makes her the breath of fresh air needed in a civil rights attorney. Her work through organizations like Justice for Migrant Women is only a fraction of proof of how hard she fights for the migrant worker.

Fat Joe to Face Off Against Ja Rule in All-New Verzuz Battle

Fat Joe is ready for a hip-hop battle…

The 51-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American rapper will face off against Ja Rule in an all-new Verzuz battle on September 14.

Fat Joe

The friendly competition will take place in person, live from New York.

“The summer ain’t over!!” Verzuz co-creator Swizz Beatz wrote on Instagram revealing the news.

In a separate announcement post on Instagram, Ja Rule wrote, “#ICONN.” Meanwhile, Fat Joe captioned his identical post, “The price just went [up] @fatjoe @verzuz @jarule.”

This marks the first Verzuz battle since last month, when The LOX and Dipset hit the stage to deliver some fan-favorite hit songs.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Ja Rule has released eight No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 singles, including “Always On Time,” featuring Ashanti, which peaked at No. 1 in February 2002 and charted for 27 weeks. The hitmaker has released a total of 17 Hot 100 songs. His debut studio album, Venni Vetti Veccipeaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, where it charted for 31 weeks.

Fat Joe, who began his career in music as a member of hip-hop group Diggin’ in the Crates Crew (D.I.T.C.), released his debut solo album Represent in 1993. His single from the album, “Flow Joe,” reached No. 1 on the Hot Rap Songs chart.

Fat Joe’s “What’s Luv?” featuring Ashanti and Ja Rule, peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Ja Rule’s collaborative hit track “New York,” featuring Fat Joe and Jadakiss, was a top 30 Hot 100 song. It peaked at No. 27 on the list in 2004, where it charted for 14 weeks.

Hip-hop fans can catch the newly announced Verzuz battle between Fat Joe and Ja Rule on September 14 at 9:00 pm ET, which will be available for live streaming via the Triller app, FITE TV or on the Verzuz TV Instagram account.

Swizz Beatz to Receive ASCAP Voice of the Culture Award

Swizz Beatz is a voice of the future

The 42-year-old half Puerto Rican recording artist, music producer and entrepreneur will receive the ASCAP Voice of the Culture award alongside Timbaland and D-Nice to kick off the 2021 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards on June 22.

Swizz Beatz

Following the presentation, the music creators will take part in a 2021 ASCAP Experience conversation, “Voices of the Culture: How Swizz Beatz, Timbaland & D-Nice United the World Through Music,” at 12:00 pm ET/ 9:00 am PT.

The virtual conversation will explore how Timbaland and Swizz Beatz’s virtual music battle series Verzuz and D-Nice’s Club Quarantine became tools for uplift within the Black music community and touchstones of empowerment during the pandemic.

To join the conversation, participants can RSVP at www.ascapexperience.com/schedule. They can also submit a question for the three creators before June 10.

Verzuz has featured such epic matchups as Gladys Knight vs. Patti LaBelle, Erykah Badu vs. Jill Scott, Earth, Wind & Fire vs. The Isley Brothers, and Snoop Dogg vs. DMX.

Club Quarantine attracted a virtual community of millions to Instagram Live for sets of funk, disco, hip-hop and R&B.

In addition to launching these popular events, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland and D-Nice are accomplished music creators in their own right.

Grammy-winning songwriter-producer Swizz Beatz has been in the music and business worlds since he was 16. He began DJing and working at his uncle’s company, Ruff Ryders Entertainment, while still in high school. Within a short time, Swizz produced the company’s first hit, by DMX. More success followed as a producer and artist. As a producer, Swizz has worked with a diverse array of artists, including Jay-Z, Madonna, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Metallica.

The 2021 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards is a virtual celebration that takes place on social media from June 22-24. The event recognizes songwriters, composers and publishers behind the most performed R&B/hip-hop, rap and gospel songs of the past year. Friends and fans can join the online festivities as ASCAP shares photos, videos, acceptance speeches and more from some of its top songwriters and publishers, posted with the hashtag #ASCAPAwards to @ASCAPUrban on Instagram and @ASCAP on Twitter and Instagram.

The ASCAP Experience takes place twice a month on Wednesdays through the end of 2021. Songwriters, composers and music business professionals can join the ASCAP Experience community for access to conversations with songwriters and producers from across the musical spectrum, plus panels with top industry executives, song feedback, networking opportunities and more. The virtual sessions are free to attend and take place on a variety of platforms, including YouTube, Instagram and on the ASCAP Experience website.

Swizz Beatz to Face Off Against Timbaland in Verzuz Battle This Memorial Day Weekend

Swizz Beatz is preparing for a showdown…

This Memorial Day weekend, the 42-year-old half Puerto Rican recording artist, music producer and entrepreneur and his Verzuz co-creator Timbaland  will show off their producing skills as they face off in a battle once again for their hit web series.

Swizz Beatz

The pair first dueled onstage in 2018 at the Hot 97 Summer Jam in East Rutherford, N.J., as part of a producer clash battle — long before Verzuz premiered virtually in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a post shared on the official Verzuz Instagram on Tuesday (May 25), the showdown was announced. “Did y’all guess who the rematch was going to be!? @THEREALSWIZZZ vs @TIMBALAND THIS SUNDAY ‼️ LIVE from @LIVMIAMI  Celebrating Memorial Day Weekend with our new #VERZUZLive .”

Beatz, né Kasseem Dean, 42, commented the post, “Let’s go then .” Timbaland, born Timothy Mosley, 49, wrote, “Alrite [sic] now .”

With Timbaland’s extensive history of producing megahits for fan-favorites including JAY-Z, Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott, Kanye West, Aaliyah, Cher and Madonna, Beatz — who has produced for Eve, Diddy, Lil’ Wayne, The Weeknd, Drake, the late DMX, among many more — is in for a tough rematch.

Since its inception, Verzuz has featured friendly competitions between Monica and Brandy, Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, Alicia Keys and John Legend, and the late DMX, who faced off against Snoop Dogg in July. DMX, né Earl Simmons, died on April 9.

Tune in on Sunday (May 30) at 8 p.m. ET to catch the Verzuz battle between Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, streaming on Instagram Live via the VerzuzTV account or Triller. It will also air on TV via FITE.

https://twitter.com/verzuzonline/status/1397184322537345026

Whindersson Nunes Takes Home One of the Top Prizes at YouTube Streamy Awards

It’s a stream come true for Whindersson Nunes.

The 2020 YouTube Streamy Awards, honoring the best of online entertainment, have been revealed, with the 25-year-old Brazilian comedian, singer, and YouTuber taking home one of the top prizes.

Whindersson Nunes

Nunes, whose YouTube channel whinderssonnunes ranks among the most subscribed in Brazil, was named the International winner during its virtual ceremony.

Swizz Beatz took home the Live Series award.

The 42-year-old part-Puerto Rican artist, producer and DJ and Timbaland won the prize for Verzuz, their weekly, real-time, virtual DJ battles.

Lele Pons didn’t go home empty-handed.

The 24-year-old Venezuelan internet celebrity, YouTuber, actress and singer won the Documentary award for digital series The Secret Life of Lele Pons.

The Streamy Award in the Sports category went to Ryan García, who continues to rise to acclaim beyond the ring.

The 22-year-old Mexican American professional boxer most recently starred in Bad Bunny‘s “Yo Visto Así” music video.

The 2020 YouTube Streamy Awards are executive produced by dick clark productions and Streamy Awards founders, Drew Baldwin and Joshua Cohen.

Here’s the winners list for the 2020 Streamy Awards:

OVERALL AWARDS
Creator of the Year MrBeast
Show of the Year Instant Influencer • James Charles
International Whindersson Nunes (Brazil)

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS
Breakout Creator Charli D’Amelio
Collaboration David Dobrik and Justin Bieber – SURPRISING PEOPLE WITH JUSTIN BIEBER!!
Crossover Will Smith
First Person Emma Chamberlain
Live Streamer NICKMERCS

SHOW AWARDS
Indie Series Chris and Jack
Live Series Verzuz
Live Special MrBeast’s $250,000 Influencer Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament
Podcast On Purpose with Jay Shetty ‎
Scripted Series A Heist with Markiplier • Markiplier
Unscripted Series UNHhhh • WOWPresents

SUBJECT AWARDS
Animated Jaiden Animations
Beauty James Charles
Comedy Sarah Cooper
Commentary ContraPoints
Dance BFunk
Documentary The Secret Life of Lele Pons
Fashion and Style Wisdom Kaye
Food Tabitha Brown
Gaming Dream
Health and Wellness Chloe Ting
Kids and Family Ryan’s World
Learning and Education Mark Rober
Lifestyle Larray
News HasanAbi
Sports Ryan García
Technology Marques Brownlee

CRAFT AWARDS
Cinematography Peter McKinnon – Peter McKinnon
Editing Hayden Hillier-Smith – Logan Paul
Visual and Special Effects Aaron Benitez – Aaron’s Animals
Writing CalebCity – CalebCity

Camila Cabello Among the Winners at Inaugural The Lockdown Awards

Camila Cabello has the chemistry on lock with Shawn Mendes

The 23-year-old Cuban & Mexican singer and her boyfriend-singer Mendes’ performance during the One World: Together at Home broadcast won one of the awards at the inaugural LiveXLive Presents: The Lockdown Awards.

Camila Cabello & Shawn Mendes

The awards show is meant to honor “the best of the best who created and entertained the world amidst the pandemic.” 

Cabello and Mendes’ performance of “What a Wonderful World” during the all-star telethon organized by Global Citizen took home the award for Digital Chemistry, Favorite Duet.

Cardi B didn’t have to actually perform to earn her prize.

The 28-year-old half-Dominican American rap superstar won the Musicians Not Playing Music prize for her DIY Hair Mask.

Swizz Beatz was named the winner for launching a can’t miss series of music moments…

The 42-year-old part-Puerto Rican artist, producer and DJ and Timbaland took home the The New New, Favorite New Music Series for Verzuz, their weekly, real-time, virtual DJ battles.

Chrissie Fit and her fellow Barden Bellas took home the Way-Off Broadway, Favorite Musical Reunion prize.

The 36-year-old Cuban American actress/singer and her Pitch Perfect cast mates won after reuniting to perform “Love on Top.”

Trey Songz hosted The Lockdown Awards, which included performances by Ally Brooke, Avenue Beat, Wiz Khalifa, Lauv and Conan Gray, Icona Pop and Sofi Tukker, Joss Stone, Johnny Orlando and Monsta X.

Winners were determined by fan voting at livexlive.com/TheLockdownAwards, as well as through Twitter submissions starting October 6.

“The inaugural Lockdown Awards is in the books,” said Garrett English, chief creative officer, LiveXLive, in a statement. “This was an evening celebrating artists, fans, and the enduring power of music.”

YouTube partnered with LiveXLive to distribute and promote the show across multiple YouTube channels.

Here’s a complete list of winners:

MVP Award: DJ D-Nice
Favorite Quaranteam: BTS
Digital Chemistry, Favorite Duet: Camila Cabello & Shawn Mendes – “What a Wonderful World,” Global Citizen One World: Together at Home
The Room Where It Happens, Favorite Home Performance: Will Smith & DJ Jazzy Jeff – “Brand New Funk”
A Quarantine Ditty, Favorite Quarantine Song: Charlie Puth – “Untitled Quarantine Song”
All the Feels, Favorite Song for the Soul: Restless Road & Kane Brown – “Take Me Home,” Pandora Live
Musicians Not Playing Music: Cardi B – DIY Hair Mask
I Heart that Song, Favorite Cover: MGK & Travis Barker – “Misery Business”
Mind = Blown, Favorite Use of Tech: Katy Perry – Tomorrowland Around the World
No Stage, No Problem, Favorite Outdoor Performance: Andrea Bocelli – “Amazing Grace,” Music for Hope
Room With a View, Favorite Creative Direction: Keith Urban – “Higher Love,” Global Citizen One World: Together at Home
Sights & Sounds, Most Like a Music Video: 24kGoldn with Yungblud – “City of Angels,” The Yungblud Show
Stronger Together, Favorite Group/All-Star Performance: Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, John Legend, Lady Gaga, & Lang Lang – “The Prayer,” Global Citizen One World: Together at Home
The New New, Favorite New Music Series: Timbaland & Swizz Beatz – Verzuz
The Best Fest, Favorite Virtual Festival: Lollapalooza 2020
Way-Off Broadway, Favorite Musical Reunion: Pitch Perfect Cast / The Barden Bellas – “Love on Top,” Universal Pictures
Zoom Tune, Zoom Performance: SuperM – “With You,” Global Citizen One World: Together at Home

Bruno Mars to Headline This Year’s Essence Festival of Culture

Bruno Mars is sharing his essence in a big way…

The 34-year-old part-Puerto Rican Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has been named one of the main stage headliners for the Essence Festival of Culture.

Bruno Mars

Mars will co-headline the event with Janet Jacksonas Essence celebrates its 50th anniversary. 

Mars’ appearance will be his first time performing at the festival — and his only 2020 U.S. festival performance.

Essence Festival of Culture will expand for the first time from three to five days (July 1-5) in New Orleans, marking one day for each decade. This year’s theme is “Own Our Power.”

Jackson will be making her third appearance at the festival. Her appearance will take place during her newly announced Black Diamond World Tour, titled after her upcoming 12th studio album.

In addition to Jackson and Mars, the festival’s three-night concert series will include the following lineups at the Louisiana Superdome:

Main stage: Ari Lennox, Janelle MonaePatti LaBelleRaphael Saadiq (performing songs across his entire career from Tony! Toni! Tone! through his solo albums, including Jimmy Lee), Estelle Presents Reggae & Afrobeats Link Up featuring Afro BChronnixElephant ManKraniumMax GlazerMaxi PriestShenseeaand more, Summer Walker,  Swizz BeatzPresents In the Zone featuring guest artists. 

Hosted by Loni Love with music by D-Nice, the main stage lineup will salute music icons each night, including a special anniversary celebration on July 4. 

Superlounges: Casmé, D SmokeDemi GraceDoug E. Fresh Presents The Real Hip-Hop and R&B Party, Elah HaleGoldlinkJac RossJamesdavisJidennaJune’s DiaryKiana LedeKitty CashLeikeli47MasegoMr EaziOswin BenjaminRapsodySaweetieSiRSminoStokleyTamiaTank and the BangasTeaMarrrThe New Respects and Umi.

 “This is a milestone year for Essence and our community as we celebrate 50 years of creating opportunities for our culture to shine and the role of black women in making it possible for us to do what no other brand has done,” said Michelle Ebanks, CEO of Essence Communications, Inc.“To be able to say that at 50 years, we are black-owned, diversified across media, technology, commerce and live events, and impacting our culture in new and even deeper ways than ever before is a blessing – and one that comes with a tremendous responsibility to our community to continue to evolve, innovate and transform. That remains our focus and commitment as we work to ensure that we are here serving black women deeply and advancing black culture, economic ownership and inclusion globally for the next 50 years.”

Regarding Mars and Jackson, Ebanks added, “These two powerhouses, along with our robust slate of programming, performances and tributes, will continue our legacy of cultural excellence and dynamic, only-at-Essence experiences that excite, elevate and inspire.”

For more information, visit Essence.com/festival.