Monthly Archives: February 2014

Citi Offering Additional Tickets to Lady Gaga’s Sold-Out Roseland Ballroom Residency (Exclusive)

Citi Offering Additional Tickets to Lady Gaga's Sold-Out Roseland Ballroom Residency (Exclusive)

Lady Gaga

Inez & Vinoodh

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All tickets to Lady Gaga’s seven-night residency to bid farewell to New York’s iconic Roseland Ballroom next month sold out within minutes.

But Citi will offer additional tickets beginning Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. eastern at livenation.com, allowing Citi ThankYou cardmembers the exclusive opportunity to purchase tickets to a VIP soundcheck prior to the penultimate performance on April 6. The other sold-out dates will take place March 28, 30, 31, April 2, 4 and 7.

Tickets will be sold for $400, including all service fees, and access to the performance itself. Additional details on the extremely limited allotment will be at citiprivatepass.com/thankyouevents.

“We are ecstatic to partner with Lady Gaga on what is sure to be an amazing preshow experience at the Roseland Ballroom,” says Jennifer Breithaupt, senior VP of entertainment marketing at Citi. “Through our access programs we strive to create lasting memories for our Citi cardmembers, and this will be an event to remember.”

The Roseland residency will preview Gaga’s upcoming tour, which is also proving to be a hot ticket both in Live Nation pre-sales and the other true gauge of a tour’s viability — the secondary market. As Billboard reported exclusively last week, Gaga was the “most anticipated” artist on tour in 2014 according to secondary ticketing site StubHub’s popularity market, which indicates the increase in keyword searches on StubHub the week after a tour’s announcement.

Gaga promoted a 900% increase in searches the week after the tour’s announcement, followed in anticipation by George Strait (up 700%), One Direction (up 400%), Miley Cyrus (up 345%), and Billy Joel (up 145%) in the first week after their respective tours were announced.

Not surprisingly, tickets for the Roseland dates are going at exceptionally high rates as well — after all, it’s a rare chance to see the singer play a 3,500-capacity club before hitting arenas with crowds of 18,000 or more. The opening night on March 30 currently has secondary rates as high as $6,603 per ticket on StubHub.

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TB Joshua’s Synagogue: What Most Nigerians Are Not Seeing

I was in far away Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State that day; my phones kept ringing like hell. Since we were in the middle of a guided tour of the abandoned multi-million dollars steel company, I switched them to vibration mode. Yet minute-by-minute, the phones kept buzzing, forcing one to attend to the caller, who happened to be an old classmate.

“I just finished reading your story in The Guardian. In fact, I had to call someone who gave me your number. Please, I need to see you,” he said excitedly as if he had just won big money from Baba Ijebu.
At first, I was confused, but at the same time, I played along and promised to meet him in Lagos on my return. However, in my mind, I kept wondering, which story could this be?

I had written few copies before I embarked on that revealing assignment, so it was a bit difficult to ascertain the particular story my good friend talked about.
Thank God for Blackberry; I quickly logged on to The Guardian website. Low and behold, it was the story on TB Joshua titled, ‘Inside TB Joshua’s Synagogue… The Myth, The Reality’, published in the Guardian of Sunday June 10. I actually did that report ahead of the prophet’s 50th anniversary. In fact, I had totally forgotten the story was to be published that week.
Without waiting to return back to Lagos, I called my friend back that evening just to know his interest in the story. “When I saw that you were the one that did the interview with TB Joshua, I told some of my friends that we were classmates. My brother, if you know how people, including some of my relatives, struggle to see the prophet… Since then, I’ve not rested o; they want me to link them up to you so you could help them see the man of God,” he revealed.
At this point, I recalled my experience with a group of South Africas during a training workshop in Bramfontein, Johannesburg last year. As soon as I introduced myself as a journalist from Nigeria, prophet TB Joshua’s name came up; they seem to know him very well in that part of the world. In fact, the way the ladies spoke about The Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), one would think they were talking of Jerusalem or Rome. Without being told, you could tell that they are ardent followers of the Emmanuel TV; they know about the miracles.
Just recently, I laid my hands on a copy of the Mail & Guardian newspapers of September 6, 2013. On the cover of the leading South African newspaper, is a story on the visit of the ousted ANC Youth League Leader, Julius Malema, to the Synagogue Church Of All Nations. According to the spokesperson for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, who was part of the pilgrimage to the ‘super prophet’, Malema stayed for a week at the church doing “lots of reading, watching sermons and prophecies.” He reportedly met with the prophet, though details of of their meeting were never disclosed.
In South Africa, it is believed that Malema’s visit to the prophet is unconnected with his effort to “create friendship with his son of Africa and his congregation, and ask for blessings for the journey ahead,” in his political struggle.
Written by Varashni Pillay, the report also took into account some influential men, who have once visited TB Joshua in Lagos. The list included Malema’s on time mentor, Winni Madikizela-Mandla, Malawi’s former president Bingu wa Mutharika, who later died after a prophecy by TB Joshua to that effect, and Zimbabwe’s Morgan Tsangirai. Some popular South African rugby players are also regulars at SCOAN.
In the same edition, another reporter. Monica Mark, also did a report on how residents are cashing in on the thousands of tourists, who attended TB Joshua’s church. Titled Super-pastor’s cup runneth over, the reporter’s diary chronicled the economic side of SCOAN, with focus on the ancillary businesses that have since cropped up around the church. From hotels to money-changers, hawkers, restaurants, mama put… it’s a whole business chain, with residents constantly making brisk business.
Aside from South Africa, the UK Guardian of September 2, 2013, also devoted its half page to a story on TB Joshua titled, preacher’s spiritual healing brings big bucks to Lagos, with a rider, Business booming in streets around church that draws 50,000 worshipers a week.
By the time you do your arithmetic with this figure, then you begin to understand the level of economic transaction and foreign exchange SCOAN ears for Nigeria on a daily basis. Now, is this not a typical case of ‘a prophet is without honour in his own country?’
Last year in Zimbabwe, the police investigated a Harare church, which claimed to be affiliated to TB Joshua, after scores of people reported to have paid thousands of dollars for trips to the Nigeria, which never materialised. The church, which is based in Sunridge, Mabelreign, allegedly promised members trips to TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN). Of course, TB Joshua is reputed across Africa to have mythical healing powers, which has seen thousands of people from around the world with various personal problems and ailments flocking to his church.
So, don’t blame those who paid their way just to see the prophet.
Claiming to be operating under the express direction and instruction of TB Joshua, the Harare church was also selling bottles of”holy water” allegedly used by the preacher for his healing sessions. Dozens of desperate people seeking a quick solution to their life problems were shelling out up to US$50 for a bottle of the “miracle water,” which TB Joshua is said to give out for free.
But the scam was exposed after TB Joshua issued a statement distancing his organisation from the Harare church, forcing its members to rush to the police in a bid to recover their money. Hmmm, at last, the world is the world is seeing something positive in Nigeria. Unfortunately, back home, it’s a different ball game.
Notwithstanding, on June 12, TB Joshua’s 50th birthday, the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) was fully loaded with guests. But surprisingly, the prophet was not at the event to celebrate his birthday. Instead, he preferred to go to the mountain to commune with his creator. Notwithstanding his absence, the birthday bash went on as planned – his men took charge of events.
Notable among guests at the event were former PMAN president and renowned flutist, Tee-Mac Itseli, who performed some of his evergreen songs. Comedians Julius Agwu, Lepacious Bose and MC Abbey were also present, including the King of Comedy, Ali Baba, who anchored the programme.
All through his Golden Jubilee celebration, Joshua hammered on job creation and need to help the poor.
“We must get jobs for people who are jobless. This is the number on project for my 50th birthday; I’m going to purse it. Graduates are everywhere without a job.” he said.
The following Sunday, Prophet Joshua set the ball rolling as part of efforts aimed at fulfilling his promises. Already, some organsations, within and outside the country, are buying into his job creation project, including the MBA Tour group, who visited the church that Sunday, to announce their partnership with Emmanuel TV.
Speaking at the event, the West African representative of the MBMA Tour, Ms Hannah Bertillia Acquah said her organisaton and SCOAN share mutual goals. “You have a wonderful man of God, who is passionate about people. He sees success from failure; he sees gold when there’s still clay. It is a pleasure to associated with Emmanuel TV and Prophet TB Joshua.”
Describing the MBA Tour as a platform that encourages people to look beyond their limits, Ms Hannah said that based on the partnership, Prophet Joshua has agreed to assist some youths with financial scholarship to take the programme.
“Our partnership will enable African students, who demonstrate outstanding potentials, access to fellows at the world’s top business schools and academic institutions, including MIT Sloan School of Management; Yale School of Management; Columbia Business School; Harvard Business School; Erasmus University and others.”
That day, the whole church erupted in jubilation as the prophet read letters from big organsations from around the would, ready to provide jobs for young Africans through the prophet’s initiative. With national flag of different countries held high by some members of the congregation, it was obvious that SCOAN has become a worldwide movement; that was my first time in the Sunday service.
While those that made it into Synagogue early soaked in anointing, latecomers struggled to gain access. No way! “If you don’t have number, you can’t go inside,” one of the security operatives warned.
Even at that, a certain lady, who acted as if her continuous existence in this world depended on her seeing the prophet that day, begged uncontrollably; others followed. Before you knew what was happening, three was a large crowd, seeking to set their eyes on the man of God. Could all these people be wrong? Again, don’t forget that upon release from prison, Major Hamza al-Mustapha, a Muslim, made TB Joshua’s Synagogue his first port of call…
With all these, I counted myself lucky to have had the privilege of meeting the super-Prophet one-on-one. Unfortunately, my mission has nothing to do with seeing miracles; it t was purely an official assignment and I intend to keep it at that.
But he, a ‘bad egg’ would have used that opportunity to make so much money from gullible ‘miracle seekers;’ like those chaps in Zimbabwean church did. Oh, you doubt it?
All right, look at it it this way… what if I had collected $50 each from those ’miracle seeks,’ including my former classmate and his group, with the promise of linking them to the prophet? With the thousands of people trooping there daily, how much do you think I would have made by now? Don’t bother how I would convince them to drop; that interview with TB Joshua is enough ‘seeing is believing’. Now you are laughing abi?
But on a serious note, behind that structure called Synagogue, there are hundreds of activities going on; both spiritual and physical. Behind the man TB Joshua, there’s even much more going on. Most importantly, while Nigerians jet into Mecca and Jerusalem yearly to spend their hard earned money to seek the face of God, we now have our Synagogue, where miracle seekers from all over the world come on a weekly basis to spend their hard currencies and return home with a positive news about Naija.

Written By Chuks Nwanne
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Actress Iyabo Ojo Releases Pix & Video for Her Movie SILENCE

The first trailer of the much anticipated movie SILENCE has been released. The movie which is to be premiered in April before Cinema release, has it’s theme centered around Child Abuse, consequences and how it can be overcome. It features a heap of Nollywood super stars from all strata, so fans have a reason to watch this life transforming movie.

Written and produced by Iyabo Ojo and directed by Alex mouth, starring Iyabo Ojo, Benjamin Joseph, Alex Osufo, Tina Mba, Faithia Balogun, doris simeon and lots more. Watch the Movie Trailer below…

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See The Diamond Tonto Dikeh Got From Her Rich Boyfriend

Valentine was good for the likes of actress Tonto Dikeh as her rich boyfriend showered her with expensive and mouth-watering gifts. Tonto just can’t stop praising her rich dude for all he’s doing for her…

…when money speaks, ladies listen. Lol!
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BAD THINZ: Séxy Moet Abebe Shows Off The Man She Enjoyed With On Valentine’s Day

When a single lady starts exposing the man she shared a bed with on a date in a sexy ambiance, then know that she’s no longer ashamed of anything. That is the case of Sound City cute presenter, Moet Abebe who had a swell time with this dude and posted pictures of what went down between two of them for you guys to see and just salivate. She even shared photos of the bed the slept together. See the things below…

The guy took her to Ghana for a special Val. Here’s what she said about the experience:
he be like huh? Loll!! Y’all don’t want to know what he was saying to me… #myvalentine”
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Chuck D Named 2014 Record Store Day Ambassador (Read his Letter on the Appointment)


Chuck D Named 2014 Record Store Day Ambassador (Read his Letter on the Appointment)
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Public Enemy leader and co-founder Chuck D has been tapped as the latest ambassador of Record Store Day 2014, which takes place on April 19.

Since being founded in 2007 to help heighten the awareness of independent music stores around the world, RSD has boasted numerous rock star ambassadors to help spread the word, including Eagles of Death Metal singer Jesse Hughes (2009), Queens of the Stone Age frontman Joshua Homme (2010), Ozzy Osbourne (2011), Iggy Pop (2012) and Jack White (2013).

“The record store made musicians listen beyond themselves,” Chuck D said on his appointment. “It both complemented and supplemented the radio, in fact the best radio stations in the past followed the vibe of the record stores of their regions, thus growing and nurturing each other. The fans and listener had everything to gain, and if they wanted to get into making music, the Record Store turned into their first school and sonic passport out.”

RSD has been known to boost music sales, as seen last year when U.S. vinyl album sales hit a historic high. A total of 244,000 vinyl LPs were sold in the week ending April 21, according to Nielsen SoundScan — the largest one-week sum for vinyl albums since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991.

This year’s sponsors include: ADA, Border City Media, Caroline, Crosley Turntables, Disk Union, Furnace Record Pressing, InGrooves, Music Business Association, RED, Redeye Distribution, Sony Music, Universal Music Distribution, Warner Bros. Records and WEA.

Click here for a list of record stores that are participating in RSD 2014.

Here is Chuck D’s statement below being appointed RSD ambassador:

Over 27 years and 93 countries visited, as a professional lead vocalist of the RAP group Public Enemy, I don’t go 1 single day without emphasizing that the genre of hip-hop is spawned from DJ culture. The founding members of Public Enemy were, and still are, DJs. The tool and fuel for DJs has forever been recordings. And where these recordings have long connected, with pros and fans alike, has simply been The Record Store, the connection point of listener and the recording.

The introduction of the available recording to the public had opened and webbed the sounds of the world across the planet long before the www. It has been influential to the creators of so many of the greatest recordings as well, sort of a second rite of passage after the live radio or TV performance. Motown’s Berry Gordy had a record store, Elektra founder Jac Holzman had a record store, the STAX label had their Satellite Record Shop right next to their studio. Keith Richards opens a conversation with Mick Jagger as teenagers on a UK train platform because he had a stack of hot blues records in his arms after leaving a shop. Well you should have an idea of what I’m saying here.

The record store made musicians listen beyond themselves. It both complemented and supplemented the radio, in fact the best radio stations in the past followed the vibe of the record stores of their regions, thus growing and nurturing each other. The fans and listener had everything to gain, and if they wanted to get into making music, the Record Store turned into their first school and sonic passport out.

Do not get me wrong, I am a fan of technology, but I am a bigger fan of the music. I used to be a big fan of the industry of music when like sport at least offered a seemingly fair field of play, no matter where one came from. Upon the growth of Hip Hop through vinyl-cassette-Cd-MP3 I long wanted, and advised, many Record Stores ways to adapt to surviving the ICE AGE. Like last year’s Record Day Ambassador, the great Jack White, I concur with his view that people want to gather, share thoughts, and suggest music. There’s few musical events more exciting than Record Store performances, whether it’s Grimeys In Nashville, Criminal Records in ATL or Rough Trade in London. I’ve long thought The Record Store tour circuit is so necessary and rewarding.

In this age where industry has threaded the music sound with virtual sight and story I am honored to be called upon to be Record Store Day Ambassador of 2014. With the masses, neck bent into their smartphones, let all of us music lovers GPS our way into a reality that is the Record Store. It’s worth a great try, let’s do this…

Chuck D
Co Founder of Public Enemy
Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame 2013

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WOW! Meet The Woman With The Thinnest Waist In The World

I almost doubted this until I saw that she has made it into the famous Guinness Book of world records. Cathie Jung is 77yrs old and she has the tiniest waist in the world. This is strange. See more photos below…

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Brandle’s Global Bits: iTunes Radio Launches in Australia, Eurovision Cracks Down On Vote-Rigging, New CEO At MAMA

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iTunes Radio Tunes Into Australia:

Apple has launched iTunes Radio in Australia — marking the service’s first expansion outside the United States. The streaming music operation dropped with little fanfare today, boasting more than 100 stations which can be tuned into via Apple’s devices — the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple TV, and the PC.

Australia — with its affluent English-speaking population and huge appetite for music — has become the first destination-of-choice for digital music services looking to expand their international footprint. In the space of three months during 2013, Google Play Music and iHeartRadio arrived Down Under, for those respective services’ first steps outside the U.S.

It used to be that Australia had to get in the queue with everyone else, but the market has now leap-frogged Europe’s top economies as the place where new digital music businesses test the waters.

When the iTunes music store arrived in the United States in 2003, Apple turned to the U.K., Germany and France for its first venture abroad, launching there in 2004. Australian consumers had to wait until October 2005 before trying the download store, which is still the runaway No. 1 download service Down Under.

In Australia, iTunes Radio arrives in a market with some 30-plus digital music services already jostling for position.

Eurovision Gets Serious On Vote-Rigging:

Whether you like it, or laugh at it, the Eurovision Song Contest is a big deal. And organizers of the camp contest want to ensure it provides good, clean fun.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has announced that any country found to indulge in vote-rigging at the Eurovision will face bans of up to three years.

The broadcaster made the call having investigated claims of dodgy activities during the 2013 competition (ultimately won — fairly — by Denmark).

Azerbaijan was accused of trying to buy votes from jurors and members of the public, though the ECU insisted no broadcaster was responsible. And that the fix didn’t succeed.

It’s hoped tightening rules will “strengthen the credibility of the voting and protect the Eurovision Song Contest brand,” the EBU says.

Veteran British broadcaster Terry Wogan bowed out in 2008 having hosted the British feed of the show for more than 30 years. Wogan had become increasingly critical of the show’s politics, with neighboring countries voting for each other.

The Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast every year since 1956, making it one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. This year’s contest takes place May 10 in Copenhagen.

New CEO At U.K.’s MAMA Group:

Rory Bett is the new CEO of Britain’s MAMA Group, not long ago the live division of retail chain HMV.

Bett, a company veteran who brings to the role more than 25 years in senior business positions, succeeds MAMA’s co-founder Dean James, who together with Adam Driscoll established MAMA back in 2005. James has left the business to “focus on his outside interests.”

MAMA claims to be the leading “mid-market live music business in the United Kingdom” with a portfolio which includes London venues the Forum, the Borderline and Barfly. For a few years, the group represented HMV’s diversified future.

HMV completed its acquisition of MAMA for £46 million ($75 million) in 2010. But as HMV’s debt burden and shrinking entertainment sales became a big issue with its lenders, Lloyds Development Capital financed a James-led management buyout of the live division. MAMA changed hands in a deal worth £7.3 million ($12 million).  As part of the deal HMV also shed its 50% interest in the Mean Fiddler joint venture it held with MAMA, which it agreed for £18.25 million ($30 million) back in January 2009.

At the end of 2012, MAMA claimed to have hosted more than 2,700 events annually in the U.K., with up to one million people visiting its venues and 150,000 attending its festivals each year.

Canada’s Dine Alone Finds A New Hub:

Canadian indie record company Dine Alone has forged a deal to exclusively release the album titles for North America from Australia’s Hub The Label.

Dine Alone was established in 2005 in Toronto, and has earned a reputation for good taste with releases from the likes of City and Colour, At The Drive In and The Lumineers. Dine Alone is distributed by Universal in Canada and Caroline/Universal in the U.S.

Hub was established by Sydney-based Hub Artist Services founder Troy Barrott, and is distributed locally through its partner Inertia. Hub dropped its first album release in 2012 and has issued recordings from Dappled Cities, Zeahorse, Winter People and Glass Towers, whose debut album, “Halcyon Days” will be the first issued through the new Dine Alone arrangement. “Halcyon Days” arrives June 10, following the Feb. 18 release of the “Collarbone Jungle” EP. Hub recently added British alternative pop act Thumpers to its roster.

“Since Hub and Dine Alone were seeded, planted, grown and have roots in two colonies of the British Empire it only makes sense to work together,” comments Dine Alone founder Joel Carriere. “Plus, have you been to Canada in the winter? We’ll be visiting Hub often during our winter months.”

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Rapper 2Shotz Wife Releases Her Private Bathroom Photos

What made 2shotz wife, Precious, to post pix she took in bathroom on social media? Photos below…

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R&B/Hip-Hop Briefs: Steve Harvey Taking Awards Show to Atlanta; UMGD Launches Black History Month Campaign; and More

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— Syndicated morning radio personality/TV talk show host Steve Harvey is taking his annual Ford Neighborhood Awards and Weekend Expo to Atlanta this year. Now in its 12th year, the four-day event will mark its first time in Atlanta when it hits town Aug. 7-10 at the Georgia World Congress Center and Philips Arena. Capping the weekend once again will be the fan-nominated Ford Neighborhood Awards (formerly the Hoodie Awards) on Aug. 9. Honors will be handed out in 12 categories, including best church choir, best high school and best community leader. The “Steve Harvey Morning Show” will broadcast live from Atlanta over the four days; tickets go on sale March 7.

Universal Music Group Distribution’s college marketing department has launched a nationwide campaign for Black History Month. The campaign’s centerpiece is a Facebook Sweepstakes (2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 2/16) comprised of four weekly artists posts encouraging fans to comment on their artists pages for a chance to win weekly prizes. Interscope’s ScHoolBoy Q, Republic’s Sage the Gemini, IDJ’s Jhene Aiko plus Stevie Wonder and other Motown classic acts are among the featured artists. To supplement the online sweepstakes, the campaign will also target campus, retail and lifestyle markets.

— “American Idol” winner Candice Glover, Algebra Blessett and Bridget Kelly are among the women being celebrated through Feb. 28 on “Primed,” Music Choice’s emerging artist series, during Black History Month. Also airing on Music Choice on Demand: the original program “MC Docs: The Diva Debate” with panelists that include Kelly, Melanie Fiona, Mack Wilds and Music Choice VP of programming Damon Williams.

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