The Lincoln Motor Company returned this year as an exclusive automotive sponsor for ESSENCE’s eighth annual Black Women in Music event held last night in Los Angeles. 2017 marks the eighth consecutive year Lincoln has been an elite patron for the event.
This year’s event celebrated nominees from the biggest night in music, along with singer/songwriter Erykah Badu on the 20th anniversary of her groundbreaking debut album Baduizm.
Award-winning singer/songwriter Estelle joined Lincoln on stage as part of the festivities to premiere her feature in Lincoln’s ongoing First Listen series. The latest feature, available for viewing on Lincoln Now, previews Estelle’s latest track, “Be in Luv,” from behind the wheel of the all-new Lincoln Continental.
Nigerian singer-songwriter, actress, and Roc Nation‘s very own Tiwa Savage also performed live as an opening act just before Erykah hit the stage.
“This is a big week for Lincoln as it relates to music,” said Raj Register, multicultural communications manager, Lincoln. “From celebrating women at events like Black Women in Music, to debuting Estelle’s First Listen piece, to premiering Gary Clark Jr.’s new Continental commercial, it’s clear music drives us.”
Celebrities that hit the Black Carpet were: the cast of BET’s New Edition mini-series (Luke James, Keith Powers & Woody McClain), Mya, Remy Ma, Lil Mama, Billboard‘s Bozoma Saint John, Diana Gordon aka Wynter Gordon, Gabrielle Dennis, Chloe x Halle, Faith Evans, SerayahMcNeil, Simone Missick, Mario, Master P & his daughter Cymphonique, Tasha Smith and many more.shared the red carpet with the all-new Continental and Lincoln MKZ.
BET’s hit 3-part biopic, The New Edition Story, was a bonafide phenomenon, attracting 29 Million Total Viewers P2+ to the miniseries during premiere week (including premiere telecasts and encores, across BET and Centric). On BET alone, the miniseries grossed 15.7MM viewers 18-49 and 28.4MM total viewers P2+ in its full premiere week (Live + Same Day viewing).
Premiere and Finale episodes of the special each drew 2.5MM viewers P18-49, and 4.2MM total viewers P2+ on BET alone for premiere telecasts (Live +Same Day viewing). In time-shifted viewing, the NE Story 3-part average increased its audience by +33% (+844K P18-49 viewers) on Live +3, with a 3.87 (3.4MM P18-49) EDAC rating across BET and Centric.
On the music side of things, the film also made its mark on the music industry, as nostalgic fans pushed New Edition’s songs and albums to the top of the iTunes charts. As of Friday, January 27th, New Edition’s Heartbreak album skyrocketed to #14 on iTunes’ US Albums Current Top 100 (making it the highest new entry), and the group’s Greatest Hits, Vol 1 climbed up 40 places to #22 on the same chart. On the Top 40 US R&B Song charts, NE claimed 7 of the top 20 spots. The band and its offshoots also scored 15 of the Top 40 US R&B Albums. The band’s place in Hollywood history was codified on January 24 ahead of the premiere, as the group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, adjacent to fellow boy bands Boyz II Men, Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block.
Congrats to everyone that was involved and making the biopic such a success!
Just on the heels of debuting her new single “Fallen” just last week, singer-songwriter Sevyn Streeter returns with the official visual to the track.
In the video and song, Sevyn is joined by Ty Dolla $ign and Cam Wallace. Sampling New Edition‘s Classic hit song “If It Isn’t Love” shows Streeter in a more seductive manner as she lays in a bed of roses, dances in the shadows of red and black, all while she seduces her love interest in the Mike Ho-directed clip.
As the song is a part of Sevyn’s Girl Disrupted series, the gifted artist tells Rap-Up:
“‘Fallen’ is the perfect description of attraction so intense, it’s intoxicating. The moment right in between falling in love and being in lust. That rare space where your emotions are still under control, but not for too much longer. You just can’t get enough of that person, and falling for them seems inevitable. The song features Ty Dolla $ign and Cam Wallace (who also produced the track). Both of them killed their verses! Director Mike Ho and I are back at it again for the fifth video from the Girl Disrupted video series. He just gets me! We wanted the video to be as sensual as the song.”
You can look for Sevyn’s debut album due out later this year.
Sevyn Streeter follows the New Edition wave and releases her “If It Isn’t Love” inspired track entitled “Fallen.” On the official song, she links up with Ty Dolla $ign and Cam Wallace.
Currently, on her Girl Disrupted Tour, Sevyn gives us seductive lyrics paired with a mid-tempo beat, while Dolla chimes in with his distinctive bars, and Cam lends his lines as he references Johnny Gill‘s classic soul song “My, My, My.”
If you didn’t tune into the Soul Train Music Awards on Sunday night, you definitely missed the premiere of the cast of the new BET original TV event The New Edition Story performing “You’re Not My Kind of Girl”. The Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis produced song was originally featured on their Double Platinum-selling album ‘Heartbreak’ which is the groups highest selling album to date.
In the clip the cast performs the song and nails the choreography step by step, also including in the video are clips from the highly anticipated TV event. The star-studded cast for the The New Edition Story includes:
Bryshere Y. Gray (Empire) plays Michael Bivins as an adult and Dante Hoagland (Emelie) plays Michael as a child.
Elijah Kelley (The Wiz Live!)plays Ricky Bell as an adult and Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things)plays Ricky as a child.
SFPL‘s Digital Blog Cover Guy & Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter Luke James plays Johnny Gill.
Algee Smith (Let It Shine) plays Ralph Tresvant as an adult and Jahi Winston (Feed The Beast) plays Ralph as a child.
Keith Powers (Straight Outta Compton) plays Ronnie Devoe as an adult and Myles Truitt plays Ronnie as a child.
Woody McClain (Autographs)plays Bobby Brown as an adult and Tyler Williams plays Bobby as a child.
The New Edition Story is 6 hours total and will air over 3 nights on January 24th, 25th, and 26th. All six members of New Edition serve as co-producers on the biopic alongside longtime manager and original choreographer Brooke Payne. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis alongside Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds serve as music producers on the biopic.
We cannot wait to sit down and watch this cause it looks extremely good.
Marking 2016 as Ford’s eighth consecutive year as an exclusive automotive sponsor of the ESSENCE Festival, the company pulled out all the stops for this year’s festivities with their dynamic booth display showing off some of their best and newest rides, allowing the public to even test drive the vehicles.
Sirius XM was also on-site to broadcast live from the Ford booth during the entire weekend and conducted interviews with your favorite celebrities like Sevyn Streeter, Maxwell, Chrisette Michelle, Ro James, New Edition, Tony Gaskins and the cast of STARZ hit series’ Power and Survivor’s Remorse.
As mentioned, Ford’s latest lineup of vehicles was on full display at the Ford booth including the 2017 Ford GT, 2017 Ford Fusion Sport, Shelby Mustang GT350, and Ford Focus RS. The company was giving away the keys to a new 2017 Ford Fusion to one lucky winner. Four lucky contestants had the chance to compete on stage, alongside Nephew Tommy, to win the keys to the brand new car.
Also, Festival attendees had the chance to test drive the latest lineup of Ford vehicles, including the 2016 Ford Explorer, 2017 Ford Fusion and 2017 Ford Escape.
Kicking things off at the start of the festival on Friday, July 1, the brand started their charity initiative, Ford Warriors in Pink to raise funds and bring awareness to breast cancer. Ford donated $20 for each of the first 250 test drives (total of $5,000) on July 1 to support Young Survival Coalition. Over $130 million has been donated towards the fight against breast cancer through Ford’s ‘Warriors in Pink.’
Lastly, Ford hosted an exclusive Media and Influencer Dinner, which included SFPL‘s very own Gabriel Williams amongst many others held at Mardi Gras World, an indoor Bayou themed location that gives the nostalgia of what NOLA is all about.
Attendees were treated to New Orleans inspired dishes, especially the all-time favorite, Po’ Boy Sandwiches, and the well-known popular drink, The Hurricane. Great food, great conversations, a great time.
Manager of Ford Multicultural Communications, Raj Register hosted the evening along with Life/Relationship Expert, Tony Gaskins.
Raj greeted the attendees and spoke on a few initiatives that Ford was working on paired with a very new ad campaign, as well as, introducing Tony for those that may not have been familiar with the budding self-made expert/entrepreneur. You may remember him as he recently appeared a few times as a special guest on K. Michelle‘s My Life on VH1, counseling the songstress through her troubled relationships.
Mr. Gaskins is also apart of the Ford campaign where he was featured in the official commercial.
In the video clip, he quotes:
“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs…”
Take a look below:
While speaking at the dinner, Tony gave insight on what his life was like in the past, and how he needed to grow up and take control of his life. Fascinated with money, girls, selling drugs and eventually being kicked out of college on a full football scholarship, Gaskins soon realized that he was heading down the wrong path.
Starting on a new quest, he then thought to himself that he could help others through their process without necessarily worrying about money. Moving in a more positive direction, Gaskins raised his own brand from the ground up, now holding his positions as an esteemed Life Coach and Author, not to mention a Father, and Husband.
From their All Around The World album, the fellas of Mindless Behavior show their mature, grown and sexy side in a new visual entitled “Used To Be”. Rocking out at a mansion in Beverly Hills, MB also discloses that it was once the mansion where Jay-Z and Beyonce lived.