• Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022
Loretta Lynn, coal miner's daughter and country queen, dies at 90
Loretta Lynn waves to the crowd after performing during the Americana Music Honors and Awards show Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Lynn, the Kentucky coal miner’s daughter who became a pillar of country music, died Tuesday at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. She was 90. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- 

Loretta Lynn, the Kentucky coal miner's daughter whose frank songs about life and love as a woman in Appalachia pulled her out of poverty and made her a pillar of country music, has died. She was 90.

In a statement provided to The Associated Press, Lynn's family said she died Tuesday at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

"Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home in her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills," the family said in a statement. They asked for privacy as they grieve and said a memorial will be announced later.

Lynn already had four children before launching her career in the early 1960s, and her songs reflected her pride in her rural Kentucky background.

As a songwriter, she crafted a persona of a defiantly tough woman, a contrast to the stereotypical image of most female country singers. The Country Music Hall of Famer wrote fearlessly about sex and love, cheating husbands, divorce and birth control and sometimes got in trouble with radio programmers for material from which even rock performers once shied away.

Her biggest hits came in the 1960s and '70s, including "Coal Miner's Daughter," "You Ain't Woman Enough," "The Pill," "Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)," "Rated X" and "You're Looking at Country." She was known for appearing in floor-length, wide gowns with elaborate embroidery or rhinestones, many created by her longtime personal assistant and designer Tim Cobb.

Her honesty and unique place in country music was rewarded. She was the first woman ever named entertainer of the year at the genre's two major awards shows, first by the Country Music Association in 1972 and then by the Academy of Country Music three years later.

"It was what I wanted to hear and what I knew other women wanted to hear, too," Lynn told the AP in 2016. "I didn't write for the men; I wrote for us women. And the men loved it, too."

In 1969, she released her autobiographical "Coal Miner's Daughter," which helped her reach her widest audience yet.

"We were poor but we had love/That's the one thing Daddy made sure of/He shoveled coal to make a poor man's dollar," she sang.

"Coal Miner's Daughter," also the title of her 1976 book, was made into a 1980 movie of the same name. Sissy Spacek's portrayal of Lynn won her an Academy Award and the film was also nominated for best picture.

Long after her commercial peak, Lynn won two Grammys in 2005 for her album "Van Lear Rose," which featured 13 songs she wrote, including "Portland, Oregon" about a drunken one-night stand. "Van Lear Rose" was a collaboration with rocker Jack White, who produced the album and played the guitar parts.

Reba McEntire was among the stars who reacted to Lynn's death, posting online about how the singer reminded her of her late mother. "Strong women, who loved their children and were fiercely loyal. Now they're both in Heaven getting to visit and talk about how they were raised, how different country music is now from what it was when they were young. Sure makes me feel good that Mama went first so she could welcome Loretta into the hollers of heaven!"

Born Loretta Webb, the second of eight children, she claimed her birthplace was Butcher Holler, near the coal mining company town of Van Lear in the mountains of east Kentucky. There really wasn't a Butcher Holler, however. She later told a reporter that she made up the name for the purposes of the song based on the names of the families that lived there.

Her daddy played the banjo, her mama played the guitar and she grew up on the songs of the Carter Family. Her younger sister, Crystal Gayle, is also a Grammy-winning country singer, scoring crossover hits with songs like "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" and "Half the Way." Lynn's daughter Patsy Lynn Russell also was a songwriter and producer of some of her albums.

"I was singing when I was born, I think," she told the AP in 2016. "Daddy used to come out on the porch where I would be singing and rocking the babies to sleep. He'd say, 'Loretta, shut that big mouth. People all over this holler can hear you.' And I said, 'Daddy, what difference does it make? They are all my cousins.'"

She wrote in her autobiography that she was 13 when she got married to Oliver "Mooney" Lynn, but the AP later discovered state records that showed she was 15. Tommy Lee Jones played Mooney Lynn in the biopic.

Her husband, whom she called "Doo" or "Doolittle," urged her to sing professionally and helped promote her early career. With his help, she earned a recording contract with Decca Records, later MCA, and performed on the Grand Ole Opry stage. Lynn wrote her first hit single, "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl," released in 1960.

She also teamed up with singer Conway Twitty to form one of the most popular duos in country music with hits such as "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man" and "After the Fire is Gone," which earned them a Grammy Award. Their duets, and her single records, were always mainstream country and not crossover or pop-tinged.

And when she first started singing at the Grand Ole Opry, country star Patsy Cline took Lynn under her wing and mentored her during her early career.

The Academy of Country Music chose her as the artist of the decade for the 1970s, and she was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988. She won four Grammy Awards, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008, was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.

In "Fist City," Lynn threatens a hair-pulling fistfight if another woman won't stay away from her man: "I'm here to tell you, gal, to lay off of my man/If you don't want to go to Fist City." That strong-willed but traditional country woman reappears in other Lynn songs. In "The Pill," a song about sex and birth control, Lynn sings about how she's sick of being trapped at home to take care of babies: "The feelin' good comes easy now/Since I've got the pill," she sang.

She moved to Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, outside of Nashville, in the 1990s, where she set up a ranch complete with a replica of her childhood home and a museum that is a popular roadside tourist stop. The dresses she was known for wearing are there, too.

Lynn knew that her songs were trailblazing, especially for country music, but she was just writing the truth that so many rural women like her experienced.

"I could see that other women was goin' through the same thing, 'cause I worked the clubs. I wasn't the only one that was livin' that life and I'm not the only one that's gonna be livin' today what I'm writin'," she told The AP in 1995.

Even into her later years, Lynn never seemed to stop writing, scoring a multi-album deal in 2014 with Legacy Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. In 2017, she suffered a stroke that forced her to stop touring, but she released her 50th solo studio album, "Still Woman Enough" in 2021.

She and her husband were married nearly 50 years before he died in 1996. They had six children: Betty, Jack, Ernest and Clara, and then twins Patsy and Peggy. She had 17 grandchildren and four step-grandchildren.

  • Monday, Oct. 3, 2022
Oscar-winning sound designer Nicholas Becker joins Q Department for commercial representation
Nicholas Becker
NEW YORK -- 

Nicolas Becker, a French sound designer for cinema and contemporary art, is now available for special commercial projects through music studio Q Department.

The internationally recognized sound designer received the Best Sound Oscar in 2021 for Sound of Metal directed and co-written by Darius Marder. The film tells the story of Ruben (Riz Ahmed), a drummer heavy metal who is losing his hearing little by little. Becker defends the idea of real integration of sound from a film’s genesis: “For me, a movie is a miniature utopia, where you can collaborate very closely, in a real intimate way, with people, to create fiction. And I think on Sound of Metal, you can feel that”. 

As a sound effects technician, Becker cut his teeth working on films like La Haine by Mathieu Kassovitz (1995), The Impossible (2012), Gravity by Alfonso Cuarón (2013), Ex Machina (2014), Arrival (2016), and Suspiria (2018) and has since applied his experimental sound research to cinema as a sound designer. More recently, Becker worked on Bardo, False Chronicle of Some Truths, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, presented at the Venice Film Festival in 2022. Becker has a slate of upcoming projects, most notably with Philippe Parreno, Patti Smith, Louis Vuitton, a sound installation at the MoMA in collaboration with Arca, and another with the Pinault Foundation to name a few.

Q Department founder Dražen Bošnjak pioneered a signature style, “music design,” where he blends music and sound design, creating an immersive experience that first catapulted Q Department onto the world stage. “Becker, like myself, is an avid sound field recordist. He is a master of his craft; it’s hard to define where his music and sound design begin and end,” said Bošnjak. 

“I only use personal recordings in my work, moments that I have recorded in the forest, at the seaside, or studio. When I work on a film, all these memories are flooding back and create something very emotional for me like a layering of memories and moods and emotions from my past,” said Becker. “Thanks to electronic music, we are integrating more elements into the vocabulary of sound. Our definition of music is expanding to include instruments, samples, field recordings, voiceovers, and archive. Twenty years ago, it was considered experimental, and now we accept it. “

Becker works in a specialized way that he collaborates with Hollywood directors, independent filmmakers, and commercial directors who have “an interest and a budget to devote to sound.” Q Department looks forward to bringing Becker’s unique sound vocabulary to the commercial world. 

“We are kindred spirits”, said Q Department CEO Jacqueline Bošnjak.

Q Department is a women-owned and led studio (Jacqueline Bošnjak, CEO and co-founder) with a global reach that includes operations in New York (headed by CCO Dražen Bošnjak), Los Angeles (headed by CD Zack Rice), and Paris (headed by sound designer JB Saint-Pol) and a new remote mix house (led by mixer Matt Orlando). Q Department produces sound for films, television, advertising, metaverse, location-based experience, and virtual reality. 

Q Department also works extensively in interactive sound, having produced over 100 VR and AR projects including Alien VR and The Martian VR for 20th Century Fox; OKAVANGO VR Series for National Geographic; Emmy-nominated Dear Angelica, Oculus; Passengers: Awakening VR for Sony Pictures Entertainment; Mr. Robot VR for FX Network; The Legion Mixed Reality Experience (with Microsoft Hololens), FX Network; Lockheed Martin’s The Mars VR Bus; and Emmy-nominated and Lumiere winner The Last Goodbye, VR documentary.

Most recent work includes the sold out ode to New York City, The Living Portrait of New York, an immersive experience produced by RadicalMedia and Ogilvy for Citizens Bank. 

Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Sundance, Venice Film Festival, and Tribeca Film Festival feature Q Department’s work regularly.

Q Department’s sound technology company Mach1 received a Lumiere Technology Award from Hollywood’s Advanced Imaging Society for its contribution to advancing spatial audio in immersive sound production.

  • Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2022
"Gangsta's Paradise" rapper Coolio dies at age 59
Coolio performs during the "I Love The 90's" tour on Aug. 7, 2022, at RiverEdge Park in Aurora, Ill. Coolio, the rapper who was among hip-hop's biggest names of the 1990s with hits including “Gangsta's Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” died Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, at age 59, his manager said. (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Coolio, the rapper who was among hip-hop's biggest names of the 1990s with hits including "Gangsta's Paradise" and "Fantastic Voyage," died Wednesday at age 59, his manager said.

Coolio died at the Los Angeles home of a friend, longtime manager Jarez Posey told The Associated Press. The cause was not immediately clear.

Coolio won a Grammy for best solo rap performance for "Gangsta's Paradise," the 1995 hit from the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer film "Dangerous Minds" that sampled Stevie Wonder's 1976 song "Pastime Paradise" and was played constantly on MTV.

The Grammy, and the height of his popularity, came in 1996, amid a fierce feud between the hip-hop communities of the two coasts, which would take the lives of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. soon after.

Coolio managed to stay mostly above the conflict.

"I'd like to claim this Grammy on behalf of the whole hip-hop nation, West Coast, East Coast, and worldwide, united we stand, divided we fall," he said from the stage as he accepted the award.

Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., in Monessen, Pennsylvania south of Pittsburgh, Coolio moved to Compton, California. He spent some time as a teen in Northern California, where his mother sent him because she felt the city was too dangerous.

He said in interviews that he started rapping at 15 and knew by 18 it was what he wanted to do with his life, but would go to community college and work as a volunteer firefighter and in airport security before devoting himself full-time to the hip-hop scene.

His career took off with the 1994 release of his debut album on Tommy Boy Records, "It Takes a Thief." It's opening track, "Fantastic Voyage," would reach No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

A year later, "Gangsta's Paradise" would become a No. 1 single, with its dark opening lyrics:

"As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I take a look at my life and realize there's nothin' left, 'cause I've been blastin' and laughin' so long, that even my mama thinks that my mind is gone."

Social media lit up with reactions to the unexpected death.

"This is sad news," Ice Cube said on Twitter. "I witness first hand this man's grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace, @Coolio."

"Weird Al" Yankovic tweeted "RIP Coolio" along with a picture of the two men hugging.

Coolio had said in an interview at the time it was released that he wasn't cool with Yankovic's 1996 "Gangsta's Paradise" parody, "Amish Paradise." But the two later made peace.

The rapper would never again have a song nearly as big as "Gangsta's Paradise," but had subsequent hits with 1996's "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" (1996), and 1997's "C U When U Get There."

His career album sales totaled 4.8 million, with 978 million on-demand streams of his songs, according to Luminate. He would be nominated for six Grammys overall.

And with his distinctive persona he would become a cultural staple, acting occasionally, starring in a reality show about parenting called "Coolio's Rules," providing a voice for an episode of the animated show "Gravity Falls" and providing the theme music for the Nickelodeon sitcom "Kenan & Kel."

He had occasional legal troubles, including a 1998 conviction in Stuttgart, Germany, where an boutique shop owner said he punched her when she tried to stop him from taking merchandise without paying. He was sentenced to six months probation and fined $30,000.

He was married to Josefa Salinas from 1996 to 2000. They had four children together.

  • Monday, Sep. 26, 2022
Marla Weber-Green joins Sound Lounge as casting director
Marla Weber-Green
NEW YORK -- 

Marla Weber-Green has been named as the new casting director of artist-owned and operated audio postproduction studio Sound Lounge in NYC.

With 17 years in the entertainment business, including 10+ on the agency side, Weber-Green has experience working in commercial, promo, narration, voiceover and animation. She served as sr. talent agent, head of animation and social, at Stewart Talent Agency, where she worked with multiple Tony Award-winning and nominated actors and booked talent on projects with Disney, Dreamworks, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and other major networks. She also worked at Don Buchwald & Associates in its commercial, promo and narration voiceover department.

"With Marla's many years of experience and passion, Sound Lounge casting will continue to provide excellent service without missing a beat," said Marshall Grupp, partner, COO, and sound designer at Sound Lounge.

In the casting director role, Weber-Green will continue to broaden and build Sound Lounge’s casting division and expand into animation, while focusing on partnering with top-tier talent, bringing in projects from major networks and driving results.

Weber-Green said, “My background as an agent has given me a holistic view of the business, understanding the needs and services of the talent, agent, buyer, and casting director. I look forward to continuing the growth and success of this sector, and helping brands grow through distinct voices and commercial actors."

The casting division at Sound Lounge has provided voiceover talent and on-air actors for hundreds of brands including Volkswagen, eBay, JetBlue and Bud Light.

 

 

  • Thursday, Sep. 22, 2022
Peter J. Devlin to receive Cinema Audio Society's Career Achievement Award
Peter J. Devlin
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- 

Cinema Audio Society will honor multiple Oscar and CAS Award nominee Peter J. Devlin CAS with its 2023 Career Achievement Award. The tribute will be presented at the 59th CAS Awards on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown. 

“The Cinema Audio Society is a professional society dedicated to craft and community,” said CAS president Karol Urban. “Peter J. Devlin CAS is not only an extremely accomplished and sought-after production mixer of superlative skill and accolades, but he is also an active citizen of this community. Peter’s continuous commitment and generosity of time to the betterment of our industry and the strengthening of our community make this honor even more special. He is an exemplary member of our sound mixing family.”

Devlin said, “I am truly grateful to be included among the stellar group of past recipients of the Career Achievement Award. It’s especially meaningful to me to be recognized by an organization that does such important work on behalf of the sound mixing community. My sincere thanks to the CAS Board for this honor.”

Devlin, recently elected as a Governor of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, has worked on more than 70 films and been nominated for five Oscars--for Black Panther, Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, Transformers, Star Trek (2009) and Pearl Harbor. He received a BAFTA nomination for his work on Star Trek and a Primetime Emmy nomination for Star Trek: Picard. He has worked closely with some of the top directors in film, including Michael Bay, Ryan Coogler, Ron Howard and Patty Jenkins. Earlier in the year he wrapped Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and has just worked with Chris Pine, who is making his directorial debut with the upcoming film Poolman. It was Devlin’s first CAS nomination for Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday that introduced him to the organization in 2000. Since then, Devlin, a past CAS Board member, has received multiple nominations.

Born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Devlin knew that he wanted to work in film after seeing Jaws as a teenager. Though his school principal told him his dreams were “pie in the sky,” he applied for a trainee audio assistant position at the BBC in Belfast in 1981. Initially thinking he might move into the camera department, he quickly realized his true interest was in production sound. To prepare for the interview, he spent his days in the local library reading as much about microphone principles, recording techniques and filmmaking as he could find. He got the job, which proved the perfect training ground, with the BBC’s wide range of productions, from news, to sports, to concerts and to radio drama. “I had great mentors, and I learned about all of the different disciplines of sound there.”

Devlin’s focus and persistence were evident as he took the next step, writing to directors he admired, including Michael Mann. He still has the letter Mann sent him in 1987, inviting him to visit the set of Miami Vice. From there, Devlin forged connections with others in the industry, landing his first job in the United States, working in commercials. Eventually, he moved into television and film.  

Today, Devlin continues to adapt to the ever-changing technologies that enhance storytelling through production sound mixing. While he wishes that he had today’s tech for some of the films he worked on in the past, he said, “The most important element will always be the work of the sound department as a team, boom operators and sound utilities. Their expertise allows me to concentrate on recording performance and create tracks that can elevate a scene when they are handed off to our colleagues in postproduction.”
  
Devlin joins an illustrious group of past CAS Career Achievement Honorees including: Anna Behlmer, Willie Burton, Tom Fleischman, Les Fresholtz, Ed Greene, Tomlinson Holman, Doc Kane, William B. Kaplan, David MacMillan, Paul Massey, Scott Millan, Mike Minkler, Walter Murch, Andy Nelson, Chris Newman, Lee Orloff, Richard Portman, John Pritchett, Don Rogers, Gary Rydstrom, Dennis Sands, Randy Thom, Jim Webb, Jeffrey S. Wexler and Charles Wilborn.

  • Thursday, Sep. 15, 2022
Sam Wale promoted to director of ALIBI Music Library
Sam Wale
LONDON & LOS ANGELES -- 

ALIBI Music has promoted Sam Wale to director of ALIBI Music Library, Ltd. In this new role, Wale joins the company’s core management team alongside founder Jonathan Parks and COO Jeffrey Parks. Wale will assume additional responsibilities in the U.K. while he continues his charge as VP of production.

Since joining ALIBI fulltime in 2014, Wale has been instrumental in producing over 1,000 albums of production music, working with talented composers and artists from all over the world. Tracks from these albums can be heard almost daily in feature film trailers, TV promos, unscripted programs, docudramas, video games, commercials and major streamed events.

  • Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2022
R. Kelly convicted on 6 counts, acquitted of trial fixing
Musician R. Kelly, center, leaves the Daley Center after a hearing in his child support case on May 8, 2019, in Chicago. Closing arguments are scheduled Monday, Sept. 12, 2022 for R. Kelly and two co-defendants in the R&B singer’s trial on federal charges of trial-fixing, child pornography and enticing minors for sex, with jury deliberations to follow. (AP Photo/Matt Marton, File)
CHICAGO (AP) -- 

A federal jury on Wednesday convicted R. Kelly of several child pornography and sex abuse charges in his hometown of Chicago, delivering another legal blow to a singer who used to be one of the biggest R&B stars in the world.

Kelly, 55, was found guilty on three counts of child pornography and three counts of child enticement.

But the jury acquitted him on a fourth pornography count as well as a conspiracy to obstruct justice charge accusing him fixing his state child pornography trial in 2008. He was found not guilty on all three counts of conspiring to receive child pornography and for two further enticement charges.

His two co-defendants were found not guilty on all charges.

Jurors, who deliberated for 11 hours over two days, wrote several questions to the judge on Wednesday, at least one indicating the panelists were grappling with some of the case's legal complexities.

One asked if they had to find Kelly both enticed and coerced minors, or that he either enticed or coerced them. Over objections from Kelly's lawyer, the judge said they only need to find one.

At trial, prosecutors sought to paint a picture of Kelly as a master manipulator who used his fame and wealth to reel in star-stuck fans, some of them minors, to sexually abuse then discard them.

Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, was desperate to recover child pornographic videos he made and lugged around in a gym bag, witnesses said. They said he offered up to $1 million to recover missing videos before his 2008 trial, knowing they would land him in legal peril. The conspiracy to hide his abuse ran from 2000 to 2020, prosecutors said.

Kelly associates Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown were co-defendants at the Chicago trial. Jurors acquitted McDavid, a longtime Kelly business manager, who was accused of conspiring with Kelly to rig the 2008 trial. Brown, a Kelly associate for years, was acquitted of receiving child pornography.

Kelly has already been convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking in New York and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

In Chicago, a conviction of just one count of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, while receipt of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum of five years. Judges can order that defendants sentenced earlier in separate cases serve their new sentence simultaneously with or only after the first term is fully served. Federal inmates must serve at least 85% of their sentences.

During closing arguments Tuesday, Kelly attorney Jennifer Bonjean likened the government's testimony and evidence to a cockroach and its case to a bowl of soup.

If a cockroach falls into soup, she said, "you don't just pull out the cockroach and eat the rest of the soup. You throw out the whole soup," said told jurors.

"There are just too many cockroaches," she said of the prosecution's case.

The three defendants called only a handful of witnesses over four days. Co-defendant McDavid, who was on the stand for three days, may have damaged Kelly's hopes for acquittal by saying that he now doubts Kelly was truthful when he denied abusing anyone after hearing the superstar's accusers testify.

In her closing rebuttal, prosecutor Jeannice Appenteng cited testimony that Kelly's inner circle increasingly focused on doing what Kelly wanted as his fame boomed in the mid-1990s.

"And ladies and gentlemen, what R. Kelly wanted was to have sex with young girls," she said.

Four Kelly accusers testified, all referred to by pseudonyms or their first names: Jane, Nia, Pauline and Tracy. Some cried when describing the abuse but otherwise spoke calmly and with confidence. A fifth accuser, Brittany, did not testify.

Sitting nearby in a suit and face mask, Kelly often averted his eyes and looked down as his accusers spoke.

Some dozen die-hard Kelly fans regularly attended the trial. On at least one occasion during a break, several made hand signs of a heart at Kelly. He smiled back.

Jane, 37, was the government's star witness and pivotal to the fixing charge, which accused Kelly of using threats and payoffs to get her to lie to a grand jury before his 2008 trial and to ensure she and her parents wouldn't testify.

A single video, which state prosecutors said was Kelly abusing a girl of around 14, was the focal point of that trial.

On the witness stand for two days at the end of August, Jane paused, tugged at a necklace and dabbed her eyes with a tissue when she said publicly for the first time that the girl in the video was her aged 14 and that the man was Kelly, who would have been around 30.

Some jurors in the 2008 trial said they had to acquit Kelly because the girl in the video didn't testify. At the federal trial in Chicago, Jane said she lied to a state grand jury in 2002 when she said it was not her in the video, saying part of her reason for lying was that she cared for Kelly and didn't want to get him into trouble.

Jane told jurors she was 15 when they first had intercourse. Asked how many times they had sex before she turned 18, she answered quietly: "Uncountable times. … Hundreds."

Jane, who belonged to a teenage singing group, first met Kelly in the late 1990s when she was in junior high school. She had visited Kelly's Chicago recording studio with her aunt, a professional singer. Soon after that meeting, Jane told her parents Kelly was going to be her godfather.

Jane testified that when her parents confronted Kelly in the early 2000s he dropped to his knees and begged them for forgiveness. She said she implored her parents not to take action against Kelly because she loved him.

Defense attorneys suggested a desire for money and fame drove some government witnesses to accuse Kelly, and they accused several people of trying to blackmail him. They also suggested that at least one of his accusers was 17 — the age of consent in Illinois — when Kelly began pursing her for sex.

Bonjean implored jurors not to accept the prosecution's portrayal of her client as "a monster," saying Kelly was forced to rely on others because of intellectual challenges, and that he was sometimes led astray.

"Mr. Kelly can also be a victim," she said in her opening statement.

Prosecutors played jurors excerpts from three videos that Jane said featured her. Court officials set up opaque screens around the jurors so journalists and spectators couldn't see the videos or the jurors' reactions.

But the sound was audible. In one video, the girl is heard repeatedly calling the man "daddy." At one point she asks: "Daddy, do you still love me?" The man gives her sexually explicit instructions.

Prosecutors have said Kelly shot the video that was also evidence in the 2008 trial in a log cabin-themed room at his North Side Chicago home around 1998.

Another accuser, Pauline, said Jane introduced her to Kelly when they were 14-year-old middle school classmates in 1998. At Kelly's Chicago home later that year, Pauline described her shock when she said she first walked in on Kelly and a naked Jane. She said Kelly told her that everyone has secrets. "This is our secret," she testified he said.

Pauline told jurors she still cares for Kelly. But, as a 37-year-old mom, she said she now has a different perspective.

"If somebody did something to my kids," she said, "I'm killing 'em. Period."

  • Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2022
AMP West to present Latin Music panel discussion
Beto Vargas
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Association of Music Producers’ West Coast Chapter has announced plans for a virtual panel: “Latin Music: The ‘Takeover’ Of The American Ad World,” which takes place on Thursday, Sept. 15, at 1pm PT/4pm ET. 

Hosted by AMP West Board member Beto Vargas of BV Music Productions, “The Takeover” will present a group of Latin Music experts to discuss the new phenomenon in the entertainment and advertising business, which is being described as a “takeover.” Since the extraordinary reception of the song “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi (ft. Daddy Yankee) in 2016, the American advertising audience has become increasingly accepting of entertainment and commercials performed in Spanish. The result is that the doors have opened wide to Latin artists in America.

This panel will explore how this trend impacts creators and providers of Latin music to brands and agencies. 

As Vargas explained, “This is a very exciting time for Latin music, and for the world. As awareness grows on the expanding Latin U.S. population and its buying power, brands, media companies and the music industry itself have set its eyes on Latin music and the impact it can have. Our panelists will give us the backstory on recent jobs that reflect this change, and discuss how producers and creatives are using Spanish influence in music and sound to reach the American Market.”

The panel will include the groundbreaking producer team of Andres Torres and Mauricio Rengifo. Under their leadership, “Despacito” became the first Spanish-language song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in over 20 years, earning the duo the coveted Latin Grammy for Record of the Year, the Billboard Latin Music Award for Producer of The Year and a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year in 2018. That same year, they were honored by Spotify at the Secret Genius Awards for their work on staple tracks like “Échame La Culpa” (Luis Fonsi ft. Demi Lovato) and “Báilame (Remix)” (Nacho, Yandel and Bad Bunny.)

Torres and Rengifo are known for their ability to dip in and out of different genres of music and master all of them, a prowess reflected in their catalog, which includes Luis Fonsi, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Anitta, Jonas Brothers, Sabrina Carpenter, Monsta X, TINI, Daddy Yankee, Sebastian Yatra, One Republic, Nicky Jam, Ozuna, Reik, Farruko, Carlos Vives, Alejandro Sanz, Alejandro Fernandez, Silvestre Dangond, Fonseca, Aitana, Andres Cepeda, Cali Y El Dandee, Tini, Khea, Piso 21, Morat, and Greeicy.

From the agency perspective, the panel will hear from Chip Herter, music director, Deutsch/LA. With just over a decade in the industry, Herter is no stranger to the world of music and creativity. At Deutsch LA, he’s led the production of music and sound for campaigns for clients such as Taco Bell, Dr Pepper, Lowe’s, Nintendo, and Walmart, to name a few.

With the evolution of sound in advertising pushing music to the forefront, Herter’s work on the return of Taco Bell’s Mexican pizza, in partnership with multi-award winning singer/rapper Doja Cat, has become one of his most notable achievements to date. Ushering in the brand’s return to the Super Bowl after a five-year hiatus, Herter oversaw the musical partnership, culminating in an epic mic-drop moment with the artist announcing the return of the Mexican pizza at Coachella 2022. Herter has also been integral to the strategic development of Lowe’s sonic branding, producing a custom brand mnemonic, sonic toolkit and custom music library specific to the brand’s sonic values.

For the artist’s perspective, the panel will include CRYS. An independent Cuban-Boricua artist based in Los Angeles, she’s a creative visionary whose work varies from her own studio Latin-infused pop records to voice acting and on-screen performing. As a professional vocalist, she’s contributed her talents as the star of the California Freestyle Campaign for Real California Milk, and on the stage as a background vocalist for Becky G. She continues to integrate herself within the Latin music space, not only as a pro singer but also as a songwriter for other artists, inspiring more young creatives to use their voices to shift culture in a positive way.

The label perspective will be represented by Felipe Arévalo, co-founder of the record labels SOMOS, SOMOS MÁS and Asia Record Collective, part of the West One Music Group. This Latin Grammy-nominated producer is in charge of international productions and specialty projects for West One Music Group across Latin America, Asia and Europe.

A singer/songwriter/producer from Bogotá, Colombia, panel moderator Vargas mixes styles from American rock ‘n roll with the roots from his childhood and Latin music. Surrounded by music since he was 13 years old, he graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in 2012. He now lives in Los Angeles, where he paved his way in the music industry by founding a music production company, producing over two hundred artists, making music for film and TV and releasing his own music. His new work brings a new edgier sound with a modern production, as well as English lyrics.

The panel is open to the public; to register, click here

 

  • Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2022
Film & TV composer Nicholas Britell looks to extend reach into advertising space via MAS
Nicholas Britell
NEW YORK -- 

Creative music company MAS (Music and Strategy) has partnered with Emmy Award-winner (Main Title Theme Music for Succession) and three-time Academy Award-nominated composer (Original Scores for Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk and Don’t Look Up) Nicholas Britell as he looks to expand his reach into the world of advertising. 

Britell most recently scored Netflix’s Don’t Look Up, which earned him Academy Award, BAFTA and Critics’ Choice nominations. He also wrote and produced two original songs for the film, including “Just Look Up,” performed by Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi, and “Second Nature,” performed by Bon Iver. In addition to his Academy Award-nominated work for Best Picture Oscar winner Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk and Don’t Look Up, Britell notably turned out the original score for Vice.

Britell is also the mastermind behind notable TV music, including the main title theme for Succession. Audience demand led Britell to produce a remix of the main title theme with lyrics from legendary hip-hop artist Pusha-T. Britell also earned Emmy nominations for both his season 2 and 3 scores for Succession, and will begin scoring season 4 later this year. Other television scores he has composed include his Emmy-nominated score for Barry Jenkins’ The Underground Railroad and the score for HBO’s Winning Time which he co-composed with Grammy-winning artist Robert Glasper. Britell’s score for Lucasfilm’s upcoming Star Wars series Andor premieres on September 21.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 6, 2022
Producer Kleio Kolitsopoulos joins Squeak E. Clean Studios
Kleio Kolitsopoulos
NEW YORK -- 

Global creative audio network Squeak E. Clean Studios has added Kleio Kolitsopoulos as a producer out of its NYC studio. With over a decade of experience telling memorable stories through sound, Kleio will leverage her multidisciplinary music production background to produce a wide range of projects for Squeak E. Clean Studios. 

As an artist herself, producing/writing music under the name Kleio Kol, Kolitsopoulos spends her time outside of Squeak E. Clean endlessly creating--whether it’s tied to her own music, producing records for independent artists, or composing music for TV, film, and commercials. Most notably, she has produced and composed commercial work with clients including John Deere, Nike, Mazda, UPS, Verizon, World Woman Foundation, and Mountain Dew.

Squeak E. Clean Studios executive producer Kit Winter noted, “Kleio brings such an infectious energy and enthusiasm to everything she does, on top of her music and production experience which is top notch. She is the rare trifecta of a composer with audio engineer background combined with a production approach that excels at building strong client relationships. She has the innate ability to bring customized approaches to her clients across creative, technical and the production side of every job she produces.”

Kolitsopoulos added, “Squeak E. Clean is a powerhouse of talent and creativity that I’m excited to grow from and with. The scale of work is massive and the producers are of a caliber of their own.”

A first-generation Greek-American born and raised in New York, Kolitsopoulos grew up with a deep appreciation for the American dream, coupled with a kaleidoscopic exposure to the arts from a young age. Following studies in business management and audio engineering, she began her career in the music tech space at cloud-based music creation and collaboration platform Indaba Music (acquired by Splice) as a business development coordinator and was eventually promoted to manager. Embracing the startup mentality, she wore multiple hats while overseeing production and strategic partnerships with premium brands including Spotify, Sony Music, RCA, Epic Records, Universal, Capitol, Republic, Warner, and Atlantic Records. In 2019, she teamed up with a friend from college to launch a boutique music production and sync shop in Brooklyn, where she spearheaded operations and eventually production, rapidly transforming the duo into a thriving company with 50+ global artists. After two and a half years there, she now takes on her new role at Squeak E. Clean Studios. 

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