Stellar, Image and Dove Award nominee Michelle Williams delivers an outstanding project with ‘Journey to Freedom’ album release
*“Collaborating…with a producer from London with Nigerian parents,” said Michelle Williams (Grammy winning Destiny’s Child), a Stellar, Image and Dove Award nominated solo artist, about her fourth studio album “Journey to Freedom” (Entertainment One) producer’s wide range of musical styles and influences. The album is so outstanding I think the collaboration has started a new genre of Gospel music that I am not sure what to call, but Hot Gospel. “What’s in his head is very, very board.”
The producer she is talking about is Harmony Samuels (Fantasia, Ne-Yo, Kelly Rowland). “Journey to Freedom” offers 12 selections each “hot” enough to be singles. The first single release from the new album is titled “Say Yes” and it features vocal support from Beyonce’ and Kelly Rowland. It peaked at the top of Billboard’s Gospel Digital Songs Chart.
“I met him (Harmony) through Kelly Rowland,” said Williams about her collaboration with the London based producer. “Everyone else I collaborated with are friends of mine.”
Those others she mentioned, that are featured artists on the album, include Tye Tribbett, LaCrae, and Fantasia. “Journey to Freedom” is executive produced by Michelle, John Dee Hammond, and Phil Thornton.
My favorites selections could include the entire album but the ones that really stood out for me included “Need Your Help,” which has some excellent vocal support from Lonny BeReal, and offers an Urban Gospel flavor; “Yes” has an awesome marching-band drum beat, and I love drums, it’s also a great victory anthem and the hook from Lonny makes it extra special; “Fire” has an Urban beat I love making it a very unique style Gospel selection; “Beautiful” highlights Michelle’s angel voice that is her trademark style; the first single “Say Yes,” featuring her Destiny Child mates Beyonce’ and Kelly, gives a Island/Rasta feel with a twist of Africana flavor; “Believe in Me” is almost Pop Gospel with a twist of Country flavor, and I love how Williams ends this one with such powerful vocals, and “In the Morning” because it has a little Rock flavor and I love Rock, and the lead guitar support makes it even more special.
“The response has been amazing compared to the last one,” Michelle Williams said when asked how the public’s response to the new “hot Gospel” project has been. “The last one was great… (on this one) they get to see another side of me out there by myself musically. People are going, ‘Wow!’”
Aside from being an outstanding vocalist, Michelle is also an actress. Her credits include a television appearance on UPN’s “Half & Half,” and Broadway appearances on “The Color Purple,” “Chicago,” and “Fela.” Her previous releases include her solo debut “Heart to Yours” which was noted as the bestselling Gospel release in 2002, her sophomore release was “Do You Know,” and her third was a Pop debut titled “Unexpected” in 2008.
Williams will be starring in the Oxygen television series “Fix My Choir.” You can learn more about Michelle Williams and her new release “Journey to Freedom by logging onto her website at www.IAmMichelle.com.
Larenz Tate stars in the USA Network drama series ‘Rush,’ airs Thursdays at 9/8c
*Larenz Tate stars in the new USA Network original drama series “Rush” starring Tom Ellis (“Miranda”) as Dr. Williams P. Rush, a renegade party-hard physician who privately caters to the elite in Los Angeles, while trying desperately to keep their secrets. Tate plays Dr. Alex Burke. The dramatic series premiered July 17, 2014.
“’Rush’ is a medical drama that comes on USA Network on Thursday nights at 9:00 p.m.,” said famed actor Larenz Tate (Love Jones, Crash) about his new acting gig. “I play a doctor. We are private doctors to the elite here in Hollywood to those who don’t want their business in the streets.”
“Rush” also stars Sarah Habel as Eve Parker, and Rick Gonzalez as Manny Maquis. The weekly series is written by Jonathan Levine, who is also director, along with Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo. Adam Fierro is executive producer. It is filmed in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada.
“They came to us and we’re having fun on the show,” Tate added. “So tell people to tune in!”
Larenz Tate credits also include Waist Deep, Menace to Society, A Man Apart, Ray, “House of Lies,” The Postman, Dead Presidents, South Central, “Rescue Me,” and Biker Boyz. His acting career started with roles on “21 Jump Street,” “The Wonder Years,” “Family Matters,” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
BMI honored Christopher ‘Ludacris’ Bridges with the President’s Award, provoking a heart-warming proud moment for all attending
*“Chris and I are one in the same. We both are Virgos; my birthday is a few days before his. We worked on Crash together, and since then we’ve been like the closest homies – that’s my boy,” said actor Larenz Tate about Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges who recently received the BMI President’s Award at their 2014 BMI R&B Hip-Hop Awards held at The Pantages Theater in Hollywood.
BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) is a global leader in music rights management, serving as an advocate for its over 600,000 members. On that day over 30 BMI songwriters, producers and publishers were award the BMI R&B Hip-Hop Award which included Hit Boy, DJ Mustard Chris Brown, Future, Eric Bellinger, Hollis Wear, Mike Will, Sean Garrett, and Zendaya. Others that came in support include Manny Fresh (DJ), Tyrese, Tiara Thomas, Tahj Mowry, Mystikal, Larenz Tate, Kenny Burns (co-host), Diamond, Doug E. Fresh, BMI VP Catherine Brewton (co-host), and Faith Evans.
BMI President and CEO Michael O’Neill presented Ludacris towards the end of the event with the President’s Award.
“I want to thank…the entire BMI staff for still believing in a negro even though I been shooting movies and haven’t put out an album in the last four years,” said the three-time Grammy, five-time Billboard Award winner Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges after accepting the President’s Award. “You see that’s a lot of faith right there. But I’m about to get right back to the music, this is my first love and this is what got me here in the first place.”
The movies Ludacris was referring to included Fast & Furious 6 and Fast Five. He has also been writing for television and film which credits include ”Saturday Night Live,” “Getaway,” ”Late Show with David Letterman,” “The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Glee,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Mike & Mike,” and Jumping the Broom. He has also made guest appearances in the last four years on “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Dancing with the Stars,” Justin Bieber: Never Say Never documentary (as a writer), and in video games “Dance Paradise” and “Dance Central 2.”
His hits through the years include “Break Your Heart,” “Glamorous,” “Tonight (I’m Loving You),” “Yeah,” “Chopped N Screwed,” “How Low,” “Money Maker,” “My Chick Bad,” “Runaway Love,” and “Southern Hospitality.” He is a multi-platinum selling rapper selling over 7 million internationally. He is preparing for his eighth studio album titled “Ludaversal.”
Other film credits in his career include 2 Fast 2 Furious, Crash which earned him a SAG and Critics’ Choice Awards, and he starred on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” Currently he serves as a judge on “Rising Star” on ABC. He will be returning to the Fast & Furious franchise with Fast & Furious 7 in 2015.
(Syndicated Columnist: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations/Business consult at Freelance Associates, and Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. Her Events: “Uplifting Minds II” free entertainment conference arrives in Hollywood, CA Saturday, October 25, 2014 at the Celebrity Center with appearances by EURweb.com publisher Lee Bailey, actress Ellia English (Disney’s “Good Luck Charlie”), singer/songwriter Gramma Funk (“I See You Baby”), and celebrity photographer Koi Sojer. ULMII comes back to Baltimore Sat. April 18, 2015 at Security Square Mall. www.UpliftingMinds2.com, www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com.)