google-site-verification=cXrcMGa94PjI5BEhkIFIyc9eZiIwZzNJc4mTXSXtGRM The Black Opry creates a safe space for fans of Black Country music - 360WISE MEDIA
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The Black Opry creates a safe space for fans of Black Country music

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Years before her fall, Beyoncé, a country music lover Holly G she couldn’t get any of her friends to go to the concert. Though frustrated, she eventually stumbled upon something higher: a community of Black musicians, industry professionals and fans.

“It was frustrating that I wanted to go to concerts and didn’t have anyone I could convince to go with me,” she told Andscape. “Especially as I get older, it feels more and more important to surround myself with people who share my identity in many ways.”

Holly G aired her frustration on a blog Black Opry   plays on Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, often called the largest country music scene. Three years later, the location has grown into a collective of people working to create a safe place for Black people to benefit from the genre and freely create country, blues, folk and Americana music.

“I started the blog on April 1, 2021, and for the first month I wanted to highlight a different Black artist every day,” said Holly G. “So I made a few connections with artists that way, but truthfully, on the fourth day of the blog, a few of them reached out with me and said, ‘Oh my God, we have been waiting for a space like this. Thank you for putting all of it together. “

Over the previous few years, the web site has expanded to incorporate, amongst others: national tour, , which can make several stops within the United States this 12 months. But putting together the tour was a humbling experience.

“(Artists) are like, damn it, no one usually cares about us like this,” said Holly G. “I can’t find anyone else in any genre of music, even in the musical theater space, that travels like we do.”

Tanner Davenport, co-director of the Black Opry, agreed, emphasizing the organization’s commitment to helping artists gain access to latest venues and fans. “In December 2022, we had a group of people (on tour) who played at the Troubadour. If we look back at the beginning of their careers, it would be really hard for them to tell you that one day you will play Troubadour in California. Playing the music they wanted in that space just seemed unattainable, like they would never be able to do it.”

Black Opry co-directors Holly G (left) and Tanner Davenport (right).

Black Opry

Instead of counting on booking agents, Holly G and Davenport select artists to perform at each location on the tour. They also treat artists as their very own act moderately than part of the lineup. They pay prematurely for artists’ travel and time, including a guaranteed share of ticket sales at each venue. The Black Opry does this, Holly G said, since it wants artists to focus solely on putting on a great show.

“When you’re dealing with marginalized artists, these are people who don’t work in the industry most of the time,” she explained. “They have to take time off work and streaming isn’t profitable, so the only way to make money is to sell merch and perform.”

Davenport suggested that fans who wish to learn more about contemporary artists within the genre should hearken to women like Mickey Guyton, Denit, Julie Williams, Robert LeaAND Brittany Spencerwho’ve been involved in country music for years.

Holly G is happy in regards to the current conversation about Black people, and particularly Black women, in country music since Beyoncé arrived in late March. But in her case, it takes multiple superstar album to create lasting change.

“I was attending a country music seminar a few weeks ago when these two songs (“Texas Hold ‘Em” by Beyonce and “16 Carriages” by Beyonce) dropped right after the Super Bowl and the conversation became, “We are so proud of ourselves, that we embraced Beyoncé,” said Holly G. “As you should, you cowered in front of a global star, but that’s not the same as respecting women in this space.”

He compares it to President Barack Obama’s historic election because the nation’s first black president, which was considered progress. “Unfortunately (Beyoncé’s success) could have the other effect and now they’ll say, ‘OK, the job’s done because a black woman is No. 1.’ But just as Obama’s second term was followed by the election of President Donald Trump, it is evident that lasting change have to be continually fought for.

To be clear, Holly G is critical of the country music industry, not Beyoncé. The Black Opry upholds the fitting of artists to create any type of music they need, because keeping track of what country music is or should sound like allows the industry to maintain so many black performers out.

“We support what he’s doing. We also must be very careful how we frame this moment in order that it doesn’t appear to be progress is being made or efforts are being made on behalf of individuals who never made it,” said Holly G.

This and lots of country music festivals and concert events still don’t accept black patrons.

Holly G and Davenport are sometimes invited to concert events and festivals as journalists, which she believes limits the experiences they’d have as regular Black fans.

“Since we’ve been doing this, nothing has fundamentally or significantly changed to the point where I would feel any different just going to these shows as a fan,” Holly G said.

When a latest tour is announced, Davenport said he often asks Holly G if she desires to go, and he or she flatly refuses.

Part of the explanation is that Holly G is unquestionably not attending certain events because of how she’s been pampered – she’ll have the ability to go behind the scenes or feel more comfortable as a journalist. But the opposite, greater part is that these spaces have not done enough work to enhance the experiences of Black participants.

Artists perform through the Black Opry Revue performance.

Emily Carver

“I’m not going to put myself through that,” she explained simply. “There isn’t a single country music venue in Nashville that we haven’t talked to and I haven’t seen any concrete steps taken.”

Holly G said that institutions can do something so simple as address the cyberbullying that Black artists often experience after they are billed for festivals and performances, which could also change the culture of venues. She mentioned a popular black country singer who talked about death threats she received after appearing on certain shows. Holly G declined to disclose the name of the artist or the placement.

“I asked if we could make a statement on preventing cyberbullying?” She reminded herself. “You don’t have to mention race, gender or sexuality, but it’s a good faith step to show that you’ll at least try to get her back.”

The institution refused.

“The only technique to make these spaces safer is to say out loud, ‘We don’t desire these people at our shows.’ The only one who did this – and it was a person, not a country music institution – was Jason Isbell, who does this on a regular basis. He repeatedly says, “I don’t want any assholes at my show.” “

On its third anniversary, the Black Opry pays tribute Alice Randallfirst black songwriter to put in writing a No. 1 country song, “XXX and OOO (American)”, which was recorded by Trisha Yearwood in 1994.

Celebration coincides with the discharge of Randall’s book: , which shall be released this month. It showcases contemporary black artists paying tribute to Randall and singing her songs.

“We can’t fix this industry, but one of the things we can fix is ​​to honor and give flowers to the people who were in the trenches,” said Holly G.

It’s vital for the Black Opry to create a space to have a good time Black artists because while Holly G and Davenport can attend awards ceremonies, they typically cannot see Black artists in these spaces because they should not nominated.

“We have such a rich history in black country music,” said Holly G. “We are not the Country Music Awards, but we hope that the level of respect and affection we have for (Randall) is reflected in a way that is meaningful to her, in case no one else does.”

This article was originally published on : andscape.com
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‘Aggressive’ Protection of Le’Andria Johnson Under Fire for Pushing Woman Who Touched Singer, Conservative Fans Criticize Singer’s Racy Wardrobe Choice

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Gospel singer Le

Fans are slamming gospel singer Le’Andria Johnson after a video of her recent performance went viral. While the singer sang, shouting the praises of God, many were distracted by her outfit and the “aggressive” behavior of her bodyguard towards concertgoers.

Radio One Raleigh hosted the highly anticipated Women’s Empowerment 2024 event in Raleigh, North Carolina, with an electrifying lineup that included panels and performances from renowned artists and speakers akin to Tamia, Joe, Sarah Jakes Roberts, Bobbi Storm and plenty of more.

Adding an inspiring touch, breakout sensation “Sunday Best” Le’Andria Johnson modified the atmosphere together with her soul-stirring vocals. The April 13 video shows her walking on the ground at PNC Arena in Raleigh as security moves out of her way. Peace activist Erica Ford filmed her as she moved.

She was called by gospel singer Le'Andria Johnson (left).
Gospel singer Le’Andria Johnson (left) called out her “aggressive” security guard (right) after he punched an onlooker who tried to the touch her. (Photo: @Leandraj/Instagram)

People weren’t thrilled with the best way Johnson interacted with fans who simply desired to catch up with to the star.

“Love Leandra… but you need to check the safety… you can protect her without being aggressive towards the followers!” one comment To read.

“Yes security did (sic) a lot,” wrote follower Foxy 107104. “Explore the atmosphere where there was no one to hurt her.”

The mood was good and the skirt of her blue dress was higher, which attracted the interest of more conservative believers.

“What is she wearing? Where does all that meat come from?” – one person asked in an Instagram post showing her singing. Another asked: “I need a stylist.”

The comment combined two concerns: “She had security but she really needed to put pants on…ijs.”

Johnson is usually seen because the prodigal child of the gospel world, making headlines for her swearing, style and gritty history.

In 2018, she even apologized to the universal Church for using colourful language.

“To all my fans who go to church, when I say ‘church’, I wanted to address church politics,” she said in an Instagram video. “All these little, undermining things that happen in the church that hurt people like me, people like other people who have been through a lot of things in the church.”

Adding: “You know, Christianity, there’s just quite a bit happening. So with that said, using the F-bomb, I apologize to my church-going fans. I’m sorry if I offended you”.

Shortly after, the singer appeared on her OWN hit series “Iyanla, Fix My Life” to deal with her behavior. The title of the episode was “The Bad Girl of Gospel” and it was about her struggles with alcohol addiction.


This article was originally published on : atlantablackstar.com
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This week’s best new music: Lucky Daye, Lola Brooke, Nicki Minaj and more

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This week's best new music: Lucky Daye, Lola Brooke, Nicki Minaj and more

Happy Friday, people. This week you will find a combination of new music from industry veterans, current stars and artists of tomorrow.

Today, New Orleans singer Lucky Daye releases “HERicane”, Nick Minaj collaborates with Travis Scott, Chris Brown and Sexyy Red on the “FTCU” remix, and Mozzy drops the long-awaited track. To have fun the thirtieth anniversary of his debut album, the legendary Nas also presents a new box set from 1994. .

Check out this week’s best new music below.

This article was originally published on : www.essence.com
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Simone Biles on husband’s harsh reaction to husband’s ‘catch’ claim and emotions after 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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Simone Biles

Simone Biles shared her true feelings about a few of her most publicized moments.

During an appearance on Tuesday’s “Call Her Daddy” podcast, Biles opened up concerning the backlash her husband, NFL player Jonathan Owens, received from her fans last 12 months when he called himself “the catch” of their relationship.

Although she admitted that she initially found the speech funny, Biles stated that her husband’s remarks might have been misconstrued, and the negative emotions that followed ultimately reduced her to tears: People Magazine reported.

Simone Biles reacts after performing floor exercises through the US Classic gymnastics competition in August 2023. On the podcast this week, Biles shared her true feelings about a few of her most publicized moments. (Photo: Erin Hooley/AP)

“First of all, this interview had nothing to do with me,” Biles said of her husband’s interview with “The Pivot” podcast, sharing that she thought people were upset that Owens didn’t include her within the interview. But he also has to have his moments and I allow him to do this.

“He never said I wasn’t caught,” Biles continued. “He said he was a gimmick because he was a gimmick. I’ve never met a person like him. Many individuals who meet him say, “Oh my God.” I need a person like Jonathan.

The Olympian said she “thought it was funny what people said, ‘Divorce him, divorce him,'” but then it began hurting her feelings and one night she “broke down.”

“It really hurt that they said that about my husband,” Biles admitted, according to People magazine. “Because to me it’s like talk about me all you want, but don’t come for my family.”

Owens and Biles were married on April 22, 2023, on the Harris County Courthouse in Houston. A couple of weeks later, they hosted a second wedding with family and friends in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Also on Tuesday’s episode of “Call Her Daddy,” Biles opened up about her attitude during her vault performance through the team competition on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, during which, according to People. She said she knew she would “try to do 2 and 1/2” but didn’t know the way many twists she would do.

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“Because I couldn’t squirm anymore,” Biles told “Call Her Daddy” host Alex Cooper. “It’s like your body, your brain opens up, you’ve gotten no idea where you might be. So I opened it, that is how I landed… And I salute and I need to run. If I could get on a plane and fly home, I might.

The contestant said she knew she had broken the vault immediately after landing, recalling how difficult it was for her to face the crowds in Tokyo and then at home because she told herself that “America hates me.”

“I thought I was going to be kicked out of America,” Biles said. “(Because) that is what they let you know: ‘Don’t come back unless it’s gold. Gold or bust. Do not come back.”

After the failed vault, she knew it might take time to “overcome” the curveballs, which couldn’t be done “overnight” due to the “disconnect” between her brain and body.

Biles withdrew from the Olympics and all-around competition after vault, stating that she needed to “focus on her mental health” during this time. She later returned to win a bronze medal within the balance beam final and a silver medal within the team event.

According to People, Biles, a decorated gymnast with over 30 combined Olympic and world championship medals and a four-time Olympic gold medalist, is preparing for a possible return to the Summer Olympics in Paris. Last 12 months she stated that “things are heading in the right direction so far” as she continues to “work on herself”.


This article was originally published on : thegrio.com
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