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Prince’s Estate Announces Release of New Album on His 60th Birthday

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This is one special gift to Prince‘s fans.

In honor of what would have been the late icon’s 60th birthday, 7 June 1958, the Prince Estate, in partnership with Warner Bros. Records, has announced the release of Piano & A Microphone 1983, which is also a nod to his final concert tour in 2016.

Consisting of nine tracks, the album features a previously unreleased rehearsal cassette recorded in Prince’s Kiowa Trail home studio in Minnesota at his piano in 1983, a year before he released his six-time platinum album, Purple Rain.

“This raw, intimate recording, which took place at the start of Prince’s career right before he achieved international stardom, is similar in format to the Piano & A Microphone Tour that he ended his career with in 2016,” Prince Estate entertainment adviser Troy Carter said in a statement. “The Estate is excited to be able to give fans a glimpse of his evolution and show how his career ultimately came full circle with just him and his piano.”

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The nine tracks include private rehearsal of songs including “Purple Rain,” a cover of Joni Mitchell‘s “A Case Of You” and a rare recording of “Mary Don’t You Weep,” which will also be featured in the end credits for Spike Lee‘s BlacKkKlansman.

Seven of the nine track on the album will be presented in the same spontaneous live format as they were originally recorded.

The eight-time Grammy winner was tragically found dead at his Paisley Park estate in April 2016. It was later determined he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl.

The album is available now to pre-order. For a preview of the album, check out the sample of “Mary Don’t You Weep” above.

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Nigeria: Details emerge amidst mourning of music Legend Ras Kimono

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It is no longer news but shocking, that Nigerian reggae star, Ras Kimono, has died.

It was gathered that the dreadlocked musician had slumped at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, while waiting to board a flight to the United States, on Saturday night. 

According to sources close to him, Kimono was immediately rushed to an unnamed hospital in Ikeja and then taken to another hospital on Lagos Island where he later died on Sunday morning.

The death of the artiste, who was a native of Onicha Olona in the Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State and who recently clocked 60, was confirmed by the President of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, Pretty Okafor and the Chairman of the Copyright Society of Nigeria, Chief Tony Okoroji.

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The event has since thrown members of the Nigerian music and culture community into deep mourning.

Okafor described Kimono’s death as shocking. According to him, Ras Kimono was a very humble and excellent person. He was more like a father than a friend or colleague. He never had any issue with anybody in the music industry.

”We are really going to miss him” He said 

Another reggae musician, African Chyna, said that Kimono’s death had left a vacuum in the music industry that would be difficult to fill. Describing the deceased as a great musician who died before his time.

Meanwhile, a former President PMAN, Tee Mac Iseli, also expressed shock at the sad event. “I am shocked. I took him to PMAN as a young man in the 80s. We had since been very close,” he said.

Also, reacting, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State described the death of Kimono as a great loss to the people of the state and Nigeria’s music industry.

Okowa, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, on Sunday, commiserated with the Nigeria music industry, family and friends of Kimono.

He said, “I received with sadness the news of the passing away of Ras Kimono, a great reggae legend. He will be remembered for his hit song, ‘Rumbar Stylee’.

“I join lovers of reggae music to mourn this great loss. He belonged to an era of great reggae music exponents in Nigeria.”

The governor added that Kimono had spent all his life promoting good governance through reggae music, good entertainment and healthy community relations.

Still shocked by the sad event, a popular musician, Baba Fryo, said he spoke with the deceased three days before his passage. “We spoke and, based on my observation, he wasn’t sick. I am worried at the news of his death. I am shocked,” he said.

Reacting to a message posted on Facebook, a close friend of Kimono, Iwa Okosun, suggested that Kimono might have been ill. He said, “We were together on Wednesday afternoon. He said he was coming from the clinic.” 

Then, addressing the deceased, Okosun added, “Just last month, we were with you celebrating your 60th birthday. I’m in shock. God will strengthen your family to bear this huge pain. Rest in peace, Kimono.”

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Late American Singer Whitney Houston’s bible for $95,000

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08:  Singer Whitney Houston speaks during the 51st Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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The Bible reportedly used by late American singer, Whitney Houston, has been put up for sale at $95,000.

According to TMZ, Houston left the Bible behind when she moved out of the Newport Beach luxury home she had rented and her former landlord has now put up the Bible for sale.

Whitney rented the home from 2009-2011. The owner says he found the Bible in a box, along with some clothes and CDs by the trash after she’d moved out.

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He says he had signed a non-disclosure agreement and contacted Houston’s agent about the left-behind items, but was told he could keep them. 

The Bible, which is being sold through Moments in Time, has Whitney’s handwriting all over it.

There are pages documenting life events. For instance, under marriage, Whitney scribbled her name and Robert B. Brown and the date July 18, 1992, which matches up.

Under births, it lists Bobbi K. Kristina and her birthday, March 4, 1993.

The owner sold the home in 2012, and says he threw out all the other stuff Houston left behind except the Bible because he thought it was “interesting.”

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Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Philip Roth dies at 85

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One of the great American authors, Philip Roth, has died aged 85.

Roth died of congestive heart failure surrounded by close friends and family, his friend Judith Thurman said. Visitors in his final days came from all walks of life, from writers and lifelong friends to people he helped and inspired along the way.

The Pulitzer, National Book Award and Man Booker International Prize-winning novelist’s work drew its inspiration from Jewish family life, sex and American ideals.

Roth’s  first found success with his short story collection, Goodbye Columbus was published in 1959.

A decade later his sexually explicit novel Portnoy’s Complaint catapulted him to notoriety, making him a celebrity in the US.

His works included American Pastoral, I Married a Communist and Portnoy’s Complaint.

In later life, he wrote a number of highly regarded historical novels, including his 1997 work American Pastoral, for which he won his Pulitzer.

He wrote prolifically over the course of his career, publishing more than 30 books before ending his fiction career in 2009.

When Roth won the 2011 Man Booker International, chairman of the judges Rick Gekoski said: “His career is remarkable in that he starts at such a high level, and keeps getting better.

“In his 50s and 60s, when most novelists are in decline, he wrote a string of novels of the highest, enduring quality.”

He also recognised that Roth’s win divided the Man Booker International panel, and had caused one judge to quit in protest.

 

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