BEYONCÉ Drops Surprise “Visual Album” via iTunes

beyonceParkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records — The fifth solo studio album from Beyoncé is now available worldwide, exclusively on the iTunes Store (www.iTunes.com/beyonce). The self-titled set is the artist’s first visual album. BEYONCÉ is infused with 14 new songs and 17 visually stunning, provocative videos shot around the world from Houston to New York City to Paris, and Sydney to Rio de Janeiro, all before the album’s release.

“I see music,” says Beyoncé about her decision to create a visual album. “It’s more than just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies. And they’re all connected to the music.”

That the album is available on the day the world is learning about its release is an unprecedented strategic move by the artist to deliver music and visual content directly to her fans when she wants to and how she wants to, with no filter. This unique approach allows music fans to be the first to listen, view, engage and form their own opinions void of any middleman. In the age of social media and an insatiable appetite for direct communication, this is the answer to the question asked over and over again, when is Beyoncé’s next album coming?

“I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it,” she states. “I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”

Stripped of gimmicks, teasers and marketing campaigns, this project is truly about art before hype. Starting now, BEYONCÉ is available globally and exclusively on the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com/beyonce). For an artist who has been the target of leaks, this is a fully designed preventative plan. The album will be offered as a cohesive body of work with every song and every video available all at once for one single purchase.

While not a concept album, the record is designed to be consumed as a comprehensive audio/visual piece from top to bottom. The antithesis of making singles, the visual album is a non-linear journey through the thoughts and visions of Beyoncé. Manufacturing of physical albums begins today and the double disc CD/DVD will be available at retail in time for the holidays. Facebook exclusively premieres Part One of “Self-Titled,” a mini doc feature that gives a glimpse into the entire project.

It details her mind-set and artistic vision throughout the making of BEYONCÉ. By embracing an ever-evolving digital landscape, she creates an innovative, fully immersive, multiplatform experience for the first visual album of her career, completely changing the way her fans will consume music. Not one to stand on past achievements, this is an artist who thrives on evolving, challenging herself and raising the bar. This creative process gave Beyoncé power over her music and provided an opportunity to control how the music is heard. She is not playing by the rules and breaking what is expected, preferring to put music out as an entire body of work.

Beyoncé, wearing multiple hats as writer, producer and director, put together a genius team of artists, songwriters, producers and video directors for her visual album that include JAY Z, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, Drake, The Dream, Sia, Ryan Tedder, Miguel, Frank Ocean, Hit Boy, Ammo, Boots, Detail, Jake Nava, Hype Williams, Terry Richardson, Melina Matsoukas, Jonas Akerlund, Ricky Saiz, Pierre Debusschere, @lilinternet, Noah “40″ Shebib, Francesco Carrozzini, Caroline Polachek, Ed Burke, Bill Kirstein and Todd Tourso.

The View co-host Sherry Shepherd and Radio host Rickey Smiley Set to Co-Host the Stellar Awards

unnamed (2)unnamedunnamed (1)Nashville, TN — Central City Productions returns to Nashville, TN for it’s Stellar Awards weekend January 17th & 18th  however this year the show will take place in a new venue. The first and only national award show recognizing top Gospel talent, The Stellars will be held at the Municipal Auditorium instead of at the Grand Ole Opry House as it has been for the past several years.

The Radio Station Awards will precede the main event on the same day at 11:00 a.m. at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC). The pre-show, where non-televised awards are announced, will also take place at TPAC a day ahead of the Stellars on January 17 at 6:00 p.m. Unlike years before, this year two non-Gospel singers will Host the Awards Show, The View co-host Sherry Shepherd and syndicated radio host Rickey Smiley.

The current line-up of performers include the DC area’s own Anthony Brown & Group Therapy, multiple Dove Award winner Tasha Cobbs, gospel legend Shirley Caesar and hit maker Donald Lawrence as well as Hezekiah Walker, Rickey Dillard, VaShawn Mitchell, Jekalyn Carr, Jonathan McReynolds, Shirley Caesar, Erica Campbell and Lexi.

Hezekiah Walker will also be the recipient of the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award. Other special awards will be issued to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement) and Pastor Maceo Woods (Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legend Award)

The 29th Stellar Awards, a 2-hour broadcast, will air in syndication from January 25, 2014 – March 2, 2014. For more information, on tickets and hotel accommodations visit www.thestellarawards.com.

TBN Founder Paul Crouch Dies at Age 79 After Chronic Heart Problems

tbn paul crouchPaul Franklin Crouch, co-founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), is dead at age 79, reported his grandson, Brandon Crouch on Saturday

“Today, my grandfather, #PaulCrouchSr went home to be with Jesus in heaven. Thank you for your prayers…” Brandon Crouch tweeted. TBN’s official Facebook page later released the announcement about Crouch’s death: “Dr Paul F Crouch passed into the presence of the Lord on November 30, 2013. We are grateful for the life of this amazing servant of God. Please pray for the Crouch family during this time. #paulcrouch #tbn”

Crouch was born March 30, 1934 in St. Joseph, Mo., and is the son of Assemblies of God missionaries. His father died when he was seven-years-old, and he was raised by his mother and grandparents. He has a degree in theology from Central Bible Institute and Seminary in Springfield, Mo., and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., among other honorary doctorates.

He met his wife, Janice Bethany Crouch, in 1957 and they married in Missouri. They have two sons: Paul Crouch Jr. and Matthew Crouch. Crouch Sr., co-founder along with his wife, Jan, of the world’s largest Christian-owned cable station, had been treated for chronic heart problems for over a decade and had received a pacemaker in 2012, TBN revealed earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Author Max Lucado and televangelists Creflo Dollar and Benny Hinn are among the thousands who have paid their tributes to Paul Franklin Crouch, co-founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), who is being remembered for his faith and ministry. He died at age 79 on Saturday.

“Praise to God for this man of faith,” tweeted Lucado, bestselling author and writer and preacher at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. Crouch “has passed into eternal joy,” he said. “‏We celebrate Dr. Paul Crouch’s good & faithful work on earth. May we all leave such a legacy for the Kingdom,” wrote Creflo Dollar, founder and senior pastor of World Changer

Tyrese and others say final good-bye to Actor Paul Walker

‘Fast And Furious’ Star Tyrese Breaks Down In Tears At Paul Walker Crash Site

n-TYRESE-large570Tyrese Gibson was overcome with grief Sunday afternoon when he showed up to the crash site where his “Fast and Furious” co-star Paul Walker died less than 24 hours before.

Tyrese paid tribute to Walker during a quick stop at the Santa Clarita crash spot … the same place fans are leaving tons of flowers and various tokens in honor of Walker.