Idris Elba steps onto the music scene with new album, 'mi Mandela,' scheduled to drop on November 24th. During 2013, Idris had the prestigious opportunity to play the role of Nelson Mandela in the film, ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.’ Throughout the course of learning the role of Mandela, Elba was instantly inspired by the idea of ‘mi Mandela’ in Johannesburg.
"South Africa has numerous different tribes and each one has a musical expression, and each one has a very unique, different sound style," he explains. "At the time I had my studio at the apartment I was staying in while I was making Mandela - a little keyboard, a laptop - and as an experiment to myself, I vowed to keep making music." 
It took the influence of another great man to bring the concept to fruition. Idris premiered the film for his father, who then encouraged him to bring the musical album to life. With tracks recorded between trips to Johannesburg, London and Mali, the album has a variety of contributors including Mumford & Sons, James Blake and George The Poet. More at Singersroom

Lifetime’s Controversial Aaliyah Movie Receives Huge Ratings Lifetime may have faced backlash over its life story of singer Aaliyah, but the biopic, ‘Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B,’ pulled in huge ratings for the network with over 3.2 million viewers tuning in. Billboard reveals the effort ranks as the No. 2 television movie of the year. Of the 3.2 million viewers who tuned into the Nov. 15 premiere, 1.7 million were in the 18-49 demographic. The film’s executive producer, Wendy Williams, defended the movie from criticism by standing behind her ratings. “Everybody got an opinion!” the comedienne laughed on her talk show earlier this week. “Whether you loved or hate, you watched.”  Everyone from fans to the ‘Try Again’ chanteuse’s former producer Timbaland chimed in on how disappointed they were in the overall casting and storyline. He felt the movie “wasn’t done right.” “I don’t want to just diss this lady [Wendy Williams] like that, I want to know the full details, before I really, really go in,” Timbaland said. “The only thing that I know is that you are showing a mockery on TV.” More at Boombox

Mr. Merry went to a fundraising evening at Birmingham's Hyatt Hotel on Friday. It was an Awareness Night for Prostrate Cancer: 'It's A Man Thing', which is more prevalent in the black population apparently! Also present was Prof. Nick James, John Hoo, Courtney Pine & The late Andy Hamilton's family. John Hoo was recently treated for cancer by the excellent staff at  the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, he once played for Andy Hamilton's Jazz band.  The Professor of Clinical Oncology specialising in urological cancer gave an excellent oratory to a soon quite listening audience. A low cost fundraising CD was also released on the day which can be obtained from iTunes, etc,. (see flier) Guys get yourself s checked now! (see video below)

Prof. Nick James, John Hoo & Courtney Pine
Playlist for 23-11-2014

Stevie Wonder/Ngicuelela - Es Una Historia (I Am Singing)
Joe - Baby
St. Germaine - Sure Thing
El Debarge - Lay With You
Maysa - Sophisticated Lover
Groove Association - Do You Remember
Atlantic Starr - Touch A Four Leaf Clover
Victor Haynes - Feel
Gap Band - Keep Holdin' On
Don-E - Unbreakable
Collage - When You Smile
Lisa Stansfield - You Can't Deny It

Tank x3
1 You're My Star 2 My Body
3 I Can't Make You Love Me

Prostate Cancer Aware - It's A Man Thing
Curtis Mayfield - She Don't Tell Nobody
Jacksons - Heartbreak Hotel
Attitudes - Sweet Music
Jermaine Jackson - Paradise In You Eyes
Barbara Acklin - Am I The Same Girl
Al Wilson - Show & Tell
Barry White - It's Only Love Doing it's Thing
David Ruffin - Walk Away From Love

Biography for Tank:

Tank was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and moved with his family as a child to the Washington, D.C. suburb of Clinton, Maryland. He was a multi-sport athlete at Crossland High School and was offered the opportunity to play college football. However, Tank decided to focus on music and his talent eventually led him to an opportunity to sing background vocals for Ginuwine during one of Ginuwine's tours. In 2001, following Ginuwine's successful tour, Tank released his debut album Force of Nature which spawned the R&B Top Ten single "Maybe I Deserve". In 2002, Tank released his second album One Man and a single of the same name. Tank released his third solo album entitled Sex, Love & Pain on May 15, 2007. The lead single was intended to be "I Luv Dem Girls", but for unknown reasons the song was given to Marques Houston who renamed it "Strip Club" (intending to place it on his third solo album Veteran). However, "Strip Club" did not make Veteran so the final single was theTimbaland remix to "I Luv Dem Girls". The second single was "Please Don't Go". Later in the year Tank, Ginuwine and Tyrese Gibson formed a group called TGT. Their first single was a remix of "Please Don't Go." The group was put on hold due to contractional issues, but made it official by signing a contract with Atlantic Records in September 2012. Tank released his fourth studio album, Now or Never, on December 14, 2010. Tank collaborated with other artists on this project like Chris Brown, Drake, Letoya Luckett and many other artists. The singles were "Sex Music", "I Can't Make You Love Me", and "Emergency". More at Wiki

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