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Gail Mitchell, Billboard

Bill Cosby unites rappers for ‘Emergency’

Bill Cosby doesn't rap or sing on his latest project, but he gathered together people who do. "Bill Cosby Presents the Cosnarati: State of Emergency" is a socially conscious hip-hop CD that focuses on the critical issues affecting young people.

‘Soul Train’ vaults opened for DVD deal

Soul Train Holdings has partnered with Direct Holdings Americas Inc., granting the latter the domestic home video and worldwide clip licensing rights to the "Soul Train" library.

Kanye West’s ‘Amazing’ scores with NBA

The NBA has recruited Kanye West's latest single, "Amazing," as the musical backdrop for its 2009 playoffs campaign.

Playboy Jazz Fest ramps up

Jazz bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding and soul/funk outfit Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are among the seven acts making their debut appearance at the 2009 Playboy Jazz Festival.

The Roots gear up for ‘Late Night’

Fans of the Roots can rest easy: the Philadelphia-based band has started work on a new album and still plans to tour. But the Grammy Award-winning group's primary focus right now is its new gig as the house band for "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."

Performers set for Stevie Wonder tribute

Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Esperanza Spalding, Martina McBride, Mary Mary and will.i.am are among the lineup of performers for "Stevie Wonder in Performance at the White House: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize."

Sony/ATV signs Wayne Wilkins

Sony/ATV continues to expand its roster with the signing of songwriter/producer Wayne Wilkins to an exclusive worldwide co-publishing agreement.

Ludacris’ plate full for the fall

Ludacris is going to be a busy man this fall.

Ruthless Records Celebrates 20 Years

Little did anyone know that the upstart indie would put West Coast and gangsta rap on the map.

Usher rehires mother as manager

Usher is now being managed once again by his mother, Jonnetta Patton.

Jacksons to reign as BMI’s 2008 Icons

The Jacksons will be honored as this year's BMI Icons at the organization's eighth annual Urban Awards on Sept. 4.

Shakir Stewart joins Def Jam as exec vp

Def Jam Recordings has tapped Shakir Stewart as executive vp. Promoted from his post as senior vp A&R at Island Def Jam Music Group, Stewart succeeds former Def Jam president Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter.