All Articles Tagged "Quincy Jones"

“I Mean, You Know, I’m Ethnic”: That Time A Reporter Didn’t Know That Rashida Jones Is Black

January 27th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Brian To/

Brian To/

If you ever tune into the red carpet interviews for most awards shows, I’m sure you would agree that they can be a bit much after about 10 minutes. But a brief chat between actress Rashida Jones and reporter Danielle Demski (who was covering the red carpet for TNT), definitely offered both an entertaining and awkward moment on Sunday evening.

As Jones stepped up to be interviewed by Demski about her gorgeous Emanuel Ungaro gown and new TV work, Demski inquired about why Jones looked so tan. She was clearly expecting Jones to say that she had just come back from some lavish vacation, but that was not the case whatsoever.

Demski stated, “You look like you’ve just come off of an island or something! You’re very tan. Very tropical.”

Jones offered that silly statement a tongue-in-cheek response: “I mean, you know, I’m ethnic.”

Laughs ensued, especially from Demski, who said, “Just being ethnic! That’s what it is!” And the other red carpet reporter for People, JD Heyman, a white man, responded to Jones with, “Me too!” I’m going to at least give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he was probably joking…

But for those who didn’t realize it after all these years, Jones is indeed ‘ethnic.’ Her background includes everything from Welsh and Cameroonian roots, to Russian and Latvian roots as well. Her father is the legendary Quincy Jones, and her mother is Peggy Lipton, of The Mod Squad fame.

When asked back in 2012 what her experiences have been as a biracial actress in Hollywood, she had this to say to BET:

“It’s more of a challenge for other people than it is for me. I have no issues with my identity.

Other people think I should be settling into one thing or another, but I don’t want to be limited. I spent so much time when I was younger being limited. I wasn’t dark enough for some parts, or I was too light, or I wasn’t quirky enough.”

Check out Jones and Demski’s brief exchange below:


Quincy Jones On The New Michael Jackson Album: “Everybody’s After Money”

May 21st, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Derrick Salters/

Derrick Salters/

Though he’s been gone for quite some time now, Michael Jackson has got a new album on the charts, has lent his voice to a Jeep commercial and made a much-buzzed about appearance on the Billboard Music Awards moving like he hasn’t missed a day. Superstar producer Quincy Jones has got some thoughts on this surge of interest in all things MJ.

“They’re trying to make money. And I understand it. Everybody’s after money — the estate, the lawyers. It’s about money,” Jones told the Q talk show on CBC Radio. Jones worked on a number of Michael Jackson hits. Right now, “Xscape” is on its way to the top of the Billboard 200 charts. When asked if he was upset by all of these recent developments, Jones said yes, “but it’s not my business anymore.”

Besides any personal feelings he might have, Jones is embroiled in a lawsuit over the songs he worked on with the King of Pop.

“Jones’ comments come on the heels of a $10 million breach-of-contract lawsuit he filed in connection with Jackson’s projects released after the singer’s 2009 death. In a complaint filed last October in Los Angeles Superior Court, Jones alleged that master recordings he worked on were wrongfully edited and remixed so as to deprive him of back-end profit participation,” Billboard reports.

Anecdotally, we’ve seen comments on Twitter that echo what Jones is saying; that the people orchestrating this comeback are doing so for profit without regard for how disrespectful it is not to let Jackson rest in peace.

What are your thoughts on all of this? You can click through to Billboard to listen to the whole interview, BTW.

Who’s Bad? Quincy Jones Files Lawsuit Against Michael Jackson’s Estate

October 28th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Michael Jackson’s former musical mentor, Quincy Jones, has now sued Jackson’s estate. Jones claims he is owed millions in royalties and production fees on some of MJ’s greatest hits.

In his lawsuit Jones is seeking at least $10 million from the singer’s estate and Sony Music Entertainment, claiming the entities improperly re-edited songs to deprive him of royalties and production fees, reports The Huffington Post. The music was used in the movie This Is It and in a pair of Cirque du Soleil shows based on the King of Pop’s songs, according to the lawsuit.

According to Jones he should have also received a producer’s credit on the music in This Is It. His lawsuit is asking for an accounting of the estate’s profits from the works so that Jones can determine how much he is due.

The reknown producer worked with Jackson on three of his most popular solo albums, “Off the Wall,” ”Thriller” and “Bad.”

Jackson’s estate issued a statement that it was saddened by Jones’ lawsuit. “To the best of its knowledge, Mr. Jones has been appropriately compensated over approximately 35 years for his work with Michael,” the statement said.

An after-hours message that HuffPo left at Sony Music’s New York offices was not immediately answered.

Jackson’s mega hits “Billie Jean,” ”Thriller” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” are among the songs Jones claims were re-edited to deprive him of royalties and his producer’s fee.  His lawsuit states the producer’s contracts called for him to have the first opportunity to re-edit or alter the songs, in part to protect his reputation.

Image via WENN

John Singleton Says He’s Not A Fan Of The Surge In White Directors Covering Black Stories

September 19th, 2013 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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In an op-ed piece for The Hollywood Reporter, director John Singleton spoke about the problem with black stories in Hollywood being told without the help of black folks behind the scenes, and particularly, black directors being an afterthought. In recent years, white directors have been bringing to life a lot of the big films that have done well at the box office, and while Singleton lauded the movies that got it right (Taylor Hackford directing Ray, Norman Jewison for The Hurricane, and recently, Brian Helgeland’s 42), he shared some inquisitive thoughts about the importance of black folks being the behind the scenes to authentically share the stories of our icons and our people in general. Here are some tidbits from the piece that definitely stood out:

Hollywood’s black film community has always had a one-for-all-and-all-for-one attitude, openly cheering the success of any black-driven movie in the hope its box-office success will translate into more jobs and stories about people of color. But, at the same time, the success of black-themed movies like The Help and this year’s 42 points to a troubling trend: the hiring of white filmmakers to tell black stories with few African-Americans involved in the creative process.

 What if the commercial success of “black films” like 42 and The Help, which also had a white director, are now making it harder rather than easier for African-American writers and directors to find work?

That is exactly what people in certain Hollywood circles are debating. When I brought up the issue with a screenwriter friend, he replied, “It’s simple. Hollywood feels like it doesn’t need us anymore to tell African-American stories.” The thinking goes, “We voted for and gave money to Obama, so [we don’t need to] hire any black people.”

…I could go on and on about the white directors who got it right and others who missed the mark. But my larger point is that there was a time, albeit very brief, when heroic black figures were the domain of black directors, and when a black director wasn’t hired, the people behind the film at least brought on a black producer for his or her creative input and perspective. Spielberg did that on The Color Purple(Quincy Jones) and Amistad (Debbie Allen). Tarantino had Reggie Hudlin on Django Unchained.

 …But now, that’s changing; several black-themed movies are in development with only white filmmakers attached, including a James Brown biopic. That’s right, the story of “Soul Brother No. 1, Mr. Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” is being penned by two Brits for Tate Taylor, director of The Help…it gives one pause that someone is making a movie about the icon who laid down the foundation of funk, hip-hop and black economic self-reliance with no African-American involvement behind the scenes. One of Brown’s most famous lines was, “I don’t want nobody to give me nothing; open up the door and I’ll get it myself.” How is that possible when the gatekeepers of this business keep the doors mostly locked shut in Hollywood?

What Hollywood execs need to realize is that black-themed stories appeal to the mainstream because they are uniquely American. Our story reminds audiences of struggles and triumphs, dreams and aspirations we all share. And it is only by conveying the particulars of African-American life that our narrative become universal. But making black movies without real participation by black filmmakers is tantamount to cooking a pot of gumbo without the “roux.” And if you don’t know offhand what “roux” is, you shouldn’t be making a black film.

Of course, the usual audience for The Hollywood Reporter (predominately white folks) gave Singleton’s piece the thumbs down, but he makes some very honest points that black folks have been talking about for years. I don’t even have to always have a black director behind a major film (because directing is not for everybody), but the concept of doing a black story with no black people involved definitely sounds preposterous. But what do you think?

Check out his full piece over at THR.

Check Out The First Wedding Photo From George Lucas And Mellody Hobson’s Cali Wedding!

June 26th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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Donna Newman

Donna Newman

Move over NeNe! You’re not the only one who just tied the knot in a big way!

We told you a few days ago that Star Wars creator George Lucas, 69, tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend and Ariel Investments-leading love, Mellody Hobson, 44. The ceremony took place in Marin County, Calif. at the Skywalker Ranch, which is a movie ranch and workplace for Lucas. As you can see, the first photo from their high-profile ceremony has surfaced, showing a smiling Mellody in a gown by Peter Soronen, being held by an equally happy Lucas in his black suit. She looks so gorgeous!

According to the Daily Mail, the wedding was attended by Oprah, Samuel Jackson, Ron Howard, Harrison Ford, Robert De Niro, Quincy Jones and a few other notable names from Hollywood.

Steven Spielberg was even said to have made a toast at the reception, allegedly cracking a very nerdy yet appropriate joke by saying that the ‘force’ finally had a name, and it was Mellody. Get it? Like in the Star Wars movies where they say “May the force be with you”? You get it. 

Reports say that performances at the reception included songs by our girl Janelle Monáe and singer Van Morrison. We’re very happy for the couple, as they’ve been a major support to one another for years now and have been together since 2006. Congrats again!

The Piano Lesson: Legendary Producer Quincy Jones Launches Music Ed App

February 20th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP

Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP

Music legend Quincy Jones is getting into the app business. The famed producer has launched a music education app called Playground Sessions. Jones designed it as a Rosetta Stone-style product  and it teaches users how to play the piano.

The 79-year-old composer-producer also says the app will help children and adults learn how to read music and understand the mechanics of piano playing.

“The concept is brand-new. I have been praying for this for a long time. It has a learning concept similar to Rosetta Stone [language-learning software]. I’m blown away by this,” Jones explained in an interview, reports Billboard.

The musical app has real-time feedback and video tutorials from pianist David Sides and features about 70 popular songs by Beyonce and Justin Bieber, Katy Perry’s “Firework” and even standards like Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”

Jones, who has produced everyone from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson, said he hopes Playground Sessions will have an impact on music education programs in schools worldwide. Jones’ alma mater, Garfield High School in Seattle, will be among the first schools to test it out.

According to Billboard, Jones said of music education in the United States, “Our kids in this country know less than any other country. We need something like Playground Sessions to push us forward.”

More than a year ago Jones was approached by Chris Vance, who co-created the app and founded Playground Sessions, to help take the app to the public. Vance had worked alone on the application for three years. According to Vance, Jones understood the vision for the app and had a desire to make learning music a fun experience.

“I wish I had someone like him teaching me how to play the piano,” Jones said of  pianist Sides, who is known for his popular piano covers on YouTube, including his rendition of OneRepublic’s “Apologize,” which has garnered more than 10 million views. Check him out, along with the new app, in the video below.

My Heart Belongs To My Roni: Celebrity Men Who Like ‘Em Young — Real Young

January 3rd, 2013 - By Meg Butler
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Some celebrity men use their fame and fortune to keep upgrading their wives, girlfriends, and side pieces so that they look like they’re 20-something and others just date 20-somethings even when they’re old enough to be their grandfather. Check out these celebrity members of the Babysitter’s Club who aren’t afraid to dip into the last legal generation for a date.

Russell Simmons and Hana Nitsche

Photo Credit: Rob Rich/

Russell Simmons

Is it just me or do Russell’s women get younger and whiter the older he gets? His curent girlfriend Hana Nitsche is a German model who is 28 years younger than he is. Come on Russ, that’s pushing it.

You Were On That Song!? 9 Celebs Who Showed Up On Some Of Our Favorite Tracks And We Didn’t Even Know It

December 18th, 2012 - By IndigoBlack
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Whether these artists were huge names or little known artists at the time, they’ve been featured on some of our favorite songs over the years, producing, singing, writing, and more. While many of their voices and talents were ignored since all the attention was on the major artist of that time they were working with, they all went on to have a great deal of success in their own right, even passing up the people they once had to go through hell and high water to get on a track with. Interested in finding who sang on what? You know what to do–get to clickin’. (Sorry, but you knew that was coming…)

After Years Of Being Passed Up, Donna Summer To Finally Be Inducted Into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame–Posthumously

December 12th, 2012 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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I guess, as the saying goes, better late than never. *Kanye shrug*

The late singer and disco queen, Donna Summer, will finally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2013. After years of being nominated and then passed over for the Hall of Fame, which, according to The Boston Herald, already has folks like Madonna in that mug, the institution will finally induct her. In a piece called “Donna Summer’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Came Too Late” by Sarah Rodman over at, she said that she asked Summer a year ago if after always being a bridesmaid and never a bride (aka, getting nominated to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but never being inducted), if just being nominated was an honor to her. To that she replied,

“No, it’s an honor to win,” she said with a laugh. “That’s a bunch of baloney. I don’t care about the honor of being nominated, honor me and let me win! After about the third time, stop nominating me, I’m starting to feel like a loser.” Summer, a Boston native, continued to laugh a robust laugh and added “I’m just kidding. It is an honor to be nominated, seriously.”

Mhmmm…she was serious ya’ll (kidding!). Summer, of course, passed away earlier this year after having complications related to lung cancer NOT associated with smoking. So it’s interesting to see that after three nominations before the fact, folks at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally caved in when it was too late for her to celebrate and gave her the award. Maybe they were turned off in the past at the fact that her music was cold-blooded disco, R&B, gospel and more (you know some people who loooove rock had no respect for disco in the ’70s), but as was pointed out by the Boston Herald, Summer had more success than many of the rock stars already in the Hall of Fame, as she was raking in fans with classics like, “Last Dance,” “Bad Girls,” “Love To Love You Baby,” “Hot Stuff” and more.

Summer will be inducted into the Hall of Fame with a group that includes everyone from Public Enemy and Quincy Jones to Randy Newman, who makes some of the best songs ever for kids movies, including the Toy Story franchise. Coincidentally, after learning of his nomination, Newman joked with Billboard about thinking he would have to die first to get inducted. But as for Summer, though we wish she could have been around to take advantage of such an honor, it’s an honor nonetheless.


Pure Comedy: Quincy Jones Says Diddy ‘Couldn’t Recognize a B Flat If It Hit Him’

June 27th, 2012 - By madamenoire
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Quincy Jones at a Spotify launch event. (Source:


Quincy Jones was speaking at Spotify launch event on Tuesday when he slammed Diddy’s musical abilities.  Jones was quoted saying Diddy “couldn’t recognize a b flat if it hit him,” and went on to note the the hip-hop moguls marketing skills as his talents.  The Huffington Post reports:

“Quincy Jones is certainly one of the most influential producers of all time, having lent his midas touch to everyone from Ray Charles to Michael Jackson. As such, he’s an authority on music and is entitled to give his opinion on the careers of others in the industry. And on Tuesday, he had Diddy on his mind.”



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