John Legend is a six-time Grammy winning recording artist, a critically-acclaimed concert performer, and a well-spoken social activist named to the 2009 Time 100 list of the world's most influential people.
The artist launched his career as a session player and vocalist, contributing to best-selling recordings by Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Kanye West and others before recording his own unbroken chain of Top 10 albums -- Get Lifted (2004), Once Again (2006), and Evolver (2008) --each of them reaching #1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop charts.
John's debut, Get Lifted (released on his 26th birthday in 2004) earned an astounding eight Grammy nominations -- he won Best New Artist, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance ("Ordinary People") and Best R&B album -- while selling more than three million copies worldwide. His follow-up collection, Once Again, earned an RIAA platinum certification and a Grammy award for "Heaven" (which won Best Male R&B Vocal Performance).
In 2008, with the release of Evolver, his third consecutive Top 10 album, John Legend embarked on an extensive world tour with his ten-piece band, his largest traveling production to-date.
In 2007, John Legend launched the Show Me Campaign (ShowMeCampaign.org), a grassroots movement whose mission is “to break the cycle of poverty by investing in solutions that have been proven to improve people’s lives and to give them the opportunity to help themselves through education."
John's political activism reached an historic crescendo surrounding his support for Barack Obama. John's involvement included appearances at benefit rallies and concerts, a high-profile premiere of a new song, "If You're Out There," at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and a performance for the newly sworn in POTUS on Inauguration Day. The artist has become a much sought-after guest on political talks shows ranging from "Real Time with Bill Maher" to "Anderson Cooper 360º."
"He is a genius," wrote Quincy Jones in his tribute to John for the Time 100, "and we've seen only the tip of the iceberg. For all that he has already achieved in his career, it is going to be fun watching where he goes from here."
John's upcoming plans include the release of The Wake Up Sessions, a collaboration with the Roots.
Jessica Biel has become one of Hollywood’s most coveted leading women. Biel was most recently noted for her critically acclaimed performance in film THE ILLUSIONIST alongside Oscar nominated actors Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti. Entertainment Weekly magazine was quoted saying “Jessica Biel pulls off her most impressive trick yet: transforming herself into a turn-of-the-century Austrian duchess – and a serious art house actress.”
Biel recently signed on to star in the 20th Century Fox film THE A-TEAM alongside Bradley Cooper and Liam Neeson. The release date is scheduled for June 11, 2010.
Biel recently wrapped filming the Gary Marshall directed romantic comedy VALENTINE’S DAY along with Jennifer Garner, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba and Bradley Cooper. Biel’s character will play a publicist unlucky in love. The Warner Bros. film is set for release February 12, 2010.
Biel was last seen starring in the romantic dramedy, EASY VIRTUE opposite Colin Firth, Ben Barnes and Kristin Scott Thomas. She portrays an American who is in constant conflict with her new mother-in-law (Scott Thomas) after marrying a young wealthy Englishman on a spur of the moment trip to France. The film is based on the play by Noel Coward and adapted by writer/director Stephan Elliot. EASY VIRTUE premiered at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival to rave reviews and received an overwhelming positive response when screened again at the prestigious Rome, London and Tribeca Film Festivals. EASY VIRTUE opened in the US on May 22, 2009.
Biel starred in NAILED, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, James Marsden and Catherine Keener. This comedy was directed by David O. Russell and follows a waitress who g
ets a nail accidentally lodged in her head causing unpredictable behavior that leads her to Washington, DC, where sparks fly when she meets a clueless young senator (Gyllenhaal) who takes up her cause.
Biel shows great range in the dramatic film POWDER BLUE, in which she stars opposite Oscar winner Forrest Whitaker, Patrick Swayze and Ray Liotta. This dramatic film follows the lives of several Los Angeles strangers who meet by chance on Christmas Eve through a shared tragedy.
Biel was seen in the Universal comedy, I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY, opposite Adam Sandler and Kevin James. The film follows two straight, New York firefighters, played by Sandler and James, as they pretend to be a married gay couple. Biel plays their lawyer as they battle the city to receive domestic partner benefits. I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRYopened #1 at the box office and grossed well over $100 million domestically.
For her work in THE ILLUSIONIST, Biel received numerous awards including Hollywood Life’s Annual “Breakthrough Award”, the “Shining Star Award” at both the Giffoni Film Festival and the Maui Film Festival, as well as the “Breakthrough Performance Award” at the 18th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Biel also starred in the return-from-war drama HOME OF THE BRAVE opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci. In addition she starred in the sci-fi thriller NEXT with Nicolas Cage and Julianne Moore for Revolution Studios.
As a child, Biel initially pursued a career as a vocalist, performing in musical theatre. Starting at age nine, she starred in productions such as Annie, The Sound of Music and Beauty and the Beast. A natural beauty, she soon turned to modeling and commercial work by competing in The International Modeling and Talent Association’s Annual Conference in 1994.
In her feature film debut at age fourteen, Biel garnered acclaim for her portrayal as the rebellious daughter in Victor Nunez’s acclaimed film ULEE’S Gold, starring Oscar nominee Peter Fonda. She then went on to appear in such films as Disney’s, I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS with Jonathan Taylor Thomas; Warner Bros.’ romantic comedy, SUMMER CATCH, co-starring Freddie Prinze Jr.; Lions Gate Films’, THE RULES OF ATTRACTION, for director Roger Avary; New Line’s hit remake of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE; and New Line’s, BLADE: TRINITY with Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson and Ryan Reynolds; Cameron Crowe’s ELIZABETHTOWN, with Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst and Susan Sarandon; and STEALTH,starring alongside Josh Lucas and Jamie Foxx.
In her spare time, Biel is active with Make the Difference Network, an online organization that she started with her father, Jon Biel. MTDN is a “national wish list” where people can search, find and fund specific wishes that have been listed by nonprofit organizations. Through MDTN, Biel has become involved in such charities as Serving Those Who Serve, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and PETA. She was recently honored with the “National Impact Award” at the 2008 Heart of Los Angeles Gala and previously honored with the “Young Philanthropist of the Year” Award at the 2006 Golden Karma Awards for her charitable work. Biel’s hobbies include ballet, soccer, running, yoga and hiking with her dog, Tina.
During his career Carl Lewis won 9 Olympic gold medals, attended four Olympic games, earning himself international respect and a place in history as one of the truly great athletes of all time.
Giving Back An activist for family, youth, education, wellness and fitness, Carl Lewis brings his international celebrity to attract awareness for the challenges and opportunities surrounding these issues around the world.
Athlete of the Century During his career as an Olympic athlete, Carl Lewis was part of five American Olympic Teams, winning 10 medals, nine of them gold. With unsurpassed talent in the long jump and his speed in the sprints, he has gone places where no other track and field athlete has ever visited. His five Olympic appearances are a record for a male athlete, and many of his Olympic performances were in world or Olympic record time. His impressive track and field performances earned him the title of “Athlete of the Century”
Going the Distance For Those in Need Since his retirement from active competition in 1997, Carl Lewis has devoted a great deal of his time and energy to charity, founding “The Carl Lewis Foundation,” which serves as an umbrella for the many charities that Lewis supports including the “Best Buddies” organization, The Wendy Marx Foundation (for organ donor awareness), Ronald McDonald House Charities and many youth fitness groups. Recently he launched www.FitForever.com . Fit Forever is a website, created by Carl Lewis, that is dedicated to empowering youth and adults, and to improving their life conditions through physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.
A globally recognized advocate on water quality and policy, Alexandra continues the work of her renowned grandfather Jaques-Yves and father Philippe Cousteau. At 33, she has already mastered the remarkable storytelling tradition handed down to her and has the unique ability to draw audiences into the weighty issues of policy, politics and action.
Alexandra is dedicated to advocating the importance of conservation and sustainable management of water resources in order to preserve a healthy planet. Her global initiatives seek to inspire and empower individuals to protect not only the ocean and its inhabitants, but also the human communities that rely on the purity of our freshwater resources.
In 2008, she founded Blue Legacy, a Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit dedicated to exploring how humans connect to our water-based planet. Through projects like the recent Expedition: Blue Planet, Alexandra combines traditional film and social media to engage global audiences online—showing how individuals and communities contribute to an interdependent global water system, and how they can work together to protect it. In her first book This Blue Planet, to be published in 2011 by Dutton Publishing (a division of the Penguin Group), Alexandra will share stories and findings from her 100-day expedition—which took her from the Ganges River in India to the Okavango Delta in Botswana, throughout the Middle East and across both Cambodia and Australia.
Educated in International Relations at Georgetown University, Alexandra brings expertise and energy to the environmental issues that matter most. And she’s quickly establishing a name of her own. In 2009, Alexandra joined the Discovery Channel line-up, co-hosting “Blue August” with brother Philippe, Jr and serving as a Chief Correspondent on Water Issues for Discovery’s Planet Green. In 2008, she was honored as a National Geographic “Emerging Explorer”—an elite group of eleven visionary young trailblazers from around the world who push the boundaries of discovery, adventure, and global problem solving. She has been honored as an “Earth Trustee” by the UN and regularly delivers testimony on critical policy issues before the U.S. Congress. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Global Water Challenge, Mother Nature Network, and EarthEcho; and the steering committee of The Shark Alliance.
Fluent in English, French, and Spanish, Alexandra has served as a keynote speaker on environmental issues for organizations ranging from the United Nations, National Geographic, Harvard University and the Smithsonian, to the National Press Club, Bioneers and the Telluride Mountain Film Festival. She is regularly featured on CNN International as a Principal Voice, writes numerous columns for the international press, and was named with Tyra Banks as a 2008 Fun Fearless Phenom by Cosmopolitan magazine.
To honor the work and legacy of her father and grandfather, Alexandra requests that stories featuring her work or projects use either her first name (‘Alexandra”) or both her first and last name together (“Alexandra Cousteau”) in order to draw a distinction between the longstanding achievements of her family and the new projects she is undertaking. While it is understood that journalistic style often dictates the use of the surname when referring to the subject of a story, Alexandra kindly requests that writers limit the use of the “Cousteau” name in third person references. Please also note that neither Alexandra Cousteau nor her work are in any way affiliated with the Cousteau Society.
Though initially renowned singularly for his musical talents, Pete Wentz has evolved and taken new form, joining a pantheon of successful business moguls. Wentz, 30, is the bassist and lyricist of the Grammy nominated band Fall Out Boy, which over the past few years has released two multi-platinum albums that spawned the chart topping hits "Sugar, We're Going Down," "Dance, Dance," "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs," and "This Ain't A Scene, Its An Arms Race," among others. Their third effort “Folie A Deux” is out now and has already produced two hit singles “I Don’t Care” and “America’s Suitehearts.”
Over the past few years, Wentz has leveraged his initial music stardom into a complete portfolio of music recording and management, apparel, publishing, and bar and nightlife projects. His boundless range of talents and prolific entrepreneurial skills has solidified his place as one of entertainment’s most successful stars. Now the empire is spreading, and kids and corporate partners alike are responding.
Famously known for being the bassist and lyricist for Fall Out Boy, Pete Wentz has become a touchstone of the pop-punk scene. Fall Out Boy first exploded onto the music scene in May, 2005 with the release of From Under the Cork Tree. The album, which has achieved double platinum status, has sold over 2.5 million albums nationwide and had multiple hits including “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” and ‘Dance, Dance,” earning Fall Out Boy a “Best New Artist” nomination at the 2006 Grammy Awards. Since then, the band has released “Infinity on High” and “Folie A Deux,” as well as a DVD “Live in Phoenix,” which featured the remake of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” His escalating music career has spawned his one-man DJ company, Hemingway Wentz, Inc., and a host and co-producer stint on MTV’s “F’N Music” which plays classic and contemporary music videos.
Building on his past experiences as an up and coming artist, Wentz has tenaciously sought ways to help aspiring musicians take their careers to new levels. In 2005, Pete’s pursuit came to fruition when he founded the record label Decaydence. In just three short years since its inception, Decaydance has proved to be a powerhouse label and bellwether of the modern pop/punk/rock movement, having released critically and commercially successful albums by its artist roster including Gym Class Heroes, Panic At The Disco and Cobra Starship, among others, most of whom were found and nurtured by Wentz.
In its infancy the label partnered with Florida-based Fueled by Ramen and jointly distributed work through Atlantic Records. That deal expired at the end of 2007, though Decaydance will continue to work with those artists through their respective terms with FBR/Atlantic. In its new incarnation, Decaydance will put out albums on its own with the option to seek entrepreneurial partners for each release.
Pete’s creativity and success is not limited to music. An accomplished writer, Wentz released the book The Boy With A Thorn In His Side, a riveting story about the reoccurring nightmares which kept him stirring and awake as a child. The book, which was brilliantly illustrated by renowned tattoo artist Tim Biedron, brings Pete’s dark and intriguing subconscious to life, giving reader’s insight into one of music’s most fascinating minds. The Boy With A Thorn In His Side has sold more than 10,000 copies to date and served as the inspiration for his clothing line Clandestine Industries. Pete’s follow up book, Rainy Day Kids is currently in the works and he is also a regular contributor to LA Confidential magazine.
The release and success of Wentz’s “The Boy With A Thorn in His Side” inspired Pete to accentuate his vision to other creatively-driven industries and he launched Clandestine Industries – a clothing line for young men and women featuring graphic T-shirts, embellished hoodies and other staples of casual wear. In August 2007, Wentz partnered with famed fashion company DKNY on a co-branded line and in 2008, created a one-off partnership with the retailer Nordstroms. The label can now be found nationwide exclusively online at clandestineindustries.com, which re-launched at the start of 2009, as well as at the Clandestine Industries’ flagship store in Chicago and churns out new product regularly, not just seasonally.
Taking his empire to new heights, Wentz furthered his titles from musician, writer and designer to nightlife impresario by joining forces with Crush Management partners Bob McLynn and Jonathan Daniel in founding Angels & Kings, a fun, inclusive and eclectic bar and nightlife destination, originated in NYC. Established in 2007 the brand has become a staple in the nightlife industry boasting hotspots in New York City, Chicago and Barcelona.
Pete’s immense success as a musician and mogul has amplified his ability to give back to those in need. As a lodestar, Wentz has become an avid supporter and activist for Invisible Children, a non-profit organization created in 2005 dedicated to assisting children coping with the 22-year long civil war in Northern Uganda by transforming empathy into action. The organization aims to educate and inspire American youth and thus bring an end to the many injustices around the world. In March 2008, Wentz joined more than 1,000 youth from across the country to lobby Congress on behalf of the organization. Wentz also routinely contributes to and works on behalf of a host of children’s charities including the Madden Richie Foundation and Room To Grow.
A long time mixed-media artist, Wentz staged his first gallery show in December, 2008 at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles. Staged in conjunction with the works of Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes and titled “Without You I Am Just Me” the show featured more than 20 works created by Wentz and McCoy as both collaborators and individuals and offered limited edition signed prints and a show catalogue. The graffiti inspired pieces nearly sold out on opening night and the event benefited Invisible Children.
Collective Soul gained a special place in the hearts of music lovers when they burst onto the scene in 1993 with the rock anthem “Shine.” It’s hard to imagine that the band has been making music for nearly 2 decades since then. Hard, that is, until you turn on the radio and find yourself singing along to “You,” the new radio smash from the band’s upcoming self-titled album.
What inspires a multi-platinum band with a catalog of #1 hit singles to keep going? It’s quite simple: the love of the music. While it would have been easy for the members of Collective Soul – Ed Roland, Dean Roland, Will Turpin and Joel Kosche - to rest on their laurels, the excitement they feel for their forthcoming (and 2 self-titled) release is palpable. “Everybody just really took a big step, dug in, and worked together as a band. It was really nice,” says Ed Roland “It made everything smoother and that’s why I think it’s the best work we’ve done in years.” After years of touring together, with hit after successive hit, Collective Soul is as focused as ever.<
2009 found the band releasing their 8th studio album on Loud & Proud/Roadrunner Records. The album opens with “Welcome All Again,” a rousing number about life in the studio (Roland’s lake house), and is a sure bet to be the concert opener on the new tour. &ldquoThe lake house was extremely important to us,” says Ed, “It enclosed us so we had to get up in the morning and work all day. It’s a home, so it gave us freedom with time and schedules. Everyone can wake up, have their coffee, do their morning routine …then when the vibe starts you let it go until the vibe ends. I truly believe the lake house helped bring Collective Soul together, better than ever. ”
“You” is the first single Collective Soul has written together as a unit. Other hot tracks include the driving “Dig,” the sobering, yet funky riffed “My Days,” “Staring Down” which convinces us that the world doesn’t have to be a dark place a bad relationship, and “Fuzzy,” with the hole band harmonizing together as good as any Beach Boys single.
The record ends with a quiet, spiritual reflection in “Hymn For My Father:” “It's fitting,” says Ed, “I grew up singing hymns and with my father's passing 4 years ago it's truly a tribute to him. He taught me the music I grew up listening too which he loved and I really wanted to write a fitting tribute.”
Hailing from the city of Atlanta, Georgia, Collective Soul shot to international fame with their 1993 release Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, and their mega #1 hit “Shine.” The album was a collection of Ed Roland’s demos that spread quickly through the college underground circuit and caught fire, going on to achieve Double-Platinum status. After having been invited to the 25thAnniversary Woodstock concert, Collective Soul went into the studio to record their sophomore follow up. The self-titled Collective Soul, released in March of 1995, would be the album that would help define their sound of catchy melodies and guitar driven songs. Containing four outstanding singles (three of which reached #1), “December,” “The World I Know,” “Where The River Flows,” and “Gel,” it became Collective Soul's highest selling album to date. The album went Triple-Platinum and spent 76 weeks on the Billboard Top 200 charts.
Collective Soul went back into the studio and vented their spleen on 1997’s Platinum Disciplined Breakdown, which produced two more #1 hits, “Precious Declaration” and “Listen.” 1999 brought the album Dosage, a critically acclaimed set of songs that fans count as the band’s best. The album took a meticulous six months to record, and provided another strong showing for the band, producing the #1 hit song “Heavy,” which would take the top Billboard spot for a (then) record of 15 weeks. Of the band’s 5th studio album, Rolling Stone cheered, “Blender simply shreds with unapologetic classic-rock energy.” Once again, the band teamed with Resta, and created three more radio heavy smash hits with “Why, Part 2,” “Vent” and “Perfect Day,” a duet with Sir Elton John.
After releasing a Greatest Hits set entitled 7even Year Itch: Greatest Hits 1994-2001, Collective Soul ended their contract with Atlantic Records and created their own label El Music Group. The first release on the label was Youth (2004). The lyrics, in particular “Better Now,” declared the band's newfound confidence and independence. Two other records and a concert DVD were released under the El Music Group imprint: 2005’s EP From the Ground Up and 2006’s Home - their lush, live, concert event with the Atlanta City Youth Orchestra.
In 2007 the band made an exclusive deal with all Target stores to be the sole seller of their 7th Studio album, Afterwords. The fans dug it, opening at #25 on the Billboard Comprehensive Albums Chart and #5 on the Billboard Top Internet Albums Chart, proving Collective Soul was now conquering the digital world.
"Tremble For My Beloved" found Collective Soul on the soundtrack to one of the hottest movies of 2008 – Twilight. “We heard through the grapevine that Stephanie Meyer was a fan of Collective Soul's music and lyrics,” says Ed. Expanding to tweens opened up a whole new audience for the band.
Fast-forward to a new album with new fans, a new tour and new momentum. Collective Soul is excited by their latest studio effort and is back to having fun. And for all the “collective souls” who have followed the band from day one, Roland speaks from his heart: “Thank you for hanging in there with us and we hope you like the new album. We are all really proud of it.”
For years Sam Moore was best known for his work with the historic soul duo
Sam & Dave. The rapid-fire style, built on the call and response of gospel, was fashioned and pioneered by Sam and became the trademark of the duo. Songs like Hold On I’m Coming, I Thank You, When Something Is Wrong With My Baby, Soul Sister, Brown Sugar, Wrap It Up and his monster hit Soul Man catapulted them up both the Pop and R & B Charts. Sam & Dave sold more than 10 million records worldwide.
The music and sound of Sam & Dave became so popular that the duo served as the inspiration for The Blues Brothers parody by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.
Though he has tremendous love and respect for the music he created as “the voice” of the duo, Sam, who has been called “the blast furnace of soul,” has maintained his appeal and his stardom as a solo artist and continues to tour scoring critical acclaim for his work. He recorded Rainy Night In Georgia, as a duet with Conway Twitty, which earned them a platinum record as well as two Country Music Association Awards nominations. This was Twitty’s last recording.
The Grammy Award winner has countless television appearances globally including The Leno Show, Late Night With David Letterman, Later With Jools, The Today Show, Entertainment Tonight, The Grammys and many others. Sam has also appeared in several major movies including One Trick Pony, Tapeheads, Blues Brothers 2000 and Night of The Golden Eagle. A documentary filmed by the legendary D.A. Pennebaker for Miramax Only The Strong Survive in which Moore’s singing and life is prominently featured has earned him further accolades. Moore’s collaborated for recordings or live appearances with Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Sting, Elton John, Billy Joel, Annie Lennox, David Gilmore, Elvis Costello, Joe Cocker, Phil Collins, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Ricky Martin, James Taylor and countless others. His solo album, lost for 30 years, Plenty Good Lovin, earned him worldwide critical acclaim as well as the only 4 Star (****) rating in 2002 from USA Today.
A Grammy Winner, Sam has also been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, he’s also received the coveted NARAS Heroes Award, been inducted into the Grammy Song Hall of Fame for Soul Man, earned the ETAM ‘Living Legend’ Award and also awarded a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation.
Sam and a few dear friends, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and The Edge closed the 2006 Grammy Awards telecast with a stunning tribute for former Atlantic Records label mate Wilson Pickett.
Sam’s album released in 2006, “Overnight Sensational” earned him a Grammy nomination for “You Are So Beautiful” the stunning tribute to his best friend, Billy Preston who fell into an irreversible coma during the making of the album. Produced by the famous bass player/record executive and American Idol talent judge, Randy Jackson, the album has earned “rave” reviews and featured a stunning array of 27 friends like Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Sting, Vince Gill, Travis Tritt, Paul Rodgers, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Wynonna who dropped by to add a touch here and there on material by writers that range from Diane Warren and Garth Brooks to Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. That album, having been so critically acclaimed with raves and accolades to spare is being readied for a re-position release with additional bonus tracks and special packaging by summer of 10.
Sam was awarded the first ever MOBO Lifetime Achievement Living Legend Award at Royal Albert Hall in September of 2006; appeared at Kennedy Center Honors; Hootenanny; Soul Britiannia; The Led Zepplin After Party at the O2 Arena as well as filming a critically acclaimed TV Special that broadcast over two weekends in Japan called “Speak In Music”, Sam Moore The Soul Man.
His plans 2009-2010 include a Concert Tour, guest appearances with David Sanborn on David’s Phil Ramone produced project as well as appearances together at The Tokyo Jazz Festival and The David Letterman Show; special markets project with a series of popular Japanese artists and another television special for the Japanese market; the DVD about his famous 60’s duo, Sam & Dave which has just received the highest rating 5 Stars in Mojo Magazine,, a new solo album or two, an all star celebrity salute to him; he appeared at the Starkey Hearing Foundation “Super Bowl” hearing aide event in conjunction with The Jordin Sparks Super Bowl Fund Raiser in Miami; and he will be one of the featured performers at “Celebrity Fight Night” honoring Muhammad Ali in March.
Near, dear and of great concern to him is his devotion, commitment and involvement in championing the Performance Rights Act Federal Legislation designed to finally secure payments for all American recording artists when their songs are broadcast on AM & FM radio which will also finally allow all American artists to collect their broadcast fees from around the world that are collected annually but not available because there is no reciprocity. Sam Moore is determined to see to it that his peers finally get their rights to money that is literally life changing so much so he’s even testified before a House Sub-Committee and walked the halls of Congress personally to lobby for this right.
Sam has joined a very elite group of artists including Aretha Franklin, Jackie Wilson, Elvis, Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Sam Cooke and Ray Charles being named as one the Greatest 100 Voices in Rock History by Rolling Stone Magazine.
Most recently he performed at the NFL Hall of Fame Game Half Time Show with a 150 piece marching band, at Madison Square Garden/HBO with “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen on the Rock Hall of Fame’s 25th Anniversary Concerts. He’s
appearing in to new documentaries, “Poliwood” airing on Showtime and “Stand” on various cable outlets and in January The Sam Cooke Story part of the American Masters PBS Series.
Sam was just recently honored with a coveted Lifetime Achievement AFTRA AMEE (February, 2010) for his contribution to and excellence as an AFTRA sound recording artist for 50 plus years.
In February 2007, Melissa Etheridge celebrated a career milestone with a victory in the “Best Song” category at the Academy® Awards for “I Need to Wake Up,” written for the Al Gore documentary on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth.
Over the course of her more than two decades as a performer and songwriter, Etheridge has shown herself to be an artist who has never allowed “inconvenient truths” to keep her down. Earlier in her recording career, Etheridge acknowledged her sexual orientation when it was considered less than prudent to do so. And just two and a half years ago, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer, a health battle that, with her typical tenacity, she won. Despite losing her hair from chemotherapy,
Etheridge appeared on the 2005 Grammy® telecast to sing “Piece of My Heart” in tribute to Janis Joplin. By doing so she gave hope to many women afflicted with the disease. Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, Melissa Etheridge picked up the guitar at the age of eight and began playing in local bands in her teens.
After completing high school, Etheridge was accepted as a student at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, but left after only one year to make her way as a performer in Los Angeles. Her bluesy vocal style and riveting stage presence began earning Etheridge a strong following. Legend has it that in a chance encounter at a small club in Long Beach with music industry legend and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell she was signed on the spot.
Melissa's first album, Melissa Etheridge (1988), was a critically-acclaimed debut that led to an invitation to sing on the 1989 Grammy® Awards broadcast. For several years, her popularity built around such memorable originals as "Bring Me Some Water," "No Souvenirs" and "Ain't It Heavy," for which she won a Grammy® in 1992. Etheridge hit her commercial and artistic stride with her fourth album, Yes I Am (1993). The collection featured the massive hits, "I'm the Only One" and "Come to My Window," a searing song of longing that brought Etheridge her second Grammy® Award for Best Female Rock Performance. In 1995, Etheridge issued her highest charting album, Your Little Secret, which was distinguished by the hit single, "I Want to Come Over." Her astounding success that year led to Etheridge receiving the Songwriter of the Year honor at the ASCAP Pop Awards in 1996.
Melissa continued to write, record, and tour throughout the ‘90s and into the new millennium, releasing Skin (2001) and the upbeat Lucky (2004) along with her DVDs Live And Alone (2002) and Lucky Live (2004). 2005 marked the release of Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled, which includes "I Run for Life," commissioned by Ford Cares as part of their cancer initiative in support of The Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure. The album was recently re-released in an Eco-pak, to include Melissa's Oscar® winning song "I Need To Wake Up."
In April 2007, Melissa Etheridge received the distinguished ASCAP Founders Award honoring the anthemic power, compassion, and generosity of spirit of her music, and her enduring status as one of the greatest all-time female rock icons. In September 2007, she released her ninth studio album, The Awakening, a collection of powerful and playful yet confessional and engaging songs that was selected as one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 50 Albums of 2007.
“Fearless Love” a bold and soaring declaration for living – and loving – to the fullest, is the first single from Melissa Etheridge’s forthcoming album of the same title. Forged from Etheridge’s experiences as a musical and cultural activist, breast cancer survivor, parent, spouse and spiritual seeker, “Fearless Love” speaks to an uncompromising yearning. I need a fearless love, I won’t settle for anything less, she sings in the bracing chorus, setting the tone for the album. “Love has to be fearless,” Etheridge explains. “We need to have fearless love. That’s where I am right now.” The single and album were produced by John Shanks, whose first album production was Etheridge’s 1999 Breakdown. Since that collaboration he has risen to the top ranks of rock and pop producers with credits including Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morissette and Bon Jovi, winning the 2005 Producer of the Year Grammy Award. “Fearless Love” spotlights the album’s solid rock foundation with the core band of Etheridge co-producing the album and on acoustic guitar, Shanks providing imaginative lead guitar, color-filled keyboards from Jamie Muhoberac and the dynamic anchor of bassist Sean Hurley and drummer Victor Indrizzo.
I don’t want to make the same record over and over again. I not only want to represent lyrically where I’m at as a person today, but stylistically I want to represent the time that I’m in. I’m 37, which is different than 30, and which is different than 25. It’s a much different time in my life and I wanted the new record to reflect that.
cradlesong doesn’t sound like anything I’ve done before, and I think that’s important.”
Given Rob Thomas’s stature as one of modern music’s most compelling and commercially successful artists for well over a decade – between Matchbox Twenty, his solo work, and his various collaborations with iconic artists like Santana and Mick Jagger, his tally now stands at more than 80 million albums sold worldwide – it’s easy to let the charts and numbers overshadow the essential reason he’s come so far in the first place. As he says with typical understatement, “I’m a guy who hears songs in his head, and I have to write them down, and I have to get them out. I’m just lucky enough that I can make it my life’s work.”
Arguably the most accomplished singer/songwriter of his generation, for Rob it all comes back to the creative source. “I have to separate the idea of what I do for a living versus what I do. Songwriting is the only thing that makes sense to me. Years of doing it helps, but the truth is that the reason you do it for years is because it’s what you do. It’s the only thing that I have that kind of shorthand on… I don’t know cars, I don’t know sports, and I’m not a math whiz. This is something that I look at and it just makes sense to me.”
Making sense of his musical inspiration is what Rob Thomas does at an exceptionally high level. “It’s a two-part process – there’s inspiration and craft. The inspiration is the part that’s completely magical and you have no responsibility over. The inspiration is when you’re sitting in your car or in a room and you hear a melody. You love it, it sounds great, and then you realize that it doesn’t exist yet in the world, that it’s a melody you just came up with. That’s a process that you can’t be responsible for. The minute you start to claim ownership of it, you lose it. To paraphrase a quote from Quincy Jones, ‘the moment that success leads you to say, “I’ll take it from here, God,” that’s when God walks out of the room.’”
And as for the craft? “You have those moments when you are in full service of the feeling and you carry it as far as it takes you. And when that feeling stops, you put it away and at some point you have to go back and work on it. You say, ‘OK, this is where the inspiration took me, now what was it I was trying to say, where was it I was going? It’s this unbelievable process that when you’re done with it, every time you do it, for a second you feel like the most unbelievably creative person in the world, and then it goes away and you feel like you’re never going to do it again… and you have to start all over again. So you keep trying to get that feel, that high off of creating, that place that carries you from a blank page where nothing existed to a song that people are singing back to you at Madison Square Garden, if you’re lucky. That’s where the magic is.”
Which brings us to the latest magical collection of Thomas-crafted inspiration – his second solo album, cradlesong. It follows his 2005 multi-platinum solo debut, “…SOMETHING TO BE,” which made history as the first album by a male artist from a rock or pop group to debut at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 since the chart was launched 50 years earlier. The album earned a pair of Grammy nominations and spawned a string of hit singles, including the smash “Lonely No More” – which was #1 in 15 countries, “This Is How A Heart Breaks,” “Ever The Same,” and “Streetcorner Symphony.”
Cradlesong, with Matt Serletic again in the producer’s chair, was forged in a creatively charged atmosphere. “I built a studio in my basement, so a lot of these songs started with a drum beat,” Thomas says. “Up until this point in my life, everything had been written on acoustic guitar or piano, and I’d have to wait until I got into the studio and hear musicians get on it. Now I could have a good drum groove, get some guitars going, and then from that, Matt could hear it closer to how I was hearing the song.”
I like musical hybrids,” says Thomas about the direction of cradlesong. “Like, 'What would it sound like if we took Prince's drummer and mixed him with really amazing Nashville players?’ I like to take everyone just left of their comfort zone and record it.” One early point of reference was Paul Simon’s seminal “RHYTHM OF THE SAINTS.” “I wanted to find a new way to do something that felt like it had an urgency to the groove.”
The result is a percussive rock record that pulses with passion and energy. Vibrant guitars collide on songs such as “Fire on the Mountain” and the power pop gem “Give Me The Meltdown,” horns bolster the bouncy “Wonderful,” while electronic programming propels the dynamic “Real World ’09.” The title track is the sole ballad on an otherwise up-tempo set. “’Cradlesong’ is in there because it’s really a mellow tune,” says Thomas. “It’s kind of a ‘calm down, everything is going to be all right’ song.”
The album’s first single, the kaleidoscopic &ld
quo;Her Diamonds,” is the most personal song Thomas has yet committed to disc. Rob’s wife Marisol is courageously battling an autoimmune disease, and “Her Diamonds” was written “about a couple dealing with that on a day-to-day basis,” explains Thomas. “There’s an incredible amount of sadness that comes with something like that. There are moments where I think I flirted with a thinner personal line than I’ve ever done before, but, really, I’m writing a song about how people deal with hard times, and that hard time is universal, that hard time can be anything.”
That gift of turning the personal into the universal has long been a hallmark of Rob’s work. “If I can take a specific moment in my life and write about how that moment makes me feel – not about the moment, but the way the moment makes me feel, all of a sudden I’m in a territory where a lot of people can understand that. A lot of people understand that feeling; they have other things in their life that make them feel that way. If I write ‘3am’ about my mother dealing with cancer, that’s a very specific moment, but if I write about how that made me feel, then it opens up and it becomes a universal moment.”
Many of the tunes on cradlesong examine the frail and often evanescent nature of relationships. “I think that human relations, not just romantic but otherwise, are always at the heart of my songs,” says Rob. “They’re about how people interact with each other, how people treat each other at their best times and their worst times; that’s always a thread.”
In “Mockingbird,” a couple decides that happiness comes in falling apart, not staying together. The up-tempo beat belies the fact that “there’s nothing happy about that one at all,” Thomas says. Similarly, the piano-based “Someday” finds lovers hoping for a time when their tribulations cease. Rarely has doubt been encased in such a melodic, layered, and lush production.
cradlesong includes the dense, atmospheric “Fire On The Mountain,” which is built around one chord. The song draws upon Dave Eggers’s “What is the What” for its lyrical inspiration. “You know how it is when you’re in a book, you’re living in that space,” says Thomas, a voracious reader. “This is the first time I’ve ever done a song where I didn’t really write down the lyrics; I just sang them.”
cradlesong closes with “Getting Late,” a lovely, country-tinged acoustic benediction about the passage of time. With the reminder that time is fleeting, Thomas gently sends us back in the world.
It’s a world he views with boundless optimism and, despite the occasionally discouraging lyric, Thomas infuses that same spirit into cradlesong. “I’m not a mopey person; I don’t get satisfaction in heartache and despair. With the exception of a few things that start dark and stay dark, there’s usually a hopefulness at the end of each song,” he says. “There has to be; it’s the hopeful part that makes you want to share them with people. It’s the hopeful part that says you found some secret in the pain and maybe some other people will, too.”
Reflecting on the emotional impact his songs have had on countless listeners, Rob tells the story of “a woman who used to come to a lot of our shows. She was a really big fan, and she recently passed on of cancer. Her family sent me a picture of her gravestone, and in big letters all it says is ‘Ever The Same. Mother & Wife.’ The idea that a moment I had in my studio later became a song that was so personal and so important to someone… those are moments that you can’t explain and you can’t fabricate and you can’t recreate, and you’re not responsible for. I think that’s the reason why you’re drawn to writing songs in the first place, and I think it’s the reason why no matter how hard it gets, and no matter whether you have success or not, you still think it’s the greatest thing in the world… because it is. It’s not a great thing because of the material rewards you get from it; it’s great already, and the rewards are gravy on top of that.”
ROB THOMAS, IN FACT…
“The whole thing started 15 years ago because I had a bunch of songs,” says Rob of the genesis of Matchbox Twenty. Since then, he has penned a remarkable string of smashes, including their #1-charters “Push,” “3AM,” “If You’re Gone,” “Bent,” “Disease,” and “Unwell,” and other major hits like “Real World,” “Back 2 Good,” “Mad Season,” and “Bright Lights.”
In 1999, his smash collaboration with Santana, the Thomas-penned “Smooth,” earned Rob three Grammy Awards and today ranks #1 on Billboard’s “Top Hot 100 Rock Songs” chart and #2 on the magazine’s “Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs.” He has also worked with the likes of Willie Nelson, Mick Jagger, Marc Anthony, and Bernie Taupin.
In 2004, the Songwriters Hall of Fame presented Thomas with its premiere “Starlight Award” – created to recognize a composer in the early years of his or her career who has already made a lasting impact. He has won numerous BMI and ASCAP Awards, and has earned the Songwriter of the Year crown from both Billboard and BMI for two consecutive years.
With the 2005 release of his first solo album, the #1, multi-platinum “…SOMETHING TO BE,” Rob embarked on a major, sold-out world tour. He also appeared at the historic Live 8 multi-concert event in July 2005, performing both as a solo artist and joining Stevie Wonder for a duet version of the Wonder classic, “Higher Ground.”
In 2007, Thomas reunited with Matchbox Twenty for “EXILE ON MAINSTREAM.” Their first album in five years, the set combined a retrospective of their greatest hits with a six-track EP of new songs produced by Steve Lillywhite – including the RIAA gold single, “How Far We’ve Come.” Debuting at #3 on the Billboard 200, the RIAA gold “EXILE ON MAINSTREAM” scored the biggest first week of the year for a greatest hits collection.
Thomas landed another solo hit in 2007 with “Little Wonders,” from the soundtrack to the Disney animated feature, Meet The Robinsons. In December 2008, he performed at the 31st Annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington DC, where he paid tribute to Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey with an emotionally charged rendition of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” featuring a choir of 150 New York City policemen and firefighters.
Moving forward, Thomas will continue to toggle between his solo career and Matchbox Twenty. “Over the years, the other guys have evolved as writers,” says Rob. “Now that I have a solo outlet, we can be more creative together; we can be a band and really explore what Matchbox can become – the best of what it can be – without my ego as a songwriter getting in the way. The reason I do what I do is because I have all these songs that are always building up in my head, so it’s really cathartic to get a load of them out into the world and start over again. And the solo career is a really important way for me to do that.”
Goucher was the top U.S. finisher at the women's World Marathon Cup competition at the 2009 World Outdoor Championships. She finished 10th in a season's best time of 2 hours 27 minutes 48 seconds. Goucher's finish is the highest by an American woman in the World Championships marathon since Linda Somers finished seventh in 1995...
For the first time in 24 years, Americans appeared on both podiums at the 2009 Boston Marathon as Kara Goucher was third in the women's race (2:32:25) and Ryan Hall third among the men...Goucher turned in a history-making American performance by finishing third in the 2008 NYC Marathon. Crossing the line in 2 hours 25 minutes 53 seconds, it was the fastest marathon debut ever by an American woman; it was the fastest time ever by an American at the ING New York City Marathon; and it marked the first time in 14 years that an American woman placed in the top three in New York...
won the 5,000 and was second in the 10,000 at the 2008 Olympic Trials and placed 9th and 10th at the Olympics, respectively. Goucher made her half marathon debut a memorable one in setting a new American best time with her winning performance at the 2007 Great North Run Half Marathon in England. Her time of 1:06:57 bettered the previous U.S. record of 67:34 by Deena Kastor set last year in Berlin, but due to the downhill nature of the course, it will not qualify as the American record...
Goucher made history at the 2007 IAAF World Outdoor Championships by winning the first American medal ever in the women's 10,000 meters. Her racing savvy and closing speed earned her America's first World Outdoor medal in the 10 km, besting a pair of fifth-place finishes by Hall of Famer Lynn Jennings. Goucher took the bronze in a season-best time of 32:02.05. On July 26, 2006, in just her second 10,000-meter race, Kara Goucher became the second-fastest American ever at the distance, placing third in Helsinki in 31:17.12. Among Americans, only Deena Kastor has run faster. It was part of an amazing season that saw Goucher set personal bests at four distances.
After years of mutual injury and frustration, the Gouchers moved from Boulder to Portland, Oregon, in the fall of 2004, where both Kara and her husband, Adam, have flourished...
Goucher established herself as one of the top collegiate cross country runners while at Colorado. She was undefeated for the entire 1999 cross country season until the NCAA Championships, where she finished ninth... she returned in 2000 to win her second Big 12 cross country championship, the NCAA title and then won both the 3,000 and 5,000m at the NCAA Championships... was the only collegiate runner in the 5,000m finals at the 2000 Olympic Trials, where she finished 8th... Formerly Kara Grgas-Wheeler, she started running in the seventh grade because she wanted to win an award at her junior high school... to get the award, she needed academics, arts and athletics... she chose cross country because they didn’t make cuts...was a psychology major at Colorado... In 2001, she married fellow Colorado alum, distance runner Adam Goucher.
Career Highlights: 2008 Olympic Trials 5,000m champion and 10,000m runner-up; 2007 World Outdoor bronze medalist; 2007 USA Outdoor 10,000m runner-up; 2006 USA Outdoor 5,000m runner-up; 2000 NCAA Outdoor Champion in 3,000 and 5,000m; 2000 NCAA XC Champion.
“Her spirit is irrepressible, and she brings life to everything she touches.” – Peter Gabriel
With DJIN DJIN, her release on Razor & Tie/Starbucks Entertainment, Angelique Kidjo comes home. The critically acclaimed album recently won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Album. The much-celebrated singer, composer, and performer began in the Beninese port village of Cotonou, where she launched her career at the age of six. The political turmoil in her country led her to relocate to Paris, the capital of world music, and then ultimately to New York City, where she now resides. Her striking voice, stage presence and her fluency in multiple cultures and languages won respect from her peers and expanded her following across national borders. It also earned her access to humanitarians who sensed the passion in the words of her songs, resulting in her long-term dedication to global charity work.
Kidjo has traveled far and mesmerized audiences on countless stages, speaking out on behalf of the children in her capacity as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. Now with DJIN DJIN and the return to her musical roots, Kidjo has truly closed the circle in her life as she brings international artists to the musical world of her native country.
As a child, Kidjo was mesmerized by an iconic album cover of Jimi Hendrix, which led her to follow the African roots of music from the United States, Brazil and the Carribean. The results were the Grammy-nominated trilogy of albums, OREMI, BLACK IVORY SOUL and OYAYA. With DJIN DJIN (pronounced “gin gin”), Angelique Kidjo returns to the soul of Benin – and, for the first time, shares it with a cast of all-star guests, in a marriage of cultures that has significance far beyond music alone. Inspired by the traditions and culture of Kidjo’s native Benin in West Africa, the title of the album refers to the sound of the bell that greets the beginning of a new day for Africa.
The diversity represented by Alicia Keys, Peter Gabriel, Josh Groban, Carlos Santana, Joss Stone, Branford Marsalis, producer Tony Visconti, and the others who contribute to DJIN DJIN speaks to the lesson of this project: For all the differences in the music of our time, the river of Africa flows through it all.
The key was to build DJIN DJIN on a Beninese foundation. The heartbeat, then, comes from percussionists Crespin Kpitiki and Benoit Avihoue, both members of Benin’s Gangbé Brass Band. Details of their country’s rhythmic heritage, specific in some cases to individual villages, feed the rhythms they lay down throughout the album.
To this mix Kidjo welcomes players whose backgrounds complement the idea of DJIN DJIN: drummer Poogie Bell, known for his work with Erykah Badu and Chaka Khan; funk keyboard wizard Amp Fiddler, whose credits include Prince and George Clinton; Larry Campbell, whose multi-instrumental work has adorned the music of Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, and Paul Simon; Senegalese bass giant Habib Faye, a fixture with Youssou N’Dour; guitarists Lionel Loueke, from jazz legend Herbie Hancock’s band; Romero Lubambo, a Brazilian wonder whose credits include Diana Krall and Dianne Reeves; Joao Mota, from Guinea-Bissau and kora master Mamadou Diabate.
Each player is a virtuoso but, more important, is open to taking creative chances. “It was important to me that all of these great musicians come with me back to my roots,” Kidjo says. “I’ve never compromised those roots because I know my identity, and I’ve learned that in order to give through music, you have to position yourself among other individuals who may be from different cultures and background and then find ways to discover that we’re actually not different at all.”
Kidjo set some of the new material on DJIN DJIN into the languages of Benin, Nigeria, and Togo. She has written and sung extensively in French and English as well, but for this mission the lyrics came to her from further back in her history. The title track, “Djin Djin,” is a reminder to live each fleeting moment as fully as possible. Her songs embrace the joys and sorrows of life: the magic of birth (“Salala”), the uniqueness of each person even on this crowded planet (“Arouna”), the temptations of violence (“Mama Golo Papa”), the healing and learning potential of music (“Awan N’La”), the lessons offered as youth yields to age (“Sedjedo”) and isolation deepens in modern society (“Emma”).
But Kidjo doesn’t hold back her anger, expressed here toward wealthy classes enslaved by love of money (“Senamou (C’Est L’amour)”). She also looks forward to the day when leaving Africa to seek fortune far from home won't be the only solution for a desperate youth (“AE AE”). On her rendition of Sade’s “Pearls,” she extols women who are strong, yet suppressed and unable to escape the pain of existence. On another cover, a brilliant a cappella arrangement of Ravel’s Bolero entitled “Lonlon”, she illuminates the bridge that stretches from European classical music to the wellspring of northern Africa. And on “Gimme Shelter,” Kidjo transforms the Stones classic into an exuberant pan-national performance that nonetheless translates into a warning.
“This song means a lot to me,” she says. “Look at what’s going on: Fire is burning in our streets. Terrorists, in the name of God, are coming to destroy what we’ve worked for. If you don’t give shelter to the people who most need it, if you don’t treat them as your brothers and sisters, then what hope do we have?”
The contributions of stellar guest artists illuminate Kidjo’s concept. By finding a place for their distinctive talents within the marriage of African and Western influences, DJIN DJIN celebrates the beauty of diversity as well as the unity of cultures that Kidjo achieves through her music.
These giants include Peter Gabriel on “Salala” (“He’s done so much for African music; in fact, there’s something African in his way of singing, moving, and writing his songs”); Alicia Keys on “Djin Djin” (“When she heard the Beninese drums in the studio, she said, ‘Wow, this is hip-hop!’ She understood it perfectly – and she sang so beautifully”); Joss Stone on “Gimme Shelter” (“We’re friends, so when I played her what we were doing in the studio, and she insisted on being a part of it, I was so happy that we could make this happen”); Josh Groban on “Pearls” (“He sings so effortlessly,” Kidjo says, “and yet you know that it isn’t easy to sing at that level of virtuosity”); Ziggy Marley on “Sedjedo” (“He understands so well the connections between the music of Jamaica and the rhythm of Africa – especially the gogbahoun rhythm that comes from my village”), Carlos Santana on “Pearls” (“He’s not only a guitar player: With his guitar he sings, he dances, he swings, he cries – and he has huge respect for Africa”); Branford Marsalis on “Djin Djin” (“He’s my brother! When he plays, you never know what you’re going to hear or where his wonderful ideas will take the music”); and Amadou and Mariam on “Senamou” (“We go so far back as friends; it was a special blessing and a gift to have them on the album.”)
Producer Tony Visconti (David Bowie, Morrissey) helps to bring each track on DJIN DJIN to full sonic bloom. Recorded at Electric Lady Studio in New York, with participants gathered in a studio made intimate by carpets, couches, and home-like accoutrements, these performances testify to the power of music to simultaneously unify and free those who make it and hear it.
“When we had finished our recording, we were all so sad because we had come together as a family, all within just two weeks,” Kidjo recalls. “Music brings us together, but after the music is over, you go back to your home, to your neighborhood, knowing that you can make a difference. You have to be proud of who you are. Whether you were born in America or Africa, you can celebrate life.”
Kidjo’s point is as simple as it is profound: The celebration only begins with DJIN DJIN and will last as long as you want it to after that.
An accomplished competitor and triathlete, Jenny Fletcher has already taken first place in the 2009 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, the 2009 Nautica South Beach Triathlon and the 2009 Los Angeles Triathlon. She also came in second place in this year’s Avia Wildflower Triathlon and third in the Nautica New York City Triathlon. At the 2009 Triathlon World Championships, Fletcher finished as the first Canadian in her age group and third Canadian woman overall.
Now in her fifth year of racing, Fletcher is taking her triathlons to a higher level, with goals of placing in the top overall as an Elite Amateur in each race.
With a variety of interests, Fletcher has been involved in a wide array of activities since a young age. After participating in track and field, volleyball and basketball in school she moved on to tetrathlon, a sport consisting of running, swimming, shooting (air pistol) and cross-country horse jumping.
At the age of 15, Fletcher was discovered by international modeling agency Mode Models and quickly learned to balance this with traveling around the world to complete with the Canadian National team in the modern pentathlon competition, which is similar to tetrathlon, at the World Championships.
After moving to New York City, Fletcher started running in marathons, which eventually led to her interest in triathlons.
Bringing further perspective to a 30-year career distinguished by a string of entrepreneurial successes, including his role in producing some of the world's most ambitious, media-convergent live musical events, Kevin Wall is founder and chief executive officer of Live Earth. Wall leads the transformation of Live Earth from a one-time musical event into an ongoing advocacy organization, seeking to combat climate change by reaching global audiences through the power of music.
In 2005 Wall founded Control Room to create live entertainment accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Its most potent realization came on 07/07/07 with "Live Earth," the 24-hour, seven-continent concert series which reached an estimated global audience of two billion. Inspired by the documentary An Inconvenient Truth, Wall conceived a groundbreaking musical event that sought to deliver an urgent yet hopeful call to action on global warming. He designed the multimedia architecture, enlisted over 150 headlining artists and forged a matrix of strategic partnerships, including one with former Vice President and recent Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore and his organization, the Alliance for Climate Protection.
Previously innovating the "digital, platform-agnostic approach" now followed by major television networks, Wall executive produced "Live 8," tapping three decades of experience in music promotion and production, live television, the Internet, and venture capital investments in convergence technologies. The massive live event earned Wall an Emmy Award as it motivated millions of viewers worldwide to pressure Western governments to take action on African aid and debt relief. Wall's long career developing and producing hundreds of live musical shows also includes Bob Dylan's "30th Anniversary Concert Celebration" featuring Eric Clapton and George Harrison at Madison Square Garden, Michael Jackson's "The Dangerous Tour" live in Bucharest, "The Wall: Live in Berlin," "Amnesty International: Human Rights Now," "3 Tenors Live in Concert," and specials for Prince, Eric Clapton and Elton John. Early in his career, Wall established the first portable staging company to accommodate the staging, lighting and outdoor production needs of large stadium and arena concert tours by The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and The Who, among other artists.
In other business sectors, as vice chairman of iXL, a global Internet consulting firm, Wall led the strategic acquisition and organization of 42 Internet design and consulting companies to build a venture with 3,000 employees, 38 offices and annual revenues of over $400 million. A co-founder of Shelter Capital Partners, a $175 million venture capital fund, Wall is currently invested in a dozen companies in the semiconductor, software and convergence sectors.
Ian Barbour is the general manager of Dow Water Solutions, based in Edina, Minn. He is responsible for developing and implementing Dow's water strategy and oversees the global operations of the business, which numbers approximately 1,200 people and five manufacturing facilities across the globe.
Dow Water Solutions, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, is dedicated to providing innovative, technology-based solutions to a broad spectrum of water needs—from making seawater fit for human consumption and industrial use, to contaminant removal in municipal water supplies, to purifying industrial and residential water, and reducing and reclaiming water used in industrial processing. Our commitment through innovation and expertise to provide a clean and safe water supply is an example of how the Human Element at Dow is contributing to a more sustainable world.
Barbour joined the Liquid Separations business in July 2000, and has spent the last eight years in the water industry growing Dow's business. As a 26-year employee of The Dow Chemical Company Barbour has led various company initiatives, including the acquisition of OMEX Environmental Engineering in July 2006 in China and launching the Dow Water Solutions business in September 2006.
Barbour's career at Dow has largely been based in the commercial arena with roles in sales, marketing, market research and supply chain for several business units.
Barbour was born in Pinetown, South Africa. He was educated in the United Kingdom, and holds a master's degree in psychology from the University of St. Andrew's, Scotland.