Erykah Badu accepts Malaysia concert ban amid criticism of body art with Arabic word for Allah

Erykah Badu accepts Malaysia concert ban amid criticism of body art with Arabic word for Allah

By Associated Press, Published: February 29

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Soul singer Erykah Badu said Wednesday she holds no grudge against Malaysia’s government for barring her from performing after a photograph of her body art offended some Muslims.

More than 1,500 people had bought tickets to watch the Grammy-winning American singer at a Kuala Lumpur auditorium Wednesday, but Malaysia’s information minister announced on the eve of the concert that it could not proceed because a promotional photo of Badu with the Arabic word for Allah painted on her bare shoulders was “an insult to Islam.”
“It’s sad, because we traveled a long way,” Badu told a news conference. “But I’m totally understanding of (the minister’s) protection of the laws and its people. He doesn’t want anything to happen. I’m good with that.”

The photograph ignited criticism from some politicians and religious groups in Muslim-majority Malaysia after a newspaper published it Monday in a feature to promote Badu’s show. The daily has since apologized for what it called an “oversight” that led to the photo’s publication.

Badu, 41, said the photo was inspired by images from “The Holy Mountain,” a 1973 surrealist movie by Chilean-French filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky.

“I think art is often misunderstood in the realm of religion, and it’s OK,” she said. “In America, it’s a lot different. Art is also misunderstood but it is not such a harsh gesture to promote the names of God. I am learning and understanding about Islam in other countries more as we travel.”

Information Minister Rais Yatim said Malaysia’s Cabinet endorsed the ban Wednesday. Police feared that if the concert went ahead, it could cause “various situations that may lead to social excitement, and quarrels may break out due to religious sensitivities,” the national news agency, Bernama, quoted the minister as saying.

Public reaction to the concert ban has been divided. On Twitter, many Malaysians, including Muslims, accused the government of intolerance, but others praised authorities for being firm about defending religious principles.

Badu said she would “absolutely” welcome another chance to perform in Malaysia someday. She is scheduled to sing at a jazz festival this weekend in Jakarta, the capital of neighboring Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

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WHAT: In the 1980s, DJ Spinderella was a pioneer among female deejays as one third of the hip hop sensation Salt N Pepa. Since then Spinderella has gone on to become one of the world’s top deejays and has carved out a prolific career in a male-dominated industry. She’ll share her experiences with more than 200 Dallas youth participating in the Thriving Minds Career Connection spring break camp.

DJ Spin will lead a hands-on workshop in which youth will learn the art and craft of being a DJ using a traditional turntable and mixer. In addition, participants will explore the business side of the industry and available career paths such as artist management, marketing, finance, sound engineering and more.

During the weeklong Spring Break camp, DJ Spinderella will be among dozens of professionals from a variety of fields providing students a behind-the-scenes look at careers in a variety of industries, including dentistry, botany, engineering, fashion design, criminal justice and law. In addition to the music workshop, participants will experience careers in sports management with FC Dallas; fashion design and retail management at Fossil (the watch manufacturer); dentistry at the Baylor College of Dentistry?; and engineering and science careers at Lockheed Martin. Additional tours and workshops will take place at Central Market, 6th Floor Museum, Dallas Police Department and more.

Participating Dallas ISD middle schools include Anderson, Dade, Comstock, Cary, Edison, Hill, Lang, Long, Marsh, Medrano and Stockard. Sixth grade students from Blair, Carpenter, Cochran, Donald, Douglas, Moreno, Moseley, Stemmons and Stevens Park elementary schools, as well as youth from Jubilee Park Community Center also will take part.

WHEN: Media are invited to attend DJ Spinderella’s workshop, which will take place Friday, March 16 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. During that time, she will conduct an interactive deejay workshop for a small group of students. Media also are invited to attend from 2 -3 p.m. for a brief presentation from DJ Spinderalla as well as music demonstrations from the students participating in the morning workshop, followed by a post-camp celebration hosted by DJ Spinderella.

WHERE: Universities Center at Dallas, Main Lobby, 1901 Main St, Dallas, 75201. Reserved parking
for media is available at meters in front of the building.

Big Thought

For 25 years, Big Thought has provided creative learning programs that help kids imagine possibilities, excel academically and contribute to their community Driven by its mission to make imagination a part of everyday learning, Big Thought develops programs that address academic achievement and youth development by connecting classroom objectives and traditional teaching methods with arts, culture and creative learning. Through its partnerships, Big Thought serves more than 300,000 Dallas children, families and teachers each year, both in and out of the classroom. Annually, Big Thought also delivers more than one million hours of programming and individual creative instruction. A model to cities across America, Big Thought has achieved national recognition, including the Americans for the Arts “2009 Arts in Education Award” and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities “Coming Up Taller Award” in 2004. In 2011, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities selected Big Thought President/CEO Gigi Antoni as a “Champion of Change,” serving on a White House panel highlighting best practices in arts education. Learn more at

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Sy Smith set to release new album Fast & Curious

Sy Smith set to release new album Fast & Curious

Sy Smith’s fourth album Fast & Curious is exactly that. It’s plenty fast and wonderfully curious. Produced entirely by electronic remixer, jazz musician and deejay Mark De Clive Lowe aka MDcL. This project fuses elements of soulful house, downtempo electronica,and underground R & B to place Sy in a whole new class by herself: Electronic Soul
The album will be available on Tuesday March 6th

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Carol Riddick performs at benefit concert in Philadelphia

Carol Riddick performs at benefit concert in Philadelphia



Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Saturday, February 25, 2012 – The Bridge Builders will launch our inaugural event to show our brotherly love for one of Philadelphia’s most beloved music makers, Donald Robinson. This concert will be an evening of song and a celebration of triumph! It will include a silent auction and VIP reception following the concert.
Donald Robinson, who has offered a helping hand to many through his volunteer work and music ministry, has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. With mounting medical bills not fully covered by medical insurance, he and his family urgently need our support. The Bridge Builders have come together to help lighten the family’s burden during this challenging period. Please join us in being a bridge to the great achievements that are yet to come from Donald Robinson.
The concert will take place at Cedar Park Presbyterian Church located at 7740 Limekiln Pike, Philadelphia, PA 19150. Start time will be at 7:00pm followed by VIP Reception / Silent Auction: at 9:00pm. Ticket Donation price is $25, and the VIP Reception is $50. The currently scheduled artists to perform are Gerald Veasley, Carol Riddick, Stacey Harcum, Garfield Williams with more world class artists TBA.
In November 2011, we recognized the need of a great musician and friend who was diagnosed with a serious illness. Our hearts were moved to help our friend in need and we realized we could do more by working together than we could separately. This was the birth of The Bridge Builders.


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