All posts by LaRita Shelby

LaRita "Jazzy Rita" Shelby is a broadcast media & marketing professional. She serves as V.P. of Marketing and Special Programming at Additionally she is an actress, singer/songwriter who has appeared on TV and in film.
halle berry (frankie and alice)

Halle Berry Compares ‘Frankie & Alice’ Role to Her Own Hollywood Struggles

halle berry (frankie & alice)

Halle discusses her connection to portraying Frankie and how an unwavering will to survive allowed them both to persevere.

*Academy Award® winner Halle Berry (Best Actress, Monster’s Ball, 2001) “gives a tour-de-force performance” (Access Hollywood) in the riveting psychological drama, Frankie & Alice, which has arrived on DVD (plus Digital), Digital HD, Video on Demand from Lionsgate Home Entertainment and Codeblack Films.

Berry will “have you captivated from beginning to end” ( in her Golden Globe ® nominated portrayal of Frankie, a woman with multiple personalities trying to put her life back together.

From the executive producers of Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, the film also features Stellan Skarsgård, Phylicia Rashad and Chandra Wilson. The Frankie & Alice DVD including a “making of” featurette, will be available for the suggested retail price of $26.98.

The remarkable true story of an African American go-go dancer named “Frankie” who has dissociative identity disorder (DID).

She struggles to retain her true self while fighting against two very unique alter egos: a seven-year-old named “Genius” and a Southern white racist woman named “Alice.”

In order to stop the multiple voices in her head, Frankie (Berry) works with a psychotherapist (Skarsgård) to uncover and overcome the mystery of the inner ghosts that haunt her, and the truth that is locked inside her mind.

Photo courtesy of The Music Center- 2014 Scholarship applicants can apply through October 1st at

The Music Center Seeks High School Students for Annual Spotlight Program

The Music Center- Seeks High School Applicants

Photo courtesy of The Music Center- 2014 Scholarship applicants can apply through October 1st at

*LOS ANGELES  – The Music Center today announced that applications are open for The Music Center’s 27th Annual Spotlight Program. Southern California high school students who are interested in the performing arts are encouraged to apply to participate in Spotlight, one of the nation’s premier arts education and scholarship programs for teens.

The program, which provides arts training by professional artists and awards more than $100,000 in scholarships, is part of The Music Center’s commitment to helping all students receive outstanding arts learning experiences in their schools and in the community. More than 40,000 students have participated in Spotlight to date, and the program has awarded more than $1.5 million in scholarships to aspiring performers and artists.

Spotlight is free and open to all students who attend high school in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Students of all skill levels can apply in one of seven categories, including ballet, non-classical dance, classical voice, non-classical voice, classical instrumental, jazz instrumental, and acting, a new category added this year. Those students applying to the acting category must apply by October 1, 2014. Students interested in all other categories must apply by October 20, 2014. Applications are available at

Spotlight was developed by The Music Center to offer distinctive learning opportunities at every stage of artistic development. According to Jeri Gaile, director of The Music Center’s Spotlight program, Spotlight provides invaluable professional guidance in the performing arts to thousands of Southern California high school students each year. “Spotlight is much more than a competition; it provides an opportunity not only for artistic growth, where young artists can improve their audition and performance skills, but also a pathway for personal growth as young performers gain confidence and self-esteem. Those are skills that are critical for success in life,” she explained.

All students enrolled in the program work with professionals to develop audition skills and knowledge in their performance disciplines. Those students selected by professional judges to advance as semifinalists participate in master classes, compete to perform at The Music Center and receive cash scholarships. Grand Prize Finalists in each category receive $5,000 scholarships. Honorable Mentions receive $1,000 scholarships and semifinalists receive $300 scholarships. In addition, selected preliminary students will receive $100 scholarships.

In addition to the new acting category, The Music Center announced several changes to The Spotlight program for 2014, including the discontinuation of the two-dimensional and photography categories in favor of a greater emphasis on the performing arts. More opportunities will be added for students to gain insights about preparing for college and careers in the arts and related fields. This year, the culminating performance will be presented on stage at The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. Numerous Spotlight participants have gone on to successful professional careers. Fifteen finalists are Presidential Scholars, and many more have joined or performed with professional companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theater, Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, among others. They include Misty Copeland, who made history as the first African American female in two decades to be appointed soloist at American Ballet Theatre; Adam Lambert and Josh Groban, pop recording artists; Erik Altemus currently starring in Pippin on Broadway; Yao Guan Zhai, associate principal clarinet of the Toronto Symphony; Gerald Clayton, Grammy Award winning jazz recording artist; and many others. Many alumni return to the program to participate as judges and class instructors. Fredric M. Roberts is founding chairman of The Music Center Spotlight Awards, and Walter Grauman is creator/executive producer. For more information about The Music Center’s Spotlight program, visit or join the conversation on

About The Music Center Now celebrating its 50th anniversary year, The Music Center is Los Angeles’ home to the world’s greatest artistic programs and events. With four iconic theaters and four renowned resident companies – Center Theatre Group, the LA Master Chorale, the LA Opera and the LA Philharmonic, and recognized for its illustrious dance programming, Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center – The Music Center is a destination where audiences find inspiration in the very best of live performance, as well as nationally recognized arts education and participatory arts experiences.

For more information, visit

Rance Allen Group

Rance Allen Group Releases ‘A Lil’ Louder (Clap Your Hands)’

The Rance Allen Group releases 6th project on Tyscot Music

The Rance Allen Group releases 6th project on Tyscot Music

*(Indianapolis, IN)  - Yes, you’ve heard the buzz that the legendary Rance Allen Group has been in the studio and the group’s debut single “A Lil’ Louder (Clap Your Hands)” is nothing less than a gospel hit.

Fans of the Stellar award-winning Rance Allen Group (RAG) will hear a fresh, new sound from one of the most successful gospel trios in history.

Backed by the stratospheric falsetto of Bishop Rance and brothers Thomas and Steve, “A Lil’ Louder” will excite loyal fans and attract new listeners who crave the kind of gospel sound that makes it impossible to stay seated.

The single sets the tone for the much anticipated RAG project.

“We know this song will make anybody listening get on up, clap their hands, and praise the Lord,” said Bishop Allen who started the group over 40 years ago. “You see, all of God’s children face strife, pain and life difficulties.”

“But, through it all, God is there. He’s with you all the way – through all your trials and all your triumphs. ‘A Lil’ Louder’ inspires listeners to just take a few minutes and praise Him. Always remember that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. You have a praise inside of you…you just have to make sure that you give God a praise that is bigger than any problem you might have. So clap your hands a little louder!”

Known for such beloved gospel anthems as “Something about the Name Jesus,” “Do Your Will” and the cross-over smash “Miracle Worker,” “A Lil’ Louder” might be a surprise to some. While it is unmistakably gospel music, there is a heavy layer of R&B and soul sounds to compliment the lyrics. Tyscot Music & Entertainment founder Dr. Leonard Scott calls the fresh, new style the “modern-day ‘Miracle Worker.’

“The horns, the rhythmic hand-clapping and the captivating message behind the song gives this iconic group an updated, 2014 feel,” said Scott. “The Rance Allen Group’s music has captured Christians for more than 40 years and we know that A Lil’ Louder is the kind of song that keeps the trio’s legacy alive… not just for their original fan-base, but for their children, grandchildren and generations to come.”

Co-written by Floyd “Timeless” Thomas and Rance Allen, A Lil’ Louder (Clap Your Hands) reminds listeners to clap hands, stomp feet and raise their voices in praise to God for the good He’s done.

“The energy this song brought out in us in the recording studio was truly God-sent,” said Bishop Allen. “I am humbled by the blessing our Father has bestowed in us and I hope that whoever hears this track will praise Him for what He’s doing and what he brought them through.”

Visit to listen to A Lil’ Louder (Clap Your Hands).

About The Rance Allen Group:

Tyscot recording artist, The Rance Allen Group (RAG) is one of the most explosive groups to emerge on the gospel scene in the 1970s. Their sanctified soul hits such as “Ain’t No Need of Crying,” “I Belong To You,” and their consecrated cover of The Temptation’s “Just My Imagination” placed them in a pantheon of deep soul artists like Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes. In the decades since, the Allen Brothers (Rance, Tom and Steve) built on their strong foundation with the R&B crossover smash “Miracle Worker,” “Do Your Will,” and “Something About The Name Jesus.” Their sacred-secular musical fusion, chunky harmonies, lyrical messages of faith and fraternity, and Rance’s stratospheric falsetto have made them standout as one of the most dynamic groups to ever shuffle across the stage of Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater. Their legendary song has earned the Monroe, Michigan natives two Stellar awards, including the Dr. Bobby Jones Legend Award, three Grammy nominations, a Soul Train nomination and an induction into the International Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Currently residing in Toledo, Ohio with their families, the group continues to tour and minister through music across the country. The 2014 album release marks the group’s 6th recording project with Tyscot.

For more information and updates on The Rance Allen Group, visit


Tyscot Records

Atty. General Eric Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder Makes Statement on Developments in Ferguson, Missouri

Atty. General Eric Holder issues a statement on the situation in Ferguson, Missouri

Atty. General Eric Holder issues a statement on the situation in Ferguson, Missouri

*WASHINGTON- Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement Thursday following his meeting earlier today with President Obama to discuss the latest developments in Ferguson, Missouri:

“This morning, I met with President Obama to discuss the events in Ferguson, Missouri. Like the President, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Michael Brown. While his death has understandably caused heartache within the community, it is clear that the scenes playing out in the streets of Ferguson over the last several nights cannot continue.

“For one thing, while the vast majority of protests have been peaceful, acts of violence by members of the public cannot be condoned. Looting and willful efforts to antagonize law enforcement officers who are genuinely trying to protect the public do nothing to remember the young man who has died. Such conduct is unacceptable and must be unequivocally condemned.

“By the same token, the law enforcement response to these demonstrations must seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them. Those who peacefully gather to express sympathy for the family of Michael Brown must have their rights respected at all times. And journalists must not be harassed or prevented from covering a story that needs to be told.

“At a time when we must seek to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community, I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message. At my direction, Department officials have conveyed these concerns to local authorities. Also at my direction, the Department is offering – through our COPS office and Office of Justice Programs – technical assistance to local authorities in order to help conduct crowd control and maintain public safety without relying on unnecessarily extreme displays of force. The local authorities in Missouri have accepted this offer of assistance as of this afternoon.

“Department officials from the Community Relations Service are also on the ground in Missouri to help convene law enforcement officials and civic and faith leaders to plot out steps to reduce tensions in the community. The latest such meeting was convened in Ferguson as recently as this morning. Over time, these conversations should consider the role that increased diversity in law enforcement can play in helping to build trust within communities.

“All the while, the federal civil rights investigation into the shooting incident itself continues, in parallel with the local investigation into state law violations. Our investigators from the Civil Rights Division and U.S. attorney’s office in Missouri have already conducted interviews with eyewitnesses on the scene at the time of the shooting incident on Saturday. Our review will take time to conduct, but it will be thorough and fair.”

LeA Robinson

Who is LeA Robinson?

LeA Robinson, new music sensation

LeA Robinson, new music sensation

*Affectionately known as the “Granddaughter of Hip-Hop,” LeAnetta Robinson, or simply LeA, is the granddaughter of musical legend Sylvia Robinson, founder of Sugar Hill Records.

The outgoing, ambitious, and eccentric singer, songwriter and dancer is also recognized by her elaborate MTV Super Sweet 16 episode. Born and raised in New Jersey, LeA’s creative ambitions are running parallel with her destiny, which is bound for success.

At the age of 16, LeA became a Teen Ambassador for the United Nations and also partnered with charity organization, Comedy Cures.   As an ambassador LeA was able to perform the National Anthem for the NETS & Bucks NBA team, World AIDS Day events, UN Year of Youth, The Waldorf Astoria for First Ladies and much more. Making appearances at such events, LeA has been able to generate and connect with her growing fans, which refer to themselves as #LeAnation.

LeA Robinson.  Granddaughter of hip hop,  next generation star.

LeA Robinson. Granddaughter of hip hop, finds her voice!

As LeA grew and matured, her music began to reflect her true emotions and life experiences. The songs that she would pen reflected more of an autobiographical tone. Her debut album 808s & Leggings, is a true reflection of her transparent process blossoming into young womanhood through R&B and hip-hop infused sounds. Collaborating with burgeoning producer Kyle “K2” Stewart II [WeTV Tamar & Vince theme “Monday & Friday” and Fantasia “Without Me”], LeA’s songs speak to #LeAnation with passion and power. With titles “What Love Will Do,” “Flowers and Candy” and the Fonda Rae infused “Higher,” there’s no escaping LeA’s infectious energy through her music and performance.

LeA is fully able to express and share her life with the world in a three-minute song. Her music is influenced by a variety of genres including country, hip-hop, classical and rock and roll with her mother and legendary grandmother playing a large role in the support of her career.

LeA believes that her star is still being molded and the best is yet to come. Planning to make her mark by staying true to God and her purpose, LeA is currently preparing for the release of her first single “Pump It Up” featuring Sonyae Elise while promoting her 808’s & Leggings Mixtape stating, “I’ve never felt more proud to release such a great collection of music to the world.” And the legacy continues.

Instagram: @TheLeARobinson

logan westbrooks

Logan H. Westbrooks Receives Honorary Doctorate

Pictured Left to Right: Cheryl Golden, Ph.D, Vice President of Academic Affairs/Academic Officer; Robert Lipscomb, M.B.A & Chairman of the Board of Trustees; Johnnie B. Watson, President of LeMoyne Owen, L.L.D.; Jeff Johnson, Honorary  Doctorate Recipient and Commencement Speaker 2014; Dr. Logan H. Westbrooks, Honorary Doctorate Recipient 2014.

Pictured Left to Right: Cheryl Golden, Ph.D, Vice President of Academic Affairs/Academic Officer; Robert Lipscomb, M.B.A & Chairman of the Board of Trustees; Johnny B. Watson, President of LeMoyne Owen, L.L.D.; Jeff Johnson, Honorary Doctorate Recipient and Commencement Speaker 2014; Dr. Logan H. Westbrooks, Honorary Doctorate Recipient 2014.

*Music industry legend Logan H. Westbooks was recently conferred an honorary degree of Doctorate of Humane Letters from LeMoyne Owen College in recognition of his leadership in improving education and the quality of life in Memphis and the nation.

Dr. Johnny Watson, President of LeMoyne Owen College stated: “Logan Westbrooks’ work as a pioneer in the music industry, entrepreneur, philanthropist, author and church leader, along with his commitment to furthering education, makes him an inspiration to our students.”

LeMoyne Owen is a private, church affiliated, Historically Black, Liberal Arts college and has served students since its founding by the American Missionary Association to provide opportunities for the newly freed slaves in 1862.

Logan H. Westbrooks and Memphis Mayor A. C. Wharton as Westbrooks receives the Key to the City of Memphis.

Logan H. Westbrooks and Memphis Mayor A. C. Wharton as Westbrooks receives the Key to the City of Memphis.

Westbrooks was also presented with the key to the city of Memphis by Mayor A. C. Wharton. He was interviewed on every TV station in Memphis and hailed as an icon of the music business.

Dr. Westbrooks was one of the first African Americans to work as a music industry executive and he is widely recognized as a pioneer who paved the way for the African American music executives of today. Dr. Wesbrooks has helped to guide and promote the careers of Mahalia Jackson, Sandra Crouch, George Beverly Shea, Elvis Presley, Nancy Wilson, The Jackson 5, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Chuck Brown and many more.

Currently Dr. Westbrooks has authored the 2nd Edition of the Anatomy of the Music Industry, which will be released in late 2014 at Dr. Westbrooks has authored many books and articles which include the Harvard Report, a study of the soul music environment. Additionally Dr. Westbrooks has contributed several of his personal and professional artifacts to the University of Indiana Archives of African American Music and Culture.  The Logan H. Westbrooks Collection may be accessed online at

Dr. Westbrooks will also be among honorees such as member of The Manhattans, Denise Lasalle, Craten Armmer, Ann Peebles, G. C. Cameron and other living legends at the Jus Blues Awards on July 31st in Tunica, Mississippi.  For tickets and information go to or call (678)403-1993.

Dr. Westbrooks and his wife Geri reside in Sherman Oaks, California and Memphis, Tennessee.