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April 16, 2014

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Newcomer Miguel Making Big Moves With Opening Gigs for Mary J. Blige, Usher

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R&B newcomer Miguel is certainly living the good life right now.

Since becoming the first artist signed to Jive Label Group President Mark Pitts' ByStorm Imprint, he's been in the company of several talented entertainers. Pitts, who helmed the careers of the Notorious B.I.G., Nas, Usher and Chris Brown, to name a few, is making sure Miguel's name is one that resonates.

"Mark is my big brother, and he's been my biggest champion at the label. There were a lot of people who didn't get it at the label, and they are getting the bigger picture in time. He saw it from jump," Miguel told BlackVoices on a break from his recently launched tour as an opener for Mary J. Blige.

"He's been a great mentor and big brother. It's really cool to have someone like that in my life and to guide and direct me about this industry and how to move."

For that reason, the rest of the year is filled with a jam-packed schedule of opening for Blige's "Music Saved My Life Tour," which hit New York City earlier this week, followed by another opening spot for Usher's "OMG Tour." Both are superstars Miguel penned songs for in the past.

"Usher has kind of taken me under his wing, and Mark being a big brother to Usher, it's kind of like a small family," he shared. "That has a lot to do with why I'm on the road with him on his tour."

Miguel (legally known as Miguel Jontel Pimentel) is taking notes from the veterans along the way.

"It's a huge privilege to go on a tour with the caliber of people I've been fortunate enough to step out on the road with," he shared.

"It's been an amazing experience thus far. I'm looking forward to learning as much as possible and really bettering my live show. It's exciting to touch the people face to face."

Miguel said the best tidbit of advice so far came earlier this week from legendary singer El Debarge, who is also part of Blige's tour.

"El Debarge is the coolest dude ever. He pulled me aside and said the crowd here is a little different, but you're going to kill it. Just do what you always go out there and do. Be cool about it. I think everyone is just rooting for me to just be myself."

The Afro-Mexican singer-songwriter teamed up with Roc Nation MC J Cole for the Salaam Remi-produced first single 'All I Want Is You,' and at just 23-years old, it afforded him an opportunity to play stadium crowds with two of rap music's biggest names – Eminem and Jay-Z.

"That was just like thanks to J Cole and B.o.B., because B.o.B. brought Cole out as a part of his set, and Cole brought me out, and I have them to thank and, of course, Jay-Z and Eminem for the opportunity," he said.

Miguel is gearing up to release his next single, 'Sure Thing,' and later this year, he will release his debut opus, 'All I Want Is You,' which he described as "guitar-driven."


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Black Music Notes June 2

6/2/10: Ryan Leslie
Singer-songwriter Ryan Leslie is set to make a special appearance at New York's Bowery Ballroom on June 22 and 23. Leslie, who recently wrapped up his international tour with Ne-Yo, will also give fans a preview of select songs from his third solo project 'Les Is More.' Doors open at 7 pm.

Black Music Notes June 2

6/2/10: Dr. Dre
Hip Hop's favorite music physician, Dr. Dre will be honored with the ASCAP Founders Award at this year's Rhythm & Soul Music Awards. The 23rd annual event, which is set to take place June 25 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, will honor Dre for his musical legacy and influence. "Dre is one of the most important voices in modern music," said ASCAP president Paul Williams. "He created a unique, recognizable sound that dominated rap music in the early '90s...and continues to inspire artists and producers across all genres with his musical techniques."

Black Music Notes June 2

5/28/10: Kanye West
Despite shying away from the media since his 2009 MTV Video Music Award tirade, Kanye West is slowing making his way back into the spotlight. Last weekend in Manhattan, West made a special appearance at club CV and it turned into a mini album listening party of his forthcoming opus. "Kanye leaned over and said, 'Play track three,'" DJ Scram Jones told MTV News. "They all went nuts, Kid Cudi was dancing on the table, and then we cut it off at about a minute-and-a-half ... By the end of the process, we played four records."

Black Music Notes June 2

5/28/10: Robert Cray
Five-time Grammy Award-winner Robert Cray is set to release his new live album entitled 'Cookin' In Mobile' on July 27. The 13-song project , which features a bonus DVD with behind the scenes footage, was recorded earlier this year at the Saenger Theater in Mobile, AL. Longtime Cray fans can expect to hear classic hits such as 'Right Next Door' and 'Smoking Gun,' in addition to recent hits such as 'I Can't Fail' and 'That's What Keeps Me Rockin'.'

Black Music Notes June 2

5/28/10: Lil Kim
While many people are making comparisons between Nicki Minaj and Lil Kim, the Queen Bee has reportedly inked a new deal with a fellow Brooklyn mogul. According to various reports, Kim is the latest signee of Jay-Z's record label, Roc Nation. Although details regarding the deal have yet to surface or confirmed, a rep for Kim and Jay's camp was unavailable for comment at press time.

Black Music Notes June 2

5/28/10: Miles Davis
Miles Davis' landmark album 'Bitches Brew' drew critical acclaim throughout the music world during the early 1970s. In honor of the timeless classic, Columbia/Legacy will reissue the album as a super-deluxe Collector's Edition on Aug. 31. The all new collector's edition will find four bonus tracks from alternate versions of 'Spanish Key' and 'John McLaughlin.'

Black Music Notes June 2

5/20/10: Lionel Richie
As Memorial Day steadily approaches, Lionel Richie and PBS are set to celebrate the holiday with the annual broadcast of the National Memorial Day concert. The May 30 event, which takes place on the West Lawn of the US Capital, will feature an array of performers including Richie, Yolanda Adams, and others paying homage to our fallen U.S. troops. This year's concert will also recognize the 60th anniversary of the Korean War.

Black Music Notes June 2

5/20/10: Kelly Rowland
Following her departure from longtime manager, Matthew Knowles last year, Kelly Rowland has inked a deal with Universal Motown Records. For label president, Sylvia Rhone, signing the former Destiny's Child member was inspirational. "I think Kelly is an immensely talented, gracious, and beautiful woman, and I am thrilled about the opportunity to work with her on what's turning out to be an amazing album," she explained. "For an artist whose career began as a member of a landmark group like Destiny's Child, Kelly has truly come into her own and I am deeply inspired by her incredible energy." Rowland's as-yet-untitled album features collaborations from Stargate, Salaam Remi, Ne-Yo, Rico Love, and Esther Dean. No release date was set at press time.

Black Music Notes June 2

5/20/10: Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne has proven once again that he is "music" with his recent contraband jail incident. In fact, the Grammy Award-winning MC called his personal DJ, Scoob Doo to give him the details on what exactly happened, which surfaced online via YouTube. "Ain't too much, I got in a little trouble and whatnot, you feel me," Wayne explained about being caught with headphones and a MP3 charger. "Yeah, they tried to bang me with that. ... But I can't live without my music, Scoob. You know how it is, man. I needed my music. It's all good. I had to take my little slip up. I ain't trippin'. Players f--- up."

Black Music Notes June 2

5/14/10: Eminem/ Jay-Z
Following collaborating on the popular music video game DJ Hero, hip hop heavyweights Eminem and Jay-Z are teaming up once again for yet another business venture. According to published reports, the rap kingpins will be apart of a two part Live Nation produced concert event to be held at each of their hometown's baseball stadiums. "These shows are like a dream come true," Hov said. "I've always hoped that hip-hop could play any stadium like other genres of music. How perfect is it that Eminem and I get to play our hometowns and show how far the live rap experience has come?" Eminem will headline a concert Sept. 2 at Comerica Park in Detroit, while Jay-Z will perform at Yankee Stadium Sept. 13.

Black Music Notes June 2

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