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Motown Founder Berry Gordy Retires

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Berry Gordy paved the way for minorities in a way that had never been seen before. His Motown Sound is now known as the sound that changed America, helping to bring together the nation then divided by race and segregation. As an African-American leader, businessman, entrepreneur, and important and historical agent of change, Berry Gordy is an inspiration and role model especially for African-Americans like myself,” stated Music Producer Linnette A. Harrigan.

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Known as “The Chairman,” Berry Gordy, the founder and architect of Motown Records — an American original that arguably featured the most exceptional assembly of talent in music history — has retired. (Photo: Screen capture / YouTube.com)

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

From the Miracles, Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, and the shaping of the original Little Steven, to being the genius behind the launch of the man that would become known as “the King of Pop,” Berry Gordy long ago indelibly cemented his place as one of the true legends of popular music.

Known as “The Chairman,” Gordy is the founder and original architect of Motown Records — an American original that arguably featured the most exceptional assembly of talent in music history — has retired.

He announced his retirement during the 60th-anniversary celebration of Motown that took place in Detroit last month. “I have come full circle, and it’s only appropriate [to make the announcement] while here in Detroit, the city where my fairy tale happened with all of you,” Gordy said.

Sixty years ago, long before the lottery’s slogan of “A Dollar and a Dream,” was appropriated to describe “rags to riches” success, Gordy put up what little cash he had and launched Motown Records, forever and better known by its simpler singular moniker: “Motown,” out of his small Motor City home.

The determined businessman demanded the best from everyone passing through the illustrious halls of Motown.

Among his initial signings was The Miracles featuring Smokey Robinson. Smokey would go on to become a recording legend, but he is also the songwriting genius who penned tunes for artists like Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye.

In 2001, Gordy told this reporter that the secret to success was, in part, understanding who to trust. Gordy made no bones that the foremost person he believed in is himself. However, he also knew when to comply.

“Her recollection is absolutely correct,” Gordy said with a respectful laugh when relayed a story told by Lula Mae Hardaway. Hardaway, who died in 2006, said she was probably the most hardened person Gordy had ever negotiated with. The negotiation involved her young son who would soon become known to the entire world as Stevie Wonder.

“For a year, I refused to sign a contract to let Steve work for Motown because I wasn’t sure if they’d provide a proper tutor for him to get a good education,” said Hardaway, who penned her life story in the 2002 book, “Blind Faith: The Miraculous Journey of Lula Hardaway, Stevie Wonder’s Mother.”

“We were poor, but I wasn’t stupid, and I wouldn’t be taken advantage of,” Hardaway told this reporter.

“We could certainly use the money Berry was offering, which really wasn’t much, but it wasn’t about the money, even though when we did finally agree to sign, it was a whole lot more than what he originally offered,” Hardaway stated.

Gordy said he knew he was getting a genius in the young Stevie Wonder, and a decade after his initial signing, Gordy and Wonder would ink what at the time was the largest contract in Motown history.

Along with Robinson and Wonder, Motown would produce an extensive roster of hitmakers.

From Marvin Gaye’s groundbreaking “What’s Going On?” to the Diana Ross and the Supremes “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” the hits came nearly every day.

Perhaps Gordy’s most shrewd signing was that of the Jackson Five.

While the group never won a Grammy Award and enjoyed a handful of No. 1 hits, it was its lead singer that Gordy took a particular interest in.

“When people ask, ‘Did I know that Michael Jackson would become as big as he did?’ I tell them, ‘Why of course,’” Gordy stated. “Why wouldn’t I believe he’d break records and set new standards? No one worked harder, and no one worked as often as Michael Jackson.”

Even though his solo success came under a different record label, Jackson would rock the world with the ultra-successful “Off The Wall” album. The singer would then cement himself as perhaps the greatest pop music star in history with the release of his 1982 album, “Thriller.”

Two years after “Thriller,” Lionel Richie [former lead singer of the Commodores] released “Can’t Slow Down.”

The recording became the biggest selling album in Motown history.

It was the last major record under Gordy’s leadership.

He sold the label in 1988, and until this year, Gordy remained in the entertainment industry producing Broadway musicals and feature films.

“Motown records is one of the most successful Black-owned record labels of all time,” said Aaron Douglas of R.E.A.L. Music Entertainment.

“Its history is in concrete because of the mega artists and because Berry Gordy had an eye for up-and-coming talent. …a Black owner giving a Black up-and-coming talented artists a chance to show their talent to the world and to be a proven success over and over again. This would be a blueprint for other young aspiring Black people. Seeing is believing,” Douglas stated.

Gordy made a difference not just in the music industry, but also in the world, said music producer Linnette A. Harrigan.

“The Motown Sound has impacted millions worldwide, and it has influenced the popular music we hear even to this day.

“Berry Gordy paved the way for minorities in a way that had never been seen before. His Motown sound is now known as the sound that changed America, helping to bring together the nation then divided by race and segregation.

“As an African-American leader, businessman, entrepreneur, and important and historical agent of change, Berry Gordy is an inspiration and role model especially for African-Americans like myself,” Harrigan stated.

She added: “His legacy should and could never be forgotten.”

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IN MEMORIAM International Soccer Icon Pelé Dies at 82

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves. 

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Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Pelé, the international star who was instrumental in three World Cup championships with Brazil across three decades and who energized U.S. soccer with the New York Cosmos in the 1970s, has died.

The 82-year-old legend had been hospitalized since November, and his doctors reported that Pelé’s cancer had advanced, requiring care related to renal and cardiac dysfunction.

He has been receiving regular treatment since doctors removed a tumor from his colon in 2021.

“Father. My strength is yours,” the international star’s son, Edinho, posted on social media.

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

He led the Brazilian national teams to World Cup glory in 1958, 1962, and 1970.

In 1956, he joined the Santos Football Club, where he played inside left forward, winning nine São Paulo league championships and, in 1962 and 1963, the Libertadores Cup and the Intercontinental Club Cup.

Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves.

“After the 1958 World Cup, Pelé was declared a national treasure by the Brazilian government to ward off large offers from European clubs and ensure that he would remain in Brazil,” Britannica researchers wrote.

On Nov. 19, 1969, in his 909th first-class match, he scored his 1,000th goal.

Pelé made his international debut in 1957 at age 16 and played his first game in the World Cup finals in Sweden the following year.

The Brazilian manager was initially hesitant to play his young star. But, according to Britannica, when Pelé finally reached the field, he had an immediate impact, rattling the post with one shot and collecting an assist.

He had a hat trick in the semifinal against France and two goals in the championship game, where Brazil defeated Sweden 5–2. At the 1962 World Cup finals, Pelé tore a thigh muscle in the second match and had to sit out the remainder of the tournament.

Nonetheless, Brazil went on to claim its second World Cup title.

Researchers said rough play and injuries turned the 1966 World Cup into a disaster for Brazil and Pelé, as the team went out in the first round, and he contemplated retiring from World Cup play.

Returning in 1970 for one more World Cup tournament, he teamed with young stars Jairzinho and Rivelino to claim Brazil’s third title and permanent ownership of the Jules Rimet Trophy. Pelé finished his World Cup career, scoring 12 goals in 14 games.

Pelé’s electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals made him a worldwide star.

His team Santos toured internationally to take full advantage of his popularity. For example, in 1967, he and his team traveled to Nigeria, where a 48-hour cease-fire in that nation’s civil war was called to allow all to watch the great player.

Pelé announced his retirement in 1974 but, in 1975, agreed to a three-year $7 million contract with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League and to promote the game in the United States. He retired after leading the Cosmos to the league championship in 1977.

Pelé was the recipient of the International Peace Award in 1978. In 1980 he was named Athlete of the Century by the French sports publication L’Equipe, and he received the same honor in 1999 from the International Olympic Committee. In 2014 the Pelé Museum opened in Santos, Brazil.

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COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips

THE AFRO — Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours. 
The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Megan Sayles | AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member
msayles@afro.com

We’ve all heard the age-old saying that “hard work pays off.”  But, sometimes, working too hard can do more harm than good.

“Burnout” is a form of work-related stress in which an individual experiences physical, emotional or mental exhaustion caused by their job’s demands. It can also make workers feel distanced from their jobs and engender negative feelings about them, according to the World Health Organization.

Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours.

This makes it even more important for people to know the signs of burnout and the strategies to combat it.

Natasha Charles is the founder and CEO of Intuitive Coaching with Natasha Charles, a comprehensive life coaching and consulting firm. She created the business after gaining 20 years in senior administration roles.

Charles was motivated to open the firm in 2018 out of a desire to create a business focused on inspiring continuous improvement. There, she works with individuals and executives to create lives that they love and offers them personalized solutions to address critical work and business challenges.

“It’s really about thinking about you, the person, and all that you are,” Charles said. “People tend to be very focused on one aspect of their life, and a lot of times, it’s about their career, so it’s really about making space for all of your goals and all of your dreams.”

When someone experiences burnout, Charles said they could be actively doing their job while simultaneously worrying about their other responsibilities and priorities, whether personal or work-related. She also stressed that burnout can be experienced no matter what profession you are in and what you are being paid.

Aside from the physical and mental impacts of stress, burnout can impact finances if it causes an employee to take extended periods of time off or miss work, according to Charles. It can also reduce their productivity.

In the beginning of 2022, the term “quiet quitting” emerged, and for some, it’s being used as a method to avoid burnout. It involves individuals meeting the minimum requirements of their job descriptions, investing no extra time or effort than what is mandatory.

For Charles, quiet quitting is a signal that a person is not fulfilled by their job and may need to think about changing workplaces or careers.

“I get that people are not always able to up and quit, and it can take time to find what that next role is,” Charles said. “I would come from a space of encouraging the person to start thinking about what that is. What is it that you ultimately desire to be doing in your life and seeing your work?”

One of the most important steps in reducing and preventing burnout is educating yourself about the syndrome, so you can be aware of the warning signs, according to Charles. She also said it was crucial for employers to talk to their employees about it.

Awareness can help prevent the shame and guilt that comes with burnout and allow people to give themselves grace.

After a person has weighed whether they are experiencing burnout or not, they should think about how they want to confront it. This could include engaging in self-care, asking for extra support at work or home, and creating stronger boundaries between their personal and professional lives.

When burnout is impacting your performance, it’s time to consider making a career change, Charles said.

To ensure your work life does not invade your personal life, Charles said people need to assess the goals they have for all areas of their life. Once you’ve set goals, it’s easier to devise a plan and set the necessary boundaries to achieve them.

Charles also said it’s important to carve out time for yourself where you’re not constantly checking your phone or email for work reasons.

“There is life beyond your work. There is an entire world out there to be discovered,” Charles said. “There’s a world within us to be discovered as well, and I encourage everyone to invest in discovering those pieces.”

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting 

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.
The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Canadian rapper Tory Lanez faces more than 20 years in prison and deportation after a jury in Los Angeles found him guilty in the 2020 shooting of hip hop star Megan Thee Stallion.

Lane, 30, was found guilty of three felony counts, including assault with an unregistered semiautomatic weapon, carrying a loaded gun, and discharging a firearm in a vehicle with gross negligence.

The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.

The 27-year-old Megan, whose real name is Megan Pete, testified that Lanez offered her hush money and didn’t care about her injuries and pain suffered because he shot her.

Lanez, who declined to testify, claimed there was another shooter, Pete’s friend who was also arguing with the hit maker as they drove home from a party.

“[Lanez] told me to dance,” Pete told the jury, adding that he also cursed at her following the shooting.

Sentencing for Lanez is scheduled for Jan. 27.

“You showed incredible courage and vulnerability with your testimony despite repeated and grotesque attacks that you did not deserve,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said, referring to Pete.

“You faced unjust and despicable scrutiny that no woman should ever face, and you have been an inspiration to others across LA County and the nation.”

The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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