Monday, 8 June 2015

IN THE MIX: Jennifer Hudson, Common heading to Sumfest + Alaine drops Ten of Hearts album + Bolt is summertime cool for Athletes Quarterly

CLASS ACTS: Doing the "Happy" dance. Days after revealing that conscious hip-hop icon and Oscar winner Common and rising rapper-actor Yazz (Empire) have been confirmed to grace the mainstage as International Night acts at next month's Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay, Summerfest Productions has just named Jennifer Hudson as the newest addition to the growing roster. Hudson will perform on International Night 2, July 18, the closing night of the festival. And what a festival it's shaping up to be! More anon. Hudson, the Grammy and Oscar-winning triple threat (actress, producer and singing sensation) needs no introduction, internationally acclaimed for her out-of-this-world vocal dynamics, multi-octave range and a captivating mix of soul, R&B, and pop that's prompted critics and tastemakers to anoint her the Whitney Houston of her generation. "We are extremely happy to have been able to confirm Jennifer Hudson as the headline artiste for International Night 2. She is a powerhouse vocalist and has a huge catalogue of hits that Jamaicans and people from across the world know and love," reports Summerfest Productions' executive director Johnny Gourzong. "What better way to end the festival than with a megastar like Jennifer Hudson." Indeed. To keep up with plans for this year's festival and to get all the breaking news, follow the Reggae Sumfest page on Facebook.

QUEEN OF HEARTS: Songbird Alaine's debut disc, Sacrifice, was one of the play-it-to-the-max records of 2006, spawning solo hits like the title track and the sultry ballads "Deeper" and "No Ordinary Love". Nearly a decade later, the sweet-voiced chanteuse is ready to hypnotize us anew with her latest project, Ten of Hearts, which delivers Alaine's signature mix of intoxicating melodies and deeply affecting songwriting. But in interviews to promote the album Alaine admits that she wanted to give her fans an album with a bit of an edge this time around, as she showcases the creative growth and evolutionary maturity that's come to define her style and artistry. In any case, we can't wait to press play on the new disc and are beyond thrilled that the seasoned songstress is still doing her royal thing on the mic as she caters to her loyal followers.

SO FRESH, SO CLEAN: It's been quite a year so far for the World's Fastest Man, who is gracing the picture-perfect Summer 2015 edition of the track-and-field glossy Athletes Quarterly, dressed up in some of the season's coolest looks, made to come alive in some truly iconic and extraordinary images. (Take a look HERE.) Bolt, who is turning 29 in August, is anticipating another stellar summer that looks set to climax at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, when he'll go for the sprint double in what could be a mouth-watering, photo-finish contest of wills against the resurrected American Justin Gatlin. But, until then, feast your eyes as Bolt works the camera in a series of fashion-forward ensembles courtesy of Athletes Quarterly.

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