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Rapper/actor Chris Bridges, more popularly known as Ludacris, is set to produce a new animated series called ‘Karma’s World’ inspired by his eldest daughter Karma Bridges. The series will be released on Netflix soon.

Ludacris’ production company Karma’s World Entertainment is one of the producers of the coming-of-age story that will follow the life of 10-year old girl Karma Grant, an aspiring musical artist, rapper, and songwriter, who wanted to use her music to be able to change the world.

The 40-episode series with 11-minutes screentime each will feature original music scoring created and supervised by Ludacris himself in collaboration with James Bennett Jr. and produced by Gerald Keys. The compositions tackle the issues young children are facing from friendship, creativity, emotions to self-esteem, and discrimination.

Karma’s World Entertainment is partnering with 9 Story Media Group, Oscar-nominated Brown Bag Films, and Emmy Award-winning Creative Affairs Group to produce the new series. Ludacris is hoping the series will get to inspire young children and empower young girls.

“I’ve had a lot of accomplishments in my life, but everything that I’ve experienced seems to have led up to this point to where I can leave a legacy for all my daughters,” Bridges said.

“Karma’s World is one of those legacies. I hope this series will show kids that there are many ways to overcome difficult situations. This show is going to move hip hop culture forward and show young girls that they have the power to change the world. This project has been a long time in the making, and I can’t wait to bring Karma’s World to the entire world.”

 

 

The Church of England is said to be a co-owner of Beyoncé's Single Ladies, Rihanna's Umbrella and Justin Timberlake's SexyBack and is one of hundreds of investors in a company called Hipgnosis, which, for the past three years, has been hungrily snapping up the rights to thousands of hit songs.

 

So far, it has spent more than $1bn (£776m) on music by Mark Ronson, Chic, Barry Manilow and Blondie. Its latest acquisition is the song catalogue of LA Reid, meaning it has a share in tracks like Boyz II Men's End Of The Road, Whitney Houston's I'm Your Baby Tonight and Bobby Brown's Don't Be Cruel.

 

And when those songs get played on the radio or placed in a film or TV show, Hipgnosis makes money. And, by association, does the Church of England, along with other investors like Aviva, Investec and Axa.

 

According to Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis, the music he's bought is "more valuable than gold or oil".

 

"These great, proven songs are very predictable and reliable in their income streams," he explains. "If you take a song like the Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams or Bon Jovi's Livin' On A Prayer, you're talking three to four decades of reliable income."

 

He says hit songs are a stable investment because their revenue isn't affected by fluctuations in the economy.

 

He explains: "If people are living their best lives, they're doing it to a soundtrack of songs. But equally, if they're experiencing the sort of challenges we've experienced over the last six months, they're taking comfort and escaping in great songs.

 

"So music is always being consumed and it's always generating income."

 

With Spotify users increasing by a monthly average of 22% between March and July, streaming royalties have increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, Hipgnosis' share price has largely withstood the turmoil that has affected much of the business world.

 

Mercuriadis, from Quebec, Canada, got into the music industry after calling the Toronto office of Virgin Records every day for months until they gave him a job in the marketing department, where he worked with acts like UB40, The Human League and XTC.

 

In 1986, he joined the Sanctuary Group, ultimately becoming its CEO, where he managed the careers of Elton John, Iron Maiden, Guns N' Roses, Destiny's Child and Beyoncé, as well as working on the relaunch of Morrissey's career in 2004.

 

Kanye West recently called him one "of the most powerful and knowledgeable people in music".

 

"I've been very lucky to work with everyone I've ever wanted to work with," says Mercuriadis.

 

“The key to managing any successful artist is to fight hard for them and tell the truth", even when it's uncomfortable.

 

"The thing that most people don't realise is that, if you have a career that's the length of Elton's, you're going to be the coolest artist in the world seven times over. Equally, you're going to be the most uncool artist seven times over.

 

"Real life is saying, 'This is where we currently are, this is where we want to be, and this is what we have to do to get there. So let's roll our sleeves up and get our hands dirty and get stuck in.'" He admits he's been "fired for telling the truth" in the past - although he won't name names.

 

"It happens all the time," is all he will say. "The truth is something few people want to tell. It's arguable that even fewer want to hear it."

 

The idea for Hipgnosis came to Mercuriadis in 2009, around the time Spotify launched in the UK.

 

"I could see that streaming was going to change the landscape, and was going to make the music industry very successful all over again," he says.

 

He points out that the industry's traditional benchmark for success is the platinum record - which, in the US, represents a million sales. It sounds impressive, he says, until you realise that a hit film like Toy Story 4 sold 43 million tickets. "So that immediately tells you that, while the vast majority of the population may enjoy music, very few of them put their hand in their pocket and pull out a tenner and pay for it."

 

Streaming changed that, he says, because previously passive consumers were willing to pay a monthly subscription. "Instead of the focus being that one in 350 people would actually pay for music, the focus is on all of them."

 

An estimated 88 million people subscribe to streaming services in the US, more than a quarter of the population. Unlike most music companies, Hipgnosis isn't focused on finding the "next big thing". A third of the songs it owns are more than 10 years old, and 59% are between three and 10 years old.

 

Fewer than 10% are newer releases.

 

The funeral for the founding fathers of reggae music, Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert, was stalled on eve of the planned service after no could find the burial permit as the body made its way to the Dovecot Memorial Gardens in St. Catherine, in Jamaica.

 

It followed concerns from family members who were disappointed at him being laid to rest outside his hometown. Hibbert’s daughter Jenieve Bailey, previously announced the decision to have her father’s body to be laid to rest in May Pen, in Clarendon, where other family members were buried.

 

Toots’ nephew, Wilbert, said: “The whole family agreed for him to come back home to where his mother, father, three brothers and sister are buried. He needs to take the country road back to the place where he belongs. You don’t need anything plainer than that.”

 

But just days before the planned date of burial, the announcement was made about a change in the place of rest.

 

In defending his stance he went on: “He sings about the country road in one of his biggest songs, and he is always visiting us down here. He never left us out.”

 

He went on: “From the time Miss Doreen (Toots’ widow) and some of the children came down here and chose the land, we didn’t hear a word. No grave digging was going on down here and everybody — my mother, sisters and aunt — were asking me what is happening?”

 

The day of the burial saw the planned procession, with a private service for close family members which took place at Perry’s Funeral Home chapel.

 

Hibbert’s body was transported to Dovecot Memorial Gardens, but no one in attendance possessed the burial certificate, which is usually provided by the Registrar General Department when receiving a signed death certificate.

 

Without a signed burial order, the body cannot be placed in the grave.

 

Following the family being unable to provide the relevant documents, Toots’ body was returned to the funeral home.

 

The reggae legend, 77, was admitted to the University Hospital of the West Indies after reporting concerns with his breathing before later passing away as a result of challenges brought on by COVID-19 last month.

 

Grime star Dizzee Rascal and Lady Leshurr amongst a list of Bitish music stars honoured in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

 

Dizzee Rascal, real name Dylan Kwabena Mills, was made an MBE for services to music.

 

He is considered to have been one of the founding fathers of grime scene which grew out of London at the start of the century. In 2003 the MC became the youngest artist – at 19 - to win the Mercury Prize, with his debut album Boy in da Corner.

 

He said that he deserved to be given top billing at Glastonbury Festival. "I've toured this festival for years, never disappointed," he said. "You can always count on me."

 

"I'm basically at the stage where they need to make me headline this thing - because they ain't had no British rappers headline this festival."

 

Rapper Lady Leshurr was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to music and charity.

 

The freestyle performer, whose real name is Melesha Katrina O'Garro, performed her distinctive rap, Quarantine Speech, for a YouTube fundraiser during lockdown.

 

Rap duo Krept and Konan, real names Casyo Johnson and Karl Wilson, were also awarded the British Empire Medal for services to music and the community in Croydon.

 

They launched the Positive Direction Foundation three years ago, which offers activities including workshops in music production, engineering and songwriting for young people.

 

Last year they also judged the first series of BBC Three's The Rap Game UK.

 

Celebrity cook Mary Berry was honoured with a dame hood.

 

Reacting to the news, Dame Mary, who has earned the status of national treasure over a six-decade career, added: "When I was first told that I was going to be a dame you don't really believe it. And then it's so exciting, and you feel very proud.

 

"For most of my life I have been lucky enough to follow my passion to teach cookery through books and the media.

 

"To be a dame is really the icing on the cake."

 

Also being made a dame was veteran actress and Coronation Street star Maureen Lipman and The Woman in Black author Susan Hill, in being made a dame commander.

 

There were knighthoods for UK rock 'n' roll icons Tommy Steele, for services to entertainment and charity, along with Brookside, Grange Hill and Hollyoaks creator Professor Phil Redmond, for services to broadcasting and arts in the regions.

Hercule Poirot actor David Suchet was also knighted for services to drama and charity.

 

Derrick Evans - more commonly known as Mr Motivator - was also made an MBE after creating online home exercises during lockdown and hosting a week-long workout with Linda Lusardi to raise money for Age UK's Emergency Coronavirus Appeal.

 

Another English music star, singer Mica Paris, was also made an MBE, as well as performer and vocal coach Carrie Grant. Elsewhere, broadcaster and natural historian Sir David Attenborough added to his legacy by being made a GCMG - one the country's highest honours.

 

Sir Paul Smith, the chair of the clothing label Paul Smith, was made a Companion of Honour, for services to fashion.

 

Daytime ITV presenter and journalist Lorraine Kelly was made a CBE alongside Judy Cramer, the woman behind the movie Mamma Mia! and singer-songwriter/campaigner Joan Armatrading - for services to music, charity and equal rights.

 

Professor Brian Cox, scientist and presenter of BBC shows including The Wonders of the Universe, was also made a CBE alongside Birmingham-born actor Adrian Lester, who is currently starring in BBC drama series Life and appeared in the films Primary Colors and The Day After Tomorrow.

 

OBEs went to ELO singer and music producer Jeff Lynne; and Tony Hatch - the man who wrote the theme tunes for Neighbours, Crossroads, Emmerdale and Petula Clark's Downtown; as well as Last Tango in Halifax screenwriter Sally Wainwright - for services to television.

 

Booker Prize-winning-author Bernardine Evaristo was also appointed at the same level.

The Girl, Woman, Other novelist became the first black woman to win the award, when she shared it with Margaret Atwood in 2019, after the judges broke their rules by declaring a tie.

 

How to Train Your Dragon writer Cressida Cowell was made an MBE for services to children's literature, while ITV's Dr Hilary Jones was made an MBE too, for services to broadcasting, public health information and charity.

 

Englan and Manchester United striker, Marcus Rashford who is urging the government to extend its provision of free school meals has accepted an MBE.

 

The Queen's Birthday Honours list is usually revealed in June, but it was delayed this year by several months due to coronavirus.

 

Hollywood superstar Idris Elba and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, have said individuals can make a difference in tackling climate change.

 

The actor, producer and DJ, said: "There is definitely something that we can all do. You are doing it now listening to this. There is hope."

 

Model and actress Sabrina added: "There is a method, there are steps. It isn't just throw your hands in the air and go 'the world is on fire'.

 

"There are solutions and it's figuring out what those solutions are and how we can each play a part because we do know that every person can make a difference.

 

"It is so easy to feel hopeless when you do hear all of that scaremongering but people can make a change. Each individual person." Climate change is often seen as a problem that's so big, it needs to be tackled at the level of world governments. But the couple say every person can play a role.

 

The 10-part podcast explores issues and solutions around climate change. The couple feature in an episode which looks at the impact of climate change on our global food systems.

 

Idris said he wanted to use his platform to "shine a light" on those most affected by global warming. "There's no shortage of voices talking about climate change and the green debate," he said, "but there's not much visibility on the people that haven't much at all and still suffer climate change.

 

"We look at small farmers as slightly unrelated to us, somewhere in the Sahara, but that food chain links to all of us. The effect is not apparent now, but it will be massively."

 

Sabrina and Idris are ambassadors for the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Some of IFAD's projects aim to make food production more resilient to the impacts of climate change. They are piloting climate adaption technologies such as rainwater harvesting and supplementary irrigation.

 

Sabrina said she and Idris had a strong passion for taking care of the planet for the coming generations. "We've just got married. I want to have children one day and bring them into a world which I don't think will be destroyed in the coming years," she said.

 

That sense of responsibility has led them to look for programmes which help people in Africa who are affected by climate change. Last year, they went to Sierra Leone to meet farmers affected by the Ebola epidemic.

 

"These farmers are probably the least contributors to the climate change problem but are yet being affected the most," said Sabrina. "This demand, which we saw go up with the pandemic, has always been an almost unreal demand. Food waste is no secret issue in the West and in the North".

 

Speaking of how he would like to see the world change, Idris said: "My son is six years old and I want him to know Daddy went to Sierra Leone to look at agriculture.

 

'What's agriculture, Daddy?' Well it's a way of growing food. It's a way of looking after our world. And if we look after our world, it will supply us back.

 

"And that is something we should leave with the next generation. Even if it's just not that everyone is going to be a great farmer but it's the understanding of the food chain and food supply.

 

“That is really important."

 

American reggae and pop singer-songwriter Johnny Nash, best known for the 1972 hit I Can See Clearly Now, has died, his family has said.

 

Nash, whose health had been in decline, died at his home of natural causes his son said.

The musician began singing as a child and made his major label debut with the 1957 song A Teenager Sings the Blues.

 

Nash, born in Houston, was one of the first non-Jamaican singers to record reggae music in Kingston, Jamaica.

 

His single I Can See Clearly Now sold more than a million copies and reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1972, where it remained for four weeks.

 

He also had a number one hit in the UK in 1975 with Tears on My Pillow.

According to his official website, Nash helped reggae legend Bob Marley sign a recording contract.

 

More recently, the artist started work on transferring old analogue tapes of his songs from the 1970s and 1980s to a new digital format.

 

Besides his son John, Nash is survived by his wife, Carli.

 

He was 80