Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela dead at 95

Nelson Mandela, the revered South African anti-apartheid icon who spent 27 years in prison, led his country to democracy and became its first black president, died Thursday at home. He was 95.

"He is now resting," said South African President Jacob Zuma. "He is now at peace."

"Our nation has lost its greatest son," he continued. "Our people have lost a father."

A state funeral will be held, and Zuma called for mourners to conduct themselves with "the dignity and respect" that Mandela personified.

The icon of the anti-apartheid movement and international human rights leader died Thursday. He was 95 years old.
"Wherever we are in the country, wherever we are in the world ... let us reaffirm his vision of a society in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed by another," he said as tributes began pouring in from across the world.

President Obama said his first political action was an anti-apartheid protest inspired by Mandela, who "achieved more than could be expected of any man."

“I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example Nelson Mandela set," he said.

Though he was in power for only five years, Mandela was a figure of enormous moral influence the world over – a symbol of revolution, resistance and triumph over racial segregation.

He inspired a generation of activists, left celebrities and world leaders star-struck, won the Nobel Peace Prize and raised millions for humanitarian causes.

South Africa is still bedeviled by challenges, from class inequality to political corruption to AIDS. And with Mandela’s death, it has lost a beacon of optimism.

In his jailhouse memoirs, Mandela wrote that even after spending so many years in a Spartan cell on Robben Island – with one visitor a year and one letter every six months – he still had faith in human nature.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion,” he wrote in “Long Walk to Freedom.”

“People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” 

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Kim Kardashian Spotted Strolling (Literally) With Baby North West in New York City

Kim Kardashian Strolling in New York City

by Bruna Nessif

Kim Kardashian, North

Kim Kardashian was spotted spending her day in New York City with her beautiful baby girl North West, who was sheltered from the cold weather in her stroller, earlier today. Being the quite the fashion-forward duo, the mother-and-daughter pair coordinated by matching in all black. Well, kinda.
There's no telling what Nori was wearing, but her stroller and blanket matched Kim's all-black ensemble (no surprise there), so it was pretty stylish, regardless.

We also couldn't help but notice that the E! star seems to be letting her natural hair color grow out. Could she be going for a natural ombré? Or maybe we'll see her dark tresses make a comeback?

Kim and fiancé Kanye West made headlines today after a report claimed the pair were planning to tie the knot at the Palace of Versailles. Although the lavish ceremony doesn't seem too out of the ordinary for the glamorous couple, E! News learned that's not the case.

Kim's rep told us that the Us Weekly report that North's mom and dad will be saying "I do" at the French castle is "absolutely false."

"They haven't even decided on a location yet," the E! star's rep added, noting that the couple haven't decided on a date or a wedding planner either.

Although no details have been decided or revealed just yet, a source tells us, "It's going to be huge. It's going to be the size of the capital…There won't be anything small about it."

Well, considering Kanye's proposal, that doesn't seem like a far-fetched thought.


Where Indie Artists Are Making Most of Their Money

By , Nashville | December 02, 2013

Independent artists have never had access to so many customers. A single distributor can get an artist’s music into digital services around the world. U.S. artists were getting Spotify royalties before the service was available stateside. Now they’re getting royalties from Deezer, and other services not yet available in the States. Since distributors have added their catalogs to YouTube, independent artists can reach listeners through the world’s most popular video service.

Access to consumers has meant hundreds of millions in revenue through the years. CD Baby has paid out more than $300 million since it was founded in 1998. TuneCore has paid out more than $330 million since it launched in 2006. This year, CD Baby expects to pay out $58 million -- that’s cash to artists minus the company’s distribution fee. This year’s distributions should be about 9% higher than the $53 million paid out last year and 35% greater than 2011’s distributions of $43 million.

The future may be streaming, but independent artists get most of their revenue from downloads. CD Baby artists will receive 77% of their revenue from downloads, down from 80% last year and 81% in 2011. CD Baby marketing manager Kevin Breuner says that about 73% of digital revenue and about 61% of total revenue comes from iTunes.


 Streaming revenue is small but growing. This year, CD Baby will get 8% of its revenue from streaming services, up from 5% and 2% in the previous two years. Subscription services like Spotify and Rhapsody are included in CD Baby’s streaming revenue. Noninteractive services like Pandora and SiriusXM, which pay royalties through SoundExchange, are also not included.

Also excluded from the streaming figures is YouTube, a service long used for promotion that is gaining as a revenue source. CD Baby has delivered its catalog to YouTube and the company is experiencing strong revenue growth. CD Baby has paid out more than $1 million, and the last quarterly distribution was about $300,000. “It’s something we think is just going to explode,” Breuner says.

Independent artists are aided by continued demand for physical product. CDs and LPs will account for 15% of artist revenue this year, even with last year and down slightly from 17% in 2011. Some of that revenue comes from CD Baby’s partnership with Alliance Entertainment that puts independent artists’ albums into brick-and-mortar stores. But those figures don’t tell the entire story. Not counted in CD Baby’s artist distributions are artist earnings from selling CDs and LPs themselves. Anyone who attends concerts frequently knows the venue merchandise table is one of the last bastions of physical product.