Bruno Mars, Kehlani & More Selected to Inaugural A100 List of Influential Asian Americans

Bruno Mars, Kehlani & More Selected to Inaugural A100 List of Influential Asian Americans:

To mark the start of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month as well as the 50th anniversary of the first recognized usage of the term “Asian American,” nonprofit collective Gold House has launched the A100, a to-be-annual list of the most influential Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders from the past year.

The inaugural list features plenty of increasingly recognizable faces, including artists Bruno Mars and Kehlani, Crazy Rich Asians’ Constance Wu and Awkwafina, as well as comedians Hasan Minhaj and Ali Wong. Jon M. Chu, director of Warner Bros.’ highly-anticipated Crazy Rich Asians (the first Hollywood studio film with a predominantly Asian-American cast in a quarter-century), is also on the list, as are Master of None co-creator Alan Yang and Forest Whitaker’s producing partner Nina Yang Bongiovi (Fruitvale Station, Dope, upcoming Sorry to Bother You).

Also making the shortlist is CAA Music agent Caroline Yim; and Robert Lopez, the American songwriter of musicals, best-known for co-creating The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q and for composing the songs featured in the Disney-animated films Frozen and Coco.

Asian Americans currently represent about 6 percent of the U.S. population but are the country’s fastest-growing segment, according to a 2017 Nielsen report, and as AAPIs expand their presence in culture, making a list like the A100 has become more than a mere headcount of semi-famous Asians. An emphasis was placed on those who “significantly impacted or disrupted society and culture over the past year,” which resulted in a forward-looking final selection. Thus, recently promoted executives like DC Entertainment president Walter Hamada and Amazon Studios co-head of television Albert Cheng made the cut, alongside Lisa Nishimura, vp of Netflix’s burgeoning original comedy and documentary division.

The selection process began with open nominations from 36 major AAPI community leaders as well as Gold House’s hundreds of Asian-American creative and business leader members. Ultimately the honorees were winnowed down by a multicultural committee that included Whitaker, Pharrell Williams, Michelle Kwan and Janice Min, media consultant at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and THR parent company Valence Media.

The A100 also features individuals who are proudly claimed by the community but who others may be surprised to discover are of Asian descent, including double EGOT winner Robert Lopez (part-Filipino), Comcast chief diversity officer Craig Robinson (part-Chinese) and model/Twitter master Chrissy Teigen (part-Thai).

“All too often, the impact of Asians in the worlds of media, fashion, the arts, activism and sometimes even technology is unseen or understated,” selection committee member Khai Meng Tham, co-chair and chief creative officer at Ogilvy & Mather, said in a statement. “The A100 uniquely cuts across genders, pan-Asian ethnicities, beliefs, industries and generations. I’m so proud of them and of Gold House for this incredible initiative.”

The full inaugural A100 list can be found at Gold House’s website. The 2018 class will be feted at an event this summer in Los Angeles.

Bruno Mars’ SelvaRey Rum Stages Major Asia Launch Ahead of Concert Tour

Bruno Mars’ SelvaRey Rum Stages Major Asia Launch Ahead of Concert Tour:

PR NEWSWIRE ASIA  May 01, 2018

WEST HOLLYWOOD, California, May 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ – In conjunction with his sold-out 24K Magic World Tour, Bruno Mars has launched his award-winning SelvaRey Rum to major fanfare in Japan and the Philippines. During Bruno’s four sold-out shows at Japan’s Saitama Super Arena, the second largest indoor arena in the world, both SelvaRey White and SelvaRey Cacao were heavily featured with signature cocktails and bottles sold in exclusive tour packaging. Extensive lines wrapped around the venue hours before showtime and both the cocktails and bottles sold out early each day.  

Bruno Mars’ SelvaRey Rum Stages Major Asia Launch Ahead of Concert Tour
Surrounding the shows this month, SelvaRey amplified their presence with a series of high-visibility activations in Tokyo’s legendary entertainment district of Roppongi. Specialty cocktails, promotions, tastings, pop-up bars and events filled the leading establishments in the upscale area renowned worldwide for its nightlife. Early results have far surpassed the brand’s expectations and SelvaRey already anticipates becoming the best-selling super-premium white and flavored rum in Japan in 2018.

The Asia launch continues in Manila May 3rd-4th at Mars’ sold-out shows at the Mall of Asia Arena. The SelvaRey Cocktail Bar will highlight fresh, seasonal ingredients and top local bartenders. The brand will again showcase exclusive digital content, VIP activations, and bottles for sale in 24k Magic World Tour packaging. With Mars’ well-documented Filipino heritage and the 10 million+ case rum market in the Philippines, SelvaRey anticipates making a substantial impact in the coming months and years.

Hong Kong, Thailand, and Singapore are next, with targeted launches in prestigious hotel/restaurant properties and social clubs scheduled for later this spring.

About SelvaRey:

SelvaRey White, a blend of three- and five- year-old rums, is made by one of the world’s most renowned master blenders. Unlike many white rums, SelvaRey has been crafted with the distinct goal of being fine enough to sip on the rocks. Yet it makes a superlative Rum ‘n’ Coke, an extraordinary Mojito and is ideal in classic cocktails.

SelvaRey Cacao, the world’s premier, award-winning chocolate spirit, boasts a rich five-year-old Panamanian rum infused with natural chocolate. Most notably and unlike many other flavored rums, SelvaRey Cacao Rum can be sipped neat or on the rocks but also combines beautifully in coffee cocktails such as an Espresso Martini and creates a unique spin on countless classics.

Bruno Mars Won All of the Grammys Wearing These Ultra-Rare Sneakers

Bruno Mars Won All of the Grammys Wearing These Ultra-Rare Sneakers:

The 24K Magic artist swept a shelf’s worth of gold statues in some of the rarest sneakers out there.

The 2018 Grammys were a great night for Bruno Mars. He took home the three top prizes at this year’s show, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year (which, yes, are three separate awards). And though Mars has always had a flair for daring style, last night he stepped up his sneaker game big-time. While performing his newly remixed new jack swing–inspired single “Finesse” with Cardi B, Mars and his back-up dancers sported Off-White x Nike Prestos, Off-White x Nike Air Jordan 1s, and Sean Wotherspoon x Nike Air Max 97/1s. It was a sneaker flex akin to someone walking away from the show with three of the night’s biggest awards in hand.

Mars showed out in the Prestos, a move that makes sense when you consider his Grammy-winning album is called 24K Magic and these are the gold standard of hard-to-get sneakers right now. He paired the rare kicks with some slim track pants, a hoodie, and an oversize baseball jersey—a look that isn’t quite period-accurate (no one was wearing pants that slim in the early ’90s) but that is totally in line with the current nostalgia wave that’s everywhere in menswear. And we can’t think of a better advertisement for Nike than having one of the biggest pop stars on the planet moonwalk across the Grammys stage in a pair of its sneakers.
Then again, in celebrity circles, the Off-White x Nike collab seems almost standard-issue. Anyone who’s anyone (or who has the right connections to someone)—from Roger Federer to A$AP Rocky and beyond—has worn Virgil Abloh’s standout Nike collab at some point since the kicks hit shelves in the latter part of 2017. Considering the shoes are long sold out, we can only imagine that Bruno and Co.’s endorsement only stands to drive the resale price of these sneakers even higher—they currently will run you between $1,600 and $2,100, according to StockX.
Bruno MarsSneakersNike

Bruno Mars & Cardi B, Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee See Post-Grammys Bumps on Streaming Songs Chart

Bruno Mars & Cardi B, Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee See Post-Grammys Bumps on Streaming Songs Chart:

Bruno and Cardi’s “Finesse” takes the cake, rising 5-2 after the duo’s Grammy performance.

Following the 2018 Grammy Awards on Jan. 28, multiple songs showcased during the CBS broadcast make major gains on streaming platforms and Billboard’s Streaming Songs chart dated Feb. 10. The charge is led by Bruno Mars’ and Cardi B’s “Finesse,” which rises 5-2.    

“Finesse,” which previously led the Streaming Songs chart dated Jan. 20, actually earns its biggest streaming week since its release thanks to the Grammys bump, earning 40.4 million streams in the week ending Feb. 1 (up 24 percent), according to Nielsen Music (in its No. 1 week, it accrued 38.3 million). The boost comes due in large part to a 56 percent gain in YouTube views after video of the song’s performance on the Grammys telecast was uploaded to Mars’ YouTube page.  

That’s a general trend with the Grammys gains for the Feb. 10-dated charts: YouTube clips of the performances. Below “Finesse,” Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” featuring Justin Bieber, moves 30-24 with a 9 percent boost in overall streams, owed in part to a 22 percent gain in YouTube views after the performance video was uploaded (sans Bieber, who did not perform with Fonsi and Daddy Yankee on the Grammys); it achieved 16.8 million overall.

Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” featuring Khalid and Alessia Cara, the final performance of the evening, also gained thanks to its performance clip posted to YouTube. In addition to its 15 percent jump in overall streams (15 million total), it rose 47 percent in YouTube views.

Additionally, though it wasn’t performed on the broadcast, Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey’s “The Middle,” the music video for which was premiered during the CBS telecast, debuts at No. 49 on Streaming Songs with 12.1 million streams, marking Morris’ first appearance on the chart.

Bruno Mars Launches The Extravagant 24 Karat $75,000 Cocktail

Bruno Mars Launches The Extravagant 24 Karat $75,000 Cocktail:

Just after winning a massive six awards at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards—including Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Record of the Year—Bruno Mars not only deserves a celebratory cocktail, but he’s launching one, too, and in a big way.

The “Finesse” singer has launched what could be easily the world’s most extravagant Cable Car cocktail… to the tune of $75,000.

The drink, which is available at Felt Bar & Lounge and Blossom Cocktail Lounge inside the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, is made with the singer’s newly launched SelvaRey rum, Marie Brizard Orange Curaçao and fresh lemon sour. It’s served in a gold flake rimmed martini glass wrapped in a 30inch 18karat yellow gold and 36 carat diamond Cuban link chain covered in G vs1 diamonds. Not to stop there, this once in a lifetime cocktail also comes with a signed bottle of SelvaRey rum by Bruno Mars and a tableside bartender for the evening. Appropriately, in homage to his hit song, “24K Magic,” the cocktail is called “24 Karat Cable Car.”

And there’s more! Mars has more big news to announce. He took to Twitter on Thursday night to tease his 24K Magic Tour, writing “What if I told you I wanna do one more U.S tour so we could celebrate 24k Magic together one last time…..”

He followed this Tweet up with another, adding that Cardi B. is going to be helping him make magic, too. “Annndddd…what if I told u imma bring my lil sis @iamcardib on tour so we can really turn your city upside down! Make this finale a party!!”

24k Karat Cable Car 2

24 Karat Cable Car
1.5 oz. Selva Ray Rum
.75 oz. Marie Brizard Orange Curaçao
1.5 oz. Fresh lemon sour

Build: Combine all ingredients into a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Pour into glass
Glass: Cocktail glass rimmed in sugar and gold flake
Garnish: Orange spiral

Babyface Talks Collaboration With Teddy Riley on BET Bobby Brown Biopic Theme & Bruno Mars’ Grammy Shoutout

Babyface Talks Collaboration With Teddy Riley on BET Bobby Brown Biopic Theme & Bruno Mars’ Grammy Shoutout:

A pair of “polite rivals” are collaborating on a song for BET’s new Bobby Brown biopic.

Babyface tells Billboard that he and fellow R&B/pop hitmaker Teddy Riley are joining forces to write a “theme song” for the project, which is currently in pre-production. “It’s going to be a lot of fun to do that,” Babyface says. “We’ve already started looking at some tracks he’s got. It feels like it’s going to be natural. We both kind of know what we do, so there’s not really much figuring out to do, that’s the cool thing about it.”

Babyface acknowledges that during the ‘90s, especially, he felt both a rivalry and a kinship with Riley, who both wrote for Brown and, between them, piled up hits for themselves and other artists. “I guess back in the day we were kind of like polite rivals,” Babyface recalls. “We were all going against each other. Everybody was trying to stay on top of the charts and be the No. 1 team. You had Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and me and L.A. (Reid) and Teddy. I remember the day when I first heard Keith Sweat’s ‘I Want Her;’ I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s over!’ It was just so new and fresh, so I was definitely inspired by Teddy as well.

“So it’s nice at this point in our lives for us both to still be in music and doing music and be able to work together and respect each other and really love what each other does and be able to have fun with it.”

Babyface says that although other singers – including Woody McClain, who’s portraying Brown in the new film as he did in 2017’s “The New Edition Story” – are re-recording some of Brown’s hits, the track he and Riley create will be sung by Brown himself. Brown may also appear as “the older Bobby,” though that’s still up in the air. “Bobby was just in the studio,” Babyface reports. “He’s working. His voice is in good shape. He’s getting in really good shape and he lost a lot of weight and he’s on a road to getting it good, getting it right again.”

The film, based on Brown’s 2013 memoir Every Little Step, is slated to start filming during March, and Babyface predicts “the movie should be ready to come out about September.”

Meanwhile, Babyface is working on a variety of other projects, both musical and for television. An album of his own is in the works, too, to follow up 2015’s Return of the Tender Lover. “I’m working on that as we speak, and I’m pretty close,” he says. “I was far away for a little bit, and then all of a sudden the last week it got close, so I think I might get something out this year.” And the sound, he promises, will be familiar.

I’m trying to make good-feeling music again and not be afraid of who I am and who I’ve been,” he says. “Fortunately, Bruno (Mars) made it easy for us to be ourselves again, and then you have so many cool artists like Daniel Caesar and Khalid who are doing feel-good R&B that makes you not afraid to be R&B and just let the heart lead again. That’s the biggest takeaway that I take with music at this point. I think that’s a great thing.”

Babyface was also “humbled and honored” to be name-checked by Mars during his Grammy Award acceptance speeches on Sunday and was thrilled with Mars’ trophy sweep.

“I’m very proud of him and his accomplishments,” Babyface says. “I had the opportunity to go into the studio and work with and write with him, and I had so much respect for his work ethic ’cause it was very close to how I did it, and how I do it. I think he’s genius in his approach and one of the best entertainers we’ve had in a very, very long time. I consider Bruno in the same category with Prince and with Michael Jackson; He’s one of those guys who can actually stand with those artists, and there aren’t a lot of artists I can actually say that about and say it with confidence and feel like he would deserve to be on that same stage as them.”

2018 Grammy Awards

24 Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Bruno Mars’ ’24K Magic’

24 Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Bruno Mars’ ’24K Magic’:

Bruno Mars’ many Grammy wins for 24K Magic was more than just a victory for the musician. It’s a victory for R&B music as a whole. The Grammy for R&B Album of the Year has often been completely segregated from the major awards. (Frequent nominees and winners include people like John Legend, Mary J. Blige, Boyz II Men and Alicia Keys.)

Winning the R&B Album of the Year Grammy rarely leads to walking up to the stage at the end of the night for the big prize — or even being nominated for it. Lauryn Hill pulled it off for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill back in 1999. And it hasn’t happened since — until Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic brought home both awards among several others.

Does this mean the Academy now respects Black music and is recognizing its’ worth? That remains to be seen. It can be seen as a start.

Bruno Mars is doing his part to bring light to the musicians that have been an influence on pop music for decades. While collecting his Album of The Year Grammy, he gave a heart-warming speech, dedicating his award to Babyface, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Teddy Riley. He put it plain: “This album wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for these guys.”

With a monstrous record like this, there’s plenty you probably don’t know. Here are 24 things you didn’t know about 24K Magic.

To get started, here’s a good one: winning Record, Song and Album of the Year in one night gives a musician entry into a very small group of musicians like Simon and Garfunkel, Norah Jones and Adele. (Even Michael Jackson doesn’t belong!) 24K Magic achieved this incredible feat and Bruno is the 10th artist to hold the big three.

Here’s more…

(1) 24k Magic was born in a top-secret and, well, magical spot. Unlike most albums, 24K Magic was recorded entirely in one studio. The Glenwood Recording Studio in Burbank, California, has hosted everyone from the Black Eyed Peas to Britney Spears. But don’t look for information anywhere. Even the website has only a phone number.

(2) Yet, 24K Magic was almost not born at all. After the success of “Uptown Funk” and Bruno’s not one but two Super Bowl appearances, the singer spoke about having writer’s block and not being satisfied with a lot of the early songs he recorded.

(3) Shampoo Press & Curl is part of the formula for the worldwide success of 24K Magic. The production group, originally known as The Smeezingtons, initially wrote and recorded for other artists while Bruno was still developing as a solo artist. They are credited on just about every track.

(4) 24K Magic won the big three at The 2018 Grammys but the album also scooped one of the obscure awards. In the non-televised ceremony held earlier in the afternoon, the album won for Best Engineered Album, non Classical. Tom Coyne, the master engineer on the project, passed away last year, so Bruno made sure his wife was on stage to collect the award on his behalf.

(5) Many of the songs on 24K Magic were recorded live. Not in front of an audience but performed live with instruments in the studio. The standard these days is recording in parts and then using Pro Tools. That’s if instruments are used at all. Most artists who use live music save it for the tour.

(6) The entire album is pretty short as music goes. 24K Magic clocks in at just a bit over 33 minutes. A piece of music must be at least 30 minutes in order to be considered an album and not an EP.

(7) The artwork for the album comes courtesy of Greg Gigendad Burke. Known for his innovative work with artists like Jay-Z, T.I. and Wiz Khalifa, Burke often does both artwork and design for album covers. For this album, Bruno did the art direction himself.

(8) Bruno is clearly loyal. The Stereotypes, a Los Angeles-based production team, has been in the game for over a decade. After years of hits and misses, they reconnected with Bruno. 24K Magic was already done but Mars still invited them into the studio and ended up creating “Finesse.” That late addition made the album — and became history.

(9) Outside of the remix of “Finesse” with Cardi B, there are no features on the album. It’s a rarity in this era to skip the tradition of plumping up an album with guest rappers or vocal duets for a varied audience and sound. Bruno decided to keep it simple — even though he’s known to pump up music for other artists.

(10) Bruno’s got nothing against remixes though! Official remixes for “That’s What I Like” include tracks with Gucci Mane and Party Next Door.

(11) Last year Beyoncé appeared at a Bruno Mars show with gold hoops spelling out CHUNKY, a song from Bruno’s album. The whispers started immediately. Would there be a collaboration perhaps? And then, eagle-eared listeners began insisting that Beyoncé is singing backgrounds on the song. Does it sound like it could be her? Maybe. Is that likely? No. However, there are no background vocalists credited on the song…

(12) Bruno Mars fully credits New Jack Swing pioneers like Teddy Riley and Babyface for his new work. Just in case you don’t know what New Jack Swing means: in the late ‘80s and ’90s, a particular form of pop music borrowing heavily from hip-hop and R&B was born with acts like Bobby Brown and Guy. The name comes from early ‘80s hip-hop slang for a newcomer.

(13) The opening lines from “24K Magic”? That’s Mr. Talk Box, a musician known for his work in gospel music. And because his portion of “24K Magic” was sampled on Kendrick Lamar’s “Loyalty,” the musician contributed to more than one 2017 megahit.

(14) Bruno’s album helped Cardi B. achieve yet another chart success. With “Finesse,” she becomes only the third person in history — and the first woman — to have five singles on the Top 10 at the same time.

(15) The funk that led to “Chunky” comes courtesy of Charlie Wilson and The Gap Band. One of Bruno Mars’ producing partners told him about a party he went to where everyone played the wall and stayed on their cellphones — until the DJ played “Outstanding” by The Gap Band. Bruno says hearing that inspired him to write “Chunky.”

(16) There’s a wink-and-nod lyrical homage to R. Kelly’s “Seems Like You’re Ready.” If you don’t know the 1993 song, you might miss it. But he literally croons out the line on his ballad “Versace on the Floor.”

(17) A quick run-down on all of the hair-related terminology Bruno spits on “Perm”: He tells a woman to relax (which is another word for perm). He mentions sheen (usually used in aerosol form). There’s a tribute to pat-pat-patting your weave. And he urges us to “activate” the sexy, as in activator used for ’80s-era curly hairstyles.

(18) If you’re one of the few people on earth who haven’t heard the album in its entirety, here’s a random factoid: Yes, that’s Halle Berry in a voicemail recording in the middle of the song “Calling All My Lovelies.”

(19) While working with Babyface, a song Bruno never finished began to play. Babyface said he needed to finish it that day. The song became the tearjerker “Too Good To Say Goodbye.”

(20) Music lovers began hyperventilating when photos surfaced of Missy Elliott and Bruno Mars in the studio together. Alas, they were “just hanging out.” Maybe next time.

(21) Bruno is known for keeping things old school when he’s recording. When it was time for him to allow journalists to listen to the album before release, the album was loaded on one iPod stored in a safe at his record label offices.

(22) While Bruno admits that he was nervous when he started recording, he personally put himself against his own biggest work. The title track for 24K Magic was recorded while “Uptown Funk” was still No. 1 on the charts.

(23) Ever the perfectionist, Bruno will tweak a song until he’s 100 percent happy with it. Case in point: his latest single “Finesse” had over 20 different versions.

(24) And speaking of perfectionism, the power ballad “Versace on the Floor” was completely done. Then Bruno listened and felt like he didn’t get it right vocally. He actually ended up writing the song over completely.

(25) Did you stream this album? It’s all good. But Bruno kind of wishes you had it on CD. He designed and wrote all of the inserts for the physical project and then realized that the idea of holding and reading liner notes may soon be a distant memory. He worked really hard on designing the fonts for the song titles. (No, really.)

Written by Alisa S. King