BUSY MISS LIZZIE. From the Big Game to the Grammys, just-engaged Grubman’s a PR gal on the go

It's 8 p. m. on Super Bowl Sunday and Lizzie Grubman is trying to track down an ice-cream cake that will read "Happy Birthday Poo. " Her fiancé Chris Stern's birthday isn't until Tuesday, but Grubman will be in Los Angeles for the Grammy Awards then, so she needs to track down a cake tonight. This has been a busy month for the blond publicity powerhouse. Five days out in Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival, two nights spent in Detroit throwing Super Bowl parties, two days in New York and then off to Los Angeles for tonight's Grammy Awards, where she is representing both Grammy nominee Omarion and a new jewelry client, Kristen Ferrell (expect to see Ferrell's designs draped all over Grubman's longtime pal, Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas). "Omarion asked me if it was okay to have a Grammy party," laughs Lizzie, "even though he was just nominated for one Grammy and not three. I just told him, 'Hey, one is better than none, right? '" And, in the middle of all of the madness, she got engaged to Stern, her boyfriend of eight months. Stern is an executive at Bad Boy Entertainment. "He knew I didn't want to get engaged on my birthday," she notes, "so he did it a few days beforehand, and I was so surprised," adding a complaint about an article that appeared the next day in the New York Post. "They got it all wrong. " But don't expect her wedding to be like one of Grubman's glitzy events. "It's not a wedding, it's 'We're getting married,' " she says from the duplex apartment the pair shares on the upper East Side. "This is about me and Chris. We were both married before, and my last wedding was a really big wedding and I want this day to just be about us. " The wedding will probably be in a rabbi's study, Lizzie thinks, and it will be as soon as possible - within a few months. "We want kids ASAP, maybe two or maybe three," Lizzie says, practically jumping off her king-size bed and into Stern's arms. "Right, baby? " she coos, Continue Reading


Even though the Grammy Awards take place tomorrow night, certain elements of the CBS telecast are still being shuffled and added, according to executive producer Ken Ehrlich. Among the latest additions are Jay-Z and Linkin Park, teaming on "Numb/Encore," and perhaps two performances by Paul McCartney - his first-ever on the Grammys. "You may see him in another part of the show," Ehrlich said, "in addition to his performance" (the one keyed to his Grammy-nominated album, "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard"). As reported earlier, tomorrow's 48th annual Grammy Awards" will open with Madonna doing a duet with the animated characters who make up the music-video face of the group Gorillaz. It will be staged so that the interplay between Madonna and the Gorillaz characters can be seen not just by viewers at home, but by those in attendance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Ehrlich said. "If you're sitting in that house, you really believe that those animated characters are real," Ehrlich insisted. "It's based on a 150-year-old magic illusion, called Pepper's ghost, that has to do with projection, reflection and a transparent kind of scrim material. "It's opening the show, Ehrlich explained, for the same reason Madonna's song "Hung Up" is being paired with "Feel Good Inc. " by Gorillaz in the first place: "They were made for each other," he said. "They're both great dance records. " That mixture of old and new guard, an Ehrlichtrademark, has kept the audience for the CBS broadcast trending younger, even as the show itself has lost viewers overall. Ehrlich credits the revised nomination procedures with part of that, for making the nominees more vital overall, but also with the Grammys' reach and clout among several generations of artists. "We all want to be contemporary," he said. "We all want to feel as current as we are timeless. " That's why, two years ago, Prince and Beyoncé stopped the show with their incendiary duet - a performance Continue Reading

Ready to rumba. Latin Grammys coming to city

AFTER SIX years of losing to Miami and Los Angeles, the most prominent Hispanic music awards show - the Latin Grammys - is finally coming to Nueva York. "This is going to be the kind of fun and excitement that only New York can produce," Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday in making the announcement flanked by famous salsa musicians Johnny Pacheco, Willie Colon and India. The seventh annual Latin Grammy Awards will be held at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 2 and televised on Univision to an audience that last year reached 9 million people. No host has been named. Gabriel Abaroa, president of the Miami-based Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences said the city is a logical choice. "New York constitutes a worldwide mecca of arts and at the same time represents the center of [many] musical movements such as salsa, mambo, tango, mariachi, merengue and Latin jazz," Abaroa said, adding many big Latin stars have called the city home - from the late Celia Cruz, to Placido Domingo to Marc Anthony. "In fact, by going to New York City, we are going home because one out of every four city residents is a Latino," he said. Bloomberg credited NYC Big Events President Maureen Reidy with luring the show, which officials estimate will pump $30 million into the local economy. Reidy's group also helped bring last year's Country Music Awards to the city. Colon, who had been outspoken in criticizing the awards as too Miami-centered, said it is vital for New York to be a showcase for Latin music again. "It's really important because, little by little we have been losing our Latino content," he said. "We had all of our record companies here at one time, but everything went to Miami. So this is a good sign." [email protected] Join the Conversation: Continue Reading


STRAPHANGERS will be moving to a Latin beat Thursday when the Latin Grammys come to Madison Square Garden. That's because Latino musicians in the MTA's Music Under New York program will take to the transit system's biggest stages: Grand Central Terminal, Times Square and Penn Station. "MTA riders can catch the fever of the Latin Grammys with these performances in the transportation system," MTA spokeswoman Mercedes Padilla said. The musicians and venues include: Gimagua, identical twins from Colombia, will bring their rumba, flamenco, cumbia and Afro-Cuban rhythms to Grand Central between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. They will perform on the mezzanine above the Lexington Ave. line. Faustino Cutipa and his band will play songs from the Andes region near the Times Square shuttle in the 42nd St. complex, between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Yily Nelson from the Dominican Republic will play on the mezzanine above the A, C and E lines at 42nd St./Eighth Ave. between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Don Witter will perform at Penn Station near the entrance to the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 trains below Seventh Ave., between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading


THE NO. 1 LATIN music awards show has teamed up with New York's No. 1 newspaper to produce a stunning official guide to the Latin Grammys. The glittering show, which will take place in New York on Nov. 2 for the first time, will feature some of Latin music's biggest stars. Organizers have partnered with the Daily News to produce separate English- and Spanish-language sections devoted to the event. "It is an honor that the Latin Grammys have chosen to partner with the Daily News," said Deputy Publisher and Editor in Chief Martin Dunn. "We are thrilled that we have been chosen to be part of the excitement of the event." The News will publish inside its Oct. 25 edition a 32-page guide dedicated to the star-studded show. The next day, The News' weekly Hora Hispana will reprint the guide in español. The News has partnered with the Latin Recording Academy, Mayor Bloomberg's NYC Big Events and cable network Univision to become the official newspaper of the event. "This is going to be the kind of fun and excitement that only New York can produce," Bloomberg said back in April in announcing his administration had successfully lured the Latin Grammys to the city for the first time. New York had lost to Los Angeles and Miami the first six years of the show. "It's about time!" New York salsera India said last week. The News's special section will bring readers the latest from top Latin artists- from Colombian songstress Shakira, whose spectacular ascension this year was capped last week when she scored five nominations to the Latin Grammys, to Puerto Rican reggaetóncq duo Calle 13, a newcomer that snatched three nominations. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Aaron Hernandez court officer, Ralph Tavares, is a Grammy-winning former member of R&B group Tavares

FALL RIVER, Mass. — Aaron Hernandez is not the only former star at his ongoing murder trial inside Courtroom 7 of the Fall River Justice Center. The chief court officer, Ralph Tavares, won a Grammy for “More Than A Woman,” his soul group Tavares’ contribution to the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack in 1977. The other hits by the group of five brothers included “She’s Gone,” “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel” and “It Only Takes a Minute.” RELATED: ROBERT KRAFT: AARON HERNANDEZ TOLD ME 'HE WAS INNOCENT' Tavares, 72, declined to be interviewed by the Daily News, but he has been a visible presence over the last two months, leading Hernandez in and out of the courtroom and voicing a spirited rendition of the “Court Cry” to commence and end each day’s session. He shouts, “Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye!” as he bangs his wooden gavel three times. Last week, Tavares interrupted a session just after noon to inform Justice E. Susan Garsh that a bomb threat had been called in to the courthouse. He has been a court officer for 32 years, and serves in the Bristol County Superior Court. Ralph Tavares left the group in 1984 to take his court officer job. He re-joined the act last year and told the Press of Atlantic City in January that he plans to retire as a court officer after the Hernandez trial and resume regular touring with Tavares.   MOBILE USERS: WATCH TAVARES PERFORM 'MORE THAN A WOMAN' Continue Reading


BROOKLYN songwriter Joeworn Martin says ideas for his music often come in dreams. And one of his latest dreams-turned-songs may lead to a Grammy for Martin next month at the annual awards ceremony. "Lift Him Up" is a song of exuberant praise on his CD, "20/85 The Experience," the latest recording by the Rev. Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Choir. The tune was nominated for Best Gospel Song, a new Grammy category. Other nominated songwriters include Yolanda Adams, Joseph Moss, Israel Houghton and Erica Campbell of Mary, Mary. "I'm up against some real heavy hitters. They're all artists I look up to," said Martin, who heads the music ministry at Love Fellowship Tabernacle in East New York. The 31-year-old musician was born in Bedford-Stuyvesant and grew up in several Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Fort Greene, where he met Walker. Martin was 19 when Walker founded Love Fellowship and asked him to head the music ministry. Martin has written several other songs that Walker and his choirs have recorded. "Lift Him Up" grew out of a dream in which Martin saw himself playing the organ during a church service. "The choir was singing and the church was praising God like I couldn't believe," he said. After a weeknight church service, the song became reality. "I got on the organ, started playing a chorus and singing, 'Lift Him up.' Then came the phrases, 'He is worthy . . . worthy to be praised . . . from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same,' " Martin recalled. "And I will never forget the first Sunday the choir sang it," Martin said. "The women of the church, the sisterhood, had just come back from a retreat where praising God was a theme. "The song was just right for the moment. We must have sung it for about 15 minutes. And I realized, that was what I had seen in my dream," Martin said. Walker said when he heard the song, he knew he wanted it recorded. "The gospel music industry has changed a lot," the pastor and singer Continue Reading

Grammy-winning trumpeter for Steely Dan featured on Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars track now facing eviction

He’s going from “Uptown Funk” to the Village blues. A Grammy Award-winning trumpeter featured on the Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars smash is facing eviction from his West Village apartment. Michael Leonhart’s landlord wants him to blow from his W. 16th St. building for allegedly using his apartment as a music studio. The building owner is the estate of Nicholas Morrison. The landlord says in papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court that Leonhart — who’s played for the likes of Steely Dan and James Brown — is not entitled to the apartment because he has been using it solely for commercial purposes for years. The landlord, “Randy” Morrison, a sound production supervisor for decades in the Shubert Theater organization, was fine with that, according to estate attorney Bradley Silverbush. He said Morrison signed a lease with Leonhart in 2005 which let him use the studio apartment as a recording studio at the rate of $1400 a month. When Morrison died in December 2013, his estate moved to reclaim the apartment because the lease had expired but Leonhart refused to move and appealed to state housing officials to declare that the unit was rent stabilized. “We're not trying to evict him from his home. He doesn't live there. There is no bed. It's a recording studio,” said Silverbush who insisted that Leonhart lives with his family nearby on Fifth Avenue. Silverbush is asking the courts to evict Leonhart, block him from claiming that he has rent stabilized status and order him to pay market rate rent from October 2014. The landlord apparently used to be fine with that — the suit says Leonhart signed a commercial lease for the unit in 2005 and used the apartment to record while he and his family have lived nearby on Fifth Ave. When the estate moved to increase the rent last fall by charging full market rate rent for residential use of the Continue Reading

Guitarist on 1958 classic Tequila, song featured in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, puts Grammy up for auction

It was a B-side recorded in a cramped Los Angeles recording studio by a group of anonymous session men 57 years ago, but this jukebox classic went on to become one of the top-selling records of 1958 - and perhaps the most iconic instrumental in rock 'n' roll history. Dave Burgess was a rockabilly guitar slinger when The Champs won the Grammy for "Tequila," beating out Harry Belafonte, Nat King Cole, Perez Prado and Earl Grant in the Best Rhythm & Blues Performance category in 1959, the music award's inaugural year. Now 80, Burgess is auctioning off the trophy he was awarded at the first-ever Grammy Awards ceremony to raise money for a family member's medical bills, despite protests and the hint of legal action by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. "I prefer not to sell my Grammy but there is an illness in my family and we have a lot of doctors bills," Burgess says. "They don't own the Grammy. Most of the people over there weren't even alive when I won the Grammy." Burgess says NARAS recently contacted him to let him know that it was opposed to the sale of his Grammy. But despite the academy's objections, bidding on the trophy began this week at Robert Edward Auctions, the New Jersey business best known for selling rare baseball cards and vintage sports memorabilia. One collector has already offered $30,000 for Burgess' statuette, but REA president Rob Lifson says it is hard to speculate how much it will sell for when the bidding ends on April 25. Grammys are rarely sold in public auctions, Lifson says, although the estate of Johnny Cash sold several at Sotheby's in 2004, shortly after the Man in Black's death. Leland's sold a Grammy awarded for Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" the previous year. NARAS now requires winners to sign an agreement forbidding them to sell their awards, although they can pass the gramophone statues along to their heirs when they die (so does the Academy of Continue Reading

Grammy-winning Latin music star Selena is killed in 1995

(Originally published by the Daily News on April 1, 1995. This story was written by Robert Dominguez.) A woman suspected of fatally shooting Grammy-winning Latin music star Selena gave up last night after holding police at bay for hours and threatening suicide. Police said the suspect, identified by Selena's father as Yolanda Saldivar, barricaded herself in the back of a pickup truck in the parking lot of a motel in Corpus Christi, Tex., where the shooting occurred. Selena, 23, whose sexy singing style has been compared with Madonna's, was shot to death earlier after a scuffle with the suspect at a Day's Inn motel, said police. The singer, whose last name is Quintanilla-Perez, was taken to Memorial Medical Center, where she died from two gunshot wounds around 1 p.m. yesterday, a hospital spokesman said. Saldivar once served as president of Selena's fan club and had been hired to help run Selena's clothing line business, sources told the Daily News. Saldivar was a "disgruntled employe who had been caught embezzling money" and lured Selena to the motel yesterday morning by promising to turn over some bank statements, a source said. The Texas-born singer had gained a wide following among teenage Mexican-American fans of Tejano music, an urbanized version of Tex-Mex conjunto. Selena won a Grammy last year in the best Mexican-American album category for "Selena Live." She was a Grammy nominee this year for the song "Amor Prohibido" (Forbidden Love). The album by the same name was No. 3 on Billboard's Latin chart this week. She recently signed a deal to record an English-language album to broaden her appeal. Continue Reading