Kate's Notes

Monday, March 19, 2007

Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray

Rachael Domenica Ray (born August 25, 1968) is a celebrity chef, who has developed her knack for simple easy, "eyeballing it" cooking into a small empire, and media blitz. She is an Emmy-winning television personality and author, who currently hosts the syndicated series “Rachael Ray,” in addition to hosting four different programs on cable television's Food Network – “30 Minute Meals,” “$40 a Day,” “Inside Dish,” and “Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels.” She has also authored a series of cookbooks based on the “30 Minute Meals” concept.

Early Life and Career

Born in Glens Falls, New York, Ray's family is Sicilian-American on her mother's side and French American on her father's side. Ray says she was born into cooking. "My first vivid memory is watching mom in a restaurant kitchen. She was flipping something with a spatula. I tried to copy her and ended up grilling my right thumb! I was three or four," says Rachael. “Everyone on both sides of my family cooks."

The Ray family owned several restaurants on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Later, the family relocated to upstate New York, where her mother went to work as the food supervisor for a chain of restaurants. "I was surrounded by all different styles of cooking, and worked in the food service industry in just about every capacity you can imagine.” Ray's parents divorced when she was 13, and her mother took a job as a food supervisor in upstate New York.

She attended high school in Lake George, New York, a small town in the Adirondack Mountains, where she was a cheerleader and worked part-time as a waitress for her mother. Before graduating in 1986, Rachael was already an entrepreneur, running her own gift basket service on the side.

In 1993, after graduating from college, Rachael returned to Lake George and rented a cabin. However, she moved to New York City two years later due to a lack of opportunities back home. She found a job at the Macy's Marketplace candy counter, and was soon promoted to manager of the Fresh Foods department. She was able to learn a lot about gourmet foods, and she used that knowledge to help open and manage Agata & Valentina, a prestigious New York gourmet marketplace. But following bad personal experiences in the city, including a breakup and a mugging, Rachael moved back to Lake George in 1997. There Ray managed Mister Brown's Pub at The Sagamore, a famous hotel on Lake George. From there, she became a buyer at Cowan & Lobel, a gourmet market in suburban Albany. Ray credits the concept of “30 Minute Meals” to her experience working at the store where she met people reluctant to cook. She began teaching a cooking course there showing people how to make meals in 30 minutes or less.

With the success of her "30 Minute Meals" classes, WRGB, the local CBS television affiliate, asked her to appear in a weekly segment on their newscasts. This, along with a public radio appearance and the publication of her first book, led to a “Today Show” spot and her first Food Network contract in 2001. She also appeared in a few commercials for Schenectady-based grocery chain Price Chopper, which stocks all her books at their stores and retains her as an occasional spokesperson.

Ray owns homes in Lake Luzerne, New York and Manhattan's Greenwich Village. On September 24, 2005, in Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy, Ray married John Cusimano, a lawyer and member of the band The Cringe.

Cooking Techniques

Ray teaches simple recipes that she claims can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. She uses garlic and chicken stock as simple ways to boost flavors. She often uses recipes that include her Italian, French, and American heritage, and Ray emphasizes using fresh herbs whenever possible. She believes that measuring "takes away from the creative, hands-on process of cooking" and instead favors approximations such as "half a palmful" and "eyeball it." On her television programs she has used catchphrases such as "E.V.O.O." (extra-virgin olive oil), "yum-o," "so delish," "G.B." (garbage bowl), "stoup" (cross between a soup and stew), and "how good is THAT?" She often refers to sandwiches as "sammies."

She claims to dislike baking desserts and to be notorious for burning bread under the broiler. Ray says her Sicilian maternal grandfather, Emmanuel Scuderi, served as a strong influence on her cooking. To critics of her shortcut techniques, Ray responds, "I have no formal anything. I'm completely unqualified for any job I've ever had."

The retro look of the set she uses on the Food Network features, among other things, a beautiful yellow 1950's Model C Chambers stove. While this stove isn't often used on her program, it is noticed by viewers, so much so that people selling them often refer to Chambers ranges as "the Rachel Ray stove." This has led to an increased interest in saving and restoring these stoves, inspiring both an online discussion forum and a website, as well as numerous references to them in the media.


Reader's Digest launched Ray's eponymous magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray in conjunction with Reader's Digest. The magazine premiered on October 25, 2005 and featured seven issues in 2006. It will increase to ten issues in 2007.

In addition to her television hosting and cookbooks, Ray has endorsed products for Price Chopper supermarkets and Burger King, and has appended her name to a line of cookware and cutlery. When she endorsed Wüsthof's, sales rose dramatically; she now endorses her own line of santoku knives.

In 2003, she posed for the men's magazine FHM. The New York Times wrote, "The shots feature Ray in short-shorts with an exposed midriff, licking chocolate off a big wooden spoon, eating a strawberry and sitting in a sink, laughing as suds cascade down her thighs." One year later she was named #92 on FHM "100 Sexiest Women 2004." Most recently, she was featured in FHM "100 Sexiest Women 2006," ranking at #71.

In late 2005, Ray signed a deal with Oprah Winfrey and King World Productions to host a syndicated daytime television talk show. The show, Rachael Ray premiered on September 18, 2006. Recurrent appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" were used to fuel the launch, much like Dr. Phil's show was spun off based on his own frequent visits to Oprah. The show tapes in New York City, and Ray will continue to appear on the Food Network. Ray said, in coordination with the syndication announcement, "People know me for my love of food, but I have so much more I want to share." On the September 19 episode of “The Insider,” host Lara Spencer characterized the ratings for the show as "a monster hit.”

In addition to Oprah, Ray has appeared on “The View,” “The Today Show,” “The Tonight Show” with “Jay Leno,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Conan O'Brien,” and “Larry King Live.”

In 2006, "Ray's 30 Minute Meals" received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Service Show. Ray was also nominated for Outstanding Service Show Host, but lost to Suze Orman.
Ray was also named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2006. She was nominated by fellow Food Network star Mario Batali.

According to Forbes magazine, Ray earns about $6 million per year from her books and television shows (excluding her new show, "Rachael Ray").

On November 12, 2006 Mario Batali and Rachael defeated the team of Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis on an episode of the program "Iron Chef America," which featured the use of cranberries as the secret ingredient.

In November 2006, Ray became a spokesperson for Nabisco crackers. She appears in commercials and on boxes for the many Nabisco products. Many boxes with Ray's picture have recipes written by her.

The Oxford American College Dictionary will add the term EVOO, short for Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which Ray has helped popularize.

Ray announced on her show, on February 21, 2007, that a wax creation was made of her. This wax figure will be on display at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in New York City.

On March 18, 2007, Food Network debuted a Rachel Ray episode of their special Chefography series.


Some have criticized Ray's "perky" demeanor as well as her lack of a formal chef's education and perceived lack of seriousness about cooking. bCelebrity chef and Travel Channel personality Anthony Bourdain, who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, has referred to her as a "bobblehead.”

In a Slate article defending Ray, Jill Hunter Pellettieri summarized some of these criticisms by writing: “Ray's ditzy demeanor also makes her easy to dismiss. She giggles off-cue and constantly praises her own cooking. "Smells awesome already!" she says, making her Snapper in a Snap. "I am so psyched about that." She employs kitschy abbreviations—EVOO means "extra virgin olive oil", and gives her dishes nicknames, such as "You-Won't-Be-Single-for-Long Vodka Cream Pasta." The acknowledgments in her $40 a Day cookbook read like a high-school yearbook: "Don …You are the tallest man we've ever had on crew, and yet you pack the smallest bag—ever! Cool." And, it didn't boost her credibility when she posed for pinup shots in FHM. (One featured Ray licking chocolate off a spoon.) When the magazine hit newsstands, she said, "I think it is kinda cool for someone who is goofy, and a cook, just a normal person to be thought of in that way.”

The "30 Minute Meals" concept has been criticized because Ray doesn't account for certain preparation times in the signature half-hour cooking time. Many of these preparations, such as pre-washing herbs and vegetables, are not meal-specific, and Ray counsels they should be done ahead of time. In the Slate article that otherwise mostly complimented her, author Pellettieri went through several of Ray's "30 Minute Meals" recipes and was unable to complete any meal in under half an hour.

Ray has indicated on her cooking show that it may take others over 30 minutes but the point being that it's still fast and simple. Despite describing her recipes as "figure-friendly," Ray does not provide nutritional information.

The New York Times has noted that one of the prices of her popularity has been an "anti-fan site," a LiveJournal page titled "Rachael Ray Sucks." The page's creator acknowledges that it was created partially in jest, and Ray herself has laughed it off.

Sunday, March 18, 2007



Christopher Brian Bridges (born on September 11, 1977), better known as Ludacris, is renowned for his knack for comic rhymes, a big voice, and a graphic artist's widescreen sensibility. Labeled one of the great singles artists of the new decade in hip-hop, this three-time Grammy Award-winning rapper and Screen Actors Guild Award-winning actor was born in Illinois and rode the early-2000s “Dirty South” movement to widespread popularity. His songs enjoyed substantial air-play, first by urban media outlets, then onto the more mainstream MTV and pop radio. In addition to connecting him with super-producers like Timbaland, The Neptunes, Organized Noize, and Def Jam Recordings which gave Ludacris a remarkable marketing push, Ludacris quickly became one of the rap industry's most in-demand rappers, doing cameos on hits for everyone from Missy Elliott ("One Minute Man") to Jermaine Dupri ("Welcome to Atlanta"), when he wasn't dominating the urban market with his own hits, most notably "What's Your Fantasy?," "Southern Hospitality," "Area Codes," and "Rollout (My Business)."

Since his debut album off his own record label, which made it on the Billboard 200, he went onto rule the charts with Chicken-N-Beer (2003), The Red Light District (2004), and his latest release Release Therapy (2006) all toping The Billboard 200 at #1, and with the single from his latest album topping The Billboard Hot Rap Tracks, and achieving #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

He has also very successfully branched out into movies as well, where he received a plethora of critical praise for his roles in 2004’s Crash, and 2005’s Hustle & Flow; both of which went onto win multiple Oscars that year, including Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actor, respectively.

Early Life and Career

Born in Champaign, Illinois, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Ludacris attended Benjamin Banneker High in Atlanta, and Georgia State University. He comes from a musical family, and is the cousin of R&B singer Monica, and cousin to top-notch comedian, and recording artist, Katt Williams.

In order to make a name for himself in Atlanta, and to learn more about the recording industry, he initially found some success as a radio DJ known as Chris Luva Luva. He used the opportunity to hone his craft on the microphone and learn about the industry throughout the Atlanta area, which had become the South's rap mecca starting in the mid-'90s. Eventually, he began aspiring toward a career as a rapper rather than a radio personality. Ludacris then came across the opportunity to work with one of the record producing and hip hop music moguls, Timbaland; after appearing on Timbaland’s bio album (in the original version of "Fat Rabbit") in 1998, Ludacris began taking his rap career seriously.

Incongnegro: Early 2000

He recorded an album, Incognegro, which was released May 16, 2000 on his independent label, Disturbing tha Peace. Ludacris primarily worked with producer Shondrae for the album, though also with Organized Noize to a lesser extent. Though not a smash hit nationally, Incognegro sold impressively in Atlanta, where Ludacris was well known for his radio work. It reached #179 on the Billboard in August of 2000.

Soon after Incognegro became the talk of Atlanta and "What's Your Fantasy?" became a national hit, reaching #21 on The Billboard Hot 100 in 2000. Ludacris’s talent then caught the eye of Scarface, one of the south’s most admired rappers. The “Dirty South” movement was gaining steam, and Def Jam Recordings had given the veteran rapper the go-ahead to scout for talent in order to star a Def Jam South subsidiary. Ludacris subsequently became Scarface's first signing, and Def Jam Recordings repackaged the tracks from Incognegro, along with a few new productions: a U.G.K. collaboration ("Stick 'Em Up"), The Neptunes production ("Southern Hospitality"), and a remix of his previously released song with Timbaland (retitled "Phat Rabbit").

Back For The First Time: Late 2000

Ludacris’s major label debut was released in October of 2000, when Back for the First Time was put out by Def Jam Recordings; the label gave him a substantial marketing push, choosing "What's Your Fantasy?" (an explicit duet about sexual fantasies from both the male and female perspective) as the first single. Though some radio stations were hesitant to air such a provocative song, "What's Your Fantasy?" became an enormous success – as did, to a lesser extent, its even more provocative remix featuring Foxy Brown and Trina. “What’s Your Fantasy?” reached #4 on The Billboard Top 100 and the albums second single, “Southern Hospitality” hit #5 on the Hot Rap Singles, opening the door for countless other exceptionally explicit “Dirty South” songs that would soon become the norm rather than the exception (as most trends tend to do). “What’s Your Fantasy?” was supposedly loosely based on Ludacris’s brief relationship with Sessy Melia, the producer for Incognegro.

Back for the First Time was the beginning of Ludacris's explosion to the top of the rap world.

Word of Mouf: 2001 - 2002

Ludacris’s second release, Word of Mouf, released on November 6, 2001, was also a hit, and he rose in the ranks of young rappers in radio and MTV rotation. The album peaked at #3 in December on The Billboard Hot 100 chart; the album also produced three singles: “Saturday (Oooh! Oooh!),” which peaked at #22 on The Billboard Hot 100, and #10 on the Hot Rap Singles; “Roll Out (My Business),” which peaked at #17 on The Billboard Hot 100, and #7 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks; and finally, “Move B***h,” which reached #10 on The Billboard Hot 100, and #3 on both the Hot Rap Tracks, and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks. The video for the lead single, "Rollout (My Business)" was nominated for a 2002 Video Music Award, and Ludacris performed it live at the awards' pre-show.

Ironically, his career got a boost in 2002 when television’s moral watchdog, Bill O'Reilly expressed outrage that Pepsi had hired Ludacris as a spokesman. O'Reilly criticized Ludacris's foul language and called for a boycott of Pepsi, who then fired Ludacris and hired Ozzy Osbourne's family instead. This caused an ongoing controversy between the two.

Chicken-N-Beer: 2003

In 2003, Ludacris returned to the music scene after a brief hiatus with a new single, "Act A Fool" from the 2 Fast 2 Furious Soundtrack. At around the same time, he released the lead single from his upcoming album, Chicken-N-Beer, called "P-Poppin" (short for "Pussy Poppin'"). Neither of his new singles were as well-received by either the urban or pop audiences as his previous songs had been, and both music videos received only limited airplay.

On October 7, 2003, he released Chicken-N-Beer, which hit #1 on The Billboard 200, but without a popular single, the album fell quickly. However, the album rebounded with hit single, “Stand Up,” that reached #1 on not only The Billboard Hot 100, but also the Hot Rap Tracks, and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks, and went on to be become Ludacris' biggest mainstream hit to date, garnering heavy airplay on mainstream pop, rhythmic, and urban radio stations, as well as on MTV, MTV2, and BET.

Its second single, “Splash Waterfalls,” did not fair quite as well, but still held an impressive #6 on The Billboard Hot 100. The music video for “Splash Waterfalls,” was Ludacris's most sexually suggestive video yet and an R&B remix that featured Raphael Saadiq and sampled Tony! Toni! Tone!'s "Whatever You Want." Ludacris also received his first Grammy Award with Usher and Lil Jon for their hit single "Yeah."

Ludacris next released "Blow It Out," a gritty song with an urban, low-budget music video. It was a departure from the colorful, sensual, R&B leanings of "Splash Waterfalls." "Blow It Out" acted both as a response to the criticism levied by Bill O'Reilly and an attack on Pepsi's role in the affair: “Shout out to Bill O'Reilly, I'm'a throw you a curve / You mad cause I'm a thief and got away with words / I'm'a start my own beverage, it'll calm your nerves / Pepsi's the New Generation?—Blow it out cha ass!” The single peaked at #56 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks in 2004.

On June 1, 2006, a federal jury found that "Stand Up" did not infringe on the copyright of a song called "Straight Like That" by a New Jersey group known as I.O.F. He was quoted saying in an interview at the MTV Awards 2006, "I hope the plaintiffs enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame," Ludacris said after the verdict. "This whole experience is proof to me of why I will always fight for what I believe in."

The Red Light District: 2004

The Red Light District was released December 9, 2004; although not entirely different from the usual antics of the previous albums, Ludacris had taken a more mature approach to his album. Ludacris openly boasted that he might have been the only rapper able to keep Def Jam Recordings afloat on the opening track. Ludacris filmed and recorded the single "Get Back" wherein he was featured as a muscle-bound hulk who was being annoyed by the media and warned critics to leave him alone. He was featured on “Saturday Night Live” playing the song “Get Back” with Sum 41.

The follow-up single was the Austin Powers-inspired, "The Number One Spot." It was produced by New York City's Hot 97 personality DJ Green Lantern, and used Quincy Jones sample of "Soul Bossa Nova," which was sped-up to the tempo of Ludacris' rap flow. Ludacris also filmed the video in which he pokes fun at O'Reilly's problems with Andrea Mackris (Hi Mr. O'Reilly / Hope all is well kiss the plaintiff and the wifey). Production credits come also from veteran producers Timbaland, Lil' Jon, The Medicine Men, Chris Bridges (from Japan) and legendary rapper Doug E. Fresh. Featured artists on the album include Nas, DJ Quik, DMX, Trick Daddy, and Disturbing tha Peace newcomers Bobby Valentino (of Mista fame) and Dolla Boi and Small World. The album debuted at #1 on The Billboard 200.

Release Therapy: 2006

Prior to the release of Release Therapy, Ludacris produced a mixtape album called, Pre-Release Therapy: The Truth Shall Set You Free, which is presented by DJ Green Lantern. Although, Ludacris had previously been featured in his own mixtapes, this was the only mixtape album that focused on new vocals and unreleased appearances by Ludacris.

In addition, in 2006 he changed his look dramatically and began presenting himself as having grown from "the clown prince of rap" into a mature, respectable artist. He then went onto release the new album, Release Therapy, on September 26, 2006 and was back on the charts again with the single "Money Maker."

The hip-hop based magazine, XXL placed Ludacris in the #9 spot for the most anticipated albums of 2006, for Release Therapy. The album had two sides: a “Release” side and a “Therapy” side – the “Release” side having songs that allow him to vent and the “Therapy” side allowing him to relax (feel-good music). The first single, "Money Maker," which featured Pharrell Williams, was released to United States radio outlets on July 17. "Money Maker" reached #1 on the BET 106 & Park Countdown for the first time on September 15, 2006, and #1 on The Billboard Hot 100. Later, in October of 2006, the album reached #1 on The Billboard 200, with sales of more than 300,000 in its first week.

This album was also awarded Rap Album of the year during the 2007 Grammy Awards. With the release of this album, Ludacris marked a change in style in his career with his musical style. A change of hair accompanied this as he cut off his trademark braids for a more conventional "fade" cut. This was done to project a new image for the album: one of business and class.

Musical Technique

Ludacris is known for the immense style in his music, which is ultimately showcased on the first singles from each of his albums. Ludacris is also known for featuring on other artist’s songs, which then become more popular than his own songs from his albums. These songs include Ciara’s “Oh!” and Usher's “Yeah!” His flow ranges from rapping clearly and plainly in the beats of his songs to rapping with a cartoon-like behavior that is unlike to the style of many rap artists. He is more popular for his flow and style, rather than his lyrics, in which in many feature songs, Ludacris’s style contrasts much from the mainstream flow that many rappers follow. He is also known for vocals that stand out in his verses.

Acting Career

Ludacris first role was small: he played the “Customer” in the 2001 film, The Wash; though he gained more notoriety as an actor when he landed a small role in 2003’s 2 Fast 2 Furious, starring Paul Walker. However, his big break came in 2005, where he received critical praise for his roles in two Oscar-winning films: he played Skinny Black in the movie Hustle & Flow (2005, starring Terrence Howard) and had a small role in the drama Crash (2004, with Don Cheadle). Crash includes an ironic sequence where Ludacris's character is dismissive of hip-hop music. Interestingly, in both films, he is physically beaten by characters played by Terrence Howard. In these films, he is occasionally credited as "Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges.”

Not only did these roles give Ludacris a different level of respect amongst his audience and peers, but on January 29, 2006, Hollywood critics took notice and he was awarded with a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Cast in a Motion Picture for his work in the film Crash. Ludacris also narrated the 2006 Ward Serrill basketball documentary, Heart of the Game.

On March 28, 2006 he appeared in an episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” Ludacris portrayed Darius Randall, the nephew of Detective Odafin Tutuola, portrayed by Ice T.

Ludacris also provided the voice for the character "Weathers" - a ferret, in the animated film Lil' Pimp in 2005; and he also finished wrapping a small part in the movie Fred Claus, starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti, where he plays the “Angry Elf,” which is currently in post-production. He is also filming for Def Jam: Icon, a video game that is in production and also includes other famous recording artists including, Russell Simmons, Ice-T, T.I., Method Man, Lil’ Jon and many more.

Controversy, Battles and Media Attention

Bill O'Reilly

In February of 2003, Bill O’Reilly, who is the host of his own right-winged, politically charged talk show, Fox News’s “The O'Reilly Factor,” called for all people to boycott Pepsi because they were using Ludacris as one of their celebrity sponsors; he proclaimed, “So I'm calling for all responsible Americans to fight back and punish Pepsi for using a man who degrades women, who encourages substance abuse, and does all the things that hurt particularly the poor in our society.”

Pepsi dropped Ludacris and instead signed the foul-mouthed, drug addled Osborne Family. In response, popular hip-hop music mogul Russell Simmons organized a boycott against the company. Simmons demanded an apology from Pepsi to Ludacris and a 5 million dollar donation to one of Ludacris' charities. Eventually, Simmons and Pepsi settled on an agreement to stop the boycott, before it officially began. While Pepsi did not formally apologize to Ludacris, they did agree to donate millions of dollars over several years to Russell Simmons Hip-Hop Summit Action Network.

Ludacris' song "Blow It Out" (from the Chicken-N-Beer album) acted as a scathing response to his critics, namely Bill O'Reilly. In another song, "Hoes in My Room", he tells a story about anonymous prostitutes being left in his room, and at the end of the last verse says: "Then it got to my head and Somethin' remind me / I know who let 'em in, it was Bill O'Reilly." Then, in 2004, in "Number 1 Spot": "Respected highly, Hi Mr. O'Reilly / Hope all is well, kiss the plaintiff and the wifey."

When Ludacris hosted “Saturday Night Live” in 2006, a sketch involved O'Reilly telling a Def Jam executive that he will boycott Def Jam if Ludacris isn't fired. O'Reilly, played by Darrell Hammond, says that although his boycotts have had the opposite effect of his intention, Def Jam's sales will decrease dramatically.

Upon winning the Grammy for Best Rap Album on February 11, 2007, Ludacris included in his thank-yous a "special shout-out to Bill O'Reilly." The following day, Bill O'Reilly responded on his show with a less than enthusiastic response. He soon began criticizing Ludacris' Grammy win - O'Reilly did not appreciate his lyrics.

Oprah Winfrey

In a 2006 interview with GQ magazine, Ludacris criticized Oprah Winfrey about his appearance on her show with the cast of the film Crash. During the interview, the conversation veered by Winfrey from the movie to Ludacris's lyrical content; he felt this was unfair as he was visiting her show in the capacity of an actor and not a rapper. Also, Ludacris was upset that some of his responses were later edited from the show's airing. He was later joined by other rappers such as 50 Cent, Ice Cube and Killer Mike who argued that Winfrey had an anti-hip hop bias.

Winfrey responded by saying that she's opposed to rap lyrics that "marginalize women," but enjoys some artists, including Jay-Z and Kanye West, who appeared on her show. She also said she spoke with Ludacris backstage after his appearance to explain her position and said she understood that his music was for entertainment purposes, but that some of his listeners might take it literally. Ludacris later said the media had blown his comments out of proportion and said he respects Winfrey and considers her "a great individual." At the 2007 Grammy Awards Ludacris gave a special shout-out to Oprah Winfrey; this time, however, not ironically, as he did with O'Reilly.


In 2004, before the release of his debut album Straight Outta Ca$hville, Nashville native and G-Unit member Young Buck would enlist the services of fellow Atlanta emcee T.I., also known as T.I.P. in his native Bankhead neighborhood of west side Atlanta. They would create a track entitled "Stomp" amid growing tension between Buck's good friend Ludacris and T.I. On the track, T.I. takes covert shots at Ludacris including the line "me gettin' beat down, that's ludicrous." Buck, immediately sensing the tension, decided before releasing the track to notify Ludacris that T.I. had mentioned him since he didn't want to position himself as encouraging T.I.'s actions. Ludacris heard the track and asked Buck if he could add his own verse; to which Buck agreed. The results end up being costly for T.I., as he is berated throughout Ludacris' verse and called out by name in his last line. Representatives from T.I. notified Buck that T.I.'s vocals would not be cleared for the album unless T.I. is allowed to change his verse, and also have Ludacris change his. Buck refused this offer and T.I. prohibited his vocals from being used. Buck had Hypeman and fellow rapper D-Tay replace T.I. on the song; D-Tay himself was eventually replaced by Compton rapper The Game on the official release.

Although T.I. was removed, the street cut featuring him and Ludacris had already been leaked to DJs in Atlanta and New York City. T.I. was unable to stop the track's distribution throughout the streets of the nation at this point. It is widely accepted that T.I. "lost" this battle with Ludacris easily being the victor. The beef between Ludacris and T.I. was then put to an end behind closed doors as T.I. said that the problems between them have ceased.

However, in 2006, T.I. would release his highly anticipated fourth solo album entitled KING. In his Just Blaze produced track titled "I'm Talkin To You," T.I. lyrically attacks one or more unknown targets who have widely been speculated to be either Ludacris, New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne, or Houston rapper Lil' Flip (whom T.I. also had beef with but has since ended their animosity behind closed doors) or a combination of all three. It is still unknown whether or not T.I. was in fact battling Ludacris again or anyone else for that matter at all.


In July of 2006, a track entitled "War with God" would see Ludacris return after some time off from music, and concentrating on movies instead. In the track, Ludacris goes on the offensive against an unknown rapper who has sold drugs, and makes repeated references to shooting guns in his songs, isn't as rich as he (Ludacris) and likes to give himself titles - all very well known characteristics and facts directly relating to T.I and Young Jeezy (or countless other less popular rappers) or the new coming rappers Yung Joc and Young Dro. In this instance, it also unknown whether or not Ludacris is indeed aiming his disses at Young Jeezy, T.I. or if the track is even a song recorded recently. Ludacris recently stated that the song was deeper than just a diss, and the song is more about him than anyone else, it's showing that he isn't just the “cartoon entertainer” type rapper that he has always been portrayed as, when asked about who specific rhymes were aimed at he said "The guilty will speak." The track was confirmed as a selection from Ludacris' album Release Therapy. "War with God" uses a beat written by Don Cheegro and Dirty Harry.

Charity Work and Activism

Ludacris founded The Ludacris Foundation, along with Chaka Zulu; it is an organization that helps young middle and high school students motivate themselves in creative arts.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Linkin Park

Linkin Park

Linkin Park (born 1995) not only broke down barriers, with their blend of old-school hip-hop, traditional classic rock, and spooling electronic vibes, this alternative metal quintet crushed them. Their southern Californian musical roots were also an underlying basis, for drummer Rob Bourdon, guitarist Brad Delson, and MC/vocalist Mike Shinoda formed a tight friendship while still in high school. Shortly after graduation, art student and DJ Joseph Hahn hooked up with bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell and Shinoda. After sometime of struggling for representation, the two-time Grammy Award winning “nu metal” band from Los Angeles, California, often credited with being the most successful exponent of the nu metal genre, went onto produce their debut album Hybrid Thoery, which was released in 2000.

It took a little while for audiences to truly recognize the innovation and talent Linkin Park had to offer, but they did with enthusiasm, when in January of 2002 (2 years after its initial release), Linkin Park's first album reached #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Since then they had created a string of successful records, delving into all sorts of cutting-edge mediums, such as their computer graphics based and anime videos, their elaborate tours, and even their collaborations with Jay-Z, which thrust the concept of the “mashup” into the ears of music fans, and moguls alike.

With their next album Minutes to Midnight will be released on May 8, 2007, the world better be ready for what’s coming next.

Early Life

The lineage of Linkin Park all started in 1995 when rapper and MC Mike Shinoda and guitarist Brad Delson graduated from Agoura High School in the Los Angeles suburb of Agoura Hills, California. Upon graduation, they formed a side band with their friend, drummer Rob Bourdon, under the moniker Xero. Previously, Delson and Bourdon were both in previous bands.

The three members of Xero played novice forms of their music together while at college. Delson attended the University of California, Los Angeles. Shinoda went to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. While at UCLA, Delson met bassist Dave Farrell. D elson and Farrell were roommates and often practiced and played together. Previously, Farrell played in a band called Tasty Snax, or The Snax with Mark Fiore, who later became Linkin Park's cinematographer.

While at the Art Center College of Design, Shinoda met Joseph Hahn. Farrell and Hahn later joined Xero. The five men were later joined by lead vocalist Mark Wakefield (who had attended high school with Delson and Shinoda) and, together, they recorded their first, self-titled demo tape. The tape was sent out to various record labels but it was never considered and the band was never signed. Shortly thereafter, Wakefield left the band and became a manager for Taproot.

When Wakefield left, Shinoda began auditioning for a new vocalist and at the same time Delson began interning for a Warner Brothers Records A&R representative named Jeff Blue as part of his communications degree. Blue alerted Delson and Shinoda to Chester Bennington, a young vocalist from Phoenix, Arizona who was looking to joining another band, after being the vocalist for Grey Daze from 1993 to 1997.

Shinoda and Delson sent Bennington a tape containing instrumentation for a song; Bennington then recorded vocals for it and called Shinoda, playing the song for him over the phone. This was the start of things to come as the band was instantly impressed by the vocal abilities of Bennington and it did not take long to realize the advantages of his voice and his ability to mold it to be both soft and thought-provoking as well as hard and attention-grabbing.

Once Bennington had joined the group, they attempted to have the band signed. Unfortunately, the name was already taken by a 70s and 80s band from Australia so they changed their name to Hybrid Theory and the band's line-up solidified — almost. Farrell temporarily left the band due to previous commitments with The Snax/Tasty Snax and, as such, wasn't able to record bass for their first, self-titled EP. Instead, Delson and a bassist named Kyle Christner played bass. Released in mid-1999, only one thousand copies of Hybrid Theory EP were pressed. Several copies were sent to various record labels, including Warner Bros. Records. The rest of the copies were given to early members of the band's newly formed street team. Farrell was temporarily replaced by Scott Koziol. Scott appears in the video for "One Step Closer" from the Hybrid Theory album.

The band was subsequently signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1999 thanks to Blue. However, they were forced to change their name again due to a trademark issue with a British electronic group called Hybrid. After they went through several rounds of brain storming new names (Clear, Probing Lagers, Ten P.M. Stocker), Bennington eventually suggested the use of the name "Lincoln Park" because he would drive by it in Santa Monica, California (now known as Christine Reed Park). They changed it to Linkin park, because the domain name LincolnPark.com was already taken.

Hybrid Theory: Early 2000s

On October 24, 2000, Linkin Park's debut album, Hybrid Theory, was released in the United States. The only track cut from the album was the remake of "High Voltage," a hip hop song that appeared on the Hybrid Theory EP. Several songs from the EP were re-recorded as demos for Hybrid Theory, but it is unknown whether the tracks will ever appear as official B-sides or not. Their debut album has sold 24 million copies world wide as of October 2006, and its first single was "One Step Closer.” The album eventually peaked on the Billboard 200 Chart at #2 in January of 2002, and the single “One Step Closer,” reached #5 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart.

The band performed in its first nationally-recognized concert on December 17, 2000 as a part of KROQ Radio's Almost Acoustic Christmas concert special. Shinoda wrote a new song entitled "My December" for the occasion. The song was released as a B-side on the single for One Step Closer and on several versions of Hybrid Theory released internationally. It was later featured on a Christmas album released by KROQ DJs Kevin and Bean.

In early 2001, Farrell joined Linkin Park once again and the band's second single, "Crawling," was released and won the band a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2002. The band embarked on its first ever national festival tour, the Ozzfest, with other acts such as Black Sabbath, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, and Zack Wylde's Black Label Society.

In mid-2001, the band released its third single, "In the End." The song would prove to be the band's biggest hit and was one of the most-spun songs of 2001. The video for the song was directed by Nathan "Karma" Cox and Hahn, and featured the band playing atop a gigantic statue in the rain. The video contained almost all computer graphics, which was much more than most music videos at the time. The single, “In the End” reached #1 of the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks in 2001.

On November 21, 2001, the band released its first DVD titled Frat Party at the Pankake Festival. The DVD featured all of the band's videos up to this point in their career and featured a documentary of the band touring in support of Hybrid Theory. There are also a lot of hidden Easter eggs allowing viewers to access hidden videos on the DVD, including a 1999 garage-like performance of a demo of "Esaul" later redone and renamed "A Place For My Head".

In early 2002, the band put together its first headlining tour called Projekt Revolution. The first leg of the tour featured Adema, Cypress Hill, the Apex Theory, and DJ Z-Trip. During the course of the tour, Shinoda and Hahn collaborated with The X-Ecutioners on the song "It's Goin' Down." Shortly after the tour ended, the band headed back to the studio for the first time since early 2000. After being sent several remixes of Linkin Park songs, Shinoda decided to release a remix album. Initially, Shinoda only wanted to remix a couple of songs and release an EP. However, thanks to encouragement from his bandmates (Delson and Hahn especially), Shinoda decided to take the project a step further.

Reanimation: 2002

The project, which would take on the name Reanimation, featured one remix for each song from Hybrid Theory, as well as remixes of the songs "My December" and "High Voltage." Each song was remixed by a different artist and there were rumors that there were over fifty remixes that Shinoda received during the course of the project. Shinoda went through and listened to each remix, hand-picking the best ones. Only two of the remixes that didn't make the album were ever released, those being the Crystal Method's remix of "Points of Authority" (featured on the second CD issued to the LPU) and Marilyn Manson's remix of "By Myself." The only other confirmed remix was of "My December" by Team Sleep. The remix was turned away because it made the song even darker; Shinoda went with the version on the CD because it made the song seem more up-beat and happier. Artists featured on the album include Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, Stephen Richards of Taproot, Kelli Ali of Sneaker Pimps, and many more. The project was released on July 30, 2002, and its first and only single was "Pts.Of.Athrty" ("Points of Authority") remixed by Jay Gordon.

Meteora: Late 2002 - 2003

The band headed back to the studio in mid-2002 to record their follow-up to Hybrid Theory. The album's first single, "Somewhere I Belong," was released in February of 2003 to critical acclaim. On March 25, 2003, Meteora was released and debuted at #1 on The Billboard 200 in April 2003 after selling 810,000 copies in its first week. It has sold nearly 11 million copies worldwide, and more than half of that in the United States alone.

Following the release of the album, the band embarked on its second Projekt Revolution tour with Blindside, Mudvayne and Xzibit. "Faint" was released as a single toward the end of the tour. Following the second Projekt Revolution, the band joined Metallica on their Summer Sanitarium Tour 2003. The band also headlined on the 2003 Reading Festival in the United Kingdom with co-headliner Blink-182, playing a highly energetic set to some 65,000 fans.

Shortly after the Sanitarium tour came to a close, the band released "Numb" as a single. They shot a video for the single in Prague, Czech Republic while simultaneously shooting a video for the song "From the Inside."

Live In Texas: 2003

On November 18, 2003, Linkin Park released a brand-new DVD/CD live set entitled Live in Texas. The footage was shot while on the Summer Sanitarium tour in Dallas and Houston, Texas. The DVD featured seventeen songs and the CD featured a selection of twelve of those.

At the end of 2003, the band performed at its third KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas concert. They headlined night one and played a seventeen-song set. At the end of Linkin Park's set, they played "One Step Closer" and were joined on stage by P.O.D.'s frontman, Sonny Sandoval.

Meteora World Tour and Collision Course: 2004

At the beginning of 2004, the band set off on its Meteora World Tour with P.O.D., Hoobastank and Story of the Year. The band claimed that this was the final leg of the world-wide tour that the band had been on since Meteora was released.

During the tour, the band's video for "From the Inside" was released internationally, after they finished their stint on the road, the band began work on their most ambitious music video to date for their single "Breaking the Habit”; it featured Japanese-style animation by the same studio that created the animated scenes in Kill Bill; the video was directed by Kazuto Nakazawa and Hahn.

Linkin Park then set off on its third Projekt Revolution tour. The tour featured two stages, and a substantial lineup including, Korn, Snoop Dogg, The Used and Less Than Jake, and many others; Projekt Revolution was the biggest-selling tour of 2004.

At the end of 2004, Linkin Park announced a collaboration with Jay-Z; the EP called Collision Course, was released on November 30, and featured "mashups" (a musical genre of songs that consist entirely of parts of other songs) of seven Linkin Park songs and six Jay-Z songs. The first single, "Numb/Encore," peaked at #20 on the Billboard Charts and remained in the charts for six months, going on to win a Grammy. The album itself debuted at #1 on the Billboard Charts.

Music for Relief, Fort Minor: 2005

The year 2005 marked a rather quiet year for Linkin Park. The band established Music for Relief, an organization dedicated to helping those affected by the 2004 Indian tsunami. The band played two shows in 2005, one in California for Music for Relief, and one during the Live 8 series of concerts at the Philadelphia, PA venue. In May, the band demanded to be released from its contract with Warner Bros. on the grounds of "a lack of confidence." The band was recently in negotiations with the label over a new record contract. Linkin Park had four albums left outstanding on its 2000 record contract. In December 2005, the band announced that they had finally reached a settlement with Warner Bros. Records.

Solo Ventures and Minutes to Midnight: 2005 – Present

In July, Shinoda announced a hip-hop side project called Fort Minor. Shinoda explained the project as a way for him to return to his hip-hop roots. Shortly after Shinoda's announcement of Fort Minor, Bennington was also revealed to be working on a solo project of his own. The project features Amir Derakh and Ryan Shuck of Orgy both playing guitar (as well as producing). Little is known about Bennington's side project other than its name, Snow White Tan.

In December of 2005, Shinoda was confirmed as the co-producer for the next Linkin Park album. On February 8, 2006, the band announced the producer for their third studio album would be Rick Rubin, who has worked with such bands as The Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, System of a Down and many others.

During the Grammy Award Ceremony 2006, Linkin Park joined with Jay-Z and Paul McCartney, where they performed the song "Numb/Encore/Yesterday." The band went on to win a Grammy award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

Linkin Park spent the majority of 2006 writing and recording their third album, and in various interview described the musical direction of the album. Lead singer Bennington stated "we're straying away from a lot of the predictable sounds we've had in the past, but there's no question in your mind when you hear it that it's Linkin Park... We've always said we write the music we write so that we can spread our wings as far as we want and try new things and go anywhere. I think we're really going to prove that with this new record." Regarding album co-producer Rick Rubin, Shinoda stated, "Rick is one of those guys where you can go through any door you want to go through. We're trying everything, just messing around with it until it sounds good.”

It was announced that their next album, entitled Minutes to Midnight will be released on May 8, 2007.

Fan Club (LPU)

Linkin Park has a very devoted and diligent fan base; they were given a name to their cause when in November of 2001, a friend of the band, Jessica Bardas, suggested the concept of fan club. The club called the” Linkin Park Underground (LPU),” gives members a package every year containing a T-shirt, a CD and several odds and ends, including guitar picks, stickers and posters. The first CD featured was a re-issue of Hybrid Theory EP, with new artwork.

In November of 2002, the second edition of the LPU launched as "Underground 2.0" and the second package was revealed. The new fan club-only EP features the Crystal Method's remix of "Points of Authority" and a song called "Dedicated,” which is thought to have been cut from the Hybrid Theory EP. Also included is a fifty-second instrumental track entitled "A.06.” It was originally a demo for their future studio album, Meteora.

In November of 2003, the third edition of the LPU was sent out. The package's CD contained the five tracks that were cut from the Live in Texas DVD for its CD. This did not sit well with many fan club members, who claimed that the band should have placed rare songs on the CD (as with year two) instead of the live tracks.

The fourth edition of the LPU launched in November. The CD that shipped with the package featured two new songs; one was a roughly two-minute long instrumental piece called "Sold My Soul to Yo Mama" by Mr. Hahn, and the other a song called "Standing in the Middle", a collaboration with Motion Man. "Standing in the Middle" was originally recorded in 2001 as a "practice" song for Reanimation. Motion Man was eventually featured on Kutmasta Kurt's reinterpretation of "In the End."

Linkin Park's fifth installment of the LPU fan club launched on November 21, 2005. The CD shipped with the fifth fan club package featured live tracks from the band's performance during Live 8 plus several songs with Jay-Z.

Linkin Park Underground volume 6, Limited Edition Fan Club CD included a Linkin Park performed live in August 2006 at Summer Sonic, hosted by Metallica in Japan. A new song, tentatively codenamed "QWERTY" and also referred in various websites as “Behind Your Lies,” leaked on numerous websites after being played at the concert. "QWERTY" (live and studio version), “Reading My Eyes” (live) and other exclusive live and studio tracks were released on the fan club CD.



Evanescence (born 1998) is the two-time Grammy Award-winning band that is defined by the lead singer, Amy Lee's beautiful melodies, compelling lyrics, poignant piano and stunning vocals, fused with Terry Balsamo's urgent, yet intricate guitar, to form a seamless, ethereal mixture that perfectly channels the band's hard rock and classical sensibilities. This goth-inspired enigma was founded in Little Rock, Arkansas by singer Amy Lee and former guitarist Ben Moody, after recording two private EPs, and a demo CD named Origin with the help of Bigwig Enterprises, the band released their first full-length album, Fallen, on the Wind-up Records label in 2003 – it went onto sell more than 14 million copies worldwide. After abrupt changes to the band's lineup due to creative differences, and other, Evanescence released their second studio album, The Open Door, which shot straight to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August of 2006.

The inherent drama in Evanescence's music - a kind of audio odyssey that can turn on a dime from piano-led introspection to hammering guitar - has resonated with listeners everywhere.

Early Life

Evanescence was founded by singer, pianist and songwriter Amy Lee and former lead guitarist and songwriter Ben Moody. The two met at a youth camp in Little Rock, Arkansas, where Moody heard Lee playing "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meat Loaf on the piano. Their first songs were "Solitude" and "Give Unto Me," written by Lee, and "Understanding" and "My Immortal," written by Moody. The songs were edited by both artists, and they shared equal credit.

The band's evolving sound - a nearly mystical marriage between rock, goth and classical - was informed by a curious duality. Lee, who spent nine years studying classical piano, explains, "When I was in high school I listened to a lot of death metal bands. Both genres are intricate, complex types of music that are very dramatic, and I'm naturally drawn to that."

Two of Lee and Moody's songs found playtime on local radio stations, raising local awareness of the group and demand for a show. The band eventually appeared live, and became one of the most popular acts in the area. A fter experimenting with band names, such as "Childish Intentions" and "Stricken," they decided on Evanescence, which means "disappearance" or "fading away" (from the word evanesce, which means "to disappear"). Lee has stated she loves the name because it is mysterious and dark, and places a picture in the listeners' mind.

Their first full-length demo CD, Origin (released in 2000), is relatively unknown. The band also released two Extended plays (EPs). First, the self-titled Evanescence EP (1998) of which about 100 copies were made, and second the Sound Asleep EP, also known as the Whisper EP (1999), limited to 50 copies. Origin and the EPs contain demo versions of some of the songs on their debut album, Fallen. For example, the recording of "My Immortal" found on Fallen can also be found on Origin, minus a handful of additional string accompaniments. Only 2,500 copies of this record were produced; in response, Lee and Moody encouraged fans to download the band's older songs from the Internet.

Fallen: 2003

In early 2003, the lineup was completed by Amy Lee and Ben Moody's friends, John LeCompt, Rocky Gray and Will Boyd, all of whom worked on Evanescence's earlier songs. Meanwhile, Evanescence signed on with their first major label, Wind-up Records, and began work on their next album, Fallen. While looking to promote Fallen, the video game company Nintendo offered the band to perform on the "Nintendo Fusion Tour." Evanescence accepted the offer and became the headlining band for the 2003 Fusion Tour.

Fallen spent 43 weeks on the Billboard Top 10; has been certified 6 times Platinum; and has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide, including 6.6 million in the United States. The album was listed for 104 weeks on the Billboard top 200, and it was one of eight albums in the history of the chart to spend at least a year on the Billboard Top 50.

Evanescence's major label debut single "Bring Me to Life," which features guest vocals from Paul McCoy of 12 Stones, was a global hit for the band and reached #5 on the United States Billboard Hot 100. It provided Evanescence with their first United Kingdom #1 listing, where it stayed for four weeks from June to July 2003. The song also became the official theme for WWE's "No Way Out." The equally popular "My Immortal" peaked at #7 in the United States and United Kingdom charts, and both songs were featured in the soundtrack for the action movie Daredevil. "Bring Me to Life" garnered recognition for the band at the Grammy Awards of 2004, where the band was given the Best Hard Rock Performance and Best New Artist awards. The two other singles off Fallen are "Going Under" (#5 United States Modern Rock Tracks, #8 United Kingdom Charts) and "Everybody's Fool" (#36 United States Modern Rock Tracks, #23 United Kingdom Charts); both were promoted by a music video.

Lineup Changes - Anywhere but Home: 2004

On October 22, 2003, Moody left the band during the European tour for Fallen, reportedly because of creative differences. In an interview several months later, Amy Lee said: "...we'd gotten to a point that if something didn't change, we wouldn't have been able to make a second record." Many people were confused by this statement, because in their Fallen album cover they state each other as best friends. Since then, Lee has said it was almost a relief that he left because of tensions created within the band. Moody was replaced by Terry Balsamo from Cold.

In 2004, Evanescence's new lineup released a DVD/CD compilation entitled Anywhere but Home. The DVD includes a concert in Paris, as well as behind-the-scenes features, including shots of the band backstage, signing autographs, and warming up. The CD contains a previously unreleased song entitled "Missing", which was internationally released as a single that reached #1 in Spain. Also on the CD are the live songs "Breathe No More" (the album version being from the Elektra movie soundtrack), "Farther Away," and the band's cover of Korn's "Thoughtless."

On July 14, 2006, it was confirmed by a spokesperson for the band's label that bassist Will Boyd had left the band for "not wanting to do another big tour" and wanting "to be close to his family." Amy Lee originally broke the news to the fans in a post on an unofficial Evanescence site, EvBoard.com. In an interview with MTV, posted on their website on August 10, 2006, Lee announced that Tim McCord, former Revolution Smile guitarist, would switch instruments and play bass for the band.

The Open Door: 2006

To promote the release of the band's second album, The Open Door, Amy Lee and John LeCompt visited capital cities in Europe. Previews took place in London, England on September 6, 2006; Barcelona, Spain on September 8, 2006; and Paris, France on Monday, September 11, 2006. At the previews, the new album was played to fans who were the winners of various competitions, a short Q&A took place, and Lee and LeCompt performed acoustic tracks from the album before doing a signing session. On October 2, 2006, the day before the album was released in the United States, Evanescence appeared on “Late Night with Conan O'Brien” and performed the song "Call Me When You're Sober" for Conan O’Brien and his audience. The band also spent time in New York City for press and a photo shoot for Metal Edge magazine.

The 13-track album, The Open Door, was released in Canada and the United States on October 3, 2006; the United Kingdom on October 2, 2006; and Australia on September 30, 2006. The album sold 447,000 copies in the United States in its first week of sales and earned their first #1 ranking on the Billboard 200 album chart, becoming the 700th #1 debut in Billboard history.

The album progressed slowly for several reasons, including Amy Lee's desire to maximize the creative process and not rush production, other band members' side projects, guitarist Terry Balsamo's stroke, and the controversy surrounding the dismissal of their former manager.

Although Lee stated on Evboard that Evanescence's new album would be completed in March 2006, the release was pushed to October 3, 2006, allegedly because "Wind-up Records...wanted to make a few changes to the upcoming single "Call Me When You're Sober," which hit modern rock and alternative rock radio on August 7, 2006. The music video for "Call Me When You're Sober" was shot in Los Angeles and is based on the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood”; it was directed by Marc Webb; lead male character featured in the video is British actor Oliver Goodwill. The Open Door became available for pre-order on the iTunes Music Store on August 15, 2006.

Amy Lee confirmed that she wrote a song for the 2005 film version of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe released by Disney, but it was rejected due to its dark sound. Lee, however, said it was just "more great stuff for the album." Another song which was written for the Narnia movie did make it onto the album, the Mozart-inspired "Lacrymosa.”

The tour for the album began on October 5, 2006 in Toronto and included locations in Canada, the United States and Europe during 2006. The tour continued on January 5, 2007 and included stops in Canada (alongside band Stone Sour), Japan and Australia (alongside band Shihad) and will return to the United States for a second tour (alongside bands Chevelle and Finger Eleven).

"Call Me When You're Sober": Inspiration From A Dark Place

The inspiration for the single, “Call Me When You're Sober,” off the their 2006 album, The Open Door, was made clear after Amy Lee's former boyfriend, Seether frontman Shaun Morgan, checked himself into rehab for "unspecified problems" in late July 2006. L ee stated that she's not worried about listeners knowing what inspired the song: “‘Call Me When You're Sober' says something that's impossible to hide from. I'm stuck with everyone knowing exactly what I'm talking about. And if there's consequences for that, which there are, then I have to face them. But it's true, and it really happened, and it meant so much to me and felt so good to just blurt it out that it was worth it. And I think it's a really great song and I'm really proud of it. ”

In response, Morgan has said: “ It saddens me that our whole relationship was reduced to that. That, you know, almost three years we spent together comes down to 'Oh, woe is me, you don't care about me.' I'm disappointed that that's all that really mattered. I'm kind of irritated that our dirty laundry had to be aired, you know, all over the world. I wouldn't do that to somebody.”
Morgan was discharged August 28, 2006, according to Seether's publicist.

Christian Controversy

Originally promoted in Christian stores, the band eventually made it clear they did not want to be considered as part of the Christian rock genre. Wind-up Records chairman Alan Meltzer issued a press release in April 2003 asking for the band's music to be removed from Christian retail outlets.

During a 2003 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ben Moody stated, "We're actually high on the Christian charts, and I'm like, What the f--k are we even doing there?" This seemed to go against earlier sentiments by Moody that "We hope to express in our music that Christianity is not a rigid list of rules to follow..." and also "The message we as a band want to convey more than anything is simple—God is Love." This has led to criticism of the band within the Christian community, even more so given that the band themselves approved of the plan to distribute Fallen to the Christian market. Terry Hemmings, CEO of Christian music distributor Provident, expressed puzzlement at the band's about-face, saying "They clearly understood the album would be sold in these [Christian music] channels." Ex-vocalist and keyboardist David Hodges eventually left the band over the controversy, with other members stating that he had been pulling them in more of a Christian direction than Lee and Moody were comfortable with.

When asked by Billboard in 2006 if Evanescence was a "Christian band," Amy Lee responded, "Can we please skip the Christian thing? I'm so over it. It's the lamest thing. I fought that from the beginning; I never wanted to be associated with it. It was a Ben thing. It's over."

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lynn Lopez (born July 24, 1969), popularly nicknamed J.Lo, has gone onto be one of the most successful "triple-threat" (acting, singing, modeling) icons of our time; and given that she is of Puerto Rican disent, she has become the most powerful female Latin-American entertainer in the world, earning in the tens-of-millions for her movie roles. This Golden Globe Award-nominated American actress, Grammy Award-nominated singer, songwriter, dancer, and fashion designer known internationally for her beauty and bountiful backside, broke out in her first starring role as fellow Hispanic singer Selena in the movie based on her life, she has graced the silver screen in several multi-million dollar movies, and created numerous albums over the course of her 10-plus year career.

She has also become an icon in American culture for everything from the infamous dress worn to the Grammy Awards in 1998, to her monumentally high-profile relationship with Ben Affleck, where the nickname “Bennifer” came about, to hundreds of debates about the size of her butt, the woman has ruled every facet of media, and made sure she’s always on top. .

According to Forbes magazine, she is the richest Latin American in Hollywood; and, People en Español named her the most influential Hispanic entertainer in America, and one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics, which pays tribute to Hispanics who have had an impact on their communities.

Early Life

Born to Puerto Rican parents, Guadalupe Rodríguez, a kindergarten teacher, and David Lopez, a computer programmer, Lopez was raised in the Castle Hill neighborhood in the Bronx, New York City, New York, where she spent her entire academic career in Catholic schools. Jennifer is the middle of three daughters. Her elder sister, Leslie, is a housewife who sings opera. Her younger sister, Lynda, is a DJ on New York's WKTU, a VH1 VJ., and a morning news show correspondent on New York's Channel 11. Jennifer's parents were born in Puerto Rico, but did not meet until both came to America. Her mother's parents were Europeans who settled in Puerto Rico. She says that it was her parents' work ethic that made a difference in her life. Jennifer took singing and dancing lessons from age 5, and she attended 12 years of Catholic school, including an all-girl high school, where she played softball, tennis and was also a gymnast.
The young Lopez always dreamed of becoming a performer, and with talents in singing and dancing, Lopez began performing in stage musicals, dancing in a European tour of Golden Musicals of Broadway, a Japanese tour of Synchronicity, and local productions of Oklahoma and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Early Career

She began financing singing and dancing lessons for herself from the age of nineteen. After leaving a one-semester career at Baruch College, Lopez divided her time between working in a legal office, dance classes, and dance performances in Manhattan clubs at night. After months of auditioning for dance roles, Lopez was selected as a dancer for various rap artists' music videos, and was given a guest spot at the American Music Awards as a backup dancer for the New Kids on the Block and their performance of their song "Games" in 1991.

After being rejected for the gig twice, Lopez gained her first regular high-profile gig as a "Fly Girl" dancer on the television comedy program “In Living Color” in 1991. What Lopez was really itching to do was act, but she stuck around on “In Living Color” for a short while, following producer Keenan Ivory Wayans' advice. Jim Carrey was not the only star in the making on “In Living Color”; Lopez was yet to arrive on the scene. Jennifer's "Fly Girl" role led to more roles on the small screen.

Soon after, Lopez became a backup dancer for famed singer Janet Jackson and made an appearance in her 1993 video "That's the Way Love Goes”; and she also landed a recurring role on FOX's short-lived series “South Central” after one of her “In Living Color” co-workers referred her to her South Central writer and producer husband. Although the show did not last very long, Lopez was seen on television again, this time as "Melinda Lopez" in the made-for-TV movie, Second Chances. Her portrayal of the part was so impressive that big-league producer Aaron Spelling wanted to continue the role on another one of his series, “Malibu Shores.” After appearing in a mere few episodes, Lopez refused to develop the deal further (the show was axed anyhow), with the hopes of taking her talents to the silver screen.

One more made-for-TV role can be seen on Jennifer's resume; Rosie the nurse, in the 1993 movie Nurses on the Line: The Crash of Flight 7. Her role in the 1995 film Mi Familia, about the lives of Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles from the 1930s to today, was the role which showed filmmakers that this Latin beauty was serious about acting.

Film Acting Career

One year later, Jennifer played roles in Francis Ford Coppola's 1996 comedy Jack starring Robin Williams, beating out Ashley Judd for the role. In her next film role, riding the Money Train with Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes, she was the only one to receive positive reviews in a film that may have well tipped off the tracks. Lopez also played in the 1997 thriller Blood and Wine with Jack Nicholson.

Having already worked with Jennifer in the critically-acclaimed Mi Familia, Gregory Nava asked Lopez to audition for his 1997 biopic on the slain Tejano singer, Selena, who’s life was tragically cut short when she was killed by an obsessive fan cum stalker. After an intense auditioning process, Jennifer won the role that would make her a star. Lopez was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy in 1998.

She was chosen by "People" magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1997.

She also became the first Latin actress to get paid $1 million or more for a film role. Some of her other critically-acclaimed films include Selena in 1997, Out of Sight in 1998 with George Clooney, the mind-bending thriller, The Cell in 2000 with Vincent D’Onofrio, and 2005’s An Unfinished Life with Robert Redford. Lopez's performances were critically less well-received, however financially successful in the films The Wedding Planner with Matthew McConaughey in 2001 , Maid in Manhattan costarring Ralph Fiennes in 2002, which grossed $94,011,225, 2005’s Monster-in-Law with onscreen (and possibly off-screen) nemesis, Jane Fonda. Lopez received $15,000,000 for her role in Monster-in-Law, and 2004’s Shall We Dance? costarring Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon, which grossed $112,238,000 at the international box office. Domestically, Shall We Dance? grossed $57,890,460 for a total of $170,128,460 in worldwide tally: her largest box office gross to date.

She also starred in one of the worst movies of all time in 2002, entitled Gigli; a movie on which she met her current ex-fiancé, Ben Affleck, and a movie that was panned by critics, fans, friends, and even the stars themselves. After four unsuccessful previous nominations, she won the worst actress Razzie for Gigli in 2003.

Lopez also guest-starred in the sixth season finale of “Will & Grace” in 2004, playing herself.

At this time, Lopez became is the first actress-singer to have a film (The Wedding Planner) and an album (J. Lo) at number one in the same week.

Lopez has finished shooting two new independent films: Bordertown with Antonio Banderas and El Cantante with her husband, Marc Anthony, and which is based on the life story of Hector Lavoe, who started the salsa movement in 1975 and brought it to the United States. El Cantante was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival where it got positive reviews. Bordertown was shown at the Brussels Film Festival.

It was also announced that she will be starring in the movie, The Governess, which is a comedy that will be released in 2008.

Despite not having a film that grossed over $100 million domestically, Lopez is one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood and also the highest-paid Latin actress in Hollywood history, partly because of the moderate success of her films.

Upcoming Project: Reality Television

In May 2006, MTV gave the green-light on her executively-produced reality show, “DanceLife.” The show will follow the lives of six aspiring dancers as their struggle to make it in the competitive world of professional dance. Lopez, who took an active role in selecting the show's participants, is also slated to make cameo appearances over the course of the season and the show's eight-episode run began on January 15, 2007.

The producer of the Oscar nominated hit movie Dreamgirls, Laurence Mark, expressed his desire to work with Lopez, who presented him an award at the 2007 Golden Globe Awards. "It would enchant to me to continue making musical and in special making a musical comedy with Jennifer Lopez".

In addition, Lopez will make an appearance as a performer and a mentor on "American Idol" on April 11, 2007.

Music Career

Lopez has sold over forty-eight million records worldwide.

On the 6: 1999

Lopez's debut album On the 6, a reference to the 6 subway line she used to take growing up in Castle Hill, was released on June 1, 1999, and reached the top ten of the Billboard 200. The album featured the multi-week Billboard Hot 100 number-one lead single, "If You Had My Love," as well as the top ten hit "Waiting for Tonight." It also contained the Spanish-language, Latin-flavored duet "No Me Ames" with Marc Anthony. Though "No Me Ames" never had a commercial release, it reached number one on the United States Hot Latin Tracks. Despite this, the music video for "No Me Ames" received moderate airplay on the music channels VH1 (United States) and The Box (United Kingdom).

On the 6 also featured guest artists such as Big Pun and Fat Joe on the track "Feelin' So Good", which failed to make the top fifty of the Billboard Hot 100. "Let's Get Loud", the final single, earned Lopez a Grammy Award nomination in the "Best Dance Recording" category in 2001. "Waiting for Tonight" was nominated for the same category the previous year. "No Me Ames" received two nominations at the 2000 Latin Grammy Awards — Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Music Video. On the 6, her debut album went 6 times platinum.

In 1999, she won the VH1/Vogue Fashion Award for Most Fashionable Female Artist. She also received a Latin Grammy nomination and won the Billboard Latin Award for a duet she did with Marc Anthony ("No Me Ames"), as well as the MTV Video Music Award for Best Dance Video, for "Waiting For Tonight," in 2000.

Interestingly enough, years before they married (or even became a couple), she and Marc Anthony sang a song together called "No Me Ames" which appeared on her album On the 6.

J. Lo: 2001

Lopez's second album, J. Lo, was released on January 23, 2001 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The lead single, "Love Don't Cost a Thing," was her first number-one single in the United Kingdom and took her into the top five on the United States Billboard Hot 100. The song was believed to be based on her recently ex-boyfriend, P. Diddy, or Sean Combs. She followed it up with "Play" which gave her another top twenty hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached number three in the United Kingdom. Her next two singles were "I'm Real" and "Ain't It Funny" which were quickly rising up the charts. To capitalize on this, Lopez asked The Inc. Records (then known as Murder Inc.) to remix both songs, which featured rap artists Ja Rule (on both) and Caddillac Tah (on the "Ain't It Funny" remix). Both remixes reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for several weeks. She re-released J. Lo on her thirty-second birthday with the remix of "I'm Real" as a bonus track.

In 2002, Lopez won a World Music Award for World's Best-Selling Latin Female Artist, an MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Video ("I'm Real" featuring Ja Rule), a VH1/Vogue Fashion Award for Most Influential Artist, and an MTV Europe Music Award for Best Female.

J to tha L-O!: The Remixes: 2002

Following the success of the re-release of J. Lo, Lopez decided to devote an entire album to the remixing effort, releasing J to tha L-O!: The Remixes, on February 5, 2002. This album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, becoming the first remix album in history to debut at the top on the chart. Featured artists on J to tha L-O!: The Remixes included P. Diddy, Fat Joe, and Nas, and the album also included rare dance and hip-hop remixes of past singles.

This Is Me... Then: 2002

On November 26, 2002, Lopez released her third studio album, This Is Me... Then, which reached number two on the Billboard 200 and spawned four singles: "Jenny from the Block" (featuring Jadakiss and Styles P), which reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100; "All I Have" (featuring LL Cool J), which spent multiple weeks at number one; "I'm Glad"; and "Baby I Love U!" The album included a cover of Carly Simon's 1978 "You Belong to Me." It performed well on the charts, selling 2.5 million copies in the United States alone.

Rebirth: 2005

After a year away from the music scene, Lopez released her fourth studio album, Rebirth, on March 1, 2005. Although debuting and peaking at number two on the Billboard 200, the album quickly fell off the charts. It spawned one hit in "Get Right," which reached the top fifteen in the United States. and became her second Platinum hit (after "If You Had My Love"). "Get Right" was also successful in the United Kingdom, becoming her second number-one single there. The second single, "Hold You Down," which featured Fat Joe, reached number sixty-four on the United States Hot 100; it peaked at number six in the United Kingdom and ascended to the top twenty in Australia. Another song, "Cherry Pie," was slated for a fall release, but the plans to make a video were cancelled as the album sales were definitely too weak and the promotion budget exceeded. It was released to radio stations in Spain.

Rebirth was certified Platinum in the United States by the RIAA. Nevertheless, Lopez was featured on LL Cool J's single "Control Myself," which was released on February 1, 2006. It reached number four on the United States Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the United Kingdom Singles Chart. It was Lopez's first United States. top ten hit in three years.

Como Ama una Mujer: 2007

She will officially release her first full Spanish-language album, titled Como Ama una Mujer, on March 27, 2007 in the United States and April 3, 2007 in Europe. The lead single, "Qué Hiciste" (Spanish for "What Have You Done"), was officially released to radio stations in January 2007.

Fifth English studio album: 2007

She is also working on her fifth English studio album, in which she is working with producer Swizz Beatz. "It's coming out incredible,” he said. "We're putting together some great things, and not what everyone's expecting. Think a little Jamiroquai, a little Sade. It's real feel-good music." Other producers are Timbaland, Cory Rooney, Jermaine Dupri, and newcomer Peter Wade. It has been confirmed to be released in November 2007 and that Jonathan "J.R." Rotem is working on some tracks as well.

Other Business Opportunities; Media and Otherwise

Lopez modeled for Louis Vuitton’s Winter 2003 campaign.

Lopez owns a clothing line, JLO by Jennifer Lopez, whose brand has been licensed for a term by Warnaco Group. Her line includes different types of clothing for young women, including jeans, T-shirts, coats, belts, purses, and lingerie. In 2005, she launched a new clothing line called Sweetface. She is planning to launch a jewelry line, as well as an accessory line that includes hats, gloves, and scarves.

In the fall of 2007, Lopez will retire JLO by Jennifer Lopez and launch a new juniors' line called JustSweet. The ad campaign will be featured in major magazines such as Glamour and Vogue. A runway show during New York Fashion Week is expected.

On April 12, 2002, Lopez opened an elegant Cuban restaurant in the South Lake district of Pasadena, California named Madre's.

Lopez has also dabbled in the perfume industry, with her debut "Glow by J.Lo" which broke numerous records in sales. The perfume made history in 2001, by being the number-one perfume in more than nine countries in less than four months.

In October 2003, Lopez introduced a perfume called "Still." Before launching another completely new fragrance, she revisited 2002 "Glow" by creating a limited edition spin-off entitled "Miami Glow by J.Lo," in homage to her adopted hometown of Miami. Around the same time, Lopez came up with a "Glow" body line, which featured different body lotions and bronzers. For the Christmas season of 2005, she launched another fragrance, "Live by Jennifer Lopez." Most recently, for 2006’s Valentine's Day, "Miami Glow" was replaced by yet another "Glow" spinoff — "Love at First Glow by J.Lo." Her latest fragrance is called "Live Luxe" and was released in August 2006, with "Glow After Dark" following its release in January 2007. "Glow After Dark" was stated as being a unisex fragrance, but it is not. Her fragrance line enjoys global sales of more than $500 million.

Lopez is also a spokesperson for Lux shampoo in Japan, appearing in the product's television commercials.

She is the first woman who has been placed number one two years in a row for FHM magazine's list of the 100 Sexiest Females in the World and the 100 Sexiest Females in the United States. Lopez was also on the The Hollywood Reporter's list of the top ten actress salaries in 2002, 2003, and 2004, and she made the 2007 Forbes magazine's list as #9 of The Richest 20 Women In Entertainment: her wealth is estimated at $110 million.

In addition, Lopez is the first Latin actress to get the cover of Vogue magazine and she also made the Guinness World Book of Records in 2007 as the most powerful actress.

Personal Life

Her first marriage was to Cuban-born Ojani Noa on February 22, 1997. Lopez met Noa while he worked as a waiter at a Miami restaurant. They divorced in March 1998. They remained on such good terms that Lopez employed Noa as the manager of her Pasadena restaurant Madre's in April 2002. However, their friendship soured in October 2002 when Lopez fired Noa from the role. Since late 2006 to early 2007, Lopez has been in court trying to prevent Noa from publishing a tell-all book on his short marriage to Lopez . She is trying to have the case seen by a private judge. The book is said to portray her as a cheater.

She then had a two-and-a-half-year relationship with Sean Combs, better known as P. Diddy, recording artist and world-class producer. On December 27, 1999, Lopez and Combs were at Club New York, a midtown Manhattan nightclub, when a gunfire erupted between Combs' entourage and another group. Lopez and Combs were being driven away from the scene when they were chased and stopped by the police. A stolen gun was found in the front seat of their vehicle. Lopez was charged with felony gun possession, but the charges were dropped, as she was riding in the back seat at the time. Lopez terminated her involvement with Combs shortly thereafter, and Combs reconciled with Kim Porter, mother of his three children.

Her second marriage was to her former backup dancer, Cris Judd. She met Judd while filming the music video for her single "Love Don't Cost a Thing." In 2001, after dating her back-up dancer Cris Judd for less than eight months, the couple married in September 2001.

On April 12, 2002, Lopez opened an elegant Cuban restaurant in the South Lake district of Pasadena, California named Madre's. A media sensation was creating when during a press shoot for the fancy restaurant; a mysterious man appeared out of the sidelines and gave Lopez a floral arrangement from Ben Affleck, even as then-husband Cris Judd stood next to her. Lopez was widely criticized for what appeared to be infidelity on her part.

Lopez and Judd divorced in August of 2002; the settlement cost her $15 million.

Lopez's next relationship was with actor Ben Affleck. Lopez and Affleck's relationship was highly publicized, with the media dubbing them "Bennifer." Lopez announced her engagement to Affleck in November 2002, after Affleck gave her a six-carat pink diamond ring worth a reported $1.2 million. Lopez promised interviewers that Affleck was indeed "the one," and that they would soon have a family. The marriage, planned for September 14, 2003 in Santa Barbara, California, was called off just hours before the event. During the week before the scheduled nuptials, Affleck had been seen by press carousing at a strip club in Vancouver with friends. The media blitz intensified when it was Lopez's own sister who called in live radio to tell Jennifer where her fiancé had been the previous night. Lopez would only respond by saying it was a terrible way to begin the day, finding out about Affleck's behavior in that manner. Publicists announced a permanent split on January 20, 2004. Affleck has refused to speak of his relationship with Lopez, only citing intense media attention as the cause of the break-up. Their relationship was parodied by Trey Parker and Matt Stone on the “South Park” episode "Fat Butt and Pancake Head," which aired on April 16, 2003. There was a media furor as to whether Lopez would give Affleck back his ring after the break-up. Lopez did belatedly return it, though not eagerly. Ben Affleck has since married and has a daughter, Violet, with actress Jennifer Garner.

Shortly after her break-up with Affleck, Lopez was seen out with singer Marc Anthony, who at that time was still married to his wife, former Miss Universe, Dayanara Torres, with whom he had a toddler and an infant. Lopez and Anthony married in a secret wedding on June 5, 2004, less than a week after his divorce from Torres was finalized on June 1.

Lopez's guests had been invited to an "afternoon party" at Lopez's house and had not been made aware that they were actually going to her wedding. The bride wore a Vera Wang wedding dress. Days after the wedding, Anthony refused to comment on it during interviews. Lopez confirmed the marriage in February 2005, but admitted that "everyone knows. It's not a secret.” Marc's daughter, Ariana, appeared in Jennifer's music video "Get Right" as her little sister. Marc would not admit to his marriage with Lopez for a very extended period. He maintains a very defensive and private stance regarding his marriage to Lopez.

She and Marc Anthony live in Bel-Air. In addition, they have a house on Fisher Island and another one in Long Island, New York.

Controversy and Media Spotlight

On April 10, 2006, Lopez filed a request for injunction against her first husband, Ojani, to stop him from publishing materials that are disparaging. He supposedly signed an non-disclosure agreement in 2004 that prevents him from such a publication.

Lopez's frequent use of animal fur in her clothing lines and personal wardrobe has brought the scorn of people concerned with animal rights. At the Los Angeles première of Monster-in-Law, more than one hundred protesters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) held a demonstration to highlight their concerns. Lopez told a radio DJ she was open to being educated on the topic.

In addition, in 2005, there was some controversy around her fashion line "Sweetface" due to the excessive use of fur for the clothes. Members of PETA protested against her and famous PETA member Heather Mills stormed with some reporters into Lopez's office in New York and expected an explanation from Lopez, but the singer wasn't there. Mills then left a DVD in Lopez' office, which shows how brutally animals are murdered just to get their fur. Mills was then asked to leave by Lopez' assistant.

A Miami woman had sued him with a paternity lawsuit, while he was still married to Torres. However, three separate DNA tests were conducted, all of which showed Marc was not the father.

After Lopez and her husband, Marc Anthony were invited, and attended Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes wedding in Italy, it was rumored that the Latin lovers were considering entering the Church of Scientology in late 2006 because they were having trouble conceiving a child.

Though Lopez has denied that she is receiving IVF treatments in order to get pregnant, sources close to Lopez claim that because she cannot seem to conceive, she might be in the process of adopting a child from Puerto Rico: "Jen and Marc are dying to have kids but it just doesn't seem to be working for them. Jen realizes she's not getting any younger, so they've jointly decided that adoption may be the answer to their prayers." A source said that they chose that country, because both of their parents are from there.

Charity Work and Activism

Lopez has done more than her share of charity work over the years; she supports several foundations, including Children's Health Fund, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles Free Clinic, and MusiCares.

She and her husband, Marc Anthony made a large donation to Children’s Health Fund’s Operation Assist after Hurricane Katrina, and encouraged their fans to give as well.

In early 2006, the Los Angeles Childrens Hospital benefited from an online auction of clothing owned and worn by Lopez: seven items were sold to the highest bidder at overstock.com during the week of May 16th-23rd, 2006, including a brown poncho, a blue satin gown and jeans with Lopez’s signature. Lopez also organised a similar auction the previous year for the hospital.

On November 21, 2006, Lopez was one of many stars including, Mick Jagger, Claire Danes, Zach Braff, Martin Scorsese, Bob Saget and Don Rickles who took the stage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on to honor Paramount Pictures CEO Brad Grey at a gala dinner celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Free Clinic. Lopez's husband, Marc Anthony performed a lively three-song set backed by his powerhouse salsa band. Also in attendance was actor Mark Wahlberg and former California Governor Gray Davis.

Lopez donated an item to watchmaker, Nixon be made into a watch, the sale of which benefitted the MusiCares MAP Fund—a pool of resources set aside to address addiction and recovery needs of members of the music community.