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Los Angeles Auto Show 2018


For the 111 th year, automakers, some 39 of them, will display their wares at the Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles over the next 10 days. The event is expected to draw more than 100 million visitors, and for good reason. If you like cars(who really doesn’t) the goods will
be on display like nowhere else. This is the car capitol of the world and the manufacturers know that by pulling out all the stops.

Some interesting facts, as I dabbled in and out of the numerous press events held the week
prior to the show:

- People aren’t buying cars like they used to. Trucks and SUV’s drive the majority of sales in the industry;
- The Toyota Rav4 is the best-selling non-truck in the United States;
- The Kia Soul accounts for 100,00 of the 600,000 units Kia sells here each year;
- Volkswagen will have an all-electric vehicle in 2020 and plans to make it the new “people’s” car, bringing green cars to every household in America;
- Cars today not only brake, and swerve, and park themselves, if given the chance, but most manufacturers have autonomous vehicles in their lineup, where the driver does no driving whatsoever, but are waiting for laws to be passed before they are available to
the public;
- Honda has a hybrid, the Insight, that gets 52 mpg, IN THE CITY! No wonder that it took home Green Car of the Year honors;
- Subaru has a sexy little sports car in the $20,000 range;
- Hyundai will have 7 different SUV’s in their portfolio, with an option of 3 different drive train options, making them one of the hottest competitors in the field;
- Nissan first exhibited their automobiles at the LA Car Show in 1958;
- A Saudi backed company, the Rivian will sell all electric trucks and SUV’s that look more like UFO’s than cars, in 2020;
- Mitsubishi took home Green SUV car of the year with the Outlander PREV. Really? Mitsubishi? And it looks great;
- The Jaguar I-Pace beat out Tesla and others, to bag Green Luxury car off the year;
- Tesla only showed 3 cars at this show, but man are they cool;
- Mercedes Benz boasts the highest customer loyalty in the luxury market, and so their formula for success is “get the customers when they are young, and keep them for life.”

They plan to do this with their new A Class which replaces the popular CLA, which drew many younger and first time Mercedes buyers. From there, the upwardly mobile Mercedes owner presumably moves up to the GLE which is an on and off road utility vehicle that seats 7, boasts
a state of the art touch screen for entertainment and overall operation of the vehicle, as well as a suspension system that allows the car to dance and strut among the best of any lowriders. They showed this off at their press event.
But if you go by Mercedes, check out the awesome AMG GT R PRO. It is the top of the line amongst MB’s high performance vehicles, and the looks of it are absolutely gorgeous.
As are the new BMW’s, X7 and X8, introduced for the first time, here in Los Angeles, with the X8 sporting as convertible option. Stunning. My choice, if I were strolling the aisles with an unlimited budget, would probably be the I8 Roadster, with its gull wing doors, and unbelievable
sex appeal.
Or, maybe the Acura NSX, in blinding, bright orange. The car is impossibly attractive, and no doubt does 0-60 in a couple seconds, as if I would ever need that. Ha!
The cherry red Lexus LC 500 would be hard to turn away from, if I were buying. It is sleek, yet muscular, and has that “all eyes on me” thing going on. That is why we buy cars, right?
No, no, my heritage demands I “marry” the Maserati Gran Tourisimo, displayed here, also in the cherry red. Have you heard those puppies on the road. It out “jaguars” the jaguars, if you know what I mean. You here one of those, and all heads turn. That works.
There is just one little problem-each of these gems are in the $150,000 range.
Which brings me to another great reason to go to the car show-the concept cars. After all, automobiles are all about fantasy, and image, and dreams, and even a little magic, and two such beauties caught my interest at this show.
The first wasn’t a car, as much as it was a traveling lounge-the Icona Nucleus. It is huge, and looks more like a Martian spacecraft, than an automobile for driving on asphalt. It took my breath away. Did this vision actually move? Could it really be? I was stunned. The interior was
like the newest model of the Starship Enterprise.
And then there was the Infiniti Prototype 10. It is a slice of silver ether, both throwback, as if in a ‘40’s sci-fi movie, and at the same time ultra-modern timeless, which I know makes no sense at all. But that is what it did to me, took me to another dimension. If this car was placed vertical, it would launch, and take it and all of us out of this banal universe into the other world where all else pays no never mind. It was it.
And that my friends, is worth the price of admission. That magical, awe-filled moment, which might never again be recreated-remember, these are concept cars; there is no likelihood they will ever return, or materialize in any form other than this moment-is what auto shows are all about.
Finally, on my way back to earth, there was the Karlmann King. It is not a concept car, and it borrows it’s inspirational looks from the stealth SR71 Blackbird. No doubt it is not detectable by radar. Known by men as “the wow car”, or by women as “the origami car”, it is a monstrosity of an all-terrain assault vehicle without a curved line. It might cut you if you brush up against it. Nearly 20 feet long, 10 feet high, and 10 feet wide, it can go as fast as 87 mph, but the world would surely come to an end. It is a sight to be seen.
And, like I said, it is not a concept car. This car is available, for a mere $2 million. It comes with a 40 inch high def television set, which doubles as a screen shield from your driver. And, rest assured, if you are in the market, only 8 other such transformers would co-exist on planet Earth.

The LA AUTO SHOW runs through December 9 th . Check it out!


Los Angeles Auto Show 2018

11.29.18 - LA AUTO SHOW TO OPEN IN LA Nov 30, 2018





Emmy Award winner RuPaul and World of Wonder (“RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “Million Dollar Listing,” “Out Of Iraq”) hosted more than 50,000 attendees during the fourth annual “RuPaul’s DragCon LA” at the Los Angeles Convention Center this past weekend.  The massively successful convention, which welcomed the largest ever gathering of the world’s top Drag Queens in one place, has experienced explosive growth since its debut in 2015 - increasing total attendance by 500% in just four years.  

Created by RuPaul and World of Wonder Productions, RuPaul’s DragCon is a family-friendly event welcoming attendees - of all ages and background - to kiki with all of their favorite drag queens and stars in a creative, friendly and accessible environment. The three day event included extensively curated panels and live runway performances, talent signings, more than 30 Instagrammable moments on the floor, including the actual Werkroom from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and over 350 exhibitor booths offering attendees some of the most sickening shopping around.

“In this time of chaos and lies, for three days tens of thousands of big-hearted, super-creative, and sensitive souls peacefully gathered to celebrate their truth at RuPaul’s DragCon,” says RuPaul. “Seeing all the young people and families and queens has filled my heart with gratitude and hope. The future is going to be fierce.”

"The overwhelming success of this year's DragCon is a testament to the talent and creative vision of the hundreds of drag artists who attended the convention," says World of Wonder co-founder Randy Barbato.  "Drag has become a cultural force that is here to stay.”

"As we wrap up another DragCon on Mother's Day, it is especially exciting to see all the families that come to share the experience," says World of Wonder co-founder Fenton Bailey. "DragCon is about life, love, laughter and inclusion. It’s about tearing down walls, not building them."



The 2017 Songwriters Hall of Fame 48th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner was a sparkling success, as SHOF President/CEO Linda Moran and co-chairs, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff recognized and celebrated some of the best songwriting legends of our time. Last night, musical titans Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Berry Gordy, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Robert Lamm & James Pankow p/k/a "Chicago,"  Max Martin, and  Shawn "JAY Z" Carter were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Honored with special awards were Alan Menken with the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award; Ed Sheeran with the Hal David Starlight Award; Pitbull with the first-ever Global Ambassador Award and Caroline Bienstock with the Abe Oleman Publisher Award.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame induction and awards dinner, year after year, is a night full of unforgettable moments celebrating the art of songwriting.  The evening kicked off with Jon Bon Jovi performing an acoustic version of his hit, “It’s My Life” before inducting the song’s writer Max Martin, whom he called a “genius.”
Cassandra Wilson performed an electrifying rendition of Peggy Lee’s “Fever” before Songwriters Hall of Fame co-chairmen, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff honored Caroline Bienstock with the Abe Oleman Publisher Award.
Whoopi Goldberg took to the stage to present Alan Menken with the highest honor bestowed by the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Johnny Mercer Award.  After accepting his award he sat at the piano for a beautiful medley of his classic scores including “Under The Sea,” “A Whole New World,” “Beauty and the Beast” and more, which had the audience clapping and singing along.
Presenter, Train’s Pat Monahan introduced inductees James Pankow & Robert Lamm p/k/a Chicago before performing their hit “Just You And Me” with Pankow on trombone. Prior to their induction, Lamm joined Pankow for their classic song “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is,” before proclaiming how humbled they are to be in the company of the “greatest songwriters in modern history.”
Johnny Gill brought the audience to its feet with a captivating rendition of “My, My, My” written by inductee Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, who was inducted by Irving Azoff.
Following his induction, Edmonds stated “what a blessing it is to do something [he loves]” and what an honor it is to stand in front of his heroes.
The evening continued as past recipient, Benny Blanco took to the stage to honor friend, Ed Sheeran with the Hal David Starlight Award, which is presented to young songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry with their original songs.  Blanco called Sheeran “one of the greatest live performers he’s ever seen.” After a heartfelt and comical acceptance speech, Sheeran performed “Castle On The Hill.”
Rhonda Ross Kendrick surprised her father and performed a soulful rendition of “To Be Loved” before welcoming music titan Berry Gordy whom she called a “guiding force,” into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Gordy, who shared a special moment with his daughter on stage, told stories from throughout his career, adding “a song is not only a force that evokes emotion; it takes us to another time and place.”

Usher performed an exhilarating medley of “Gigolos Get Lonely Too,” “Tender Love,” “Let’s Wait Awhile” and more before inducting the song’s writers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis who accepted their award before performing “Human” and “Optimistic.”
A surprise congratulatory video from President Barack Obama in recognition of Shawn “JAY Z” Carter becoming the first-ever rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame shocked the audience. Highlights from throughout the inductee’s career played before Jon Platt, CEO of Warner/ Chappell accepted the award on JAY Z’s behalf. 
The celebratory evening came to a close as actor, John Leguizamo presented Pitbull, whom he called a “true international superstar,” with the first-ever Global Ambassador Award, created to celebrate a songwriter-artist whose music has true worldwide appeal, crossing genre, cultural and national boundaries. Pitbull, full of gratitude, spoke about the struggles and sacrifices that made him who he is today and said “our music is not only powerful, it’s the universal language.” He then went on to perform a high-energy medley of “Fireball, “Don’t Stop the Party,” “Give Me Everything,” and “Remix,” that had the audience dancing.

Full biographies and a complete list of inductees are available at the Songwriters Hall of Fame's Virtual Museum at


Barry Manilow


Beverly Hills, CA (May 10, 2017)
 – Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the global leader in music rights management, celebrated the songwriters and publishers behind the year’s most-performed pop songs at the 65th Annual BMI Pop Awards, held May 9th at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The Awards were hosted by BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill and BMI Vice President of Writer/Publisher Relations Barbara Cane.
GRAMMY, EMMY and TONY Award-winning singer-songwriter, arranger, producer and musician, Barry Manilow received the honor of BMI Icon in recognition of his prodigious musical legacy and unparalleled career encompassing the worlds of Broadway, Film, TV, and popular culture.  
He joins an elite group of songwriters who have received BMI’s highest honor for their “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.” Previous recipients include Mann & Weil, Nile Rodgers, Stevie Nicks, Paul Simon, Carole King, David Foster, Sting, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and the Bee Gees, among others. 
Throughout the evening, the 50 best performing songs in BMI’s vast catalogue were named, leading up to the announcement of the BMI Pop Song of the Year, which went to songwriters Teddy Geiger, D.J. Kyriakides and Danny Parker for the infectious hit, “Stitches” performed by Shawn Mendes. Ross Golan and Justin Tranter were both named Songwriters of the Year, collectively penning eight of the year’s most-performed songs. Those hits included “Dangerous Woman,” “Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah),” “My House,” and “Same Old Love” by Golan and “Cake By The Ocean,” “Close,” “Hands To Myself” and “Sorry” by Tranter. Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. scored the esteemed BMI Pop Publisher of the Year crystal with 17 of the year’s most performed songs. 
Barry Manilow is one of the world's bestselling recording artists with more than 85 million albums sold worldwide. A Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Manilow has triumphed in every medium of entertainment with an iconic career touching virtually every aspect of music. He's had an astonishing 50 Top 40 singles, including 12 #1s and 27 Top 10 hits, five of his albums were on the best-seller charts simultaneously, and he is ranked as the #1 Adult Contemporary Artist of all-time, according to Billboard and R&R magazines.  Manilow is currently on tour in support of his new album, This Is My Town, earning his 26th Top 40 album, and recently appeared on the Today ShowThe Talk and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to name a few. 
For a complete list of winners, visit  



4.22.2017 - T1 Dad" Usher Raymond and his table bid 50k for a live auction puppy and gave it to a lucky party goer to take home

Los Angeles California - The 14th Annual Imagine Gala honors Max Harris.


Max is the real champion here and our hero. Diagnosed with T1D at the age of two, Max has courageously been dealing with this insidious disease for 14 years. At sixteen years old, Max is a healthy and happy role model for T1D kids all over the world. He is an exemplary athlete, playing basketball for Kenny Smith’s Aim High club team and for Oaks Christian High School. Max has plans for a music career, diligently working on his tracks and tunes every day which must run in the family. Most recently Max landed a curated collaboration campaign with the brand & global retailer Forever 21 along with his sister Bella. There is nothing he can’t conquer.

We would like to thank JDRF, the world’s leading organization funding Type 1 Diabetes Research for their unrelenting work on providing life changing therapies that will hopefully, one day lead to a cure. We dedicate our lives to supporting JDRF and it’s many accomplishments in new technologies and treatments for a better way of life for Max and others living with T1D. We will not stop until a cure is found. -Lisa Harris and Jimmy Jam

Andra Day
Singer Andra Day performs during JDRF LA's IMAGINE Gala to benefit type 1 diabetes research at The Beverly Hilton on April 22, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. 

(Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for JDRF)
Actress/singer Hailee Steinfeld performs during JDRF LA's IMAGINE Gala to benefit type 1 diabetes research at The Beverly Hilton on April 22, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.

(Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for JDRF)

Zoe Saldana


Los Angeles – April 7, 2017
 – Today, celebrated actress Zoe Saldana unveiled her wax double at Madame Tussauds Hollywood and struck a pose side-by-side with the figure. The figure is dressed in the light pink Versace dress Saldana wore to the 2015 Academy Awards which she personally donated to Madame Tussauds.

“It’s like a dream come true. I’m feeling very grateful and really humbled.” said Saldana.

Prior to the unveiling, Madame Tussauds Hollywood released the first look of its expert team of sculptors and artists capturing Zoe’s measurements and likeness, as well as selecting the perfect matching hair and eye color for her figure. The session lasted more than two hours and over 250 measurements were taken. The completed wax figure is valued at approx. $350,000.

Zoe Saldana has been widely recognized for powerful range and diverse roles with more than 50 award nominations, including NAACP Image Awards, BET Awards, MTV Awards, Teen Choice Awards and People’s Choice Awards.

Saldana is set to reprise her popular role as Gamora in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 slated for release on May 5.  She is also a global fan favorite for her tent pole roles as Neytiri in the AVATAR franchise and Lieutenant Uhura in the STAR TREK franchise.

Famed Madame Tussauds Hollywood is LA’s premiere Hollywood destination offering guests the world's only opportunity to interact with incredibly lifelike iconic figures from the celebrity worlds of film, TV and music. Only at Madame Tussauds can guests "grab hold" of their favorite stars and enjoy countless interactive experiences. Lifelike figures of Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Selena Quintanilla and Will Smith are among the more than 125 featured figures.

For more information, visit the website at on Facebook (Madame Tussauds Hollywood) and Twitter (@TussaudsLA)


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