Freedom Isn’t Loyal!

By: Charnele L. Box and Robresha Jackson

LOS ANGELES (AP/ UTC The Loop) — With a roll of his eyes and a comment that he was good at using guns and knives, Chris Brown may have cost himself weeks of freedom and his chance to get back to making music anytime soon.

The reasons for Brown’s dismissal from a Malibu rehab facility were detailed in court on Monday, with a judge ordering the Grammy winner to remain in jail until a formal probation violation hearing can be convened on April 23.

The jail stint will be Brown’s longest and comes more than five years after he viciously attacked his then-girlfriend Rihanna in a rented sports car just hours before the Grammy Awards. Superior Court Judge James R. Brandlin said he was most troubled by a comment the singer made during a group therapy session last week.

“I am good at using guns and knives,” the rehab reported Brown said in response to an exercise asking him to reflect on what he was good or excelled at.

Other transgressions cited by rehab workers included the singer ignoring a worker who was waiting to give him a drug test, rubbing elbows with a woman when he had signed an agreement to stay at least two feet away from all female clients and joking telling fellow patients, “I’m going to ask my higher power to take away my troubles.” When asked whether he was serious, Brown said yes while shaking his head no, a report on Brown’s conduct stated.

Outside court, Brown’s attorney described Brown as having a bad day at the facility and said he didn’t think his client should be forced to stay behind bars for another month.

“You know — do you have a bad day? I have bad days sometimes,” Mark Geragos said outside the courthouse. “Do you say things you’d like to take back? I certainly do. So I don’t know that being in a therapeutic session and you’re talking about your reflections and you say one sentence means you go to jail? Seems to me to be counterproductive to therapy.”

Geragos said he planned to petition to have Brown released before the April hearing. The singer has legal woes on the East Coast as well and is due to go on trial in a misdemeanor assault case in Washington, D.C., on April 17.

Geragos said Brown’s incarceration might make it impossible for the trial to start on time, and would be a waste of judicial and jail resources.

Deputy District Attorney Mary Murray however said Brown has had repeated chances to comply with his sentence for the Rihanna attack, which required him to obey all laws and complete six months’ worth of community labor. Brown’s completion of those hours was called into question last year, and Brandlin required the singer to do another 1,000 hours of roadside cleanup and graffiti removal as punishment for a misdemeanor hit-and-run case.

“He has put himself into custody,” Murray said.

Brown appeared in court wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, a sharp contrast from the suits and designer jeans he has worn for other court hearings.

Geragos had requested that Brown be allowed to change into a suit, but Brandlin refused. He did allow the singer’s handcuffs to be removed during the hearing, and ordered photographers not film deputies placing the restraints back on after the hearing.

Brown had been in court-ordered rehab since November and until recently had received good reviews from probation officials and praise from Brandlin.

Since his arrest in February 2009 for assaulting Rihanna, Brown has worked to restore his public image and has released three albums, including 2011’s “F.A.M.E.” that won the Grammy Award for best R&B album.

Brown’s fifth album, “X,” has been delayed several times and a new release date has not been set. He has launched several singles from the album, but while some have reached the Top 40, they haven’t resonated on the charts like his previous tracks.

The Nicki Minaj-assisted “Love More” was the strongest of the singles, peaking at No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while the current single, “Loyal” with Lil Wayne, broke into the Top 40 last week. Brown is still a popular guest collaborator in the R&B and hip-hop world: He’s featured on rapper Kid Ink’s rising Top 15 hit “Show Me” and singer-songwriter Sevyn Streeter’s R&B hit “It Won’t Stop.”

Associated Press Writer Ryan Pearson and Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu contributed to this report.

Anthony McCartney can be reached at


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Rock and Roller Visits Nashville

By: Charnele L. Box

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/UTC The Loop) — Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Graham Nash will be in Nashville on Friday.

He will do a brief talk and book signing of his new memoir at the city’s main library at noon before performing Friday night at the historic Ryman Auditorium with Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Nash earned fame as part of the group more than four decades ago. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Crosby, Stills and Nash in 1997 and as a member of The Hollies in 2010.

Nash’s library appearance is free and open to the public.


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4 Women, 4 Strings

By: Charnele L. Box

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC The Loop)- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s music department is known for having great musical events. This year the music department is will present the Marian Anderson String Quartet to the Chattanooga community, February 20 – 22.

In the fall of 1989, members of the Marian Anderson String Quartet, then known as the Chaminade Quartet joined forces to accomplish more than they ever dreamed. The Marian Anderson String Quartet has won major classical competitions and performed at the White House during a Presidential Inauguration.


(top to bottom- Prudence McDaniel, Diedra Lawrence
Marianne Henry, Nicole Cherry)

The Marian Anderson String Quartet Residency project was initiated by Dr. Jonathan B. McNair, Coordinator of Theory and Composition at UTC, as part of an effort to raise public awareness of the contributions to concert (classical) music by African American and other minority performing artists and composers.

“I became interested in bringing acclaimed African American classical music composers and performers to Chattanooga a few years ago. I had purchased a collection of music by Black composers, and liked some of the music very much,”  said McNair.

The four women are passionate about their musical art. They will perform a concert for the public, work with local music students, of high school and collegiate levels, conduct a workshop for young composers from around the Southeast, and participate in a public panel discussion.

The MASQ will visit Orchard Knob Elementary school on Thursday Feb. 20 in the morning, and Center for Creative Arts high school Thursday afternoon Feb 20.

“I hope to bring other highly skilled minority artist to campus in coming years, such as the Ritz Chamber Players, and/or the Imani Winds, or fine solo artists who I’ve come across online. If this MASQ program is successful, which I believe it will be, then we have a foundation to build on for the future,” he continued.

Each member of the ensemble is trained at top conservatories and universities such as Julliard School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and Shepherd School of Music.The women of the string quarter have a strong commitment to music education, and established a community music school in their home base of Bryan, Texas, as well as string quartet music camps in the Southwest and the Virgin Islands.

Sources: UTC Music Department and Marian Anderson Quartet Sites

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Singer Wins Gold at the End of the Rainbow

Album Cover

Album Cover

By: Charnele L. Box

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/The Loop) — Tamela Mann has won seven awards including top honor artist of the year at the Stellar Gospel Music Awards.

Mann broke down in tears as she spoke with the audience during the 29th annual ceremony at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. She also won major awards female vocalist and CD of the year for “Best Days.”

Kirk Franklin’s “Take Me to the King” was named song of the year, Tye Tribbett took male vocalist of the year and Tasha Cobb won three awards including new artist of the year.

Hezekiah Walker and Anthony Brown & Group Therapy matched Cobb with three wins apiece as well.

The two-hour awards were hosted by Sherri Shepherd and Rickey Smiley and broadcast on the Up Network.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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A Cause, A Movement, A City Without Tears

By Alexandria Adams
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop)- Michael Kelly, also known as Big Mike Mic, is a local Chattanooga rapper who dreams of a city without violence.

Kelly and his brother Brian started the project, “City Without Tears”, a year and a half ago. M. Kelly said, “ I want to bring awareness, awareness to the numbness of the violence and injustice that has been going on in the community.”

City Without Tears flyer

City Without Tears flyer

M. Kelly said that City Without Tears was inspired by his own self reflection, and seeing the tremendous toll that a life with violence takes on not only one person, but a community.

M. Kelly considers himself an artist and has been creating music for ten years. He wrote a six track EP, a documentary, a poem ,and a music video to help spread the message about the reoccurring violence and murders that Chattanooga has been experiencing.

By seeing the effects of violence firsthand M. Kelly said that is what drives him to continue his efforts to help put a stop to the violent crimes. “God led my heart to stop talking and be active.”

The two brothers hope City Without Tears becomes not just a message, but also a movement. B. Kelly said,” No one wants to see anyone hurt; especially not someone that you love. If one person is hurt, that hurt is going to spread.”

Brian Kelly speaks about the cause in the documentary

Brian Kelly speaks about the cause in the documentary

They hope their efforts make an impact not only on the local community, but that the message to end violence reaches to other cities having the same problem.
M. Kelly said, “ This project needs to be on the biggest platform possible. There is heavy violence going on in every city. This, most definitely is something that needs to be broadcast.”

B. Kelly said, “Everything is like an infection. If you don’t do something, it’s only going to get bigger and bigger. Why be reactive, when we can be more proactive?”

They hope to raise at least $10,000 for the project.

If you are interested in finding out more information about the City Without Tears project please e-mail Brian Kelley at or call 423-903-4293.  If you would like to donate to the City Without Tears project please visit and type “City Without Tears” into the search bar.
You can also follow Michael Kelly on Twitter and “like” his Facebook page.Make sure to view the exclusive interview with the Kelly brothers only on the Mocs News Youtube page.






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Big Mike Mic Describes A City Without Tears

By Tia Kalmon

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – Gangs and crime are a problem for Chattanooga, but one local rapper is trying to stop the violence through his organization, City Without Tears.

This organization was founded by Michael Kelly a year and a half ago. It now consists of a documentary, music video, a six-song EP album and a poem.

This is the postcard for City Without Tears.

This is the postcard for City Without Tears.

“I want to bring awareness, awareness of the numbness for the violence and injustice that’s been going on in the community and how people need to self-reflect,” Kelly said. “Actually the song in the project came from me actually self-reflecting and seeing what I can do, because I knew a lot of things had been going on and I didn’t want to be one of those people that was saying ‘that’s what you should do,’ or just being someone who talked. Since I’m an artist, music is so powerful, words just came out and that was the birth of City Without Tears.”

He wants this to be on the biggest scale possible, raising $20,000 to give back to the community to stop the violence. Kelly wants to take City Without Tears into the community to meet people, to make an impression on them, and to change the statistics to stop the crime.

“What drives me is the shape of the community and my own insecurities and ways that I want to be better because I’m not where I want to be as an individual,” Kelly said.

Kelly began City Without Tears when he saw loved ones in his life disappear because of violence in the city. It hit close to home for Kelly and now he has found inspiration in the mist of danger.

“Life is about your own journey and what you find in yourself and what you were put on this earth to do, to find your purpose,” Kelly said. “That’s a journey through ups and downs. It’s hard sometimes but I feel like that’s what inspires me so my music is real personal.”

Kelly goes by Big Mike Mic when he performs. Big Mike Mic performed at the Barking Legs Theater Friday, February 28th. He began his performance by making a juice out of only organic products, because he wanted to give the audience “an organic performance.”

Big Mike Mic performing at the Barking Legs Theater March 1.

Big Mike Mic performing at the Barking Legs Theater March 1.

“Everything is like an infection, if you don’t do something it’s going to get bigger and bigger,” Brian Kelly, Manager for Big Mike Mic, said. “And why be reactive when we can be more proactive.”

If you would like to donate to City Without Tears you can visit and search “City Without Tears.” For more information you can e-mail Brian Kelley at or call, 423-903-4293.

Check out the video of the interview with Big Mike Mic uploaded to the Mocs News YouTube page!

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Country Singer’s Death, Marked as a Suicide

By Alexandria Adams

Singer Mindy McCready dies in apparent suicide

HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. (AP/The Loop) — Mindy McCready, who hit the top of the country charts before personal problems sidetracked her career, died Sunday in Arkansas in an apparent suicide. She was 37.

The Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that McCready was found dead at a residence in Heber Springs from what appears to be a single, self-inflicted gunshot to the head. An autopsy is pending.

It wasn’t the first suicide attempt for the troubled singer, whose list of problems only continued to grow in 2013.

McCready entered court-ordered rehab earlier this month after her father told a judge she was no longer taking care of herself or her children and was abusing drugs and alcohol. Her sons were put in foster care at the time, but it’s not clear where Zander and Zayne were at the time of McCready’s death.

McCready’s longtime boyfriend David Wilson, the father of her younger son, died last month in Arkansas. Authorities found his body on the same porch where they discovered McCready’s on Sunday, and his death also was investigated as a suicide.

The front porch light remained on Sunday night at McCready’s home in the wooded lakefront community filled with large homes. Yellow crime-scene tape blocked off the front of the house, and a deputy sat watch over the property, referring questions to the sheriff. A pickup truck remained in the driveway.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Country Star Kills Dog Before Killing Self

By Drew Flora

HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — Authorities say they found country singer Mindy McCready’s body on the same porch of her northern Arkansas home where her boyfriend was found dead of an apparent suicide last month.

Cleburne County Sheriff Marty Moss said Monday that it appears McCready killed her late boyfriend David Wilson’s dog before she turned the gun on herself Sunday. The dog and McCready were found dead next to one another the home in Heber Springs, a vacation community about 65 miles north of Little Rock. Moss says the dog’s body was next to McCready’s.

Authorities are investigating Wilson’s shooting death as a suicide, but Moss says an official determination hasn’t been made.

Moss says he expects McCready’s official cause of death to be released soon, but that “all indicators” point to suicide.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Pitch Perfected- UTC has it’s Own A Cappella Group

By: Alexandria Adams

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – Mocking Birds are known for the ability to mimic songs. And that goes no different for UTC student A cappella group, The Mocking Birds.

UTC student Sidney Toney started the group in the fall of 2011. The group is comprised of ten members.

The Mocking Birds performing at the 2012 Spring Greek Show.


Most members come from a musical background. President Whitney Gonyea, Vice President Melody Shenkman, and Secretary Caitlyn Krueger were all a part of their high schools’ choirs as well as other small musical groups that led the way for them to join The Mocking Birds.

All three say the have deep passion and appreciation for singing.

The musical group performs a variety of tunes from artists ranging from Taylor Swift to the jazzy melodies of Michael Buble says, Shenkman.


Gonyea says, “We are all a bunch of different individuals and we come together. We all sound really great and we have a lot fun.”

The Mocking Birds next performance will be at UTC’s annual Greek Show later this spring.

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All Aboard for Entertainment In Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA/Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – Chattanooga has been voted the best town ever by Outside Magazine.

That being said, what’s the next big thing happening in the city?

A new entertainment venue called Track 29 has been built in Chattanooga on 1400 Market St.

Track 29 officially opened on Sept. 1 this year, in hopes of bringing in more live entertainment to Chattanooga.

Upcoming artists include: Brett Dennen, Marc Broussard, and there’s also a Halloween bash featuring three bands.

Chattanooga resident, Josh Adams, has been to Track 29, would like to see some larger entertainers come through.

Adams said, ” I would love to see some larger acts come to Chattanooga, such as maybe The National, Arcade Fire, Phoenix, Bon Iver, along that line, who normally  just, you know, would skip Chattanooga and go to either Atlanta or Nashville because they have nicer venues and larger crowds.

Adams is also a Senior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and sings in the University’s chamber choir.

Besides music in chattanooga, there is also a well known comedian coming in.

Tim Conway is visiting Chattanooga on Feb. 11 and will be performing in the Tivoli theater at 7:00 p.m.

Of the last forty years, Conway has won five Emmy awards and a Golden Globe.

Tickets are priced at $47.50 and can be bought at Memorial Auditorium Box Office or online. The Tivoli is located at 709 Broad St.

A large part of Chattanooga’s culture is the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga itself.  College students would like to see a different form of entertainment in the area.

UTC sophomore, Daniel Eldridge, is hoping for a bit more youth-centered events in Chattanooga.

Eldridge said, “There needs to be a young person’s festival. Maybe something they can host in Coolidge park. They could have like classic festival games in a carnival kind of style.”

For more information on upcoming events, has an extensive calendar detailing entertainment for each day.


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