- - Sunday, December 4, 2011

Marley half brother sued over use of name, photos

A feud has erupted within the first family of reggae, with the widow and nine children of Bob Marley suing his half brother to stop using the Marley name to promote an annual Miami music festival and profit from other businesses in his native Jamaica.

According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court contends the half brother, businessman Richard Booker, and several affiliated companies are violating copyright and trademark laws by using Marley’s name, photographs, lyrics, symbols and other intellectual property without authorization.

The lawsuit says people could be deceived into thinking those uses are officially endorsed by Marley’s widow, Rita Marley, and their children. Mr. Booker and Bob Marley shared the same mother.

The entities include the Bob Marley Movement of Jah People Inc., which promotes the music festival, a restaurant in Jamaica called Mama Marley’s and several businesses with the name Nine Mile - the part of Jamaica where Marley grew up and is buried. One Nine Mile business offers a tour of the area, and the music event is known as the Nine Mile Music Festival.

In addition, a recent press release about the music festival included this headline: “All for the Love of Bob Marley.” The 19th annual festival is scheduled for March on Virginia Key, near Miami. Three of Marley’s children - Stephen, Damien and Julian Marley - are scheduled to perform.

Marley, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died of cancer in 1981 at age 36.

The lawsuit, filed by Fort Lauderdale attorney Bruce Hermelee, seeks unspecified damages and also asks a judge to stop Mr. Booker and the companies from using any Marley-related references in the various ventures. Mr. Hermelee represents Mrs. Marley and the children through a Bahamas-based entity called Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd.

The lawsuit says Mrs. Marley and her children have long opposed Mr. Booker’s attempts to trademark Marley-related business names and that at one point they reached a licensing deal but Mr. Booker reneged on the deal.

Amy Winehouse’s father meets kids helped by donation

Amy Winehouse’s father said meeting the first children to be helped by the foundation set up in his late daughter’s name has been both heartbreaking and heartwarming.

The Amy Winehouse Foundation was launched officially 10 weeks ago to support vulnerable youth and has pledged to donate $780,000 in its first year, according to the Associated Press.

The singer’s parents, Mitch and Janis Winehouse, visited Little Havens Children’s Hospice in Thundersley, east of London, on Wednesday to meet children benefitting from a $15,600 donation.

Mr. Winehouse said “it was heartbreaking, actually. … I’m starting to well up now, but heartwarming at the same time.”

A British coroner ruled that the singer, known for her beehive hairdo and hits including “Rehab,” died in July of alcohol poisoning.

Skrillex shares surprise over Grammy nominations

Many people were surprised when the name Skrillex was announced in the best-new-artist category along with the likes of Nicki Minaj and the Band Perry during last week’s televised Grammy nominations special.

Count Skrillex among them.

A day after earning a whopping five nominations, the 23-year-old dance and dub-step producer is still taking it all in.

“It just hasn’t really hit me yet,” he said in an Associated Press phone interview from Manchester, England, on Thursday. “I wouldn’t have thought I would come this far in so many ways.”

Skrillex scored the third-most nominations, matching Lil Wayne. Kanye West leads with seven nods; Adele, the Foo Fighters and Bruno Mars scored six each.

The Los Angeles-based Skrillex, born Sonny Moore, may be best known for “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.” He’s also a producer on Korn’s new album, “The Path of Totality,” out this week.

Skrillex hasn’t had much success on the Billboard charts - he’s more of an underground artist. He’ll have some tough competition in the best-new-artist category: Besides facing the Band Perry and Miss Minaj, who both have dominated their respective fields and other awards shows, he’ll compete with Bon Iver, a critical darling; and J. Cole, who had a No.1 album and is the protege of Jay-Z.

Skrillex is nominated for best dance recording for “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” and also is nominated for best dance/electronica album for his EP, which has the same name. In 2010, Lady Gaga earned those trophies, and Rihanna’s “Only Girl (in the World)” was the winner for best dance recording earlier this year.

“I feel very proud of where I come from,” Skrillex said of being in the electronic music scene, a genre that has exploded on Top 40 radio in recent years. “I do feel like I represent something and I’m a part of something, and it’s an honor to be there.”

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.

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