Jimi Hendrix’s Brother, Niece Found in Contempt of Court for Violating Trademarks

Jimi Hendrix’s brother Leon Hendrix and niece Tina Hendrix are in contempt of court for violating a permanent injunction against infringing on the iconic guitarist’s protected trademarks, according to a ruling Monday from U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer of the Southern District of New York.

Engelmayer ordered Leon Hendrix and his daughter Tina Hendrix, along with their tuition-free Hendrix Music Academy, to recall and destroy all apparel and merchandise bearing any Jimi Hendrix name, to change the name of the school to make it clear it is not affiliated with Jimi Hendrix and to “cease and desist” infringing on the late rocker’s trademark.

Experience Hendrix and its licensing arm, Authentic Hendrix, was created by the rock icon’s father, Al Hendrix, after his son’s death in 1970. Al Hendrix “handpicked” several family members to help manage the estate including Jimi’s cousin Bob and “expressly excluded Leon Hendrix and his family from that management team,” according to court papers. It is now run by Janie Jinka, the adopted daughter of Al Hendrix and his late wife Ayako “June” Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix’s step mother.

Tina Hendrix tells Billboard that her family is “devastated and disappointed about the judge’s decision and I strongly feel that it was incorrect and unjust for several reasons.”

The contempt ruling against Leon and Tina Hendrix follows a lengthy court battle that began in 2017 when Experience Hendrix LLC — the sole owner of the late rocker’s musical compositions, sound recordings, copyrights and trademarks — and Authentic Hendrix LLC, the licensing arm for Hendrix, filed an infringement case. Experience and Authentic Hendrix sued Leon Hendrix and a business associate for trademark infringement, deceptive acts and false advertising, among other claims.

In Oct. 2019, the court entered a permanent injunction against Leon Hendrix and his corporate entities, finding they had worked to create “the illusion of an empire of ‘authentic’ Jimi Hendrix goods which include[d] cannabis, edibles, food, wine, alcohol, ‘medicines,’ and electronic products,” according to court papers.

The following July, the court formally adopted the injunction in favor of Experience Hendrix, LLC and Authentic Hendrix, LLC, and against “Leon Hendrix, his corporate entities, . . . partners, . .” and a judgment of $402,018.53 against Leon. But just three months later, Experience and Authentic Hendrix told the court that Leon and Tina Hendrix were violating the court’s permanent injunction order.

“Experience Hendrix only seeks to disenfranchise Jimi Hendrix’s next of kin from participating in his legacy at all costs, for no other purpose than corporate greed and to spread public misinformation that only they are Jimi’s family [when] in reality they are not,” continues Tina Hendrix. “This battle is not about money but the right to use my own family birth-given name for charitable purposes. This is more about free speech and our rights are being violated by this order and the order preceding this case, which was a default judgment against my father.”

She adds, “I am astonished that the courts have sided with Experience Hendrix and stripped us from our rights to use our own family surname after a lifetime of doing so. This is a rare occurrence. The plaintiff gained the Hendrix name by virtue of adoption and has used it ever since, only to exploit millions of dollars off of Jimi Hendrix’s music, while using the proceeds to eliminate Jimi’s biological family members one by one, starting with Jimi’s own son, then Jimi’s brother and now his niece. I have never made one dollar off of my uncle while running a free music school for kids.”

Despite the fact that Leon was forbidden by the court from using “the name ‘Jimi Hendrix,’ the name ‘Jimi,’ the name ‘Hendrix,’ in any configuration . . . ; any Hendrix registered or pending trademarks . . . ; or any image, likeness or signature of Jimi Hendrix . . . in any manner, including but not limited to the sale, naming, identifying, offering for sale, marketing, labeling, packaging, promotion, distribution or advertising of any product or service, or in connection with any goods and services,” he subsequently gave an interview for the purpose of advertising and promoting the sale of a purported Jimi Hendrix guitar, according to court papers.

In addition, the court said that Leon and Tina Hendrix hosted and sponsored a benefit to raise money for their non-profit “Jimi Hendrix Music” and sold an accompanying Jimi Hendrix T-shirt on their website featuring an image of Hendrix on the front and a Hendrix quote, followed by a protected Jimi Hendrix signature on the back.

While Tina Hendrix argued in court pleadings that the money raised for the HMA academy was for a non-profit charity, the court said non-profit status does not free it from its duty to comply with the permanent injunction. Engelmayer also ordered Leon to pay opposing counsel’s attorney fees and said if he and Tina Hendrix failed to comply there could also be a further fine imposed, stating that Leon “carries the keys of his prison in his own pocket.”

Tina Hendrix tells Billboard, “I only seek to educate kids about Jimi and use his name for non-profit purposes. My grandfather gave us that right in 1988. Everything that we received from Jimi’s fans went to the students and their families. We have proudly served many needy families in honor of Jimi over the past decade. This work has never interfered with Experience Hendrix’s business or profits, it only interfered with their lies. We are desperately seeking pro Bono legal advice at this time and we intend to fight this until the end. We are and always have been known as the Hendrix Family since my father was born in 1948. Why should we be silenced and prevented from telling our family’s history when we are the only ones who could ever tell it? This is an example of how history is re-written to accommodate ones lies based upon greed and to spread misinformation as fact.”

Members of Limp Bizkit, 311 & More Cover Jane’s Addiction’s ‘Mountain Song’ for a Good Cause

The Kings of Quarantine are back!

The all-star collective featuring members of Limp Bizkit, 311, Mastodon, Filter, The Used, Veruca Salt and In Flames teamed up on Tuesday (Jan. 12) to perform a socially-distant cover of Jane’s Addiction’s “Mountain Song.”

The project from Slaves of Dope’s Jason Rockman and Kevin Jardine is in collaboration with the Roadie Relief effort, in hopes to raise awareness for touring industry workers whose jobs have been affected by the pandemic.

Back in October, the Rockman and Jardine delivered a similar performance of Faith No More’s “We Care a Lot” for the cause, including members of Anthrax, Korn, Mastodon, Men Without Hats, Refused, Quicksand, Brutal Truth, Czarface, Run DMC, Filter and Our Lady Peace.

Watch the “Mountain Song” cover below, and download it via Bandcamp here.

Everything We Know About Sia’s ‘Music’ Movie & Album (So Far)

Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Sia is set to make her directorial debut this year with the musical drama film Music.

The pop hitmaker co-wrote the screenplay for the movie, which was announced at the 2015 Venice Film Festival, along with 10 songs for the official soundtrack, Music – Songs From and Inspired by The Motion Picture.

Her two-in-one project has experienced multiple delays, and Billboard has been following its every move leading up to its scheduled February release date in the U.S.

Find out everything we know (so far) below:

Movie & album release dates 

Music is scheduled for a special limited theatrical IMAX release in the U.S. on Feb. 12 and it opens in Australia on Thursday (Jan. 14) via StudioCanal. Music – Songs From and Inspired by The Motion Picture will drop on Feb. 12 via Monkey Puzzle/ Atlantic.

Songs on the album 

Sia released the lead single “Together” and its colorful accompanying visual on May 20, 2020, followed up by “Courage to Change” on Sept. 24, which she later performed at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards.

She dropped a third single “Hey Boy” on Nov. 19, the same day she announced the movie’s soundtrack. Sia also teased a sneak peek of Kate Hudson’s performance of “1+1″ on Dec. 18.

Actors in the movie & plot 

Oscar-nominated actress Kate Hudson plays Zu, a “newly sober drug dealer and self-saboteur” who becomes the sole guardian of her autistic half-sister Music, who’s played by Sia’s longtime dancer Maddie Ziegler. As Zu struggles to take care of Music, she turns to her friendly neighbor Ebo, who’s played by Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr., for help.

Controversy about autism 

Sia faced severe backlash in November from the autistic community after casting Ziegler for the role rather than an actor on the autism spectrum. “Grrrrrrrrrr. F–kity f–k why don’t you watch my film before you judge it? FURY,” the “Chandelier” singer wrote in a since-deleted tweet shortly after revealing the trailer.

She elaborated further on the controversy to Australia’s The Sunday Project this month, stating, “I mean, it is ableism I guess as well, but it’s actually nepotism because I can’t do a project without her [Ziegler]. I don’t want to. I wouldn’t make art if it didn’t include her.”

The trailer

A trailer for the film debuted on Nov. 19. Watch below:

Will Sam Cooke, Ma Rainey & Billie Holiday Portrayals Receive 2021 Oscar Nods?

Portrayals of three music greats — Sam Cooke, Ma Rainey and Billie Holiday — have a good chance of receiving Oscar nominations when the nods for the 93rd annual Academy Awards are announced on March 15.

Leslie Odom Jr.’s portrayal of Cooke in One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios) is likely to receive a nod for best performance by an actor in a supporting role, while Viola Davis’ performance as Rainey in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix) and Andra Day’s performance as Holiday in The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu) are both solid candidates to receive nods for best performance by an actress in a leading role. Davis, who has already won an Oscar, Emmy and Tony, seems to have a better chance of being nominated, with Day currently seen as likely to finish just outside the top five.

If Day is nominated, this would be the second portrayal of Holiday to be recognized in that category. Diana Ross’ performance in Lady Sings the Blues received a 1972 nomination. This would make Holiday the first musical performer to inspire two Oscar-nominated portrayals.

The late Chadwick Boseman is also considered a sure thing to receive a best actor nomination for his role as Levee, an arrogant trumpet and cornet player in Rainey’s band, but that character is fictional.

In each of the last two years, actors won Oscars in lead categories for their portrayals of music legends. Last year, Renée Zellweger won best actress for playing Judy Garland. Two years ago, Rami Malek won best actor for playing Freddie Mercury of Queen.

Cooke, Holiday and Rainey have long been recognized as musical giants.

In 1986, Cooke became one of the 10 original artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Four years later, Rainey became the second female artist — following fellow blues legend Bessie Smith — to be inducted as an early influence. Holiday was honored as an early influence in 2000.

Holiday and Cooke have both received lifetime achievement awards from the Recording Academy: in 1987 and 1999, respectively. Rainey has not received that top honor yet. But all three artists have recordings in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

All three of these figures died before their time, which, of course, adds to the drama of their lives. Cooke was just 33 in 1964 when he was shot and killed by the manager of a motel in Los Angeles. Holiday died of cirrhosis at age 44 in 1959. Rainey died of a heart attack at age 53 in 1939.

Here’s a concise look at these performers.

Ma Rainey: Rainey, born Gertrude Malissa Pridgett in Columbus, Ga., released “See See Rider Blues” in 1925. The track featured Louis Armstrong on cornet and Fletcher Henderson on piano. It was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004. The song has been revived many times as “See See Rider” or “C.C. Rider.” A version by Eric Burdon and the Animals reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966.

Rainey is also remembered for “Countin’ the Blues” (1924) and “Prove It on Me Blues” (1928).

Rainey’s life inspired August Wilson’s play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. A 1984-85 Broadway run received three Tony nominations, including best play.

Billie Holiday: Holiday, born Eleanor Gough in Philadelphia, landed her first hits with Teddy Wilson and his Orchestra in 1935, before going out on her own the following year. She has nine recordings in the Grammy Hall of Fame, which puts her in a tie with Ella Fitzgerald as the woman with the most entries. Holiday’s nine Hall of Fame entries are “My Man” (1937), “Strange Fruit” (1939), “God Bless the Child” (1941), “Solitude” (1941), “Embraceable You” (1944), “Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be)” (1945), “Crazy He Calls Me” (1949), Lady Sings the Blues (1956) and Lady in Satin (1958).

Holiday never had a smash album, though the soundtrack to Ross’ Lady Sings the Blues (which borrowed the title of Holiday’s aforementioned 1956 album) topped the Billboard 200 for two weeks in 1973. In 2000, Ross inducted Holiday into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ross opened with an a cappella performance of “Strange Fruit” and later also performed “God Bless the Child.”

Audra McDonald won a 2014 Tony for best actress in a play for portraying Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.

Sam Cooke: Cooke, born Samuel Cook (without the “e”) in Clarksdale, Miss., was the lead singer of The Soul Stirrers from 1950-56. Cooke landed his biggest hit, “You Send Me,” in 1957, before the inception of the Hot 100. He had four top 10 hits on the Hot 100 in the 1960s: “Chain Gang,” “Twistin’ the Night Away,” “Another Saturday Night” and the posthumous hit “Shake.”

Cooke landed six Grammy nominations, but never won a Grammy in competition. (Bear in mind that his biggest hit, “You Send Me,” was released the year before the inception of the Grammys, which, like the Hot 100, launched in 1958.)

Cooke has four songs in the Grammy Hall of Fame (which is open to all recordings that are at least 25 years old): “You Send Me,” “Wonderful World” (1960), “Bring It On Home to Me” (1962, with Lou Rawls on backing vocal) and “A Change Is Gonna Come” (1965). “A Change Is Gonna Come” was released as the B-side of Cooke’s hit “Shake,” though it’s considered far more of a classic than the A-side.

Cooke had three top 30 albums on the Billboard 200: Sam Cooke (No. 16 in 1958), The Best of Sam Cooke (No. 22 in 1962) and the classic live album Sam Cooke at the Copa (No. 29 in 1964).

In addition to the portrayals of Garland and Mercury that received Oscars in the last two years, nine other portrayals of real-life music personalities — both legends and lesser-known figures — have been honored over the years. The others are Mahershala Ali as Don Shirley in Green Book (2018), Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose (2007), Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line (2005), Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in Ray (2004), Geoffrey Rush as Australian pianist David Helfgott in Shine (1996), F. Murray Abraham as Mozart’s rival Antonio Salieri in Amadeus (1984), Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980), Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl (1968), and James Cagney as George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942).

YFN Lucci Wanted on Murder Charge in Atlanta

YFN Lucci is wanted on a murder charge following a fatal shootout last month in southwest Atlanta, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The 29-year-old rapper (born Rayshawn Bennett) is wanted on a number of charges, including murder, aggravated assault, participating in criminal street gang activity and a weapons charge.

On Dec. 10, emergency crews were called to the 900 block of Peeples Street, where 28-year-old James Adams was found with a gunshot wound to the head. Adams later died. Later in the night, a 32-year-old victim arrived at a nearby fire station with a gunshot wound in the abdomen, acording to AJC. He survived his injuries.

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to YFN Lucci’s arrest. 23-year-old Ra’von Boyd and 17-year-old Leroy Pitts were also arrested for their alleged roles in the shooting.

The rapper placed five top 20-charting albums on the Top Rap Albums chart, including the top 10 set Ray Ray From Summerhill in 2018.  Also landed a top 10 hit on the Hot Rap Songs chart with “Everyday We Lit,” featuring PNB Rock, which also is his sole top 40-charting tune on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 songs chart.

‘Glee’ Cast Honors ‘Angel’ Naya Rivera on Her Birthday

Happy birthday, Naya Rivera. The Glee star, who died in July, would have turned 34 on Tuesday (Jan. 12).

In honor of the late singer and actress, her former co-stars on the Fox musical series took to social media to honor her memory with heartbreaking messages.

Heather Morris, who played Brittany on the show, shared a sweet black-and-white photo holding hands with her friend and giving each other an air kiss. “Happy Birthday my angel,” she captioned the snap. “I can’t write a sappy monologue because it’s just too hard…but I love you and I can’t describe how much I miss you.”

Chris Colfer, who played Kurt, uploaded a picture from the Glee days, with Rivera dressed as Santana in her cheerleading uniform. “Happy birthday, babe. Miss you,” he wrote.

Amber Riley shared a photo from her tribute to Rivera on Kimmel over the summer. “A little update Naya, earth is REALLY ghetto now!!! Still, I miss you so very much and I wish you were here,” she wrote in the caption. “There hasn’t been a day where you don’t cross my mind, and when you do, I take a moment of silence to remember all the beautiful moments we got to spend together. I’m listening to Amy Winehouse, sippin wine, and eating a very fancy charcuterie in your honor today (don’t worry, I’m checking on mom). HAPPY HEAVENLY BIRTHDAY ANGEL.”

Rivera’s body was found in Lake Piru, Calif. on July 13, and an autopsy from the Ventura County Medical Examiner revealed the star’s cause of death as drowning and the manner was an accident.

The singer went missing the week before, after renting a boat with her four-year-old son, Josey. When the boat did not return after its three-hour rental, staff found it in the lake with Josey on board alone, sleeping and wearing a life jacket. An adult life jacket, believed to be Rivera’s, was still on the boat.

Watch A$AP Rocky Get Pumped for Virtual Yams Day 2021 in New Trailer

A$AP Mob will host a virtual Yams Day 2021 on Monday, and A$AP Rocky has already been generating hype for it across NYC.

The hip-hop collective has been celebrating Yams Day for the last six years since the death of their co-founder Steven “A$AP Yams” Rodriguez on Jan. 18, 2015, when he died of an accidental overdose at age 26. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, A$AP Mob has decided to proceed virtually this year with their annual tribute concert.

A minute-long trailer found on each member’s Instagram account and on YamsDay.com teases an awards ceremony called the Yammys, as opposed to the Grammys, where artists “who we & the people feel honestly earned and deserve it” will receive awards, according to Rocky’s tweet on Tuesday (Jan. 12). In the trailer, the 32-year-old rapper is seen running around NYC and conducting man-on-the-street interviews with citizens, asking if they plan to attend the virtual celebration of his late friend.

The entire Mob posted up with Yams’ mother Tatianna Paulino on Instagram last week and teased they “got something special on tha way” while tagging #YAMMYGANG.

Yams Day 2020 was held at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Jan. 17, where Tyler, the CreatorMetro Boomin, NavPi’erre Bourne, Lil Yachty, Young M.A., Sheck WesKenny Beats, Smooky MarGielaa, slowthai and more performed.

Watch the virtual Yams Day 2021 announcement here.