THE SOUTHERN ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS & CONFERENCE TAKES OVER MEMPHIS WITH LARGEST EVENT OF THE WEEKEND

SEAs made an impact on the city of Memphis as the debuted for the 7th Annual gathering for the conference and awards presentation

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MEMPHIS, TN (March 8, 2010)--- The biggest weekend in independent music in the South has come to a successful close with more than 80 awards given, stellar performances, showcases, a 2-day conference, memorial tribute, and charity fashion show. The 7th Annual Southern Entertainment Awards and Conference took place March 4-7 as it made its debut in Memphis, TN. The Conference took place in the Cook Convention Center and the weekend concluded with the awards show in the Cannon Center.

Among those to welcome the SEAs was Mayor A.C. Wharton, Jr. who writes, “I am proud to host in our city such an incredible organization that helps embrace southern culture and immense talent.” Wharton goes on to say, “It is commendable that you celebrate gifted artists and provide them with the motivation and tools to help them continue pursuing their passion. This is truly inspiring.”

Prior to the award ceremony, emerging talent and veteran industry executives graced the Cook Convention Center hallways making business deals, listening to industry panels, 1-on-1 legal advice, and showcasing their talent during listening parties. The panels included “How to shine among the stars”, “Indie/Major Success: How to take it to the next level”, “How to make a beat into a classic”, “The power of the pen: Legal Do's & "Don’ts”, “Respect the GRIND: We break records! We break artists”, and “The need for speed: From local to global” discussing the digital frontier.

The SEAs was a weekend of “firsts” as this year participants and the Memphis community came together for a charity fashion show benefiting L.E.A.D (Life Enrichment and Development). The models “ripped” the runway, while performers showcased their talent.

Also, during the weekend the SEAs announced its partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee and Full Throttle. BCBST presented its pilot program to attendees in an effort to share plans and educational tools that would make their insurance and healthcare decisions more fluid. “So often artists go on the road with a reactive “attitude”, regarding their health; however our new partnership will encourage our attendees to be proactive,” shares Janiro Hawkins II, co-founder and event coordinator. BCBST representatives were on-site to answer questions and also gain a consensus of interest in a special program geared towards artists. This program will also be a strong determinate in Blue Cross’ decision to expand to other states. Full Throttle, a software and music store application for Android phones, also launched this weekend and shared the first opportunity for artists to set up accounts (using Full Throttle) for their music to be downloaded through a mobile device. More than 12 countries have already been impacted by Kieran Cox’s, the Los Angeles-based consultant embedded systems engineer and founder of Full Throttle, latest development. Full Throttle will soon expand to other mobile devices.

As the conference wrapped, gears shifted to the coveted awards show. Minutes leading up to the show were full of excitement as the Cannon Center lobby was packed for the red carpet. Media outlets from the Commercial Appeal, Action News Channel 5, Memphisrap.com, the Urban Journal, and others, were there to capture photos and conduct interviews. The lobby was all a-buzz as Kia Shine, super-producer Drumma Boy, Africa native Christelle, Skai, Rocko and more walked the carpet and interacted with fans, supporters, and peers. The awards show, hosted by Solo da Come Upp Kidd, took place in the 2,000-seater Cannon Center. Memphis native and nationally known producer and rapper, Drumma Boy and the Drum Squad gave an explosive opening performance of “Welcome to My City”. The stage was also shared with performances by Chicago’s, AK (of Do or Die), Jake the Flake, Kia Shine, and 3MK, to name a few. The remaining awards were announced {awards were also given on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights} in the categories of Mixtape of the Year, Mixtape DJ of the Year, Next Top Model, Impact Model of the Year, Model of the Year, #1 Female Personality of the Year, #1 Male Personality of the Year, Female DJ of the Year, #1 DJ in the South, Indie Group of the Year, Indie Album of the Year, Indie Artist of the Year, Indie Producer of the Year, and Song of the Year. Special recognition was given in memoriam of Victoria Smith, founder of Tears for Hope Foundation, and rapper Lil Buna, who both made a large impact on the Southern Entertainment Awards and was acknowledged for their contribution to entertainment. Lastly, the Impact Award, was given to DJ Bryant D, The Bigg DM, DJ Boogaloo, DJ Judge Mental, and DJ Howard Q in an effort to acknowledge the work of the DJ and their impact on music.

Co-founder Janiro Hawkins II concludes another successful year with his final thoughts, “this weekend would have not been successful without the help and support from Memphis; from the media, to the Arts Commission, the Mayor, the Convention Bureau, and all the businesses along Main Street to Beale Street. We are very pleased with the outcome and we will be back next year. We hope that Memphis continues to support us as we prepare for the 8th installment of the Southern Entertainment Awards and Conference.”

For a complete recap of all 7th Annual Southern Entertainment Awards winners visit www.southernentawards.com/ballot/previous-winners.html.

For more information about the Southern Entertainment Awards & Conference please visit www.southernentawards.com. For media opportunities please contact The MEPR Agency, info@mepragency.com or 615.592.6377.

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