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Sully Erna, Mark Wahlberg Foundation Raise Awareness About Opioid Crisis

The powerful video features actual footage from parents who have lost their children to opioid addiction via overdose.

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Four-time Grammy-nominated, singer, songwriter and musician Sully Erna has partnered with the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and Recovery Centers of America to raise awareness about the growing opioid crisis in America. Sully and the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation have teamed up to create a brand new video featuring the song “Different Kind of Tears,” the first single off Erna’s current solo album Hometown Life, available now via BMG.

The raw and powerful video for “Different Kind Of Tears” – a song dedicated to teenage angst from the heartbreaking perspective of a parent – features actual footage from parents who have lost their children to opioid addiction via overdose.

The latest numbers published in the New York Times report that opioid deaths grew to over 60,000 nationwide in 2016 and they are projected to grow even higher in 2017. The Department of Health in Massachusetts alone reported statewide deaths caused by opioid overdoses topped 2,000 in 2016 for the first time, meaning each day an average of nearly six men and women inject, snort or take a drug and never wake up again.

This grim discovery inspired Sully to team up with Jim Wahlberg, Executive Director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, who alongside Recovery Centers of America, is dedicated to protecting families and raising awareness to stop the opioid crisis one neighborhood at a time

“When Jim Wahlberg approached me to get involved with the Foundation to combat the out-of-control opioid epidemic sweeping this country, it was an easy decision,” explains singer-songwriter-musician Sully Erna. “Most of the charity work I have done is based around helping out inner-city kids to begin with–since I was that kid myself once–and especially since the opioid problem is now so severe in my hometown of Lawrence, Massachusetts. This song and video echo the feelings of struggle and loss people experience with this addiction and yearns to be heard.”

“This video addresses one of the most serious health issues facing our society today,” explains producer Jim Wahlberg, Executive Director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. “Addiction touches every culture, every family and ultimately every one of us. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with a very talented musician on this important project.”

“Our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and our families are being affected by the addiction epidemic,” said Rich Smith, Chief Marketing Officer of Recovery Centers of America. “With the goal of saving one million lives, we felt that it was a natural partnership for RCA to join Sully Erna and the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation to increase awareness of just how prevalent this epidemic has become and the resources for help, like RCA’s inpatient and outpatient facilities.”

According to data from a February 2017 report on opioid overdoses from the CDC, in 2015 there were over 22,000 deaths involving prescription opioids, equivalent to about 62 deaths per day. An increase from approximately 19,000 in 2014, a significant portion of the increase in deaths was due to deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, which includes fentanyl. Law enforcement agencies have reported recent increases in seizures of illegally-made (non-pharmaceutical) fentanyl. It is presumed that a large proportion of the increase in deaths is also due to illegally-made fentanyl. The CDC further discloses that prescription opioids continue to be involved in more overdose deaths than any other drug, and all the numbers are likely to underestimate the true toll given the large proportion of overdose deaths where the type of drug is not listed on the death certificate. The findings show that two distinct, but interconnected trends are driving America’s opioid overdose epidemic: a 15-year increase in deaths from prescription opioid overdoses, and a recent surge in illicit opioid overdoses driven mainly by heroin and illegally-made fentanyl, both trends continued in 2015.

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Entertainment

‘Kids React To Motley Crue’ Is Insanely Hilarious

Kids, ages 7 to 13, react to clips of legendary heavy metal band, Mötley Crüe, performing some of their biggest hits.

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In the latest music edition of The Fine Brothers’ “Kids React” series, a group of kids, ages 7 to 13, react to clips of legendary heavy metal band, Mötley Crüe, performing some of their biggest hits, including “Looks That Kill,” “Home Sweet Home,” “Girls, Girls, Girls,” and more.

Things kick off with “Looks That Kill,” and the over the top theatricality throws the kids for a loop immediately. They’re unable to tell whether or not Vince Neil is a boy or a girl, one kid going so far as to saying they look like a “rip off KISS.”

Always funny. Sometimes a little depressing! Definitely worth watching.

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‘The Feed’ Comedy Series Parodies Social Media Obsessed World

Written, directed and edited by Jeff Cerulli, ‘The Feed’ series debuts July 25 with new episodes posting weekly. Watch the pilot now.

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After receiving attention for one of his politically charged status updates on Facebook, Jeff quickly becomes addicted to the likes and shares, letting his new found “influence” go to his head. He now treats his newsfeed like a publication and turns his living room into a newsroom, hiring a small team consisting of an over achieving intern (TJ Del Reno) and a disinterested field reporter with a famous war correspondent father (Cate Weinberg). Jeff tries to scoop CNN, Reuters and by far his biggest competitor, Robbie Taylor’s (Harry Terjanian) Facebook newsfeed in The Feed.

Written, directed and edited by Jeff Cerulli, The Feed series debuts July 25 with new episodes posting weekly.

Watch the pilot episode now:

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Dug Pinnick On LGBTQ Acceptance In The Hard Rock/Metal Community

For Gay Pride Month, Billboard asked artists about the reality of being out musicians in hard rock/metal and the state of LGBTQAI acceptance in the genre.

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Dug Pinnick, bassist-singer for progressive veterans King’s X and rock act KXM, has been publicly out since he declared his orientation in an interview with Christian publication Regeneration Quarterly in 1998. King’s X had been tagged a “Christian band” due to the band’s spiritual lyrics, a term the group disliked.

“I thought to myself, ‘This is a Christian magazine, and I am tired of being ridiculed,’ ” recounts Pinnick, 66, of why he came out during that conversation. “In the Christian world, they’re not too kosher on being gay, so I just thought, ‘Might as well come out and get it over with,’ ” he says with a laugh.

Despite Christian bookstores dropping the trio’s music after Pinnick’s confession, he, guitarist Ty Tabor and drummer Jerry Gaskill were relieved. In the wake of the interview, “the industry and fans treated me great,” says Pinnick. “No one gave me a problem at all. I’ve heard a couple comments the last couple years, like [on a] video or something, somebody says something really horrible about me, and I kind of dismiss it. But back in the day, there was hardly any talk about it, or if it was, they kept it from me.” He adds that many people expressed support for him, “especially [guitarist] Dimebag [Darrell Abbott] of Pantera. He came up and said, ‘Dude, you know I love you. I don’t care who you are. You’re Dug, and we love you.’”

But Pinnick was devastated when, during King’s X’s early days, its then-manager wanted to send Pinnick to a conversion camp. “Everyone around the band left,” except for Tabor and Gaskill, once they learned he was gay, including a guitarist who declared he could no longer be Pinnick’s roommate because “God told him he couldn’t sleep in the same house” with him. While being outed to his band had been Pinnick’s worst nightmare, “the greatest thing about it was when Ty and Jerry came and said, ‘Hey, we don’t care,’ ” he says. “And we’ve been a band for almost 40 years now. Those guys are my best friends, and I trust them more than anything in the world. They’ve never forsaken me or made me feel like I wasn’t a good guy.”

Read the full interview at Billboard.com.

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Watch Sting React As José Feliciano Destroys ‘Every Breath You Take’

This happened at the Polar Music Prize where the Police legend was one of two people honored with Sweden’s annual music prize.

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Imagine writing a song that sold more than any other in the year it was released. The year was 1983 and the song was “Every Breath You Take” by The Police.

Now imagine having that song performed in front of you – badly – with cameras focused on you to capture every menacing face and reaction you can’t help but express.

This happened to Sting at the Polar Music Prize where the Police legend was one of two people honored with Sweden’s annual music prize.

Before Sting was presented with the award, Puerto Rican guitar legend José Feliciano played a wretched cover of “Every Breath You Take” alongside Serbian-born singer Jelena Krstic.

Watch the awful performance just for Sting’s entertaining reactions.

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Bret Michaels To Appear In ‘Sharknado 5’ With Custom ‘Sharkslayer’ Guitar

Set to debut on the SYFY Channel on August 7 in more than 100 countries across the world, the Poison frontman will wield a custom made ‘Sharkslayer’ guitar.

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The Poison frontman is a huge fan of the SYFY horror franchise and earlier this month it was revealed that he’d achieved his dream and landed a part in the fifth installment.

Set to debut on the SYFY Channel on August 7 in more than 100 countries across the world, screenwriter and casting director Scotty Mullen has now said that Bret will wield a custom made ‘Sharkslayer’ guitar in his scenes.

“Bret was awesome. He invited us out to his house, handed us a beer and shared his enthusiasm of the franchise, along with his many amazing ideas,” Scotty said.

“His scene with the custom made and soon to be iconic ‘Sharkslayer’ guitar is one of the wildest, most exciting, fun openings we have ever shot. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before and sure to be a fan favourite in the history of Sharknado.”

Bret commented: “I was talking to my good friend Mark McGrath who raved about how much fun he had doing Sharknado.

“When the writers approached me with an idea specifically written for me, I couldn’t say no. The producers and entire crew were great and I had a truly amazing time filming it. I think everyone is going to love this new film.”

To coincide with the film, the ‘Sharkslayer’ guitars will go into a limited production with 100 signed and hand numbered instruments being made. Bret will be hosting a competition to win guitar #1 on his official website in the coming weeks.

Bret will be donating his fee to co-star Olivia Newton-John’s Cancer Wellness and Research Centre.

“My parents taught me at an early age to always give back so when I go to different cities, I try to leave a little something positive behind by sending a child to diabetic camp, giving to military charities, woman’s shelters or Pet Causes,” said Bret.

“Olivia is amazing and I applaud her for her courage in the battle she is fighting and the charitable work she is doing in light of her diagnosis.”

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