|Born||Charles Alan Philips
October 15, 1952
|Occupation||Journalist and writer|
•George Polk Award
•National Association of Black Journalists Award
•Los Angeles Press Club award
Charles Alan "Chuck" Philips (born October 15, 1952) is an American writer and investigative journalist. He is best known for his reporting on the music industry for the Los Angeles Times. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his work covering the entertainment business.
According to Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times, "Chuck was so relentless he would keep knocking on every door of the house – the front door, the side door, the back door, the bathroom window – until he feels he has the answer to his question". Philips has written about the inner workings of the international music industry, examining censorship, price fixing, payola, ticket scalping, royalty scams, racism, and sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.
Richard D. Barnet and Larry L. Burriss credited Philips' continued reporting on sexual harassment in the music industry with encouraging other media outlets to cover the issue and "bringing sexual harassment in the music industry to a national forum". Philips has also covered art and crime, corporate and government corruption, and medical malfeasance. Regarding his investigations into violent crime in the rap music industry, Mark Saylor, Philips's editor at the L.A. Times, said that "Chuck is sort of the world's authority on rap violence."
Philips has expressed outrage at the failure of the police and others to solve the crimes against black figures such as Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. He has focused on this task since 2002.
Ticketmaster congressional hearings
In the early 1990s, Philips wrote a series of stories about Ticketmaster, reporting in 1994 that the rock band Pearl Jam had complained to the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice that Ticketmaster used monopolistic practices and refused to lower service fees for the band's tickets. At the time, Pearl Jam wanted to keep ticket prices under $20 for their fans, with service charges no greater than $1.80. The company had exclusive contracts with large US venues and threatened to take legal action if those contracts were broken.
Philips has often reported on the East-West rap feud that resulted in the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. A 2002 article he wrote for the LA Times claimed that Shakur was killed in September 1996 by members of the Crips gang, hired by Smalls. Philips worked with other LA Times writers to print articles supporting the theory that Smalls was also killed by the Crips, six months later.
In March 2008, Philips had another LA Times article published identifying James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond, a hip-hop CEO, as an organizer of the attack on Tupac in 1994 at Quad Studios in New York. The story alleged that Smalls and Sean Combs knew about the attack a week in advance, relying heavily on anonymous sources and internal FBI documents obtained by Philips. Soon after the article was published, The Smoking Gun revealed that Philips' FBI documents were fake. In April 2008, the LA Times printed a full retraction of the Quad Studios article and released Philips shortly thereafter. Philips blames the Times editors for forcing him to rely heavily on the fake FBI documents, and stands by the facts presented in his story as told to him by his unnamed sources. Philips believes the retraction has ruined his reputation and career.
In June 2011, New York inmate Dexter Isaac came forward as one of Philips' anonymous sources, admitting that he participated in the Quad Studios attack. Philips told LA Weekly that he demanded a "front-page retraction" in the LA Times to clear his name.
On September 13, 2012, the anniversary of Shakur's death, Philips announced he would conduct a "Twitter experiment," tweeting a 1,200-word article, 40 characters at a time, published concurrently with the launch of his website, the Chuckphilipspost.com. The article was about Harlem drug dealer Eric “Von Zip” Martin and his alleged connection to Sean "Diddy" Combs.
In 1999, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting with Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times for a year-long series that exposed corruption in the music business in three different areas: The Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences raising money for an ostensible charity that netted only pennies on the dollar for its charity, radio station payola for airplay of new recordings, and medical malfeasance in the entertainment industry. Mark Saylor, then entertainment editor of the business section of the paper, said the award recognized "aggressive reporting on the hometown industry...where The LA Times has long labored under a cloud, the misperception that...[they]...were soft on the entertainment industry".
Philips won the George Polk Award for investigative reporting about black art and culture in America in 1996 and the National Association of Black Journalists Award for his coverage of the rap music business in 1997.
In 1990, he won a Los Angeles Press Club award for stories about censorship.
Philips grew up in the Detroit area near Hitsville, the home of Motown. The second of four children, his father was a plumber and his mother a homemaker and devout Catholic. As a child, Philips was religious, and loved Gospel music, which sparked his interest in black music and culture. At nineteen, he hitchhiked to Los Angeles to find a career in the music industry and worked a series of menial jobs before becoming a journalist at the age of thirty eight.
- Watkins, Greg (June 6, 2012). "Vengeance in the verdict". Allhiphop.com. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
- "The 1999 Pulitzer prize winners biography". Pulitzer. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- Ortega, Tony. "Foreword to: Tupac Shakur, the LA Times and Why I'm still unemployed". The Village Voice. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- Wilson, Simone; Romero, Dennis (June 22, 2011). "Chuck Philips demands L.A. Times apology on Tupac Shakur". LA Weekly. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- Eithne Quinn (13 August 2013). Nuthin' but a "G" Thang: The Culture and Commerce of Gangsta Rap. Columbia University Press. pp. 179–. ISBN 978-0-231-51810-9.
- Laursen, Patti (May 3, 1993). "Women in Music". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- Richard D. Barnet; Larry L. Burriss (2001). Controversies of the Music Industry. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 112–4. ISBN 978-0-313-31094-2.
- Cook, John (May 23–26, 2000). "Notorious LAT". Brills Content. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Hogan, Richard Hogan (September 25, 2012). "Chuck Philips on life after the Los Angeles Times". Fishbowl LA/ Mediabistro. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- Makarechi, Kia (June 26, 2012). "James Rosemond, Tupac Shooting: Mogul Reportedly Admits Involvement In 1994 Attack". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- Garcia-Ajofrin, Isabel (September 25, 2012). "Entrevisa a Chuck Philips: "Ademas de lo de Tupac, Jimmy Henchman orderno disparar al trailer de Snoop Dogg"". Swagga. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
- Budnick, Dean; Baron, Josh (24 April 2012). Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped. Penguin Group US. ISBN 978-1-101-58055-4.
- Wilson, Simone (June 22, 2011). "Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G. Murders and ex-LA Times Reporter Chuck Philips: A Timeline". LA Weekly.
- Reid, Shaheem (March 17, 2008). "Biggie, Diddy Knew Tupac Would Be Ambushed In 1994, Alleges Los Angeles Times Reporter". MTV News.
- Starbury, Allen (September 12, 2012). "Writer Chuck Philips To Tweet Article Connecting Diddy To Late Harlem Kingpin 'Von Zip'". Baller Status. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- biz, m (September 18, 2012). "New Tupac Documents; Website Slated to Hit the Internet, Twitter in Honor of Rapper's Death". hiphopnewssource. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
- "1999 Pulitzer Prize winners for beat reporting". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
- Shaw, David (April 13, 1999). "2 Times Staffers Share Pulitzer for Beat Reporting". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- Trounson, Rebecca (February 22, 2012). "Mark Saylor dies at 58; former Times editor oversaw Pulitzer-winning series". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- "Times Wins Polk Awards for Music Industry, Fund-Raising Stories". Los Angeles Times. March 7, 1997. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
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