SOURCE: Atlantic Records

June 27, 2008 16:36 ET

Plies Announces Non-Profit Organization and $10,000 "Somebody Loves You" Scholarship Fund; New Album, "DEFINITION OF REAL," in Stores Now

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - June 27, 2008) - Big Gates/Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic recording artist Plies has announced details of his very own non-profit organization, Big Gates and Plies Power Of Visions Foundation, Inc., as well as a scholarship program, the "Somebody Loves You" Scholarship Fund. This all comes as the Ft. Myers, Florida-bred rapper continues to ride the wave of success proven by his sophomore release, "DEFINITION OF REAL," which debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, selling 215,000 copies in its first week. In fact, the album's first week sales gave Plies the highest selling first-week numbers in the history of Miami-based Slip-N-Slide Records.

Keeping in the tradition of Plies' philanthropy, Big Gates and Plies Power Of Visions will provide funding for legal representation and aid to needy individuals, specifically those who are incarcerated, with the goal of promoting a more functional, productive, and just community. The organization will also provide educational forums, classes, workshops, trainings, opportunities, and other charitable activities aimed at individuals in the community, in particular focusing on rehabilitation.

In addition, Big Gates and Plies Power Of Visions will focus on promoting activities for youth and minorities, including education, mentorship, cultural experiences, and preventative measures aimed at combating incarceration in the Tampa and Ft. Myers, Florida areas.

The organization's first effort will be the "Somebody Loves You" Scholarship Fund 2008 (named after the song "Somebody (Loves You)" from his current album), which is designed specifically for students attending an accredited college or university, who have a parent(s) that is presently incarcerated and who is financially disadvantaged. The scholarship is open to students who are currently enrolled or who will be entering school this fall. Two scholarships will be awarded to one male and one female in the amount of $5000 each.

According to a published Senate report in September of 2000, as many as 70 percent of children of incarcerated parents will become involved with the criminal justice system unless effective intervention strategies are set in place. Big Gates and Plies Power Of Visions, Inc. hopes to inspire and encourage these at-risk youth to break the cycle of incarceration. Co-founder Plies comments, "We want to provide those who have been and continue to be affected by the negative impacts of the prison system with a sense of hope, and to let them know that they are not forgotten. No matter what adversities one may face in life, one thing remains true -- and that is that somebody loves you."

For more information on the organization and scholarship, as well as scholarship application details, visit www.pliesworld.com/somebodylovesyou.

In other Plies news, "Bust It Baby Part 2 (Feat. Ne-Yo)," the first single from "DEFINITION OF REAL," continues to be another massive hip-hop hit for Plies. The track is ranked at #2 at Urban outlets nationwide this week. What's more, "Bust It Baby Part 2" is turning out to be a pop mainstream summer sensation, coming in this week at #3 on Billboard's "Hot 100 Airplay" ranking, as well as #8 on the overall "Hot 100."

"Bust It Baby Part 2" is also continuing Plies' incredible run of blockbuster ringtones. The single is currently #3 on Nielsen Ringscan's "Top 200 Mastertones" ranking.

Plies recently shot the music video for his next single, "Please Excuse My Hands (Feat. Jamie Foxx and The-Dream)," which is slated to hit video outlets nationwide early next month.

For up-to-the-minute news and information, visit www.pliesworld.com, www.myspace.com/plies, and www.imeem.com/plies.

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