ShowBiz Minute: Young, Jay-Z, Mulan

Neil Young sues Trump campaign, deriding use of famous tunes; Roc Nation partners with Brooklyn’s LIU to launch new school; Disney to release ‘Mulan’ on streaming service, for a price. (Aug. 5)

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ShowBiz Minute: Black Out Tuesday, Jay-Z, ‘Tiger King’

Celebrities take part in Black Out Tuesday on social media; Jay-Z takes out full-page ads in newspapers across the U.S. in honor of George Floyd; Judge gives control of Joe Exotic’s zoo to Carole Baskin. (June 3)

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ShowBiz: Stiller, Jay-Z, Hayek

Comedian and actor Jerry Stiller dies aged 92; Jay-Z’s Team Roc calls for fast action in Ahmaud Arbery case; P!NK, Cher, Salma Hayek and Morgan Freeman rally for UNICEF. (May 11)

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Legendary ‘The Clark Sisters’ blessed with Lifetime biopic

Dorinda Clark Cole of the legendary ‘The Clark Sisters,’ one of gospel music’s most influential groups, discusses their new Lifetime biopic, as well as having fans like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Missy Elliot and Snoop Dogg. Actress Shelea Frazier who portrays Dorinda says their similarities are uncanny. (April 9)

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Yo Gotti says Jay-Z plays the ‘big homie’ and ‘mentor’ role

Yo Gotti talks about his personal and business relationship with mogul Jay-Z. The Memphis rapper says, “It’s not a dream. I know somebody who started out just like me who’s a billionaire.” (Feb. 28)

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Meek Mill launches label with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation

Meek Mill is in a Jay-Z state of mind: The Philadelphia rapper-turned-entrepreneur is launching a new record label in a joint venture with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. (July 24)

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When music royalty met British royalty

Beyonce and Jay-Z meet the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at “The Lion King” London premiere. (July 15)

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On This Day: 4 April 2008

Musicians Beyonce and Jay-Z married in New York. (April 4)

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ShowBiz Minute: Disney, Kristoff St. John, Woodstock

Disney closes $71B deal for Fox entertainment assets; “The Young and the Restless” star Kristoff St. John died of heart disease; Jay-Z, the Killers, Miley Cyrus among major artists set for event commemorating 50th anniversary of landmark Woodstock music festival. (March 20)

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Sneaking Beyonce and Jay-Z into a Tyler Perry show

Tyler Perry, who is about to retire his iconic Madea character, talks about sneaking Beyonce and Jay-Z into one of his shows and reveals which celebrity audience members made him nervous. (Feb. 27)

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Meet The Stylist Who Made Over The NBA

Rachel Johnson is the stylist who took LeBron James from NBA all-star to fashion superstar. James and Johnson’s influence spread throughout the NBA and bled into other sports. Johnson’s work with athletes has helped add diversity and inclusivity to the fashion industry.

Following is a transcript of the video: 

Rachel Johnson: My name is Rachel Johnson. I am a celebrity wardrobe stylist and the CEO and president of the Thomas Faison Agency.

Narrator: Throughout her career, Rachel Johnson has turned all-star athletes into fashion superstars. She’s styled household names like LeBron James, Victor Cruz, Cam Newton, and Amar’e Stoudemire, and she’s widely credited with making over the NBA.

Cam Newton: Watching basketball games, you get a different idea when you start seeing just as many cameras covering the postgame as the walk-up as vice versa for any other sport, too.

Narrator: But before she connected the fashion world with the sports world, Johnson pursued a degree in education.

Johnson: I was two years into getting my degree to teach high school English when I met a gentleman named Groovy Lou who worked for P. Diddy, and he told me that there were black women who were responsible for creating images for celebrities. So, as soon as Groovy told me that this could be a viable career path for me, I knew that that’s what I wanted to do.

Narrator: After college, she worked for Essence Magazine then moved into styling musicians and eventually met Jalen Rose.

Johnson: So Jalen was my first entry into the athlete world, and it was a beautiful way to enter the business because I was able to understand the mentality of an athlete. So the very next athlete I started working with was LeBron James, and I met him through Jay-Z, and working with LeBron is what really helped to completely change the way that the NBA dresses.

I knew that in order for LeBron to be respected from a style standpoint, that he needed to be wearing recognizable, historic brands. Coming from a fashion standpoint where they just didn’t understand men of this stature, they didn’t understand necessarily the athletic world, I had to bring these two worlds together in a way that both of them could understand each other’s language. So my goal was to bring him to these fashion houses and have looks created for him so that when he had press opportunities and opportunities to be in front of the camera, he was wearing what any other well-dressed actor would be wearing.

Narrator: James became a global superstar. His exposure and Johnson’s influence eventually permeated throughout the rest of the NBA, but Johnson’s work didn’t stop there.

Johnson: I had been going to Europe. I had been going to Paris and Milan to attend fashion shows, and when I was there, I realized there was a huge gap. There was a huge opportunity there for my clients, for athletes, for black men in particular to attend these shows because there was absolutely no diversity present at all. Victor was my first client who was brave enough to attack the European market.

Narrator: And Johnson and Cruz succeeded. Cruz became the face of Givenchy’s fall and winter 2015 campaign.

Johnson: On a day-to-day basis, my goals are to help build relationships with my clients and fashion brands, and once I figure out where it is that they want to be placed and how they want to be perceived by the public, that gives me the insight that I need to understand what brands I should connect them with, which events they should be attending, and then obviously what they’re wearing.

Victor Cruz: I call her my fairy fashion godmother because whenever I have a question or a debate about what I want to wear, how I want to wear it, I’ll ask her.

Narrator: Her work continues to break down barriers and spread throughout popular culture.

Newton: For so long, the football player stigma has been this big, strong, masculine guy who may not have any style. All he just wants to do is just hit somebody, but now it’s just a different demographic of how people approach athleticism in different ways.

Johnson: So these last 10 years of focusing on athletes and really bringing the two worlds of fashion and athletes together has been to heighten the awareness of fashion designers and brands, to help them be more inclusive and create sizes that are available for everyone.

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Meet The Stylist Who Made Over The NBA

ShowBiz Minute: Simon, Jay-Z, Box Office

(27 Aug 2018) Tributes pour in for playwright Neil Simon, who has died aged 91; Police pursue more charges against man who rushed onstage during a Beyonce and Jay-Z concert; ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ leads box office for the second week. (Aug 27)

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ShowBiz Minute: Daniels, Jay-Z, McCartney

(24 Jul 2018) Husband of adult film performer Stormy Daniels seeks divorce; Philadelphia State of Mind: Jay-Z’s festival is staying put; Something in the way he moves: Paul McCartney walks Abbey Road crossing, 49 years on. (July 24)

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How Jay-Z And Diddy Made Millions Off Of ‘Cheap Grapes’

Zack O’Malley Greenburg, author of 3 Kings: Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, and Hip-Hop’s Multibillion-Dollar Rise discusses how hip hop moguls, Jay-Z and Diddy, leveraged their fame to create two million-dollar brands. Following is a transcript of the video.

Zack O’Malley Greenburg: Just goes to show how you can leverage your fame beyond just the music.

About a decade ago The Economist interviewed the director of the company that makes Cristal Champagne, one of the most expensive champagnes in the world favored by Russian tsars over history, he was asked, what did he think about all these rappers drinking Cristal Champagne and he basically said, “Well, we can’t forbid “people from buying it.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement of a new customer base. He thought that rappers didn’t read The Economist but he was wrong. Jay-Z heard about his comments, he removed it from his 40/40 Club, and more importantly he started issuing this sort of, directive to his fans, not to drink it either.

And instead of rapping about Cristal, he put his money where is mouth was, he ended up investing in, and eventually taking over French champagne brand called Armand de Brignac, AKA Ace of Spades. You see this in his videos, the gold bottles, he raps about it all the time, and this has now become one of his most valuable assets in his entire portfolio.

Diddy does not have his own champagne, however he has something just as or perhaps even more valuable, which is his deal with Diageo’s Ciroc vodka. He started out with them in the late 2000s, and at that point, Ciroc was just a middling vodka brand being shilled by no-name former NFL players. They decided to take a chance on Diddy, and they didn’t really have anything to lose, because Ciroc wasn’t doing very well. It was about the fiftieth ranked vodka in the world and so Diddy came on and he applied his typical marketing panache and his shock and awe salesmanship, this was around the time that Barack Obama was running for president. He started calling himself Ciroc Obama, giving that free product placement, within only a few years, Ciroc was number two in the premium vodka category, to only Grey Goose doin’ about two million cases a year.

There’s a really fascinating connection between Diddy and Jay-Z in the spirits world. Between the two of them, I mean you think, you know same job description, hip hop mogul, two very different guys, two very different approaches. But born a month apart, in the same city, both named Shawn and they both use the same cheap grape as the base of two of their most important products, that’s the Trebbiano grape, which is considered by wine officials to be, you know sort of a, a nothing grape, it’s a filler, it’s table wine.

Jay-Z has a Cognac called D’Usse, which is a joint venture with Bacardi. Of course, if you’re making Cognac, it doesn’t really matter because they’re grapes that you have to include in order to be officially called Cognac. As far as Diddy’s Ciroc vodka goes, using grapes is rather unorthodox, vodka is typically made out of potatoes or grains or something like that. So that was kind of his first philosophy with Ciroc is to center on the sexiness of the grape.

Diddy: One-and-a-half ounces of Ciroc vodka, you can only make it with Ciroc vodka, other vodkas don’t work.

Greenburg: One thing that gets kind of lost in all of the promotion of Ciroc and such, is that Trebbiano is actually a very cheap grape and not some super-fancy thing.

At the end of the day, Jay-Z and Diddy are both excellent, savvy businessmen. Of course they’re not gonna get the most expensive grape because in order to do well on a product, you have to have a low cost, and you have to have a high price. They’ve grasped that better than anybody and the success that they’ve had with Ciroc and D’Usse certainly go to prove that as well.

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