Arts & Entertainment

Black Entrepreneurship: Beyond the Music

Destiny Wharton

Many successful people expand their talents whether it be music, poety, art, etc. There are many Black people in the music industry that have not only used their talents to succeed, but they were able to launch other businesses. Here is a list of 11 great music moguls that have extended themselves beyond their music.


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The first music mogul on this list is Sean “Diddy” Combs. He got into the music industry as an intern at Uptown Records in New York. After leaving Uptown Records, he formed Bad Boy Records where he signed artists like The Notorious B.I.G., Craig Mack, Mase, Lil’ Kim, D-Block/The L.O.X, Carl Thomas, Faith Evans, 112 and Total.

Music is not the only thing Diddy has been successful in. He has a clothing line by the name of Sean John. He’s launched a fragrance; he is the CEO of Blue Flame Marketing and Advertising. Diddy is also an ambassador for Ciroc Vodka. He has created a TV series called “Making Da Band.” Combs is an actor, owns several restaurants and finds time to be a single dad in the midst of all his success.


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The next entreprenuer is Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. Jay-z is the co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records. Roc-A-Fella features a production company and a Spanish music label. The company even owns U.S. distribution rights for the high-end Scottish vodka Armadale. Jay-Z has created his own clothing line by the name of Roc-A-Wear.

In 2004, he became President and CEO of Def Jam Recordings, he has became part owner of the New Jersey Nets, and the 40/40 Club in New York City. And in 2015 he started his own streaming project Tidal.


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The third person on this list is Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. In 2003, he established his G-Unit Clothing Company and signed a deal with Reebok to distribute his sneaker line. Jackson has partnered with the beverage company Glacéau and has created and marketed a Vitamin Water flavor called “Formula 50.” He also has his own record label named G-Unit Records. 50 Cent is also an actor, author and producer. His show “Power” is a huge phenomenon.

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The next entreprenuer is Percy “Master P” Miller. He started No Limit Records in 1990. The company also developed a clothing line, a film company, a sports management agency, and a real estate company. Master P has played for the NBA Charlotte Hornets’ team in 1998.

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The fifth person is, Jermaine Dupri. He discovered Kriss Kross at their young age of 12. He founded So So Def Recordings, and produced for artists such as, The Brat, Lil Bow Wow, Jagged Edge, Xscape, Usher, Janet, and Mariah Carey. Dupri started So So Def Sports, a sports management company. He is also owner and partner of 3 Vodka Distilling. He is an author and president of Island Records Urban Music.


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The first woman on this list is, Jennifer “J. Lo” Lopez. Besides her successful music career, Lopez has started a clothing line in 2003. She has also launched various accessory lines, a jewelry line, 9 fragrance lines, and even a children’s clothing line. J. Lo also owns a production company called Nuyorican Productions, that has produced reality shows and feature films. She opened a restaurant called Madre’s in Pasadena, CA in 2002.


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Next up is, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young. In 1995, Dre formed his own label by the name of Aftermath Entertainment. Aftermath signed artists like Eminem and 50 Cent. Dre started producing films for Crucial Films. He also signed a partnership to develop and market alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for Drinks America. Dre created Beats by Dre headphones which he sold to Apple for 3 billion dollars in 2015.


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The eighth music mogul is Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges. He started his own label called Disturbing tha Peace Records where he released his own records and then made it into a major company. Ludacris signed artists such as Chingy and Bobby Valentino, Ludacris has appeared in films like Crash and is a part of the Fast and Furious movie marathon. Ludacris has also opened resturants.


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The next woman on this list is Beyoncé Knowles. She formed her own fashion line called House of Deréon, in 2004. In 2007, she formed Parkwood Entertainment and signed three artists, all of which are women. In April 2016, she launched Ivy Park, a leisure clothing brand joint venture between Parkwood and Topshop. She has also invested in WTRMLN WTR, a water start-up, founded by women.

18th Annual Hollywood Film Awards - Arrivals

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The third woman on this list is Dana Owens, also known as Queen Latifah. She is President of Flavor Unit Productions and is a major producer for many films and TV shows. She has hosted her own talk show, is an actress, and has written an autobiography. Queen Latifah is also a spokesperson for Cover Girl cosmetics, where she created her own make-up line for the company.


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The final person to make this list is Alicia Keys. In 2006, Alicia Keys started her own production company and signed a deal to produce a sitcom for the CW Network. She acts as the spokesperson for various charities. Keys has acted in a number of TV shows and movies. Keys has also co-founded KrucialKeys Enterprises, which is a musical production and songwriting company.

These incredible Black people are a prime example of how the sky is the limit and just when you think you are at the top; you can keep moving up. Many of these entrepreneurs mastered the art of music and decided to move further in their careers.

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