For the very first time in black enterprise's 37-year history, the magazine hit newsstands with five exclusive, consecutive covers. Each cover features a prominent, influential personality in the entertainment industry: NBA superstar LeBron James, Pop/R&B phenomenon Chris Brown with gospel powerhouse Kirk Franklin, hip-hop star/entrepreneur Queen Latifah, platinum chart-toppers Wyclef Jean and John Legend, and tennis ace turned fashionista Venus Williams. Log on to www.blackenterprise.com/hotlist for exclusive b-roll and photo outtakes.
be is pleased to announce the 2007 Hot List honorees from the media and entertainment industries, including its exclusive cover personalities:
CHRIS BROWN, 18, Singer, Actor
Why he's hot: This young R&B phenomenon roared onto the scene in 2005 with his self-titled debut, which took the top spot on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart, was recently certified double-platinum, and has sold more than 3 million albums worldwide. Exclusive, his newest release is also expected to race up the charts. Brown's career is now expanding into film and television.
KIRK FRANKLIN, 37, Singer
Why he's hot: Franklin, a five-time Grammy winner, has sold more than 10 million albums over his 15-year career. He was the first gospel artist to go platinum and has been instrumental in bringing faith-based music to the mainstream, especially the hip-hop generation. Franklin's latest album, The Fight of My Life, will be released later this month.
WYCLEF JEAN, 38, Rapper, Music Producer
Why he's hot: Jean, a music industry powerhouse who has worn the hats of producer, songwriter, and musician, is quickly becoming one of the industry's most celebrated humanitarians. He was recently appointed roving ambassador of Haiti in honor of the philanthropic efforts of Yéle Haiti, the foundation he established in 2005 to promote the arts, education, sports, jobs, and development in Haiti.
JOHN LEGEND, 29, Singer
Why he's hot: Legend is a phenomenal talent who sings, produces, plays several instruments, and arranges music. The five-time Grammy Award winner won two of them this year'for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "Heaven," and another for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for "Family Affair."
DANA "QUEEN LATIFAH" OWENS, 37, Singer, Actress
Why she's hot: Queen Latifah is a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry. Over a career that has spanned more than 15 years, she has received five Grammy nominations and one award and been nominated for an Emmy and an Academy award. The media company she founded, Flavor Unit, has continued to grow with her recent albums and motion picture work. Queen Latifah is the spokesperson for Pizza Hut and Cover Girl Cosmetics, and most recently, she launched a line of intimate apparel for full-figured women, Curvation.
Tyra Banks, 34, TV Producer, Bankable Productions
Mary J. Blige, 36, Singer
Nick Cannon, 27, Actor, TV Producer
Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, 37, Rapper; President & CEO, Def Jam
Sean "Diddy" Combs, 37, Rapper; CEO, Music/TV Producer, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, 32, Rapper
Alicia Keys, 26, Singer, Songwriter, Actress
Beyoncé Knowles, 26, Singer, Actress
Tyler Perry, 38, Playwright, Actor, Screenwriter; CEO, Tyler Perry Studios
Usher Raymond IV, 29, Singer, Actor
Will Smith, 39, Actor, Film Producer
Kanye West, 30, Music Producer, Rapper
Media Business Executives
Rosalyn Durant, 31, Vice President, Programming & Acquisitions, ESPN
Lisa Ellis, 37, Executive Vice President, Sony Music Label Group
Richard C. Gay, 39, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Business Operations, VH1 & CMT
Charles King, 38, Senior Vice President, Agent, William Morris Agency
Kevin Liles, 39, Executive Vice President, Warner Music Group
Vanessa Morrison, 38, President, Twentieth Century Fox Animation
Tim "Timbaland" Mosley, 36, Music Producer
Andrea Nelson Meigs, 39, Talent Agent, International Creative Management
Will Packer and Rob Hardy, 33; 35, Film Producers; Director, Rainforest Films
Steve Pamon, 37, Senior Vice President, Digital Distribution & Strategic Partnerships, Home Box Office
Sean "The Pen" Garrett, 29, Songwriter, Music Producer
Floyd Nathaniel "Danja" Hills, 26, Music Producer
Shonda Rhimes, 37, TV Producer, Writer, Director
Steve Stoute, 37, Founder, Chairman, Translation Consultation & Brand Imaging
Edwidge Danticat, 38, Author
Magnus Greaves, 33, Founder, Doubledown Media
The December issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE is on newsstands now.
black enterprise, your ultimate source for wealth creation, is the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, be has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. Every month, black enterprise magazine provides 3.9 million readers with information on entrepreneurship, careers, and financial management. A multimedia company, be also produces radio and television programming, business and lifestyle events, Web content, and digital media. black enterprise is the definitive source of information for and about African American business markets and leaders, and the authority on black business news and trends.