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In August 1991, Prince inked a $100 million deal with Warner Bros., making him the highest-paid artist at the time. The deal included two joint record companies as well as a vice president post for him. In 1993, the pop and rock icon would become "the Artist Formerly Known as Prince" during a legal battle with the label over artistic and financial control of his music. After a long, highly publicized battle, in which he began performing in protest using only a symbol as his name, he was able to gain release from the contract, serving as one of the most prolific public examples of an artist's success in standing up for his artistic beliefs and financial due.

8 Landmark Deals in Black Music

A snapshot of big business deals by top Black entertainers in music

Throughout out music history, blacks have been able to broker deals that not only took…

By Janell Hazelwood

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RUSH COMMUNICATIONS: Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam (1984) and Rush Communications (1991) (pictured). Def Jam is responsible for launching the career of LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys, and Rush Communications is the parent company for media, entertainment, apparel, financial and philanthropic companies.

Black Music Month: BE100s Companies That Made Their Mark with Music

14 legendary black-owned businesses that influenced the sound of Black Music

Check out the BE100s companies that found success in the business of music and radio.

By Sonja Mack

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It’s a known fact that a celebrity’s career rarely includes only one single job. Any multi-faceted entertainer—be it actor, artist, or both—learns fairly quickly that the key to climbing the success ladder is through constant diversification. Making money in various markets guarantees a well-rounded (and long-lasting) career. With the fickle tastes and short attention spans of most audiences, it’s only necessary to jump into multiple roles, bulking up pockets and fan bases equally.  Many artists have made the migration from musicians to actors, film producers, authors and all around entrepreneurs. Such transitory career goals have allowed many artists to garner successes they never achieved during their time solely working as musicians. As part of our continued Black Music Month coverage, BlackEnterprise.com has compiled a list of 11 celebs that started out as artists and have since evolved into well-oiled self-entities. —Kathy Iandoli

11 Successful Artist Brands Beyond Music

Music is only the beginning of building a brand that's something these artists know well

Artists like Jay-Z, Will Smith, Beyonce and will.i.am are multi-millionaires solely because of their music,…

By Kathy Iandoli

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Before reality TV took over, cable networks like BET, MTV and VH1 (along with an assortment of broadcast programs) used to dedicate hours to airing music videos. Now, there are only a handful of such shows around and fans are more likely to watch their favorite artist’s latest clip online than on TV. With that said, the quality and concepts for most musicians have gone down. Gone are the days of the multi-million dollar video shoot that was more than a lip-syncing affair and produced mini movies. Still in the midst of Black Music Month, BlackEnterprise.com takes a trip down memory lane with some of the most expensive music videos made by African American artists. You’ll also discover which famous family has a penchant for not only making records but breaking them (and budgets) as well. —Anslem Samuel

16 Most Expensive Music Videos by Black Artists

Creative expression for music artist sometimes comes at a high cost

From Michael Jackson and MC Hammer to Kanye West and Will Smith, music videos often…

By Anslem Samuel

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Women in Black Music: Kelly Price on Body Image

With a new album, a new label, and a new determination to be her own boss, Kelly Price returns to the scene in full glory

As part of our continuing coverage of Women in Music for Black Music Month, we…

By Elayne Fluker

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This past Friday, June 24, same-sex marriages were made legal in New York, continuing conversations in the media and within many homes about the subject. While some are celebrating and making wedding plans others are protesting, as the hot political debate continues. The notion of being Black and openly gay—especially in the entertainment industry—remain controversial and traditionally hush-hush, with many artists choosing to remain in the closet. In light of Black Enterprise’s upcoming Black & Gay in Corporate America cover story [on stands July 19] and BlackEnterprise.com’s continued Black Music Month coverage, we’ve highlighted a few celebrity entertainers who are out and proud. —Janell Hazelwood

Black LGBT Entertainers: Out & Proud

A look at African American celebrities who have gone public with their sexual preference

Since the recent news of New York’s legalization of same-sex marriages, political and social debate…

By Janell Hazelwood

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BET's Stephen Hill

WATCH: Stephen Hill on BET Awards & Rebranding Chris Brown

Network executive shares insight on this year's award show and Chris Brown's resurrection

On the eve of the 2011 BET Awards, network executive Stephen Hill speaks on social…

By Anslem Samuel

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Jennifer Hudson

Black Music Month: Women and Body Image in Entertainment

Black superstar divas and their weight loss journeys

In the music industry, image can trump talent, and many of the top stars have…

By Janell Hazelwood

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Women in Black Music: Yolanda Adams on ‘Becoming’

As much a businesswoman as an artist, the gospel powerhouse talks about the importance of being diverse, and knowing when to be still

As part of our continuing coverage of women in music for Black Music Month, BlackEnterprise.com…

By Elayne Fluker

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Jill Scott

Women in Black Music: Jill Scott Steps into the Light of the Sun

It was 10 years ago–no, eleven years ago–when a young Philadelphia poetess had us all…

By Elayne Fluker

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Sylvia Rhone

Women in Black Music: Top Women Executives Behind the Scenes

These 9 power brokers are calling the shots in the entertainment industry

These black female executives make power moves behind the scenes in the music business

By Janell Hazelwood

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Women in Black Music: Getting Paid or Played?

Writer Jamilah Lemieux wonders if girls really "run the (music) world"

Writer Jamilah Lemieux wonders if girls really “run the (music) world”

By Jamilah Lemieux

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(Image: File)

Behind the Music: Save the Music Programs!

A struggling economy puts the next generation of musicians at risk

A struggling economy puts the next generation of musicians at risk as countless music programs…

By Tamara Warren

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Behind the Music: The Anatomy of the Record Deal

Music executives and insiders tell you who you need to have on your team to secure the best deal

Music executives and insiders tell you who you need to have on your team to…

By Tomika Anderson

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Controversial Athletes

10 Athletes Who Successfully Rebounded From Controversy

As Super Bowl champ Plaxico Burress begins his road to redemption, here are a few notable figures that have already resurrected their brands

Convicted NFL wide receiver and Super Bowl champion Plaxico Burress is on the road to…

By Kahliah A. Laney

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Dreamgirls - UK Film Premiere

Black Music Month: Celebrity Managers Who Took Star Children to the Top

These savvy parents used their business sense to lead family to success

Six parents who saw star talent in their children and managed their rise to fame

By Janell Hazelwood

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Behind the Music: Momager Sonja Norwood Grows ‘Family Business’ Tree

Industry vet has passion for cultivating careers and advocating for women executives

Industry vet has passion for cultivating careers and advocating for women executives

By Janell Hazelwood

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Author/Blogger Demetria L. Lucas of A Belle in Brooklyn

WATCH: Author Demetria L. Lucas Shares Her 5 Favorite Books

The creator of A Belle in Brooklyn reveals a few great reads that have inspired her career path and stimulated her mind

Blogger turned author Demetria L. Lucas of the award-winning blog, A Belle in Brooklyn, discusses…

By Anslem Samuel

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Alicia Keys and Chris Robinson

Behind the Music: Jeff Robinson on the 360 Deal

Alicia Keys's longtime manager tells what every artist needs to know before signing on the dotted line

Alicia Keys’s longtime manager and label owner tells what every artist needs to know before…

By Kenya N. Byrd

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Even before the 2011 NBA Finals got in to full swing, there was talk of who had the best shot at winning the championship this year. Following his “decision” to leave his hometown of Cleveland to join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh on Miami’s big stage, LeBron James made sure his name part of the discussion. He’s already considered one of the best players to play the game on a professional level today, but a ring would solidify that point even further—or would it? The world of sports is filled with dominant competitors that never won a title. In fact, BlackEnterprise.com compiled a list of 10 NBA greats that dominated the sport but failed to take home the big prize. A few still have a shot.

10 NBA Greats Who Never Won a Championship

Not every athlete needs a championship to achieve greatness

LeBron James made the move to Miami in a quest to win a championship, but…

By Alvin Blanco

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