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Decoded: 6 Made-For-TV Biopics and Why We Loved (or Hated) Them Decoding a Pop Culture Legend: Pharrell Williams Beyond the Game: Michael Strahan’s Money and Power Moves Economics Of LeBron: How He Became 6th Man For City Of Cleveland Love and Hip-Hop Decoded: Controversy and Drama “Pays Off” From Roblé Ali, Tasty Dishes to Wear Decoded: It’s A Different World Without TV’s Favorite Cast Family Matters Decoded: The 411 on Chicago’s Favorite Family The Automotive Industry Decoded: How 6 Brands Are Doing Post Bailout Ice-T Decoded: A Career of Reinvention Toni Braxton Decoded: “Family Values” Help Put Struggling Singer Back in Spotlight T.I. Decoded: A Music and Media Empire Served Family Style La La Anthony Decoded: DJ to VJ, Now America’s Favorite Reality Host Coco Austin Decoded: ‘There’s Not Just Beauty Behind Her Empire’ Tameka ‘Tiny’ Cottle Decoded: “Not Your Average Rapper’s Wife” Cee Lo Green Decoded: Conquering All From Hip-Hop to Hollywood Idris Elba Decoded: The Future of Black Leading Men in Hollywood Marlon Wayans Decoded: One of Hollywood’s Top Black Producers is Flying Solo Will Smith & Family Decoded: They Are Legend Super Bowl XLVII Decoded: This Year’s Big Game on CBS, By The Numbers Jamie Foxx Decoded: Comedian, Actor, Musician and Director…What Else is Left? Celebrity Pregnancies Decoded: The Breakdown of Hollywood’s Million-Dollar Babies Queen Latifah Decoded: The Grammy-Winning Rapper Turns into a CoverGirl Eric Jerome Dickey Decoded: From an Engineering Career to the NYTimes Best Seller List Kandi Burruss Decoded: On the Move Mogul Quietly Builds “The Kandi Empire” Bilal Decoded: Preaching the Gospel of Money Management and Self Reliance For Laughs, Old and New Fans Still Want ‘Sommore’ Brandy Decoded: Singer Breaks Down the Business of Being a Star Ne-Yo Decoded: The Man, The Musician, The Mogul Decoded: 7 Celebrities Who Went From Fat to (Financially) Fit RuPaul Decoded: The Man, the Myth, The New Queen of All Media Samuel L. Jackson Decoded: Hollywood’s Hardest Working Man NBA Decoded: Does Social Media Make Athletes Worse Role Models? The Avengers Decoded: The Makings of a Marvelous Movie Franchise 10 Black NFL Rookies Who Cashed in Big on Draft Day Decoded: The World Without Tiger Woods Reality TV Decoded: 10 Reality Stars Who Earn Millions Kardashians Sign $40 Million Reality TV Show Deal with E! The Prom Decoded: How Much is Too Much for the Big Dance? Mike Tyson Decoded: How He Earned (And Squandered) a $300 Million Fortune DECODED: How Much Do the ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ (and their Husbands) Make? Decoding the Business of Earvin “Magic” Johnson ESPN Sports Business Editor Analyzes Impact of Magic Johnson’s Dodgers Deal Tyra Banks Decoded: From Supermodel to Mega Mogul Apple Inc. Decoded: iPads, iPhones, iPods, MacBooks… Oh, My! George Lucas Decoded: Four Decades of Hollywood Domination Jeremy Lin Decoded: Cashing in on Overnight Success The Oscars Decoded: The Black Winners Who Often Get Overlooked The Oscars Decoded: 12 Black Actors Who Won & Their Career Impact Decoding Dwight Howard’s Impact On Orlando’s Economy Mardi Gras Decoded: Breaking Down the Big Easy’s Business Boom Soul Train Decoded: Don Cornelius Created the Hippest Brand in America Whitney Houston Decoded: The Diva’s Lasting Legacy WATCH: The Grammys Decoded: Artists Discuss the Impact of a Win 2012 Grammys Decoded: Predictions on Music’s Big Night 12 Most Expensive Super Bowl Commercials of the 21st Century Super Bowl Decoded: The Financial Impact of the Big Game Spider-Man Decoded: Untangling the Amazing Web of Profit Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Decoded Drake Decoded: How the International Star ‘Takes Care’ of Business Joe Frazier Decoded: The People’s Champion Remembered Bill Cosby Decoded: A Family-Friendly Brand LL Cool J Decoded: The Greatest Brand of All Time Eddie Murphy Decoded: Road to the Riches & the Oscars Steve Harvey Decoded: A Brand Suited for Success Decoding Barack Obama’s Social Media Campaign Strategies Michael Jackson: Decoding the Brand Power of a Black Music Legend Oprah Winfrey Decoded: Makings of a Multimedia Master LeBron James Decoded: A Slam Dunk Brand Decoded: The Economics of a Winning Knicks Team Chris Brown Decoded: The Finances of a Tarnished Brand Tyler Perry Decoded: The Deals, the Brand, the Influence Carmelo Anthony Decoded: The Economics of the Trade Nicki Minaj’s Branding Power Decoded Jay-Z’s Marketing Power Decoded Decoded: The Business Lessons of Hip-Hop Powerhouse Jay-Z

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Decoded: 6 Made-For-TV Biopics and Why We Loved (or Hated) Them

With Lifetime’s Whitney Houston set to debut in 2015, here’s a breakdown of six other…

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Decoding a Pop Culture Legend: Pharrell Williams

The style icon says his ingredients for success are quite simple

Pharrell Williams is a legendary hit-maker and collaborator at the intersection of music and fashion.…

By Kandia Johnson

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Beyond the Game: Michael Strahan’s Money and Power Moves

Football star turned TV host talks career transitions and brand

Michael Strahan, former defensive end for the New York Giants, is no stranger to the…

By Kandia Johnson

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Economics Of LeBron: How He Became 6th Man For City Of Cleveland

James' return to Cleveland is a big assist to the City's economy

Lebron James’ return to Cleveland is a big assist to the City’s economy. Here’s how.

By Richard Spiropoulos

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Love and Hip-Hop Decoded: Controversy and Drama “Pays Off”

Soaring ratings meant a soaring paycheck for many cast members.

Are you surprised by these numbers?

By Tomika Anderson

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Over the course of his career, Chef Roble has positioned himself as a serial entrepreneur.

From Roblé Ali, Tasty Dishes to Wear

#FoodPorn clothing line is a savvy merge of interests, business acumen

Chef Roblé, is at it again.

By Ashley R. Harris

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Decoded: It’s A Different World Without TV’s Favorite Cast

Black Enterprise delves into the lives of cast members from A Different World.

Black Enterprise takes a look at the cast members of A Different World after they…

By Amber McKynzie

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Family Matters Decoded: The 411 on Chicago’s Favorite Family

Black Enterprise remembers the cast of one of America's favorite TV shows, and is giving you the scoop on where they are now.

From Kellie Shangyne Williams to Telma Hopkins, Black Enterprise looks into the lives of the…

By Amber McKynzie

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The Automotive Industry Decoded: How 6 Brands Are Doing Post Bailout

Did the bailout save the automotive industry?

General Motors, Ford and Chrysler — known as the Big Three — have endured some…

By Darralynn Hutson

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Ice-T Decoded: A Career of Reinvention

From hip-hop to a hit television series to a documentary, Ice-T has done it all

Through his many ups and downs — and with a decade-long gig as Detective Fin…

By Darralynn Hutson

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Toni Braxton Decoded: “Family Values” Help Put Struggling Singer Back in Spotlight

Are you a fan of the Grammy winning diva?

Toni Braxton was one of the most successful R&B singers of the ’90s with her…

By C. Daniel Baker

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T.I. Decoded: A Music and Media Empire Served Family Style

When T.I. began rapping, he never knew he would become an all-around money making machine.

Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr. has been labeled the Jay-Z of the South by Pharrell Williams…

By Darralynn Hutson

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La La launches her make-up line, Motives for La La.

La La Anthony Decoded: DJ to VJ, Now America’s Favorite Reality Host

Black Enterprise dissects the life of La La Anthony -- from her radio days to her life on the court.

Black Enterprise breaksdown La La Anthony’s radio and film career, cosmetics line and marriage to…

By Amber McKynzie

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Coco Austin Decoded: ‘There’s Not Just Beauty Behind Her Empire’

Whether you believe it or not, Coco Austin's brains have a lot to do with her financial success

Coco Austin may be the beauty behind the popular E! reality show “Ice Loves Coco”…

By Tomika Anderson

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Tameka ‘Tiny’ Cottle Decoded: “Not Your Average Rapper’s Wife”

In addition to “Family Hustle” she executive produces two other TV shows, “Tiny and Toya” and her new baby, “Tiny Tonight,” on VH1.

Tiny has managed to put together quite the entertainment empire since her Xscape days.

By Tomika Anderson

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Cee Lo Green Decoded: Conquering All From Hip-Hop to Hollywood

Black Enterprise looks back at Cee Lo's introduction to hip-hop, and his current take over in Hollywood.

Black Enterprise decodes Cee Lo Green’s hip-hop takeover in the ’90s to his life on…

By Amber McKynzie

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Idris Elba Decoded: The Future of Black Leading Men in Hollywood

Is Elba the next Denzel?

Idris Elba’s career in music with tracks like “Secret Garden” and his DJ career may…

By Maurice Garland

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A Haunted House Poster

Marlon Wayans Decoded: One of Hollywood’s Top Black Producers is Flying Solo

"A Haunted House" is Marlon Wayans' Janet Jackson "Control” moment

Will you go watch “A Haunted House?”

By Kenya N. Byrd

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Will Smith + Family celebrate another great year

Will Smith & Family Decoded: They Are Legend

Black Enterprise breaks down the celebrity, charity and careers of Will Smith and his family.

Black Enterprise dissects the careers of one of Hollywood’s most successful families.

By Amber McKynzie

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Superbowl-2013

Super Bowl XLVII Decoded: This Year’s Big Game on CBS, By The Numbers

Big stars and big names mean even bigger numbers for CBS

CBS is prepared for a big takeover in New Orleans’ Jackson Square.

By Darren Sands

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Jamie Foxx Decoded: Comedian, Actor, Musician and Director…What Else is Left?

What could possibly be next for the Texas born Foxx?

Our latest Decoded feature focuses on one of Hollywood’s most versatile entertainers

By Tomika Anderson

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Alicia Keys & Swizz Beatz


With eight American Music Awards nominations and five wins; seven Billboard Music Awards nominations and 10 wins; and 13 Grammy Awards nominations and 14 wins, it’s no wonder Alicia Keys is sitting with a said net worth of $45 million. And with the recent launch of Keys’ partnership with Reebok for her own shoe line, there’s no telling what her worth will jump to next. But one thing is for sure, the New York-bred songbird’s now two-year-old son, Eygpt Daoud Dean, is living the life under the mandated communal support of his parents.


Three months before Eygpt was born, Keys married legendary producer Swizz Beatz, properly known as Kasseem Daoud Jones. The former Ruff Ryders producer has influenced the entertainment industry since the late ’90s, and now can proudly say he’s part of America’s one percent with an approximate net worth of $65 million. Combined Alicia and Swizz sit on a total worth of $110 million, which Eygpt can legally say—if he could speak in full sentences—he’s entitled to. This curly-haired cutie may not be the richest baby in America, but he’s certainly at the top of the list.

Celebrity Pregnancies Decoded: The Breakdown of Hollywood’s Million-Dollar Babies

With baby KimYe on the way, Black Enterprise decodes entertainment's richest heirs.

In lieu of KimYe’s most recent baby announcement, BlackEnterprise.com takes a look at some of…

By Amber McKynzie

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Queen Latifah Decoded: The Grammy-Winning Rapper Turns into a CoverGirl

Queen Latifah enters the entertainment industry, and emerges into one of the biggest female brands in America.

BlackEnterprise.com breaksdown the life of Queen Latifah, the female entertainer that has broken countless barriers…

By Amber McKynzie

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Eric Jerome Dickey - Featured

Eric Jerome Dickey Decoded: From an Engineering Career to the NYTimes Best Seller List

Eric Jerome Dickey breaks down his love for books and his thoughts on financial responsibility.

Eric Jerome Dickey breaks down his novels and talks words, wisdom and wealth

By Amber McKynzie

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Kandi Burruss Decoded: On the Move Mogul Quietly Builds “The Kandi Empire”

Kandi Burruss is following in the footsteps of Oprah and Tyra Banks.

90′s kids may still identify with her as the former lead singer in the group…

By Maurice Garland

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Bilal Decoded: Preaching the Gospel of Money Management and Self Reliance

Anyone who is in the music industry or hopes to be will learn something from Bilal in this interview.

The soul singer talks about his music industry past and future.

By Tomika Anderson

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Sommore will headline Caroline's in New York City this on Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend.

For Laughs, Old and New Fans Still Want ‘Sommore’

A new health initiative and outlook on life endears comedienne to yet another generation

Sommore talks reaching a new audience, and discusses why hair dye is necessary.

By Darren Sands

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Brandy Decoded: Singer Breaks Down the Business of Being a Star

Brandy breaks down the business of stardom from childhood to adulthood.

Brandy talks financial responsibility, staying grounded and how not to let this industry go to…

By Amber McKynzie

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Ne-Yo Decoded: The Man, The Musician, The Mogul

Music star Ne-Yo recently sat down with us to provide us with some of his insights on becoming and staying successful.

One of the things that attracted Ne-Yo to the position was the focus on artist…

By Christian Law

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The entertainment world has become one big fit club. In an industry where image is everything—and a size 6 is considered overweight—celebs seem more inclined than ever to drop the calories and pick up the dumbbells in an attempt to achieve the body of their dreams. There’s also an ever-growing list of famous folks who are turning their battle of the bulge into big business, tapping into the $20 billion weight loss industry by signing lucrative deals to plug high profile diets and penning books that chronicle their journey to get in shape. But going from tubby to toned doesn’t always guarantee more success in Hollywood. Blackenterprise.com decodes the surprising affect dramatic weight loss has had on the careers of some of the biggest stars in the business. For better or for worse, these seven entertainers prove that in Hollywood, size really does matter. —Shydel James

Decoded: 7 Celebrities Who Went From Fat to (Financially) Fit

Physical fitness is not just a great lifestyle choice in some cases it can increase your marketability and revenue

Physical fitness can be a large part of personal branding & revenue generation. These celebrities…

By Shydel James

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"You can call me he. You can call me she. You can call me Regis and Kathie Lee; I don’t care! Just as long as you call me.” —RuPaul

Born RuPaul Andre Charles, November 17, 1960, celebrity drag queen and entrepreneur RuPaul has worked with the likes of Diana Ross, Elton John, Spike Lee and countless other superstars. At 6’4”, she stands to be the most famous drag queen to walk the Earth. While others have certainly come before her, none have seemed to achieve the level of prosperity or success as RuPaul. With two television shows airing on LOGO—RuPaul’s Drag Race and RuPaul’s Drag U—and a rising social media empire, RuPaul is cashing in big time and just might be the next big media mogul. BlackEnterprise.com Decodes her rise to the top. Sashay! —Sirita Wright

RuPaul Decoded: The Man, the Myth, The New Queen of All Media

Dissecting the business behind the make-up and wigs of RuPaul, a rising media mogul in the making

More than a drag queen, RuPaul is a profitable brand that expands across various media…

By Sirita Wright

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Last year, The Guinness Book of World Records named Samuel L. Jackson the highest-grossing actor of all time. The 63-year-old Washington, D.C. native has starred in over 100 films that have a combined box office gross of almost $8 billion. That’s quite a feat for a man who nearly squandered his talent and life away due to a serious drug and alcohol addiction.

Since starting out in the theater in the ’70s as a student at Morehouse College, Jackson has managed to build an estimated net worth of $150 million by appearing in some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, like Captain America and Star Wars and low budget critical hits like Eve’s Bayou. The always earnest, off-the-cuff actor has made a fortune playing stern, authoritative characters. His latest role and box office score was as Nick Fury in The Avengers, which broke domestic box office records, pulling in $200.3 million opening weekend. With the May 18th release of his new neo-noir thriller The Samaritan sure to add more zeros to Jackson’s bank account, BlackEnterprise.com decodes the hardest working actor in Hollywood. —Shydel James

Samuel L. Jackson Decoded: Hollywood’s Hardest Working Man

Examining the luminous career of the highest grossing actor of all time

The Guinness Book of World Records cemented Samuel L. Jackson as the highest-grossing actor of…

By Shydel James

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Charles Barkley  From the onset of his career Barkley was surrounded by greatness. Drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1984, he joined a team that includes legends Julius Erving, Moses Malone and Maurice Cheeks. Holding his own, Sir Charles averaged 14 points and 8.6 rebounds per game during his rookie season. A year later, he was the team’s leading rebounder and second scorer before eventually becoming the Sixers’ franchise player until he was traded in 1992 to the Phoenix Suns, where he continued to dominate as a rebounder and team leader. By time he retired in 2000, Barkley became the fourth player in NBA history to achieve 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists. However, the Dream Team gold medalist was never able to win a title to compliment his accolades.

NBA Decoded: Does Social Media Make Athletes Worse Role Models?

Was Charles Barkley right? How social media has made today's athletes flaws as a role model more apparent

When Charles Barkley proclaimed that he wasn’t a role model he had no idea that…

By BlackEnterprise.com

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This past weekend Disney and Marvel Studios joined forces to release The Avengers, an all-star fan boy film based off the popular comic book series. While critics expected the film to do well, at the end of film’s opening weekend it not only secured the No. 1 spot but also broke domestic box office records, pulling in $200.3 million over the course of three days. The Avengers’ ticket sales eclipsed the previous record-holder, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which opened with $169.2 million in summer 2011. The film’s success is not limited to US shores, as it opened internationally two weeks ago to the tune of $441.5 million across 52 global markets. As it stands at press time, The Avengers has grossed well over $642.8 million globally. BlackEnterprise.com takes a look at the “marvelous” success of the prequel films that led up to this record-breaking showing.  —Anslem Samuel Rocque

The Avengers Decoded: The Makings of a Marvelous Movie Franchise

After a record breaking open weekend for The Avengers, the films that built up the new franchise get their ticket sales dissected

The Avengers breaks box office records with its opening weekend haul of over $200 million,…

By Anslem Samuel

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DARREN MCFADDEN 

A former Arkansas Razorback and SEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2007, McFadden was drafted to become a running back for the Oakland Raiders in 2008. He had a six-year contract worth $60 million, with $26 million guaranteed. The tenth of twelve children, McFadden has overcome a lot of controversy off the field, but, nonetheless, has continued to persevere.

10 Black NFL Rookies Who Cashed in Big on Draft Day

From college athlete to multi-millionaire, a NFL rookie's life can change overnight when drafted and hit with a hefty paycheck

From college athlete to multi-millionaire, a NFL rookie’s life can change overnight after being signed…

By Mia N. Hall

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Brazilian Ogilvy recently conceptualized a unique ad campaign for Forbes called The World Without… The print ads take a look at some of the world’s richest and most influential people and, well, images the world without them, resulting in some interesting (and sometimes humorous) domino effect stats. The public figures featured range from Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg to Donald Trump. Also included was golf pro Tiger Woods, who saw his brand tarnished by a series of sex scandals. Here’s a snap shot of The World Without… Tiger Woods.

Decoded: The World Without Tiger Woods

How different would the world be if the golfing great never existed? Here's a few possible answers

New Forbes print campaign imagines The World Without… key celebrities ranging from Mark Zuckerberg to…

By Anslem Samuel

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Reality television is a complicated business. Some shows get immensely popular and springboard everyday people into celebrity stardom, but that fast track to Hollywood isn’t for everyone. However, there are those lucky ones who manage to build their brands, or expand their existing empires, based on their participation in America’s guilty pleasures. While some reality stars make little to no money at all—the average is about $5,000 a month—personalities who appear on popular shows like The Real Housewives franchise can make $8,000 and up per episode, and millions of dollars beyond their TV presence alone. It’s reported that the Real Housewives of New York racked in $75,000 per episode last season, while the Kim Kardashian and her family recently signed a deal worth an estimated $40 million for three more seasons of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. With millions of dollars floating around in the “real worlds,” BlackEnterprise.com Decodes the financial gain of some of reality TV’s most notable personas.  —Starrene Rhett Rocque

Reality TV Decoded: 10 Reality Stars Who Earn Millions

More than just memorable personalities, these reality TV stars figured how to make a living off of you watching

Reality TV has become a multi-million dollar business for a select few individuals who manage…

By Starrene Rhett

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Kardashians Sign $40 Million Reality TV Show Deal with E!

The reality TV stars prove their bankability by signing a record-breaking deal

In a record-breaking deal, Keeping Up with the Kardashians gets renewed for three more seasons…

By Anslem Samuel

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As we continue the transition into spring that means prom season is already upon us as students begin to pester their parents for money for the first must-attend social event of adolescence. When you calculate the limo rides, corsages, entry fees, dress purchases and tux rentals, this one-night affair can quickly add up to a hefty bill. In fact, according to a recent survey of 1,000 random people conducted by GfK Roper OmniTel, parents can expect to pay an average of $1,078 per teen for prom this year. That’s a 34 percent increase from last year’s national average of $807. Now we’ll Decode prom costs by region and financial brackets. —Anslem Samuel

The Prom Decoded: How Much is Too Much for the Big Dance?

Parents should expect to shell out more than ever for their teens' big night out

Prom season is upon us and as more parents and teens look to outdo each…

By Anslem Samuel

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Mike Tyson Decoded: How He Earned (And Squandered) a $300 Million Fortune

Once the king of the ring, Mike Tyson has had many ups and downs in his storied career

On the eve of Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth—Live on Stage, Black Enterprise explores the former…

By Shydel James

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For better or for worse, reality TV has become a booming business, generating huge ratings and ad dollars. Among one of the more popular television franchises is the Real Housewives of Atlanta, which features model Cynthia Bailey, singer Kandi Burruss, attorney Phaedra Parks, among other Atlanta socialites. Rolling Out reportedly got access to the annual salaries of the cast mates and their male counterparts and most would be surprised as too how much a reality star can make. Here’s a rundown of each RHOA star’s speculated earning power per season.

DECODED: How Much Do the ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ (and their Husbands) Make?

Pulling in massive ratings and ad dollars, the reality stars cash in on their 15 minutes of fame

The season salaries for the Real Housewives of Atlanta and their partners recently leaked, revealing…

By Anslem Samuel

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(Image: Getty)

Decoding the Business of Earvin “Magic” Johnson

Adding the L.A. Dodgers to his business portfolio, the NBA Hall-of-Famer continues to secure landmark deals

Magic Johnson’s minority stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers adds on to his impressive business…

By Danielle Kwateng

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ESPN Sports Business Editor Analyzes Impact of Magic Johnson’s Dodgers Deal

ESPN's Keith Reed shares his perspective on Magic Johnson's historic purchase of the LA Dodgers and what it means for the sport

ESPN’s Senior Sports Business Editor Keith Reed shares his perspective on Magic Johnson’s historic purchase…

By Adena Andrews

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In February 2011, Tyra Banks set a major goal for herself: to attend and graduate from the Harvard Business School. The former swimsuit model and entrepreneur enrolled in a management leadership program at the Ivy League institution to strengthen her business skills, and graduated this February. Born in Inglewood, CA, Banks, 38, has cultivated a catalogue of endeavors over the past 20 years that’s far beyond her runway beginnings. In fact, the Daily Mail recently ranked her among the richest supermodels in the world with a reported net worth of $90 million. Banks has taken on acting, producing, directing, publishing, and promoted ideals of a positive and healthy self-image along the way. BlackEnterprise.com Decodes Banks bankable brand. —Danielle Kwateng

Tyra Banks Decoded: From Supermodel to Mega Mogul

From supermodel to Harvard Business School graduate, BlackEnterprise.com takes a look at Tyra Banks beyond the runways

Supermodel Tyra Banks is more than a pretty face, the savvy businesswoman and Harvard Business…

By Danielle Kwateng

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Apple Inc. Decoded: iPads, iPhones, iPods, MacBooks… Oh, My!

With the release of the New iPad, Black Enterprise breaks down the consumer electronic juggernaut’s biggest product launches

As one of the most successful brands ever, Apple Inc has revolutionized our world with…

By Shydel James

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The force is definitely with George Lucas. In the almost 50 years since he studied film at the University of Southern California and trekked to the coffeehouse-lined streets of San Francisco as a young film novice to watch short art house movies, Lucas has managed to amass a $3.2 billion empire. With a plethora of major motion picture directing credits to his name, and a diverse resume—which includes everything from writing and producing some of the most successful sci-fi films of all time to serving as the chairman and CEO of his own production company—the jack-of-all-trades has more than cemented his place in Hollywood history. On the heels of his latest labor of love, Red Tails and the recent 3D theatrical re-release of Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace, BlackEnterprise.com Decodes the box office titan’s illustrious film career, philanthropic efforts and examines why the mastermind behind the first big budget all-Black action movie is no accidental billionaire. —Shydel James

George Lucas Decoded: Four Decades of Hollywood Domination

A breakdown of the movie mastermind and his $3-plus billion fortune

Responsible for the epic Star Wars film franchise, George Lucas has built a billion-dollar brand…

By Shydel James

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In case you haven’t heard, Jeremy Lin is the New York Knicks point guard who went from an unknown bench player to an overnight and international sensation after being asked to step in due to a series of team injuries. While Lin didn’t start his first game alongside Knicks marquee players Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, he’s emerged as a budding star of his own with his winning streak and impressive points per game avg. It may seem like a fluke to some, but the 23-year-old guard was ranked as one of the NCAA’s top ten players in his conference during the 2008-2009 season while attending Harvard University. Too bad he was cut by two teams—including the Knicks—at the beginning of this season. After getting his shot to play, Lin show and proved, scoring 38 points against perennial All-Star Kobe Bryant and leading the team to a seven-game winning streak. His exceptional play has become an inspirational story, and quite the profitable brand. BlackEnterpise.com Decodes the net worth of the rising star’s net work. —Adena Andrews

Jeremy Lin Decoded: Cashing in on Overnight Success

A look at the unlikely NBA star's bankability and the impact of his brand

Overnight the New York Knicks guard became a national sensation as the first Asian-American NBA…

By Adena Andrews

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Whenever most people think about the Academy Awards, it’s the actors, actresses and directors that often come to mind first. (Congratulations to Octavia Spencer on joining the short list of African American Oscar winners during the 84th Annual Academy Awards.) However, there are dozens of other categories that highlight the hard work of Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes players. For instance, the categories of Best Original Song and Best Original Score feature several African American winners. Here are seven oftentimes forgotten names from the world of music on the list of African American winners. —Darralynn Hutson

The Oscars Decoded: The Black Winners Who Often Get Overlooked

African American Academy Award winners in the category of Original Score

While Academy Award winning actors & directors of color get most of the fanfare, there…

By Anslem Samuel

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This Sunday, February 26, 2012, the 84th annual Academy Awards will be held in Hollywood, gathering together all of the film industry’s biggest names. While Eddie Murphy, who backed out on hosting duties, might be absent, there will be a plethora of African American actors and actresses both as attendees and nominees. Namely, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, who both earned nods for their exceptional work in The Help. Given that both women are favored to take home a golden statuette (only time will tell), BlackEnterprise.com Decodes the financial impact of an Oscar win by looking back at the select few African Americans performers who have struck gold on Hollywood’s biggest night. —Darralynn Hutson

The Oscars Decoded: 12 Black Actors Who Won & Their Career Impact

An examination of the dozen African American thespians who excelled in their craft on Hollywood's biggest night

With The Help’s Viola Davis & Octavia Spencer up for Oscars at the 84th Academy…

By Darralynn Hutson

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(Image: Getty)

Decoding Dwight Howard’s Impact On Orlando’s Economy

What will happen if Superman abandons his metropolis?

With NBA All-Star Weekend happening in Orlando all eyes are on Dwight Howard who requested…

By Adena Andrews

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Mardi Gras is more than just a party for local businesses in the city of New Orleans. Last year, the economic value of the carnival season contributed a total of $300.7 million to the city’s economy. Tourism, which brings in more than eight million visitors per year, creates a lot of revenue for local businesses. In fact, it has sustained 74,000 jobs and generated $5 billion annually for the local economy. Mardi Gras is one of the few events that has revived New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, which displaced thousands of Louisiana natives. The two weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday are the most lucrative for New Orleans business owners. Most hotels are booked, from the French Quarter to miles away near the Armstrong International Airport. King cakes, a New Orleans staple, are only sold around the carnival season and tourists and locals alike roam the city to find the best. While everyone’s letting the good times roll, BlackEnterprise.com Decodes how local businesses watch the money roll in. —Kamaria Gboro

Mardi Gras Decoded: Breaking Down the Big Easy’s Business Boom

Fat Tuesday hits New Orleans and so does a boost to the local economy

When Mardi Gras hits New Orleans so does an influx of revenue for local businesses…

By Kamaria Gboro

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The American landscape would not be nearly as rich, diverse and hip without pioneering forces such as Don Cornelius. As the creator of Soul Train, Cornelius did more than establish a profitable company/brand but also simultaneously uplifted people of color by giving them a platform to express their innate talents while reinforcing positive and inspiring messages through the creative disciplines of music, dance and fashion. Following news of Cornelius’ recent passing, BlackEnterprise.com spoke with Kenard Gibbs, current CEO/Partner of Soul Train Holdings and co-founder of Madvision Entertainment, to Decode how Cornelius went from investing $400 into the Soul Train pilot to forever changing American culture. —Souleo

Soul Train Decoded: Don Cornelius Created the Hippest Brand in America

Exploring the historical milestones made by the late Don Cornelius and his landmark show

Following the death of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius, Black Enterprise explores the impact of…

By Souleo

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On the cusp of the Grammy Awards, Whitney Houston was found dead in her Beverly Hills, California hotel room this past Saturday afternoon at the young age of 48. As the news spread throughout the corners of the globe, fans and peers alike gasped in disbelief as “one of the best vocalist to ever grace the earth” had left us. Houston’s voice was magical. She belted out flawless notes effortlessly. Throughout the history of music there has been no one quite like Houston, and there will never be another. A voice as sweet as honey, yet soulful to the core, only comes around once in a lifetime. More than a singer, Houston’s career evolved to include acting, modeling and business, which she excelled in all. Despite a rough patch in her life, the iconic singer was back on the track to success with her upcoming role in the remake of Sparkle. In remembrance of the music icon, BlackEnterprise.com Decodes Whitney Houston’s lasting impact. —Bené Viera

Whitney Houston Decoded: The Diva’s Lasting Legacy

A look back at the music icon's historic career and cultural impact

More than just a singer, Whitney Houston was an icon who’s influence crossed a multiple…

By Benè Viera

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WATCH: The Grammys Decoded: Artists Discuss the Impact of a Win

Mary J. Blige, Black Eyed Peas and more reveal the pros of being at music's biggest night

Artists ranging from Mary J. Blige to the Black Eyed Peas discuss the lasting impact…

By Anslem Samuel

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2012 Grammys Decoded: Predictions on Music’s Big Night

L.A. Times writer Gerrick Kennedy makes his picks for who will bring home a trophy

The Grammys are a celebration of the music industry’s best, L.A. Times writer Gerrick Kennedy…

By Joel Lyons

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In 1992, the average cost per 30 seconds for a Super Bowl ad was $850,000, and now that number has more than quadrupled. With an average increase of $100,000 per year, the NFL has stated that 2012’s average cost per 30 seconds of airtime for America’s largest annual sporting event is $3.5 million.

As Chrysler took the title of the most expensive Super Bowl commercial to air in the history of the event last year with its two-minute spot, audiences everywhere are left to wonder if any brand will ever supersede the car company’s “Imported From Detroit” ad. While some brands have been said to spend $4 million for a half-minute spot this year, only time will tell.

As the New York Giants win of Super Bowl XLVI concluded just hours ago, and fans going crazy over a new crop of memorable spots from Doritos, Chevy, and Pepsi commercials, BlackEnterprise.com takes a look at the most expensive ads to air over the past decade during February’s main event. —Amber McKynzie

12 Most Expensive Super Bowl Commercials of the 21st Century

Taking a look back at the most costly Super Bowl spots of each year of the new millenium

In addition to the game itself, Super Bowl commercials are a major draw. Here are…

By Amber McKynzie

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(Image: Getty)

Super Bowl Decoded: The Financial Impact of the Big Game

It's not just the commercials that bring in big money on Super Bowl Sunday

More than just a game, Super Bowl Sunday is big business as brands dish out…

By Mia N. Hall

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While there are hundreds of characters in the Marvel Comics universe, Spider-Man has proven to be one of the most beloved over the decades. Created by comic book guru Stan Lee in the 1960’s, the non-traditional superhero has drawn in fans and dollars the world over. From two-dimensional illustration to cartoon series, blockbuster movies, merchandise and even a Broadway play, the Spider-Man brand is big business. With the recent success of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark and a new potential blockbuster film, The Amazing Spider-Man, on the calendar for this summer, BlackEnterprise.com Decodes this Marvelous brand. —William Ketchum III

Spider-Man Decoded: Untangling the Amazing Web of Profit

From Marvel Comic to movie star, the non-traditional superhero hs a global brand worth millions

Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee’s multi-million dollar Spider-Man brand is loved globally from cartoon, comic,…

By William E. Ketchum III

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When assessing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the number of protesters he helped rouse, the amount of books documenting his philosophy that he published and the total revenue generated by artistic projects made in his honor only tell a fraction of the story. To truly decode Dr. King you must take into account the impact he has had on the global issues of race, class and social justice by virtue of inspiring change. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, BlackEntperise.com spoke with James Peterson, the Director of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University, in an effort to enhance our understanding on the civil rights leader’s work. —Souleo

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Decoded

See how the Civil Rights leader inspired mass change

As the nation celebrates the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Black Enterprise Decodes the…

By Souleo

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Cash Money artist Drake.

Drake Decoded: How the International Star ‘Takes Care’ of Business

More than just Lil Wayne's protege, Drake is a multi-faceted businessman with his hand in everything

In a few short years, Canadian rap star Drake has made a million-dollar brand that…

By Andreas Hale

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After a long fought battle with liver cancer, boxing great Joe Frazier passed away this past Monday, November 7, 2011 at the age of 67. While his name is often tied to flamboyant fighter Muhammad Ali, who he fought in three memorable bouts, Frazier built his reputation on his own blood, sweat and tears. The Beaufort, South Carolina native pulled himself up out of poverty to be one of the sport’s top fighters (32-4-1). In the wake of his passing, BlackEnterprise.com takes a look back at the many milestones in Smokin’ Joe Frazier’s life both in and out the ring. —Anslem Samuel

Joe Frazier Decoded: The People’s Champion Remembered

More than Muhammad Ali's rival, Smokin' Joe Frazier was a working class hero in and out the ring

In the wake of the death of Joe Frazier, boxing fans reflect on his legacy…

By Anslem Samuel

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Few can deny the impact Dr. Bill Cosby has made in entertainment. From being the first African American to play a leading role in a TV show on NBC’s I Spy (1965-68) to making his self titled series The Cosby Show No. 1 on the same network almost 20 years later, he has withstood the test of time in Hollywood as a writer, producer, director, actor, composer and more. More than just an entertainer with over 2.3 million Twitter followers (@BillCosby), Cosby has managed to evolve his sphere of influence and remain relevant through his philanthropic efforts, advertising, public speaking, business acumen and involvement in academia. BlackEnterprise.com Decodes the iconic Dr. Bill Cosby. —Kevin Clark

Bill Cosby Decoded: A Family-Friendly Brand

The comedian and philanthropist has blazed trails in television, advertising and more

From comedian to actor to educator and philanthropist, Bill Cosby has done it all and…

By Kevin L. Clark

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DEF DIVIDENDS

At just 17 years old, LL became Def Jam Record’s flagship artist. His debut album, Radio, went on to go platinum and his 13-album catalog features many more million-plus sellers, including 1992’s Mama Said Knock You Out and 1997’s Mr. Smith, which both sold over two million copies and earned LL a pair of Grammies. To date, the Queens rapper’s catalog includes a dozen proper albums chockfull of classic records, and all that songwriter publishing means plenty of guaranteed money in the bank.

LL Cool J Decoded: The Greatest Brand of All Time

Taking home I Am Hip-Hop honors at the BET Hip-Hop Awards the entertainment veteran gets Decoded

From artist to actor to author to businessman, LL Cool J is a brand that…

By Alvin Blanco

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EDDIE MURPHY AS "DR. JOHN DOLITTLE" IN DR. DOLITTLE (1998) The central character in a series of children's books by Hugh Lofting (1920–1952), Doctor John Dolittle shuns human patients in favor of animals that he can communicate with in their own languages. Actor Rex Harrison played the lead role in the 1967 film adaptation, but Murphy helped revive the character with his 1998 remake, which grossed over $250 million worldwide and spawned several sequels.

Eddie Murphy Decoded: Road to the Riches & the Oscars

Breaking down the economic influence the Oscars' new host has over Hollywood

Veteran comedian/actor Eddie Murphy was recently tapped to host the 2012 Oscars. The Hollywood veteran…

By William E. Ketchum III

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There was a time when Steve Harvey was just another successful comedian, but today he’s much more. The West Virginia native carries titles like author, entrepreneur and businessman as well and is laughing his way to the bank in the process. Harvey stays busy as host of his popular self-titled radio show and Family Feud, author of several best-selling books, his own television program on Centric TV, and a charity foundation. This week, Harvey and Ford will co-host their Ninth Annual Hoodie Awards, a community-oriented awards show that honors top businesses, schools, and leaders. Based on Harvey’s ever-growing brand, BlackEnterprise.com decodes Steve’s funny money. —William E. Ketchum III

Steve Harvey Decoded: A Brand Suited for Success

The enterprising funny man is no joke when it comes to business and brand extension

More than a comedian, Steve Harvey has built a profitable brand that spans across various…

By William E. Ketchum III

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President Barack Obama changed the game when it came to utilizing a powerful tool of influence: social media. Since his successful 2008 bid for the U.S. presidency, he has held a prominent role, using social networking as a way to reach the masses, gain support, and create one of the most transparent presidencies in history. Here's a look at his social media presence, and how his administration has successfully leveraged it as a vital resource. --- Janell Hazelwood

Decoding Barack Obama’s Social Media Campaign Strategies

A look at the Head of State's prowess with social Web

President Barack Obama changed the game since his successful run in 2008, utilizing the most…

By Janell Hazelwood

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Michael Jackson in glasses

Michael Jackson: Decoding the Brand Power of a Black Music Legend

A reflection on the King of Pop's musical and business impact two years after his passing

As a musical icon Michael Jackson’s legacy spans from record breaking album sales and groundbreaking…

By Andreas Hale

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Oprah WInfrey

Oprah Winfrey Decoded: Makings of a Multimedia Master

Over the past 25 years Oprah Winfrey has inspired us as a billionaire businesswoman. Here's a snapshot of her financial power

Oprah Winfrey airs the finale of her top-rated talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show today,…

By Tamara Warren

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LeBron James Decoded: A Slam Dunk Brand

Moving to Miami only amplified LeBron James' stock in the NBA and is having a similar effect on his business and bank account

Since joining Dwayne Wade on the Miami Heat, LeBron James has made millions more and…

By Andreas Hale

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New York Knicks Slam Dunk Contest Trophy

Decoded: The Economics of a Winning Knicks Team

How the Knicks making the playoffs gives New York City businesses a boost

How the Knicks making the playoffs gives New York City businesses a boost

By Christina Tapper

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Evolving in the public eye, Chris Brown has gone from teenaged heartthrob to pop music megastar to vilified brute and then repentant sinner. At the heart of his image downturn is the 2009 assault of then girlfriend, Rihanna, which showed a darker side to the talented singer/dancer/actor. Brown’s subsequent apologies, paid debt to society in the form of community service and an emotional performance of Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror” at the 2010 BET Awards seemed to have almost wiped his slate clean—that is, until last month’s Good Morning America appearance. Following an awkward and defensive interview with GMA co-host Robin Roberts, Brown threw a tantrum backstage, smashing a window at ABC’s Times Square studio in the process. Though Brown has since apologized for his behavior (again), many speculate that he’s running out of second chances and that’s bound to hit him in the pockets. BlackEnterprise.com takes a look at how all the drama has or hasn’t affected the troubled star’s money.

Chris Brown Decoded: The Finances of a Tarnished Brand

An exploration of how much the troubled star's scandals have adversely affected his bottom line

An exploration of how much the troubled star’s scandals have adversely affected his bottom line

By timmhotep aku

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Over the course of the past decade Tyler Perry has dominated. His stage plays, motion pictures, DVDs, sitcom series, online talk show and book, based on commentaries from his popular character of Madea, have collectively grossed hundreds of millions of dollars. As the most commercially successful Black filmmaker in history, Perry is quickly making his way to billionaire status not by following the rules but by breaking them. Staying true to his core audience and pushing his message of family values, the media mogul has a lock on a lucrative slice of the African American market. Whether you love him or you hate him, you definitely can’t ignore him. If there’s still any doubt, here are a few reminders of Perry’s influence.

Tyler Perry Decoded: The Deals, the Brand, the Influence

A breakdown of the media mogul's empire and reach by the numbers

A breakdown of the media mogul’s empire and reach by the numbers

By Darralynn Hutson

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All Images: GettyThe recent trade of NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks has dominated sports discussion and headlines since the moment it happened. Fans of the Knicks are ecstatic that their once proud franchise can now officially return to relevance. Lost in the uproar, however, is the potential economic surge this trade will likely have. Not just for Anthony, who signed a three-year $65 million contract extension as part of the deal, but for the NYC area as well. Former NBA player and now TNT analyst Kenny Smith shares a few of the ways that Anthony�s Big Apple acquisition can change the financial stakes for him, his new team and business owners in the entire tri-state area. —Khalid Salaam

Carmelo Anthony Decoded: The Economics of the Trade

The NBA all-star wasn't the only one to get a big payday signing with the Knicks, small businesses were impacted as well

The recent trade of NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets to the New…

By Khalid Salaam

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Most may view Nicki Minaj as just another rapper/singer/performer; but the multi-faceted entertainer is much more than that, she’s a bankable brand that’s only just begun to blossom. In a few short years, Nicki has influenced trends through her music and unmistakable fashion sense, and her involvement in cosmetics, television, hair and even the floral industry (Nicki has exclusive pink collection bouquets available on flowers.com for Valentine’s Day) has helped spike sales and visibility for a number of ancillary brands. Whether her detractors like it or not, Ms. Minaj is a one-woman marketing guru. BlackEnterprise.com takes a look at some of the brands the young starlet has—directly or indirectly—helped bolster by association. —Andreas Hale (Images: Getty)

Nicki Minaj’s Branding Power Decoded

More than just an artist, the rap phenom has built a bankable brand in a few short years that businesses are buying into

Most may view <strong>Nicki Minaj</strong> as just another rapper/singer/performer; but the multi-faceted entertainer is much…

By Andreas Hale

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Skilled orators are savvy marketers by definition. Take for instance, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. The rapper-turned-businessman can deem a product cool or passé simply by how he flips it in a verse. But does Jay-Z co-signing a brand in rhyme necessarily equal a boost in its respective sales? Here, BlackEnterprise.com takes a look at some products that have been name-checked by the influential orator over the years, and how they fared in the aftermath. —Alvin Blanco (Images: Getty)

Jay-Z’s Marketing Power Decoded

Some people merely speak things into existence, but the influential music mogul speaks brands into profits

Skilled orators are savvy marketers by definition. Take for instance, <strong>Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter</strong>. The rapper-turned-businessman…

By Alvin Blanco

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Decoded: The Business Lessons of Hip-Hop Powerhouse Jay-Z

Hip-hop entrepreneur Shawn Carter releases book about his life and lyrics

Hip-hop entrepreneur Shawn Carter releases book about his life and lyrics

By Janell Hazelwood

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Women of Power

Lisa Nichols

Author and Motivator Lisa Nichols Inspires During Social Media Event

Lisa Nichols inspired participant during her tweet chat with Black Enterprise, detailing her latest business…

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Susan L. Taylor Talks Mentorship and Passing on a Legacy via CARES

Sharing tips on passing on a legacy and the need for mentorship, Susan L. Taylor…

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