Hot List ’05

They're young, bold, innovative, and powerful–and all under 40

Advisory Council and the U.N. World Meteorological Organization Steering Committee. AGE: 36

JOHN SINGLETON, Executive Producer & Filmmaker
Why he’s hot: He’s one of the hottest directors in Hollywood. This year, Four Brothers, the action adventure flick he directed, grossed $71 million, and Hustle & Flow, the indie film he produced and mortgaged his home to provide $2.8 million in financing for, grossed $22.1 million and won huge critical acclaim and top honors. In fact, when Hustle & Flow was screened at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, the bidding war between studios for distribution rights quickly soared to a record-breaking $9 million. He won major acclaim for his breakout film Boyz N the Hood at the age of 24. After 14 years, the director still hasn’t lost his touch. AGE: 38

STEPHEN A. SMITH NBA Analyst ESPN
Why he’s hot: Quite frankly, Smith is one of those guys whom fans and critics love to hate. He has been accused of having more attitude than opinion. And to put it bluntly, he says, “Those guys are dead wrong. To me, opinion and attitude are the same. If you have an opinion, you’ve got an attitude.” Smith argues that at the very least, he backs his opinions with facts. The 10-year veteran has built a name for himself in the broadcast industry as host of Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith, a 60-minute daily dose of sports, news, and opinions. Smith has a roster of accomplishments that include host of The Stephen A. Smith Show on ESPN Radio; analyst of the NBA Shootaround pre-game show; NBA Nation; and NBA Fast Break, to name a few. Smith envisions himself as the next Ed Bradley of the sports journalism world. “I want to expand beyond sports and do something relevant and prevalent in everyday lives,” he says. AGE: 38

WILL SMITH, Producer, Actor OVERBROOK ENTERTAINMENT
Why he’s hot: Smith is one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, and made $28 million for I, Robot. His last blockbuster, Hitch, grossed $360 million at the box office worldwide. As a partner in Overbrook Entertainment, Smith has added producer to his list of credits with films such as Pursuit of Happyness and Monster Hunter, scheduled for upcoming release. He’s the executive producer and co-creator of the UPN series All of Us and is an investor in The Momentum Experience, a theatrical distribution company that launched in July. Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, are investors in Carol’s Daughter, the 2005 BLACK ENTERPRISE Emerging Company of the Year. AGE: 37

Pharrell Williams, Producer STAR TRAK ENTERTAINMENT
Why he’s hot: Pharrell Williams not only produces hot music but orchestrates a multimillion-dollar enterprise. He’s been able to turn his credentials as producer-extraordinaire into partnerships that reach far beyond the music industry. He’s launching Ice Cream Skate footwear, created and launched Billionaire Boys Club Clothing line in 2004. Known for churning out hits with Neptunes’ partner Chad Hugo for the likes of Jay-Z, Nelly, and Usher, Williams has produced a host of songs for music soundtracks

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