including Nelly Furtado’s Loose, Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds, and his own second solo release, Timbaland Presents Shock Value.
Will Packer and Rob Hardy, Film Producers; Director, Rainforest Films / 33; 35. Why they’re hot: This dynamic duo’s vision has made them rising stars in the indie film market. In fact, the company’s partnership with Sony’s Columbia Tri-Star to produce and distribute urban films has proven to be one of the industry’s most profitable. Their film The Gospel, budgeted at $4 million, grossed more than $15 million worldwide in 2005. But their largest project to date, Stomp the Yard, produced on a budget of $13 million, was the No. 1 film its opening weekend, with gross receipts of more than $22 million before raking in $75 million in worldwide box office sales. In 2008, Rainforest will go into production on an urban remake of the classic filmThe Big Chill.
Andrea Nelson Meigs. Talent Agent / International Creative Management / 39. Why she’s hot: One of the few African American talent agents, Nelson Meigs represents some of the entertainment industry’s biggest chart busters. She has negotiated
deals for Beyoncé; Chris Brown; and Cristina Saralegui, known in talk show circles as “The Latina Oprah.” This überagent has also packaged major deals for top screen stars, including Cedric The Entertainer, Jon Voight, and Ellen Burstyn. Prior to joining ICM in December 2006, Nelson Meigs, who received her law degree from Duke University, began her career in the mailroom at Creative Artist Agency and worked her way through the ranks to become a motion picture talent agent.
Wyclef Jean, Rapper, Music Producer / 35. Why he’s hot: This Grammy Award winner and founder of the Fugees is expected to climb the charts with his new release, Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant, a follow-up to his triple-platinum debut solo album, The Carnival. Jean continues to be in high demand as a producer, responsible for creating hits for artists such as Destiny’s Child and Carlos Santana as well as earning a Golden Globe nomination for the song “Million Voices,” featured on the soundtrack for the movie Hotel Rwanda. In addition to donning the hats of producer, songwriter, and musician, Jean is one of the entertainment industry’s leading humanitarians. Earlier this year, he was appointed roving ambassador of Haiti by President René Préval in honor of his philanthropic efforts to improve the poverty-stricken island nation. The honor was bestowed upon him because of the work of Yelé Haiti (www.yele.org), the foundation he founded in 2005 to promote the arts, education, sports, jobs, and development. Since its inception, the organization, funded by Haiti’s largest wireless service provider ComCEL, has offered scholarships to 3,600 children in Gonaives. —Sheiresa McRae
Tyler Perry, Playwright, Actor, Screenwriter, CEO, Tyler Perry Studios / 38. Why he’s hot: The writer with the golden pen remains one of the hardest-working—and wealthiest—men in Hollywood. His latest film, Why Did I Get Married?, grossed more than $21 million its premiere weekend, making it No. 1 at the box office. And since 2005, his last three films—Diary of