Top 50 Black Power Brokers In Entertainment

Whether creating groundbreaking movies, developing original tv programs, or making soulful music, these 50 power brokers call the shots in america's most dynamic industries

artists who came to town on tour. He cites a conversation with Chuck D of Public Enemy as a key point in his pursuit of a career in the mus
ic business: “‘Big Jon every time I come to Denver, you’re the man here. But unless you dream bigger, all you’ll ever be is just the man here in Denver.’ In a nutshell he told me I was very talented and I could offer a lot to the music business. That day the dream began,” Platt says.

ANTONIO “L.A.” REID
Title: President and CEO, Arista Records
Age: 46
Why He’s Powerful: Reid oversees the day-to-day business operations of Arista, a subsidiary of BMG Music. He is responsible for the development of a multiplatinum roster of performers, including Outkast, Usher, Pink, and Santana. Last year, he re-signed Whitney Houston to a $100 million contract.
Career Track: With an extensive background as a musician, producer, artist developer, and label executive, Reid teamed up with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds (both were members of the ’80s band The Deele) and established himself as a chart-busting songwriter and producer. In 1989 Reid and Edmonds launched LaFace Records, which produced hits for megastars Bobby Brown, TLC, and Toni Braxton. In 2000 Reid was tapped by BMG to head Arista, replacing the legendary Clive Davis. When he was appointed, Reid received intensive M.B.A. training in a 12-week advanced management program at Harvard Business School.

SYLVIA RHONE
Title: Chairman/CEO, Elektra Entertainment Group
Age: 50
Education: B.S., Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
Why She’s Powerful: Rhone oversees the operations of the Elektra Entertainment Group, which is the premier record label of the Warner Music Group.
Career Track: Rhone’s career in the music industry has spanned some 28 years. Prior to her tenure as chairman/CEO, she served as Elektra’s Northeast regional promotion manager of Special Markets as well as director of National Black Music Marketing. She has been vice president/general manager of Atlantic’s black music operation; senior vice president of Atlantic Records; and served as CEO of EastWest Records America, which under her direction became a part of the Elektra Entertainment Group.
Big Break: Rhone’s big break came in 1986 when she was selected to head Atlantic Records’ black music division.

NINA SHAW
Title: Founding Partner, Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka & Finkelstein
Age: 48
Education: Barnard College; J.D., Columbia Law School
Why She’s powerful: Entertainment superlawyer Nina Shaw once told BE, “You are only as important as your client list. If there is no demand for the people you represent then you have no influence at all.” Consider Shaw a power generator. The Columbia Law School graduate’s client list is a virtual who’s who of superstars: Actors Laurence Fishburne, Michael Clarke Duncan, and James Earl Jones; comedians Cedric The Entertainer and Jamie Foxx; and directors F. Gary Gray (Set It Off, The Negotiator) and Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou, The Caveman’s Valentine) are all represented by Shaw’s firm. The firm also represents behind-the-scenes movers and shakers from TV series such as The Parkers, One on One, and Half and Half, and films such as Love And Basketball

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