after, Avant purchased KAGB-FM, becoming one of the first blacks to own an FM radio station. In the ’80s, he launched Tabu Records.
Big Break: The North Carolina native began his career 36 years ago, managing the careers of notables such as jazz organist Jimmy Smith and composer Lalo Schifrin.
Title: President of Production, Jim Henson Pictures
Education: B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz
Why She’s Powerful: Allain is in charge of The Muppets. Don’t laugh, The Muppets represent a multibillion-dollar franchise. As the president of production for Jim Henson Pictures, a joint venture between Jim Henson Productions and Sony Pictures Entertainment, Allain is calling the shots in development and production of 10 to 15 films over the next five years.
Career Track: The New Orleans native got her start in motion pictures as a story analyst for Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox, and Creative Artists Agency. She is credited with bringing John Singleton to Columbia (Boyz N the Hood, Poetic Justice, and Higher Learning collectively grossed $123 million). In 1996 she moved to the Jim Henson Company and, among other projects, served as executive producer of the 1999 hit Muppets From Space, which grossed $127 million.
Big Break: Becoming a story analyst for major motion picture houses.
STEPHEN D. BARNES
Title: Partner, Bloom, Hergott, Diemer & Cook
Education: B.A., University of Southern California; J.D., Harvard Law
Why He’s Powerful: As a partner in the prominent entertainment law firm Bloom, Hergott, Diemer & Cook, Barnes’ clients include, among others, Babyface, Snoop Dogg, and Chris Rock. He sits on the board of a number of charitable and nonprofit organizations, including a national scholarship competition for law students, and holds a conference during Grammy week for members of the Recording Academy and students.
Career Track: In 1989, Barnes accepted a partnership with Bloom, Hergott, Diemer & Cook. He gives frequent lectures at law schools and universities.
Big Break: Upon graduating from Harvard, Barnes began his career in entertainment law when he formed a firm, Nelson, Barnes & Sheehan, with two other young lawyers.
Title: Senior Vice President, Drama Development and Current Programming, Universal Television
Education: B.S., Business University of Southern California; J.D., University of Southern California
Why He’s Powerful: His duties include developing projects and shepherding Universal’s new slate of dramas for the upcoming season, including American Dreams, Robbery Homicide Division, and Mister Sterling. Beverly also oversees the current series The Agency and The District, which air on CBS.
Career Track: After working for three years in the business and legal affairs department of Warner Chappell Music, Beverly joined Sony Pictures Entertainment. At Sony, Beverly worked on the desk of Chairman/CEO Peter Guber, where he was exposed to the areas of marketing, distribution, and production. While in law school, Beverly began working for the president of Columbia Tri-Star Television and upon graduation was promoted to manager of drama development. Prior to working for Universal Television, Beverly was responsible for the development of several NBC series.
Title: Vice President,Urban Contemporary Music, International Creative Management (ICM)
Education: B.A., Southern Illinois University
Why He’s Powerful: Cheatham