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If you think album sales, tours and promotional deals are the only ways celebrities make their millions, then you are still living in the 20th century. In today’s bustling market, there are various products, companies and start ups itching for investors. And that’s where celebrities come in, investing, in some cases, big money in order to get a big return on growing businesses they believe in.
Or you have celebs like Drew Barrymore who launch their own companies. Barrymore might not be making movies at the same pace she was before, but she’s got Flower Films (with Jimmy Fallon’s wife Nancy Juvonen) and Flower makeup brand, sold at Walmart.
Here are a few leading celebrity investors and their multi-million dollar investment deals.
With Chris Lighty’s Wife In Position To Obtain His Estate, 50 Cent Pays For An Investigation Into His Death
It has been almost a month since Chris Lighty passed away from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound after an argument with his wife. Although it was ruled a suicide, we know from previous reports that his family wasn’t too confident in the ruling. Mostly because of the fact that they didn’t believe he would ever get to the point where he found that taking his life was the only choice he had left. And especially since he left his children behind to do so. Because of that, Lighty’s mother and family decided to reach out to 50 Cent of all people to help them get some answers. Lighty was 50’s business manager and good friend. The rapper spoke with Fox 5 in NYC about why he got involved and his fond memories of Lighty. He said that if the tables were turned and something like this had happened to him, Lighty would do the same for him. So yes, he has his doubts.
“To be honest with you, there was too much planning to move forward to accept right away that he just shot himself.” To be specific, the two had just signed a contract to do an international tour in 2013 that would have easily pulled Lighty a cool $4 million, so to the rapper doesn’t believe that even with divorce proceeding and debts he owed, that Lighty was THAT strapped for cash. These feelings were the same that the late manager’s mother had, and she brought them to 50 for help, so he offered to pay for an investigation. “I couldn’t tell her no,” he said. “At that point she kind of needed closure and there were so many gray areas and conversations they discussed that surprised me.”
If that wasn’t enough, Lighty’s will also has the family confused. Why? Well, because aside from a $1.6 million trust for his children, everything else the manager owned, including homes and more, was left to his wife, Veronica Lighty (who was soon to be his ex-wife before he passed). The will was put together in 2007, so some are thinking that if he planned to take his life, he would have amended the will.
Before the interview ended, 50 Cent made it clear that he wouldn’t be where he is now without Lighty. From endorsements with Vitamin Water to just helping him get his career off the ground, Lighty was there from day one in 50’s career. “He’s been a part of everything I can make reference to as successful for me. For music, period.”
Investigators are on the case for Lighty’s mother and 50 says he will back the effort until they can obtain conclusive evidence.
What do you think about his family seeking an investigation into Lighty’s death? Could you see where they’re coming from?
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By Brittany Hutson
What do you define as a “cool” company? Are there brands that you just can not imagine doing without? Are there companies that you are proud to support and spend your hard earned money on simply because they “get” you?
According to Marc Gobe, Chairman and CEO of Emotional Branding Alliance, marketing and branding is not the same as it once was. These days, leading brands are ones that have successfully established a “powerful emotional connection between their vision and people’s expectations.”
Additionally, DeeDee Gordon, president of Innovation at Sterling Brands says companies that are successful have a “deep understanding of what’s happening in the culture and infuse these ideas into their businesses. Many of them invest heavily and continuously in innovation [and] are always thinking about how to update and develop new products,” she said.
With the assistance of Gobe and Gordon, we selected 7 companies that are considered “cool” not only for their ability to inspire, influence and engage with consumers, but also for their willingness to be creative and innovative. Not to mention, these companies also provide work environments that encourage diversity, creative thinking, and have a positive impact on society.
It may sound silly, but there are numerous people who couldn’t imagine life without Apple. Says Gobe, “Apple’s innovation strength is in its ability to create products that serve as media platforms for fun, enrichment and enablement.” Of course, Apple is not only innovative when it comes to their technologies and products, but also in how they market for retail. According to ICSC, currently, Apple is the most successful brand in retail with in-store sales productivity that far exceeds any other retailer.
Hip-hop artists continue to break records when it comes to business dealings. Although it’s no longer a rare occurrence to see a rapper land a multi-million dollar endorsement deal, it’s still fascinating to see how well these brandmakers have infiltrated the mainstream and have become the go-to sources to help hawk and sell products. Not to mention, rappers have become an inspiration for African-American entrepreneurship, having become owners of their music and business offshoots like fashion labels. Here’s a list of some of the biggest deals that have helped to enrich the bank accounts of the biggest names in the rap game.
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson boldly thanked Vitamin Water during a televised performance a few years ago. That’s probably because his deal with the company turned into one of the biggest in hip hop history. In May 2007, Coca-Cola bought Vitamin Water for $4.1 billion. Timing is everything, as 50 cent had recently bought into the bottled water company. After the sale, business experts estimated his take from that sale, after taxes, was about $100 million.