You bob your head to their beats, pay to see the artists in concert and grew up on their musical influence. We love them for what they do behind-the-scenes of your favorite songs and artists.
They might not be in the spotlight of the music industry, but have shined off-stage with their talent. In celebration of Black Music Month, here are a few music moguls who have made a name for themselves in the background of the music industry.
As the brother of R&B singer Regina Belle, producer and songwriter Bernard Belle got his start as an R&B guitarist behind the group The Manhattans. After his beginnings, Belle went on to produce and write music with Teddy Riley in the mid to late 1980s, credited with co-writing Michael Jackson’s “Remember The Time” and soon became one of the production pioneers of the New Jack Swing music era of the 1990s, producing and writing for Al B. Sure, Whitney Houston, Patti Labelle and many others.
Although known presently for his professional and personal life with wife Tamar Braxton, sister of singer Toni Braxton, and reality show Tamar & Vince, Vincent Herbert has been in the music industry for quite some time. Known for managing top talents in the game (i.e. Lady Gaga, Mindless Behavior, Aaliyah and sister-in-law Toni Braxton), Vincent Herbert is a mogul who works closely with other record executives to manage the busy lives of infamous artists.
Writer and producer Sylvia Moy is known for her work primarily in the Motown era. As the first woman to write and produce at Motown Records in Detroit, Moy became synonymous with making the great Stevie Wonder a legend, sometimes credited with being responsible for the label keeping him as an artist on the Motown roster. As Stevie Wonder’s past writer and producer, Moy continued her songwriting and production career, even until this day in Detroit.
Catherine Brewton is known for helping to groom the careers and talents of notable artists The Neptunes, Kanye West and more. As the VP of Writer/Publisher Relations at BMI, Brewton has worked closely with various major label artists to expose new and upcoming talent in the singing and songwriting world.
Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins
You might have heard some of his production work in the works of Brittany Spears, Michael Jackson and all over Brandy’s past and recent projects. Known as “Darkchild,” Rodney Jerkins is a production mastermind. With self-made hits across the board in the gospel, R&B and hip-hop music industries, Darkchild is known for his very notable beats on chart-topping singles like “The Boy Is Mine” sung by Brandy and Monica and Michael Jackson’s “You Rock My World.”
Businesswoman and entrepreneur Carmen Murray is known for cultivating the talents of Melanie Fiona and more. As Founder and CEO of Title 9 Productions, LLC, Murray ensures the successful careers of up-and-coming and established musicians in the industry.
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
Icons in the music production and songwriting game, the duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis has been writing, producing and composing hit songs since the beginning of the 1980s. Known for their work with Janet Jackson, Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have produced over 15 singles that topped the Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, a significant milestone for any major producer.
In the PR sector of the music industry, Gwendolyn Quinn is known for representing some major artists, including The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Her work has spanned over 15 years and countless musicians to provide full-service marketing and publicity services to Queen Latifah, Diddy, the Isley Brothers and many others.
As the manager to popular artists today like Trey Songz and Ludacris, Kevin Liles is a mainstay in the artist management sector of the music industry. Various artists swear by his work and what he offers as a music executive, from Jay-Z to Kanye West. He became the president of Def Jam Records after working his way up as an intern in only nine years, and after discovering his passion for music after attending college for electrical engineering. Liles has been at the forefront of talent management ever since.
You’ve probably heard the tagline “Turn the Lights On” on some of your favorite songs by Usher, Trey Songz, Kelly Rowland and more and wondered about it. That is where music producer Rico Love makes his mark on the song. You might not have heard of him, but you surely have heard some of the hit singles he has produced, from “Hey (Daddy’s Home)” by Usher to Beyonce’s “Sweet Dreams” which earned him a Grammy in 2009.
Source: Madame Noire