CURTIS “50 CENT” JACKSON
What began as music chart dominance for the rap music phenomenon Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, has quickly transformed to success in corporate America. 50 Cent is a multi-tiered business mogul to be reckoned with. Recognized as one of the most talented and prolific music artists of his time, 50 Cent has managed to leverage his star power into record breaking brand extensions encompassing a broad spectrum of businesses including music ownership, artist management, film production, footwear and apparel, fragrance, video games, publishing, headphones and health drinks and supplements. With annual sales quickly approaching $300 million from a variety of business interest along with numerous business endeavors on the horizon, 50 Cent has cemented his position in the industry as both a business and entertainment powerhouse.
50 Cent exploded on the music scene in 2003 and has been rewriting hip hop history ever since. Get Rich or DieTryin’, his debut album, made history when it sold 872,000 copies, breaking the record for first week sales of any major label debut in the entire SoundScan era. It was a #1 Billboard album for six weeks and was certified platinum 9-times by the Recording Industry Association of America. To date, 50 Cent has sold more than 22 million albums worldwide and has received numerous awards and 13 Grammy nominations throughout his career. The release of his third album, Curtis, released in September 2007, dominated the album charts selling over one million copies worldwide and garnered two Grammy nominations for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Solo Performance. In November 2009, 50 Cent released his fourth studio album, Before I Self Destruct,which received wide critical acclaim. On August 25, 2014, 50 Cent and the recently reunited G-Unit surprised fans releasing “The Beauty of Independence” EP at midnight and on March 3, 2015 they released “The Beast is G-Unit” EP. In June 2014, 50 Cent debuted his fifth studio album, Animal Ambition and currently, is gearing up for his next studio album Street King Immortal which includes several featured guests including Eminem and Chris Brown.
The enormous success of his music career paved the way for 50 Cent the rapper to become 50 Cent the record company executive. As CEO of G-Unit Records, 50 Cent oversees a stellar roster of music artists including Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks among others, many of which have garnered multi-platinum status under his aegis.
In 2005, Jackson founded the production company, G-Unit Films and Television, producing a wide variety of content across various platforms.
In a little over 18 months Jackson has sold projects to six different networks. Among these is “Power”, a STARZ drama in which he not only co-stars but also serves as co-creator and executive producer. “Power” debuted in June 2014 and was renewed for a second season, premiering June 6, 2015, after only one episode. “Power’s” August 2nd season finale had the highest ratings through the season, more than doubling the premiere and it generated the largest concentration (71%) of African-American viewers of any scripted premium series since 2006. Jackson also serves as executive producer of the critically acclaimed series “Dream School” for SundanceTV.
Nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in its first season, “Dream School”, had its second season air in fall 2014.
In 2005, Jackson made his feature film debut with the Paramount Pictures film, “Get Rich or Die Tryin,’” a loose biographic picture which chronicled his life growing up in poverty surrounded by negative influences on the streets of Queens, NY, as he rose to stardom as a rap star. Jackson continues to expand his film repertoire and has appeared in the Golden Globe nominated war drama, “Home of The Brave”, “Righteous Kill” starring Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, and “Streets of Blood” with Val Kilmer and Sharon Stone. In 2009, he released “Before I Self Destruct”, a film he directed, starred in, and executive produced inspired by the album of the same name. In the same year he founded Cheetah Vision, a film production company. In 2010, Jackson appeared alongside Chace Crawford in the Joel Schumacher film, “Twelve,” which garnered great reviews for his performance. Jackson produced and starred in the projects “Gun” and “All Things Fall Apart” in 2012 by Imagine Entertainment. Jackson continues to make a name for himself in Hollywood and was featured in films including: “Frozen Ground” with Nicolas Cage and John Cusack, “Escape Plan” starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Freelancers” with Robert DeNiro and Forest Whitaker and “The Prince” with Bruce Willis and John Cusack. He filmed “Spy” with Melissa McCarthy and Jude Law, and also co-stars in the Antoine Fuqua directed boxing drama, “Southpaw,” along with Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker and Rachel McAdams coming out July 24, 2015.
FASHION / FRAGRANCE
The segue from music to the fashion industry was a natural brand extension for 50 Cent as his personal style was constantly emulated by his fans and has been known to resonate with the masses. Armed with a relentless entrepreneurial spirit and dove tailed with an innate sense of style, 50 Cent joined forces with Reebok to create G-Unit Footwear Collection by RBK in 2004. To date, the collection has generated sales in excess of $70 million and has become an integral component of Reebok’s worldwide sales growth, as well as a central part in their promotional and advertising efforts, in which 50 Cent took part.
Following the successful launch of his signature sneaker, 50 Cent launched G. Unit Apparel by Ecko Unlimited, a joint venture deal with urban fashion designer Mark Ecko. The collection which includes denim, t-shirts, sweaters, and outerwear generates more than $100 million at retail.
50 Cent entered the luxurious fragrance category launching his premiere fragrance, Power by Fifty Cent, which was sold exclusively at Macys nationwide.
In 2014 along with Derek Jeter, Carmelo Anthony and Timbaland, 50 Cent became a partner in FRIGO® by RevolutionWear, a game changing collection of men’s undergarments.
50 Cent joined forces with Vivendi Universal, the leader in interactive games, to create 50 Cent: Bulletproof, an action-packed game featuring 50 Cent as the lead character, and members of the G-Unit Records artist roster as cohorts in the fight against crime. The popularity of the game made it the most successful video game in the Vivendi Universal catalogue selling over one million units. The highly anticipated sequel, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, which was released in 2009, received wide critical and commercial acclaim.
Following the success of his New York Times bestselling autobiography, From Pieces to Weight, 50 Cent decided to expand his publishing empire. In an unprecedented deal with MTV Books, he established G-Unit Books to create street fiction – gritty, true-to life stories told in the form of hip hop novellas. In January 2007, G-Unit Books released three titles written by some of the most prolific writers in the genre, Nikki Turner, Noire and K. Elliott with titles such as Baby Brother, Death Before Dishonor and The Ski Mask Way.This past summer, G-Unit Books simultaneously released Harlem Heat, Blow and Derelict which brought together 50 Cent with novelists K’wan, Relentless Aaron and Mark Anthony. In September 2009, 50 Cent debuted The 50th Law, a groundbreaking collaboration with bestselling author Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power) which made the New York Times Best Sellers list in its first week. Following the success of The 50thLaw, he released “Playground”, a semiautobiographical mediation on bullying for teens, which marked his first novel targeting young adults. In 2013 50 Cent parlayed his passion for staying fit and healthy into a book titled, Formula 50. Formula 50 is a six-week mind-body transformation plan that focuses on metabolic resistance training (MRT) and offers nutritional advice, while also helping readers develop the mental toughness and motivation to stick with the plan.
50 Cent is committed to a healthy and active lifestyle. In an unprecedented move in the industry, 50 Cent partnered with Glacéau, the leader in healthy beverages to create his signature drink, Formula 50, an all-natural low-calorie drink which provides all the nutrients necessary to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Not only was 50 Cent the name and face of Formula 50, his astute business acumen also led him to undertake an executive role as a company shareholder. Since the launch in 2004, Formula 50 has gained tremendous popularity among its core audience. With annual sales topping $120 million, Formula 50 is still one of the top 5 flavors in the vitaminwater profile.
The escalating success of his career has allowed 50 Cent to follow through with his dream of giving back to the community that has supported him over the years. In 2005, he established the G-Unity Foundation, which focuses on improving the quality of life for low income or underserved communities by supporting nonprofit organizations that concentrate on the academic enrichment of children and supporting after school activities. Since its inception, the foundation has created the G-Unity Scholarship Fund at Queensborough Community College in New York and issued thousands of dollars in grant money to various nonprofit organizations. In 2008, he partnered with legendary star, Bette Midler, to open the Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson Community Garden in Jamaica, Queens his childhood neighborhood. 50 Cent continues to expand his foundation through various philanthropic initiatives, which will continue to benefit his hometown of Queens, NY, and beyond.
In September 2011, he launched SK Energy, an energy shot with a built in charity component: every purchase of StreetKing provides a meal for a child in need around the world in partnership with the U.N World Food Programme. 50 Cent is committed to the fight against world hunger and has set a goal to provide one billion meals over the next five years. To date, SK Energy has provided 3.5 million meals in Africa.
Additionally, through a partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger relief charity, 50 Cent and SMS Audio are dedicated to helping provide 1 million meals a year to Feeding America on behalf of local food banks, with a portion of each US sale going towards to cause.
In late 2011, 50 Cent formed a consumer electronics company, SMS Audio. The company, which stands for studio mastered sound, manufactures high quality headphones and electronics. The company quickly grew under CEO 50 Cent and President Brian M. Nohe’s leadership and is now distributed in over 60 countries. A global audio headphone and accessories brand, SMS Audio is dedicated to improving the way people around the world experience music by combining technology, function and style to bring a superior level of sound, durability and fashion to every product. SMS Audio includes Timbaland and Carmelo Anthony as two of its celebrity partners.
SMS Audio offers a full range of premium headphones, ear buds, and accessories designed to meet the needs of various consumer segments. The SMS Audio line includes both wired and wireless headphone options, as well as a Sport line of sweat-resistant models in addition to the officially licensed StarWars-branded on-ear headphones.
In August 2014, SMS Audio together with Intel Corporation announced a collaboration to develop the first heart-pounding personal audio system. Now available, the BioSport In-Ear Headphones integrate biometric sensors in a custom heart rate monitor in-ear headphone to collect fitness data and help achieve one’s peak physical performance.
In March 2015, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts entered into a multi-year strategic alliance naming SMS Audio the official headphones of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California.
In 2012, 50 Cent launched SMS Promotions, with the idea that he would be able to bridge the gap between entertainment and boxing. He currently has 12 fighters signed to his roster including Junior Middle Weight Contender James Kirkland and Light Weight Contender Yuriokis Gamboa.