Starz has ordered a third season of drama “Power,” on the heels of the show’s record-setting season-two premiere on Saturday. The June 6 premiere set a new Starz benchmark as the most-watched episode of an original series in the pay cabler’s history. In live ratings the episode brought in 1.43 million viewers, a tally that rose to 3.62 million in the live-plus-same-day ratings.
Starz has ordered 10 episodes for season three.
The CBS Television Studios drama stars Omari Hardwick as a drug lord who lives a double life as a chic nightclub owner. Courtney Kemp Agboh is executive producer and showrunner along with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Mark Canton, Randall Emmett and Gary Lennon.
“I am thrilled to learn that season three of ‘Power’ has been officially ordered by Starz. It is an honor to work with Chris Albrecht, Carmi Zlotnik, Ken Segna and the whole Starz team. Their support has been steadfast from the beginning, and I look forward to a bright future together,” Agboh said.
“’Power’ is a project I have been passionate about since day one,” added executive producer and co-star Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. “I am glad the audience loves the show as much as we do, and we are just getting started.”
Last May, shortly after word began to spread that Dr. Dre had sold his eponymous headphone line to Apple, the superproducer made a proclamation: rap’s first billionaire was about to be crowned, and he hailed from Los Angeles.
“The first billionaire in hip-hop, right here on the [expletive] West Coast,” exclaimed Dre in a video clip that went viral almost instantly. But the deal, whose value was initially reported at $3.2 billion, ended up at an even $3 billion in cash. After taxes, Dre’s 25% stake left him with a $500 million windfall–$100 million more than FORBES estimated his stake to be worth last April–and a net worth of $700 million.
Amazingly enough, Dre is not the richest man in hip-hop; that honor goes to Diddy, who clocks in at $735 million. The news may come as a surprise to many, but while Dre’s wealth derived from a single jackpot idea, Diddy’s is the product of his interests in a slew of companies, a handful of which could one day give him a Beats-esque exit.
Diddy has a deal with Diageo’s Ciroc vodka that guarantees him a split of the proceeds if the brand is ever sold, an event that would surely land him a nine-figure check. He also owns a controlling stake, or close to it, in clothing lines Sean John and Enyce, alkaline water brand Aquahydrate, new tequila DeLeon and multimedia network Revolt. Diddy founded the latter as a sort of next generation MTV with a renewed focus on music.
“Revolt got built out of the frustration Sean was having with music media being able to get his albums out there,” says Revolt chief executive Keith Clinkscales. “Sean has been aggressive in being sure that we put the power of the platform in the hands of musicians to be able to create with fans in their authentic voice.”
2015 Top 5 Hip-Hop Artists By Wealth:
Diddy $730 Million
Dr. Dre $700 Million
Jay Z $550 Million
50 Cent $155 Million
Birdman $150 Million
Diddy isn’t the only hip-hop mogul with that aim. Jay Z, who ranks third with a fortune of $550 million, purchased and relaunched Scandinavian streaming service Tidal this year with promises of creating an artist-owned Spotify competitor set apart by exclusive content.
Though the star-studded rollout struck some as tonedeaf—prompting a flurry of rich-getting-richer criticism, and perhaps a change in strategy for Jay Z—Tidal is still early in its life as a company, and may yet prove to be an increasingly valuable asset to Jay Z and to the whole industry.
“It’s alerting people that streaming is a viable option for them to listen to music,” says Jay Frank, chief of digital marketing outfit DigMark, of Tidal. “The more that we have positive conversations on that, the more opposition we have to grow the business.”
50 Cent and Birdman round out the list of five, with fortunes of $155 million and $150 million, respectively. The latter’s total dipped slightly due to uncertainty surrounding Cash Money Records, by far his biggest asset, which has been dogged by rumors of the departure of big acts including superstar Lil Wayne. Continue reading “The Forbes Five: Hip-Hop’s Wealthiest Artists in 2015”→
This week, Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, hosted a bi-coastal celebrity volunteer event. Harlem and LA Feeding America food banks are just two of the 200 food banks they have throughout the United States. In total, they help feed nearly 46 million people.
The East Coast Hope For The Holidays event went down at the Food Bank For New York City’s Community Kitchen & Pantry in Harlem. Celebrity guests began to flow in for their day of volunteering. 50 Cent, Andy Grammer, Karolina Kurkova, and Savannah Guthrie all ventured out into the brisk NYC morning to give back to the community.
Meanwhile, in L.A., Troian Bellisario, Jennie Garth and Anika Noni Rose all came out to rep the West Coast event. With one in six individuals struggling with food insecurity in the United States, it became apparent this is a cause that 50 Cent feels very passionately about. “A lot of the stuff I am involved in, people don’t actually know. I just go quietly about it,” he tells us about volunteering. “When I have time to do it, it’s cool. To be here and run into cool people who are not from my genre of music… that will create things we didn’t know about each other.”
Volunteering is such an awarding part of life, and a great way to connect with your community. But it can often become overwhelming on where to even begin. As for that, 50 Cent stated, “Look on FeedingAmerica.org and from there you can learn all about it. Around the holidays is always a great time to start.”
Dr. Dre tops Forbes list of highest-paid hip-hop acts with a total of $620 million earned this year. This is the most money ANY entertainer that has been evaluated by the magazine has earned in one calendar year.
What makes this even more incredible is that Dr. Dre alone made more than all 24 of the people combined on the 2014 list. Two second-place entries, both tied at $60 million, made 10% of what Andre “Dr. Dre” Young did. But, with that total, Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs won’t be cashing any unemployment checks any time soon.
Cash Money claims a large stake in the money game as well, with Drake in fourth place at $33 million, Birdman (Co-CEO of Cash Money) at No. 7 with $24 million, Lil Wayne a hair behind him with $23 million and Nicki Minaj, the only female artist on the list, at No. 11, with $14 million.
Chipmaker Intel and SMS Audio, the consumer electronics company founded by 50 Cent, are partnering to launch a pair of heart-rate-measuring headphones.
The SMS Audio BioSport In-Ear headphones have an optical light sensor in the earbuds that, combined with other sensors, infer the wearer’s heart rate during both intense exercise sessions and regular, continuous wear.
Unlike LG’s heart-rate monitoring earphones, the Intel-SMS earphones pull power from your smartphone’s audio jack, which means there’s no additional charging required. And rather than requiring the user to go through a proprietary app, these earphones integrate directly with popular app RunKeeper. The companies say there are likely more app integrations coming.
The BioSport In-Ear headphones will launch sometime in the last quarter of the year. Pricing has not been announced.
For SMS Audio, the partnership with tech giant Intel and the new product are part of an effort to gain traction in a crowded headphone market. NPD analyst Ben Arnold has said that, while the premium headphone market has grown 16 percent over the past year, SMS Audio’s dollar share has shrunk to less than one percent. The company’s headphones, which range in price from $70 to more than $200, have gotten mixed reviews.
Apparently 50 Cent’s new STARZ series, “Power,” was a major hit. After just one episode, the cable network has announced that the series will be renewed for a second season, Deadline reports.
The fast-moving drama debuted last weekend “with 462,000 Live+same day at 9 PM, 1.27 million for the three Saturday night airings and 2.022 million for the nine weekend runs on Saturday and Sunday.” In case you’ve been out of the loop for a bit, the 50 Cent-produced series is “set in two different worlds, the glamorous New York club scene and the brutal drug trade” and follows the story of Ghost St. Patrick, a drug dealer and businessman with dreams of going legit. Stars include “Being Mary Jane” actor Omari Hardwick, Naturi Naughton and Lela Loren.
“Tasha St. Patrick, she’s crazy,” Naturi recently described her character to Shadow and Act. “She really is Ghost’s sidekick, the other half of Bonnie and Clyde. She came up from the streets, grew up in Queens, and had a rough life. She had desires to be a singer but those desires got cut short because she was pregnant at 19 with Ghost’s child. He’s trying to choose between going legit and staying in the drug game, and she’s pretty much the woman who’s like look, we’ve built this empire together, I’ll ride with you to the end. She’ll throw the gun away, she’ll tell you how to dump the body. She’s an edgy character and not afraid to do whatever it takes to keep the family together.”
Starz’s highly anticipated new original series Power will debut on Saturday, June 7th at 9pm ET/PT. Ahead of that premiere, the network has released the season’s premiere episode online, as part of a multi-platform, nationwide sampling of the first episode.
From the press release:
Power is the first-ever television show to premiere on Twitter using the service’s new in-line video feature that enables one-touch playback. The new video experience is based on Twitter Cards, which extends user interactions beyond favoriting, retweeting and replying and makes it possible for people to do things like watch videos, download apps, or view articles and photos — all from within a Tweet. Select multi-channel video distributors will offer linear, on-demand and online sampling opportunities of the first episode beginning today, May 31, one week in advance of the TV series premiere next Saturday. Approximately 79 million multichannel video households will have access to the sampling opportunities through select cable, satellite and telco affiliates in the United States.
Rapper and mogul 50 Cent may have built his brand by carefully honing a tough guy image, but his recent actions demonstrate a complexity in his character, which is as charitable as he is creative.
“People always try and paint negative images about me[.] I’m the most genuine down to earth person and I didn’t forget where I came from,” the superstar performer and businessman recently wrote on his Facebook page.
50 Cent, born Curtis Jackson in Queens, NY, used the social media outlet to discuss his contribution to the funeral of D’aja Robinson, a fellow Queens native who was killed by a stray bullet on a city bus. He posted images of her funeral, held on Friday, on his Facebook page, and confirmed that he paid for the horse and carriage that carried the casket of slain 14-year-old.
“She was pretty, innocent and [didn’t] deserve to die like that,” 50 Cent wrote, according to New York’sDaily News. “R.I.P D’Asia Robinson.”
The softer side of 50 Cent
This softer side of 50 Cent might seem surprising, but it is an evolution that has been brewing for years. While the rapper has built a fortune through graphic songs, he has used a portion of his riches to fund important causes.
Jackson’s G-Unity foundation has been active for much of his career through giving grants to combat social issues. Most recently, when launching his Street King energy drink in 2011 (which has been rebranded as SK Energy), Jackson pledged to feed one billion people through a partnership to fight hunger with the United Nations.
The day before Robinson’s funeral, 50 Cent spent some time promoting SK Energy, and commented on the importance of giving within the context of business ventures.
“I had a strong desire to write this book because it is very important to me to help people make positive changes and take charge of their overall health. Formula 50 is a radical six week mind-body transformation plan geared to help readers develop mental toughness to achieve optimum results while offering a nutrition component.”
The book is scheduled to hit stores on Christmas Day.