Photo Credit: Mike Barry
By: Taren Vaughan
When it comes to artists in the entertainment industry who can put together a hot track in the studio and be business savvy at all times, Jay-Z most definitely fits that description to a tee. After becoming part owner of pro basketball team the Brooklyn Nets and now getting his shot at becoming a certified baseball agent, a process that is in the works as we speak, Jay-Z has kept his business hat on extra tight with the launching of his new sports company Roc Nation Sports. Along with his attempt to tackle the sports industry, Jay is on a quest to start up a baby product line with his wife Beyonce under their daughter’s full name. Jay-Z has gotten his props over and over again from many of his peers and fans alike, with the exception of a few heated folks in the baseball industry, for trying to take things beyond the musical level. And his wife Beyonce herself is one who seems to take no days off as the superstar singer just started her highly anticipated world tour, is doing summer campaign ads with H&M and is getting ready to drop another studio album to her fans’ delight.
Jay-Z and Beyonce were named the highest paid celebrity couple of last year and now both Jay-Z and Beyonce have secured themselves a spot on the TIME‘s ’100 Most Influential People in the World’ list for 2013, Jay-Z landing on the front cover of the issue and falling in the “Titans” category. For each person on the list, a celebrity writer was chosen to write about each of them. And New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took on the job of sharing his thoughts on Jay-Z which was most fitting as Jay hails from NY.
Mayor Bloomberg writes on Jay-Z:
“[Jay-Z's] an artist-entrepreneur who stands at the center of culture and commerce in 21st century America, and his influence stretches across races, religions and regions. He’s never forgotten his roots — “Empire State of Mind” was a love song to our city — and as a co-owner of the NBA Nets, he helped bring a major league sports team back to Brooklyn, not far from his old neighborhood. In nearly everything he’s tried, he’s found success. (He even put a ring on Beyoncé.) And in doing so, he’s proved that the American Dream is alive and well.”
On Beyonce, who falls under the “Icons” category, Director Baz Luhrmann writes:
“She and Jay Z are the royal couple of culture, and she is the queen bee. She’s gone beyond being a popular singer, even beyond being a pop-cultural icon. When Beyoncé does an album, when Beyoncé sings a song, when Beyoncé does anything, it’s an event, and it’s broadly influential. Right now, she is the heir-apparent diva of the USA — the reigning national voice.”
First Lady Michelle Obama joins Beyonce in the “Icons” category. Dr. Maya Angelou writes on Mrs. Obama:
“She considers all children her responsibility: black or white, pretty or plain, all the children. The philosophers tell us that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Mrs. Obama is as if it doesn’t touch her. She hasn’t tried to become anybody else’s idea of the First Lady. She has remained herself, with her grace, her gentleness and her sense of humor. That she would dare to wear clothes off the rack. Or go out and garden. Or have a grandmother in the White House. She knows how to be a public creature without being separate from her family.”
As for her husband, President Barack Obama, he made the list under the “Leaders” category. And Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton writes of him:
“Today, they see a leader who delivers — whether it’s ending the war in Iraq, imposing crippling sanctions on Iran or reasserting our role as a Pacific power and building a world with more partners and fewer enemies. At home, the economy is growing, unemployment is falling, and home prices are rising. Now, President Obama is working to create broader prosperity at home and become more competitive abroad by investing in our people, modernizing our infrastructure, building a new energy future and managing our long-term fiscal challenges. That’s the course for a better future.”
Other musicians that made the list were Frank Ocean and Miguel who both have had a great year in music so far, Frank Ocean and Miguel both being listed in the “Artists” category.
Critic Douglas Wolk writes of Miguel:
“The survival of the black pop tradition isn’t just a matter of preserving its history — although Miguel does that too: the soul seducer’s Grammy-winning hit single “Adorn” ingeniously evokes Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” and “Let’s Get It On”. What has nourished that tradition over the past 70 years, though — what has kept it not just alive but thriving — is what makes Miguel’s recent music so special: constant innovation, formal daring, unexpected sources of inspiration, and emotional directness.”
R&B singer John Legend writes of Frank Ocean:
“How fitting that he released his “declaration” on Independence Day. I think Frank’s career will be defined by his fearlessness and his artistic freedom. He has the talent, the ability and the brilliance to have an impact for a long time. He will follow his muse wherever it goes — he’s not the kind of artist to adhere to everyone else’s schedule. That’s what makes him special.”
Check out the cover below: