PARENTS ON PAYROLL: Celebrity is a Family Business for Jessica, Usher and Others
By Emily Feimster
It's no secret that celebrities make a mint when it comes to entertaining the world. However, keeping these kinds of careers afloat requires quite a bit of manpower so who are the stars turning to when looking for trustworthy employees? Well, they certainly don't have to look too far. From parents on the payroll to siblings shaking their booties, who better to hire than your very own family?
It wasn't so long ago when Jessica Simpson was living a normal life in Texas with her mother, Tina, working as a Sunday-school teacher and father, Joe, a Baptist youth minister. However, when they became convinced of Jessica's talent, mom turned into her full-time stylist and dad gave up his job to become her manager. In fact, he's the mastermind who approached MTV about doing "Newlyweds" when Jessica's career was in a slump. Both parents are even busier now working with daughter Ashlee. It's turned into a nice career move for Joe, having just inked a deal for a label joint venture with Geffen Records and also representing the up-and-coming Ryan Cabrera. Now, if someone could just explain why Joe wears that silly diamond earring? You're too old for that, man!
Another mom and dad duo blown away by their daughter's talent was Matthew and Tina Knowles, better known to some as the parents of the ultra-famous Beyonce. When she was just 12, her father gave up his steady job as a successful Xerox salesman to manage and hone the skills of the now-grown-up Destiny's Child. Mom made her own mark as the clothing designer/stylist for the sexy trio. Not to leave anyone out, Beyonce eventually hired her younger sister Solange as a back up dancer.
R&B's hottest singer, Usher
, has his mom, Jonetta Patton, to thank when it comes to his ultra-successful career. As the youth choir director, not only did she help inspire his love of music but she became his manager when he went on the road. Usher considers her to be number one in his life and has said, "My mother is a friend over a manager. She's always been there for me?She did whatever it took." But according to an MTV interview with Patton, it hasn't always been easy. "I can say being the mother and the manager has been really difficult. When we have our biggest problem a lot of times is because he is a perfectionist, and sometimes things don't meet up to his expectations. When he was younger it was easier, but now he's older, it's a whole lot different." Yeah, especially since spanking him is no longer an option.
To no surprise, many of today's younger stars are also putting the fate of their careers in the hands of their parents. Upon breaking ties with famed music producer Jermaine Dupri, it seems like Bow Wow's mom, Teresa Caldwell, has taken up the slack, acting as his manager and stylist - not to mention that he also has a cousin and an aunt on the payroll.
Lindsay Lohan's mom, Dina, helps manage her daughter's career as does Frankie Muniz's mother, Denise. Most of these moms tend to stay out of the spotlight but that's not the case for some. Hilary Duff's producer mother, Susan, has made many a tabloid with her overprotective antics when dealing with her daughter's career. Just ask the folks at Disney! However, it's Hilary's ex, Aaron Carter, who ran amok earlier this year firing his co-manager mom and ordering an audit during his parents' messy split. His father remained on the management team. Aaron eventually dropped the allegations against his mother and the family had reportedly reached an agreement to work things out. Well, until the mother decided to drag the father's girlfriend outside by her hair but that's a whole other story!
It's not just the parents who are getting in on the action. Britney Spears' brother Bryan has been a part of her management team for years but Sharon Osbourne takes the cake having managed her husband's career for almost three decades. She started off as a receptionist at her father's management company where Ozzy was represented but it wasn't long before she was convinced that he had a future as a solo superstar. She asked her father if she could become Ozzy's manager but he refused, and so she had to buy out Ozzy's management contract for approximately $1.5 million. Now that will certainly put a damper in family relations. Sharon has since gone on to manage other bands.
As you can see, many of these family members have made great sacrifices to help get their loved ones into the spotlight so it only seems fair that they too get to enjoy the reward of making a mega salary. So if you'll excuse me, I think I've got a 13-year-old cousin who sings and I suddenly feel the urge to contact her.