Celebrity Momagers

Celebrity Momagers
ESSENCE.COM Sep, 28, 2010

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At nine, Willow Smith is already an actress, singer and budding fashionista. And it’s all been with the help of mom, Jada Pinkett Smith. Though she hasn’t signed on the dotted line yet, Jada might as well add “momager” to her extensive resume.

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Usher’s mom Jonetta Patton began managing his career when he was 13, and negotiated a record a record deal for him at 14. Though she’s now retired from her “momager” duties, Usher still credits his mom with making him a superstar.

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She’s not technically a “momager” but designer Tina Knowles (together with ex-husband, Matthew Knowles) helped plan her daughter’s every strategic move. Sixteen Grammys later, we think the Knowles know what they’re doing.

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Known as a tough negotiator, Sonja Norwood has nurtured her children’s careers for almost two decades. “It’s always great to have a trustworthy member of your family involved in your career,” she said.

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Keke’s mother, Sharon Palmer, left her job as a teacher to help getter a better grip on her daughter’s budding career.

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Though he has worked with other managers in the past, Breezy’s mother, Joyce Hawkins, now co-manages his career.

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By the time Holly Robsinson got into show business, her mother Dolores Robinson, had already been in the talent business for 12 years. Dolores has also managed Wesley Snipes, Rosie Perez and Montel Williams.

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Ashanti’s mother, Tina Douglas, prefers to call herself a “momanger.” “I spell it the same way I pronounce it. It’s just mom and anger. If you mess with my kid you make me angry," she said. Douglas has managed her daughter’s career since she was 13.

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It was Hardison’s mom, legendary model agency owner Bethann Hardison, who helped this Brooklyn native land his now iconic role as “Dwayne Wayne” on “A Different World.”