Mother’s Day Playlist: 12 Artists Who Have Their Momagers To Thank
Not to send you into a panic, but Mother’s Day is approaching. And while, yes, that means paying our respects to the hard working matriarchs who made us eat our vegetables and put up with our bratty teenage years, we’re shaking things up a bit by turning the spotlight on “momagers.” No, we’re not talking about that frightful Toddlers & Tiaras stage mom style of management. These artists were lucky enough to have been groomed by their business-savvy moms, who applied the perfect mix of strategy and tender love & care.
Though momagers give some record labels the jitters, it usually works in the artist’s favor to have a nurturing family member with a vested interest in overseeing the ins and outs of everything from bookings to finance. And let’s face it — who wants to see you win more than Mom?
Flip through to see our wicked playlist of artists whose devoted momagers molded their careers.
WHO: Usher MOM: Jonetta Patton WORKING RELATIONSHIP: Jonetta Patton has been the guiding light of her son’s career since he was the age of 10. It was under her management that the fledgling R&B singer skyrocketed to Grammy-winning status. Though the two have parted ways professionally, Usher never lets an achievement pass without crediting his mom for her hand in his success. KEY SONG: “Yeah!”
WHO: Justin Timberlake MOM: Lynn Bomar Harness WORKING RELATIONSHIP: It’s no secret that this pop hunk got his start on the immortalized talent show Star Search, and, subsequently, Mickey Mouse Club. But what many forget is that his mother Lynn was a key player in helping the boy band legend land his first big break. The two have an unbreakable bond, and Lynn even sits on his management bench to this day. KEY SONG: “Mirrors”
WHO: Justin Bieber MOM: Pattie Mallette WORKING RELATIONSHIP: Now that their relationship is on the mend, it’s worth noting that Pattie Mallet is perhaps the sole reason for Justin Beiber’s global pop domination. She had been grooming The Bieb’s talents since the tender age of 2, and catapulted him into viral success by uploading home videos of his impromptu performances which eventually caught the eye of talent exec Scooter Braun (his key agent to this day). KEY SONG: “Sorry”
WHO: Kanye West MOM: Donda West WORKING RELATIONSHIP: When you hear the name Donda West, it needs no explanation. The accomplished scholar, co-manager and mother to Kanye West had always embraced everything about her only child, from his unique fashion perspective to his headstrong pursuit of fame. Unfortunately, Donda passed away before seeing some his biggest dreams materialize. In reciprocation of her support, Kanye has tributed his fallen queen in devotions like “Hey Mama” and “Only One.” KEY SONG: “Hey Mama”
WHO: Miley Cyrus MOM: Tish Cyrus WORKING RELATIONSHIP: Tish Cyrus made some winning choices in her management of daughter Miley, connecting her with talent scouts that opened the door to Hannah Montana and subsequently helped her transition into the edgy pop princess we know today. KEY SONG: “Party In The U.S.A.”
WHO: Selena Gomez MOM: Mandy Teefey WORKING RELATIONSHIP: Selena booted mom Mandy from her management team right before taking her post-Disney career to higher (and sexier) heights. But Mandy is largely to thank for getting Selena’s acting career off the ground. The teen mom worked three jobs to place her starry-eyed daughter in pageants and make the trips to auditions. Mandy continued to wear the management hat until Selena turned 21. KEY SONG: “The Heart Wants What It Wants”
WHO: Christina Milian MOM: Carmen Milian WORKING RELATIONSHIP: Carmen Milian moved her entire family from New Jersey to Los Angeles to expedite daughter Christina’s entrance into the music business. Sadly, she was unceremoniously booted from her management position during an episode of Christina Milian’s reality TV show Christina Milian Turned Up. Thankfully, Carmen laid the groundwork for Christina to have stable career in all facets of entertainment. KEY SONG: “Dip It Low”
WHO: Waka Flocka MOM: Deb Antney WORKING RELATIONSHIP: Thanks to the good folks over at VH1’s Love & Hip Hop, the world has been introduced to Waka’s fearless, tell-it-like-it-is momager Deb Antney. Not only did Deb manage rapper Gucci Mane and nurture Nicki Minaj as an up-and-comer; her son had to prove his chops with the breakout banger “Hard In Da Paint” before she agreed to take him under her management wings. KEY SONG: “Hard In Da Paint”
WHO: Chris Brown MOM: Joyce Hawkins WORKING RELATIONSHIP: Chris Brown and his mama may have had humble beginnings in their hometown of Tappahannock, Virginia, but it was Joyce’s savvy business sense that transformed Breezy and his untapped potential into a hit-making machine. Aside from facilitating her son’s entrance in the music scene, Joyce has been Chris’s voice of reason and biggest cheerleader during his most controversial moments. KEY SONG: “Forever”
WHO: Brandy MOM: Sonja Norwood WORKING RELATIONSHIP: Sonja Norwood has been at the helm of her daughter’s career since Brandy could talk — not to mention belt out soulful notes grand enough to earn her the nickname “The Vocal Bible.” Sonja brokered the deal for Brandy’s first TV sitcom, Thea, and has been the heartbeat of the Brandy operation ever since. KEY SONG: “Have You Ever”
WHO: Debbie Gibson MOM: Diane Gibson WORKING RELATIONSHIP: 1980s pop star Debbie Gibson toured the dance club circuit with her momager Diane when her breakout hit “Only In My Dreams” was at its peak. This speaks to how tightly knit the mother-daughter duo were during Debbie’s streak of late ’80s radio smashes. KEY SONG: “Only In My Dreams”
WHO: Ashanti MOM: Tina Douglas WORKING RELATIONSHIP: Perhaps no one embraces the momaner title more proudly than Ashanti’s mom Tina Douglas. Despite the overbearing perception the public has of “stage moms,” Ashanti and Tina’s operation could not be a better-oiled machine. In an interview with Meredith Vieira, Ashanti revealed that having a mom as a manager turned out to be a benefit, given the cutthroat nature of show business where budding acts never quite know who they can trust. KEY SONG: “Foolish”
Did we miss any artists who have or had a momager? Let us know below…and Happy Mother’s Day!