Earnie Singleton – The Man Who Launched R&B

Earnie Singleton – The Man Who Launched R&B

He transformed Motown and put hip-hop on the cultural map.

In this episode of Shock to the System Coach Dan Gordon probes the mind of Ernie Singleton. A man who revolutionized Motown and put Hip Hop on the map! Ernie studied accounting at Southern University while working as a DJ at New Orleans’

Ernie Singleton is one of the most important people who built the foundation of black music in America. Every entrepreneur is faced with barriers. But Mr. Singleton had to push through racism, greed, and hate to fulfill his vision of giving black artists the success they were due. If you want to learn how to stay committed to a vision, Mr. Singleton is going to have the answers. 

From very modest beginnings, he was born to a construction worker and housekeeper in New Orleans and raised alongside- ready? 10 brothers and 2 sisters. Wow. 

Ernie studied accounting at Southern University while working as a DJ on New Orleans WBOK. Upon graduating, he couldn’t get a job in accounting & decided to return to his first love of music.

Ernie then moved from being a DJ to a record promoter for Fantasy Records, where he had record-breaking success in promoting their artists. Mercury Records got wind of Ernie, hired him on the spot, and gave him an extensive roster of Gold and Platinum R&B artists to promote. 

His reputation for success then landed him a job with Casablanca Records in 1977 at the height of the disco era, representing artists like Donna Summer, Cher, and the Village People. Love it.

1984, he was hired at MCA/Universal, where Ernie helped artists such as Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, and Mary J. Blige gain their foothold in fame. He also helped a young intern named Shawn Combs evolve into Puff Daddy and guided his career to become CEO of Bad Boy Records. 

Ernie was then lured away to Warner Brothers Records in 1987, where he worked with artists such as Prince and Madonna. There he singlehandedly reactivated their Reprise Records label and made it so successful Warner went from number seven in the industry to number one.

In 1990 MCA/Universal offered Ernie the coveted position of Head of their Urban Music Division. There he helped bring Hip-Hop to a mainstream consumer audience. 

Over the course of his career, Ernie Singleton helped cultivate heavy-hitting acts such as Patti LaBelle, Prince, Gladys Knight, Quincy Jones, and many, MANY others. With over 150 Gold and Platinum records to his credit, it is no surprise that he is widely referred to as “The man with the platinum touch!” 

Today he is the president and CEO of Singleton Entertainment, an entertainment consulting company, and has launched a podcast called “My Business Is Pleasure”


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