In the dynamic world of entertainment and sports, it's common for artists to extend their reach far beyond their craft. Beyond the stage, many performers have ventured into the thrilling world of high-stakes sports ownership, diversifying their portfolios in unique and often surprising ways.
From Grammy-winning musicians to rap royalty, the intersection of celebrity and sports ownership has led to intriguing collaborations and unexpected alliances. Keep scrolling to delve into the stories of artists who have boldly gained sports ownership and continually carve out a space for Black excellence.
When the Cleveland Cavaliers clinched the NBA Championship in 2016, spectators were left pondering why the hitmaker was so enthralled, particularly because of his Atlanta roots. However, it turns out that the eight-time Grammy award-winner has a significant stake in the Cavaliers.
According to Forbes, in 2005, the "U Got It Bad" crooner invested $9 million in the Cavs. This investment coincided with the period when the renowned owner, Dan Gilbert, was in the process of acquiring the franchise.
In 2022, the Cavs franchise was valued at just over $1.6 billion. This unexpected connection between Usher and the Cavaliers is a testament to the diverse world of sports ownership.
In 2004, Nelly (real name Cornell Haynes Jr.) entered the sports team ownership arena, becoming a minority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats (now the Hornets). The financial details and stake percentage of the deal remain undisclosed. However, the rhymer once shared his excitement with ESPN, stating, "Being an NBA owner is one of my greatest achievements. Partnering with Bob Johnson in the first-ever minority-owned pro sports franchise is an incredible opportunity."
In 2006, when the WNBA introduced its 14th team, the Chicago Sky, Michelle Williams (an Illinois native herself) became a minority owner. While the weight of her investment is unclear, the team is the second most lucrative squad in the league — on the heels of the Seattle Storm — valued at $85 million.
"I'm thrilled to be part of the WNBA's expansion into my hometown with the Chicago Sky," Williams said at the time. "It's a dynamic organization that empowers girls and women, and I can't wait to support them at games."
The rapper and music mogul was once involved in the ownership of the Brooklyn Nets. However, he was required to fork over his ownership after founding the Roc Nation Sports agency. According to the NBA, agents cannot hold ownership stakes in teams.
“NBA rules stipulate that I relinquish my ownership in the Brooklyn Nets,” he previously said in an open letter posted on LifeandTimes.com. “It was a tough decision, but as I stated earlier, it’s not about ownership.”
The North Carolina native and Grammy-winning rapper recently made headlines when it was announced he'd become a minority owner of the Charlotte Hornets — along with country singer-songwriter Eric Church. The news came on the heels of Michael Jordan's announcement he was selling the franchise, which he owned for 13 years.
The move was a natural fit for the former Fayetteville baller who, after earning an academic scholarship to St. John's, tried out for the college team and snagged a spot as a walk-on.
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