For musicians, they’re mainly known for their greatest achievement, their music. But what happens when these musicians aren’t making music? They’re busy being entrepreneurs, and successful ones at!
Clothes, Production, Books & Alcohol
There are a TONS of musicians who have created clothing lines such as Pharrell William with the “Billionaire Bots Club” and a footwear line called “Ice Cream”. Jennifer Lopez launched a clothing line, accessory line, jewellery line, nine fragrance lines and a children’s clothing line. Other artists who also launched their own clothing lines are Madonna, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, and Diddy.
Many musicians are actually great producers. For example, Alicia Keys began her own production company and signed a deal to produce a sitcom for the CW network. Kanye West set up his own record label (GOOD Music). Some other musicians decided to start their own record companies or labels like Justin Timberlake, Dr. Dre, and Dexter Holland, the front man of the band The Offspring who started his own independent punk label.
Other famous musicians have written books like Victoria Beckham, Madonna, Pete Wentz, bassist for Fall Out Boy and many more. Others have gone down the alcoholic “startup” route such as Sammy Hagar from the hard rock band Montrose, who has his own tequila brand, Cavo Wabo Tequila, which eventually sold to Gruppo Campari for $80 million. Dave Muscatine, the co-founder of Megadeath, founded the Mustain’s Vineyard just two years ago.
However, two musician-entrepreneurs worth mentioning are Bono and the late David Bowie.
David Hewson (known as Bono), the lead vocalist of U2, has done quite a lot in the entrepreneur arena. Over 20 years ago, Bono and his bandmate, Edge, purchased the Colorado Hotel, a two-star hotel in Dublin.
Bono is also on the board of the Elevation Partners private-equity firm which invests in entertainment businesses such as Forbes magazine, and Facebook. Elevation Partners purchased a 1.5% stake in the social network for $210 million. Of course, its value is now much higher.
Aside from that, he also has his own clothing line and is a well-known political activist.
As I wrote in a previous post about Bowie two weeks ago, the amazing singer and entertainer we just recently lost, had his own Internet Service Provider in the late 90’s and was the first musician to release a downloadable song to the net.
Bowie also ran a website called ‘Bowieart.com’, a platform where art students can sell their works. Even though there are thousands of platforms like this nowadays, back in the early 2000s it was quite amazing and revolutionary.
As you can see, musicians crossing into other industries is normal and pretty common. In fact, it seems there is no way around this as most musicians are entrepreneurs in some form or another!