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Dash, Damon  

Peter Carr Jones

music, fashion, and movie industry entrepreneur. The former co-owner of Roc-A-Fella Records with Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Kareem “Biggs” Burke, Damon Dash cross-promoted several products within a single brand, Roc-A-Fella. He ran the corporate side of Roc-A-Fella, especially the fashion and movie production divisions, until being bought out in 2004.

Dash was born in East Harlem, New York, to a lower-middle class, single-parent family. He earned scholarships to several prestigious private schools, though each expelled him. His mother died when Dash was only fifteen, but he continued his education until the twelfth grade, and got his GED in 1988. After this, he ran a small party promotion company, Dash Entertainment.

In 1994 he met Jay-Z and became his manager. When the established record companies passed on Jay-Z's original album, Reasonable Doubt, Dash, Jay-Z, and silent partner Burke formed Roc-A-Fella in 1996 Def Jam Records ...

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India.Arie  

Adele N. Nichols

singer, musician, producer, and philanthropist, was born India Arie Simpson in Denver, Colorado, to Ralph Simpson, at that time a basketball player for the Denver Nuggets, and Joyce Simpson, a stylist and fashion designer known as “Simpson.” Simpson's parents named her India because her expected arrival date coincided with Mohandas K. Gandhi's birthday, while Arie means “lion” in Hebrew. From a very young age, she sang at church and home and played the recorder, tenor saxophone, and other wind instruments at school. After Simpson's parents divorced in the mid-1980s, India and her younger siblings, J’On and Kamsai, moved with their mother to Atlanta, Georgia.

After Simpson finished high school in Atlanta in the early 1990s she returned to Denver to attend college but she soon moved back to Georgia after getting a scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design SCAD ...

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Toussaint, Allen  

Sean Elias

pianist, singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, community activist, and philanthropist, was born in “Gert Town” (also referenced as “Gehrke” and “Goit” Town), a small African American neighborhood enclave on the west side of New Orleans, Louisiana, to Naomi Neville. By age seven, Toussaint began to play the piano—an instrument perfectly suited for his future career as a composer and songwriter of different musical genres. His grandmother had purchased the piano for his sister, Joyce, so she could learn classical music. While his older brother Vincent played guitar Toussaint took piano lessons from his sister He also entered Xavier University s Junior School of Music for a short while He combined his formal musical training with the ability to learn songs by ear a skill acquired through listening to and learning songs on the radio During his preteen years Toussaint was exposed to ...