Former President, Black Music Universal Records
Jamie Foster Brown
Publisher & Owner of Sister 2 Sister Magazine
Being a secretary maybe fine for some, but for Jamie Foster Brown publisher and sole owner of Sister 2 Sister magazine, it was just a stepping-stone to bigger and more challenging opportunities. Along with the magazine, Jamie Brown is also the founder of The Sister 2 Sister Celebrity Update, a syndicated radio show. Like many entertainment industry pioneers who have broken new ground and won numerous accolades, Jamie Brown’s talent, tenacity and toughness have made her one of the most prominent African American women in entertainment journalism. Her monthly publication, Sister 2 Sister is regarded as a staple for entertainment industry insiders.
Often called the African American version of People magazine, Sister 2 Sister was launched in September 1988. Sister 2 Ssister magazine is known for providing sensational inside information on the latest happenings with African American celebrities such as Puffy, Russell Simmons, Tyra Banks, Halle Berry, Will Smith and many more. And, because of her high visibility in the entertainment world, Jamie Brown is frequently quoted by major radio station DJs and news organizations. Newsweek lists Jamie Foster Brown among the nation’s top “buzzmakers” along with such notables as Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O’Donnell.
As an extension of her magazine, Jamie Brown founded the syndicated radio show, “The Sister 2 Sister Celebrity Update.” The radio show contains a unique format where Jamie passes on “the scoop” about celebrities during the course of a telephone conversation with an insatiably curious girlfriend. The Sister 2 Sister Update is heard on 39 stations across the nation and has aired on the BBC in London, England.
Simon & Schuster recently released Ms Brown’s first book, Betty Shabazz: A Sisterfriends Tribute in Words and Pictures. In the book, Jamie Brown amassed some of America’s most prominent women, including Dr. Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Whitney Houston, Myrlie Evers-Williams and Dr. Dorothy Height, who in their very personal essays commemorate the life accomplishments of the late Dr. Shabazz.
Having appeared on national television programs such as 48 Hours, The Leeza Show, Sally Jessy Raphael, Entertainment Tonight and Hard Copy, Jamie Brown has received numerous accolades from her peers in recognition for her work, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Midwest Radio and Music Association, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Award for Outstanding African American Women and The Impact Super Summit Award, just to name a few.
Jamie Brown’s career in the entertainment business began in 1979 when she founded the Washington Theater Group (an entertainment service group focusing on theater group sales). Later, she worked for Black Entertainment Television (BET) as an advertising secretary to BET’s founder, Robert Johnson and was later promoted to producer of their flagship shows “Video Soul” and “Video LP.” Jamie Brown is a graduate of the University of Stockholm in Stockholm, Sweden. Originally from Chicago, she currently lives in Washington, DC with her husband, Dr. Lorenzo Brown an economist, and her two sons Randall and Russell.
Music Promoter, TV Personality & AIDS Activist
The oldest of six children, Maria always yearned for success. Growing up in the South Bronx, Mott Haven Projects, the foundation was laid to achieve her dream of being somebody.
Maria Davis’ persistence, warmth, out-going and humorous personality attracted the people who gave her a shot at her dreams. She began her professional modeling career at the age uncommon age of twenty-one in the early eighties–when black faces were rarely seen in magazines. With the help of Pat Evans Modeling Agency Maria became one of the premiere print and showroom models for various designers and major manufacturers. Further inspired by Harlem’s burgeoning entrepreneurial spirit, Maria relocated to Harlem, but it was her true love of Black music that led her to Harlem’s Record King Audio Music Store where she met several recording artists and music industry professionals. Here is where Maria found her professional calling. She abandoned her successful modeling career to pursue a profession in the entertainment industry. Knowing that she had to start at the bottom once again Maria simultaneously waited tables and tended bar at New York City hot spots like The Cellar Restaurant, Perk’s, Well’s and Sylvia’s, which were also frequented by celebrities, recording artists, athletes and music executives who would continue to inspire and guide her along her path.
Maria knew talent when she saw it and with the help of mentors became known as one of New York’s premiere promoters. With support from various record labels who provided her with new artists and her background in cinematography, she produced, directed and promoted her newly created music showcases M.A.D. Wednesday’s. The legendary M.A.D. Wednesday’s music showcases provided venues for signed and unsigned R&B and hip-hop artists and comedians who had no other performance options. Maria created an outlet for young people to express themselves artistically when community programs were being cut and young people had no where else to go to hone their skills. Even through financial difficulties her love for young people propelled her to continue to support and promote young talent because she knew that if they were at her showcases they weren’t on the streets and not getting into trouble.
In 1995 Maria’s life took a turn, she contracted the HIV virus. While in the hospital near death her spiritual calling was revealed to her. Maria knew that she had to devote her life to educating women, men and children about AIDS. For the first time Maria bore her soul about her personal crisis with AIDS in the book Souls of My Sisters, Black Women Break Their Silence, Tell Their Stories and Heal Their Spirits. Maria Davis is an AIDS activist who speaks to thousands of people every year about HIV / AIDS awareness. Volunteering her time at Harlem United, The Actor’s Fund, Gay Men’s Health Crisis and Life Beat, and The Music Industry Fights AIDS. Maria maintains that being grateful and giving to others is the only true way to fight HIV / AIDS.
As Maria strives to maintain her own health through holistic remedies and Western medicine she reinforces her motto, “If I leave this earth, right now today, I would want my tombstone and my legacy to read, Learn to love each other and remember the best part of life is that no matter how much anyone tries to darken your situation the light always shines through. Finally, to believe half of what you see and none of what you hear because your enemy today might turn out to be your angel tomorrow.”