Tag Archives Will Smith

Will Smith To Star As Father of Venus & Serena Williams In ‘King Richard’

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There’s a new film in the works and it will tell the story of the father of tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams. Will Smith will star in the film ‘King Richard’ as Richard Williams, based on a script by Zach Baylin.

According to Variety, it will center on Richard Williams overcoming tremendous hardship, skepticism, controversy, and his own troubled past to raise two of the greatest and most talented athletes. Despite having no tennis background, Williams drew up a 78-page plan for Venus and Serena’s professional tennis careers. He began giving them tennis lessons on public courts in Compton. The sisters would then go on to become tennis champions and arguably two of the best athletes in the game – with Serena winning twenty-three Grand Slam tournaments and Venus winning seven.

Will Smith is not only starring in ‘King Richard’ but will also be serving as a producer through his Overbrook Entertainment banner. You can catch him starring in ‘Aladdin’ for Disney, as well as on the set of a movie I’m super excited for, ‘Bad Boys For Life’.

Will And Jaden Smith’s Water Company ‘JUST’ To Donate Water To Flint Michigan Until Water Crisis Is Fixed

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Word on the street has been that Jaden Smith owns his own water company called JUST. The water company is actually owned by both ICON’S Will and Jaden and it is eco-friendly.

The company has vowed to donate water each month to Flint, Michigan schools until the city’s water is drinkable again. JUST has already donated over 9,000 bottles of water to flint. The fact that Flint still does not have water is mind-blowing, and the company was, even more, shook when they find out that it was still affecting public schools.

“This just makes sense for us to do,” Laufer told MLive. “After reading more about [Flint’s] challenges and the mayor objecting to pulling bottled water from the schools, we thought, ‘Let’s help these kids.’”

Will and Jaden Smith founded JUST back in 2015 in efforts to provide a green alternative to plastic bottles and to invest in communities. The bottles are 82 percent plant-based and they are in the process of having investments in Glen Falls, New York.

We are not seeing much change or progression when it comes to the water crisis. In 2017 the EPA awarded the city with 100 million dollars to replace the water pipes and this should be completed in 2020.

 

 

Black History Month Appreciation (Day 21): Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith

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As a talented actress, producer, and author, Jada Pinkett Smith has approached her career with such  grace, she’s captured the hearts of many fans and colleagues in the industry. While her partner in crime, Will Smith transitioned from a successful rapper in the 80s to a Hollywood A-lister. This is why, the dynamic duo has become part of our #LiveCivilBHM series today (February 21).

In 1997, Jada married the rapper-actor. Throughout the years, she earned the praise for writing the book Girls Hold Up The World, which landed her on the New York Time best seller list.

The Maryland native, continued her career with participation in the 2003’s The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions. Shortly after those roles, she was awarded the Interactive Achievement Award for “Outstanding Achievement in a Female Character Performance.”

However, after Will’s hip-hop success, the Grammy winner also dived into movies, and debuted for the first time in Six Degree of Separation. From there on, there was no looking back for this talented actor. Will appeared in several movies from Independence Day, I, Robot,  Ali, and many more,  where he proved his talent was here to stay.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett

And recently, after Jada vowed not to attend the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony due to the show’s lack of ethnically diverse nominees, the two-time Oscar nominee also vowed to do the same, as he stood right beside his queen.

In addition to their star-studed careers, they founded the “Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation,” where the benefit inner-city community development, youth educational projects and underprivileged children and their families.

At the end of the day, there’s no doubting that Will and Jada Pinckett Smith are unstoppable and have proven to be a true definition of a power couple.

Thank you, and Happy Black History Month!

Will Smith Honored By Dr. Bennet Omalu For His Work In ‘Concussion’

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Two weekends ago, the box office was treated to Will Smith’s latest film Concussion — a story based on the NFL and the head injuries that come with the sport.

Smith played the role of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the man who founded a disease called CTE, which is caused by traumatic hits to the head like those received in football. The movie got mixed reviews, but from Dr. Omalu’s perspective, Will Smith knocked it out of the park. As well as Variety, who awarded Smith with a Creative Impact Award at their Brunch in Palm Springs yesterday (January 3).

“He stole my soul from me. I came away from the film thinking Will Smith was me,” Dr. Omalu said. “There is a holiness to truth,” he added. “In stepping up he enlightened all of us.”

During his award acceptance speech, Smith admitted, “I am a football dad. So when I got that screenplay, I was concerned.” As far as why he went through with the role anyway, Smith noted, “Omalu just wanted to tell the truth and what we do is deliver the truth.”

Concussion is in theatres now.

will smith dr. bennet omalu variety

Photo by Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Donate $150K To ‘Justice or Else’ March

When Will and Jada Pinkett Smith believe in something, they do their best to support it in any way possible. The couple recently donated $150,000 to the ‘Justice or Else!‘ March that will take place early October in Washington, D.C.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the pivotal Million Man March and Minister Louis Farrakhan has called for extreme support in making this march another historical event. The event is expected to draw thousands of individuals to the National Mall to rally for the constant black lives that have been killed at the hands of police officers and other officials.

Minister Farrakhan has made a pledge to raise  $1.8 million and the Smith’s donation is a huge step in the right direction.

For more information about the march and to learn how you can get involved, visit the ‘Justice or Else’ official website.

Jada Pinkett Smith Is Honored At Black Girls Rock! And Gives Inspiring Speech To Women

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This weekend, some of the most beautiful, inspiring, and successful women in the industry were invited to the 2015 Black Girls Rock! celebration.

Along with those in attendance for the televised ceremonies,which included Michelle Obama, Estelle, as well as our very own Karen Civil, was Jada Pinkett Smith who received the Chevrolet Star Power Award.

Jada was presented the honor by her husband Will Smith, and gave an incredibly powerful speech about just how much women have accomplished.

Those honored for the rest of the evening also incorporated Cicely Tyson, who received the Living Legend Award, Ava DuVernay, who received the Shot Caller Award, Dr. Helene D. Gayle, whyo received the Social Humanitarian Award, Erykah Badu who received the Rock Star Award, and Nadia Lopez, who received the Change Agent Award.

The event was hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King, and included musical performances by Ciara, Jill Scott, Faith Evans, Fantasia, Sheila E., Lalah Hathawa and Erykah Badu.

Black Girls Rock! is a nonprofit organization committed to enriching girls through leadership, education, and positive identity. See the video of Bader TV‘s coverage below.

Updated!! All-Star Line-Up Confirmed For New Queen Latifah Show + Coming To A Daytime TV Slot Near You!

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***UPDATE***

The official lineup for the premiere week of Queen Latifah’s new talk show has finally been confirmed and we have it for you right here!

Oscar-nominee and Golden Globe-winner, John Travolta;
Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy Award-Winner, Jamie Foxx;
Oscar nominee and Golden Globe-winner, Sharon Stone;
Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal
Oscar & Golden Globe nominated actor, Grammy Award-winning musician and executive producer of The Queen Latifah ShowWill Smith.

Plus a few surprise others! Check out all the post below for all the info you’ll need on Queen’s new show!

 

 

Joining the new wave of talk show personalities on the air, Queen Latifah will be debuting her self-titled talk show in just a few short weeks, and frankly, we can’t wait!

With special guests such as Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, and Emelie Sande, it looks to be a great time with a personality we’re already so familiar and comfortable with. Queen Latifah goes live on September 16 via many of the major networks and you can see dates and times for airings in your area here! Check out another vid below and let us know if you’re as excited about this as we are!

How Steve Stoute Made It to the Top by Breaking the Rules

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In life there are people who are governed by rules, held prisoner by rules (or by the consequences of breaking them), and those who excel by making their own rules. Music executive and brand marketing guru, Steve Stoute, has definitely excelled by making his own rules and Ad Age agrees as he’s just been named their 2013 A-List Executive of the Year.

This particular story begins in the early 90’s during which Steve Stout served as the President of Urban Music at Sony Music Entertainment, and occupied the same title at Interscope Geffen A&M Records. It was during this time that Stoute worked with several legendary artists such as U2, Eve, Mariah Carey, Will Smith and even produced Eminem’s debut album, “The Slim Shady LP“. Being such a keyholder in the music industry and establishing strong, solid relationships with the best of the best, would soon serve Steve well in his transition into advertising and brand marketing.

Steve attributes the change in his way of thinking to seeing a spike in Ray Ban sales shortly after a particular style was worn by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in the original Men In Black movie. Where this seemed a small coincidence to everyone else, Steve recognized it as a market trait and capitalized on its potential. Realizing that people were beginning to pay profitable attention to celebrities, Steve used his wealth of connections within the music industry to bring about a change in the buyers market that would not only focus on pop culture, but use it to inspire and create itself in a way that created money for just about everybody. As the mastermind behind Justin Timberlake and McDonald’s amazing collaboration for “I’m lovin’ it…” and the short-lived, but highly successful Chris Brown and Doublemint gum relationship, Steve Stoute was approaching marketing and brand reimaging with a similar mind to how he approached music as an executive. By pairing plain American standards such as McDonald’s and Doublemint gum with artists who, at the time, were among the most relevant, he was able to successfully resuscitate brands that had become stagnant and silent in their omnipresence. And all of this is on the lower scale of his accomplishments.

From there Steve launched his own general marketing agency, Translation, which set out to reach the masses, indifferent to culturally specific marketing, and reaching the growing audience of individuals with similar thoughts and values regardless of their varying backgrounds. It was during this era in 2011 that Steve Stoute was inspired to write “The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy” where he laid out the hard fact that multiple cultures are the new general market.

It’s this way of thinking, this unorthodox approach, and not being afraid to try a different way to solve a problem, that has brought Steve Stoute textbook worthy success. He is a shining example of what exactly it means to think outside the box, even when that box precedes your life and your parents lives, is iron-clad in its way of thinking, and was established and run by innumerable faces that look nothing like you. His work alone speaks to the fact that if you’ve done your homework be strong in your convictions and use every resource you have strategically, because your fresh outlook, if successfully executed, will not only shine for you, but it will expand the playing field of whatever industry you’ve chosen to be a part of. And that’s something we at Live Civil can stand behind, leading with forward thinking!

Under The Radar: Fashion Icon Ozwald Boateng in “A Man’s Story”

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Ozwald Boateng is a fashion icon. Indisputably. Being the first black owner of a shop on London’s prestigious Savile Row, Ozwald has worked with innumerable celebrities and dignitaries including Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Laurence Fishburne and Jude Law, just to name a few. While enjoying the rise of his career, film director Varon Bonicos followed Ozwalds daily goings-on for 12 years, documenting the ins and outs, of the fashion world through the eyes of one of the UK’s premiere bespoke suit designers.

 

Over the course of their decade+ together, Bonicos amassed an astounding 600 hours of footage which he then bravely cut into a 98-minute documentary entitled A Man’s Story, which is currently showing in L.A. and New York. In this highly personal film you journey with Mr. Boateng through two divorces, the birth of his children, his amazing success and a great number of trials and triumphs both personally and professionally. A great film for fashion enthusiasts, but a story that just about everyone can take something away from.

Click here for more information about Ozwald Boateng’s work and the documentary is available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes.

Will Smith Reached Out To President Obama On T.I.’s Behalf

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While we were away momentarily, Billboard post their cover story with T.I., which proved to be quite the entertaining read. Tip’s putting the final preparations for his forthcoming project Trouble Man. The LP stands at a pivotal point in Clifford career, a point he even readily admits during his Q&A session. Aside from the actual music and what it’s been like attempting to get his career back on track following correctional facility derailments, T.I. revealed some rather unique information involving none other than Will Smith.

As it turns out, The Fresh Prince is a huge fan of The King; so much so he even attempted to get him freed from prison. From Billboard:

Through the years, you’ve mentioned different people being supportive of everything you’ve gone through, including Eminem. Who else has been there to help?
As you mentioned, of course, Em. He was extremely supportive and inspirational during that time. Busta Rhymes, Puffy, Lyor Cohen, Russell Simmons, Nelly, David Banner, Charlie Mack, Will Smith. Will actually went as far as getting in touch with [attorney general] Eric Holder and the Obama administration trying to see if we could get some kind of release. He was very politely told that was not possible. [laughs]

Really?
It was the last time I was going back, and I was going to court for my probation violation. He was in deep discussions about it. And he’s been a huge contributor to the administration, and I mean not just in finances, I’m talking about time and other kinds of efforts, so it ain’t like his words were falling on deaf ears. But I understood. I didn’t even expect no help. I didn’t expect nobody to be able to help me. I knew I made my bed and I knew I had to lay in it.

 

It goes to show just how far-reaching and influential has become that one of its own went as far as to contact the most recognizable political figure in America to see if he’d throw him a bone. Obviously, Will’s plea didn’t work, but the fact he reached out is awesome in its own right.

 

In regards to the music though, here’s to praying Tip brings it with T.M. Even he admits No Mercy was rushed and released under less-than-desirable circumstances. With more than a year to prepare this – and over 120 songs records – hopefully this is more vintage T.I. than what we last saw. Who knows, if the album is as good as the listening sessions have been conditioning me to think, maybe President Obama will scoop a copy.

 

To read the entire interview, click here to purchase the issue.

The Top 20 African-American Iconic Covers of GQ [1950-2000]

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Gentlemen’s Quarterly has a long history, dating from its start in the late 1950s when they chose everyday folks and models to grace their covers.  Towards 1960, they became more inclined to sprinkle in famous faces, and began their inevitable recognition of African-American class when Sammy Davis, Jr. was chosen for the honor in 1967.  Since then, there’s been several classic shoots with African-Americans, and even more-so after the 2000 year mark.  This explores the journey up until the year of 2000, including Tyra Banks as the first woman as the sole feature EVER and the unforgettable Michael Jackson editorial after a defeat in the courtroom.   Peep below and share your favorite with us in the comment section!

Sammy Davis, Jr., 1967

The first Black person to grace the cover of GQ.  His style and his charisma and presence within the Rat Pack remains to be iconic for reasons beyond measure, including his chic and clean taste in clothing.

 “Being a star has made it possible for me to get insulted in places where the average Negro could never hope to go and get insulted.”.

 

Billy Dee Williams, 1980

Williams was popularized in the 1980s due to his role as  Lando Calrissian in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. He escalated his face and name worldwide by continuing on the small and big screen, including 222 and The Jeffersons.

“Failure’s not a bad thing. It builds character. It makes you stronger.”

 

Magic Johnson, 1987

By 1987, Magic had been awarded his third MVP Award from the NBA, averaging 26.2 points on .541 shooting, 13.0 assists, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.33 steals per game.  He was a household name and the biggest force to reckon with in the league.

“Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates.”

 

Bryant Gumbel, 1987

Gumbel scored his name in the mouths of sports fans nationwide when he became Today’s chief sports reporter.  Propelling the popularity of African-American journalists on television for 15 years, and staking his claim as a force in the industry in 1989 through his public critique of his show’s staff, 1987 proved another year of reign for he and his colleagues on Daytime News and Entertainment.

“It’s not that I dislike many people. It’s just that I don’t like many people.”

 

Isiah Thomas, 1988

In the same year Isiah “Zeke” Thomas made the All NBA Team for the second time, he led the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Playoffs but failed in the last minute to the Boston Celtics.  The very next year, the iconic, most defining moment of his career occurred  in Game 6 of the Finals.  With a severely sprained ankle, he worked through the obvious pain and and scored 25 points in a single quarter.

“I’ve always believed no matter how many shots I miss, I’m going to make the next one.”

 

Denzel Washington, 1988

Right off the heels of the popularized television hospital drama, St. Elsewhere, the show ended with Washington as one of the few African-Americans to make it through the entirety of the 6-year-run.  At the beginning of his career, he was still on top of the world, having received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Cry Freedom in 1987, he achieved the actual award the following year for the defiant ex-slave soldier in “Glory.”  

“I made a commitment to completely cut out drinking and anything that might hamper me from getting my mind and body together. And the floodgates of goodness have opened upon me – spiritually and financially.”

 

Michael Jordan, 1989

After being named 87-88’s Defensive Player of the Year, Jordan continued at the height of his career with the Chicago Bulls alongside Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant.  They again advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in a row, but lost it this time around to the Pistons, previously to the Celtics.  Even so, Jordan’s reign was undeniable and his talent and skill couldn’t deny there was more to be seen and proven from him in the years to come.

 “I’m not out there sweating for three hours every day just to find out what it feels like to sweat.

 

Eddie Murphy, 1992

By 1992, Eddie Murphy was one of the most promising Black comedians, actors, writers, and directors on the rise.  From Beverly Hills Cop I and II, The Golden Child, Trading Places, 48 Hrs., Coming to America and the beginning of his singing career, including a music video with Michael Jackson “Whatzupwitu” and a Shabba Ranks duet in “I Was King.”  He was headed towards a small pitfall, but he soon would rise again for the best years in his career thus far.

 “I’ve always had confidence. It came because I have lots of initiative. I wanted to make something of myself.”

 

Shaquille O’Neal, 1993

Destined for the history books, 1993 proved O’Neal as the Rookie of the Year and simultaneously became the first rookie to be chosen for the All-Star NBA Team since Michael Jordan in 1985.  O’Neal was deemed the driving force for a change in coaches, which he felt was the reason for their season loss, although they won 20 more games than the previous. In the next season, the assistant coach Brian Hill became head coach, and showed dramatic improvement in his game for seasons to follow.

“Everything happens for a reason. I’m used to it, I prepare for it. Like I say, at the end of the day, those in charge of their own destiny are going to do what’s rights for them and their family.”

 

Barry Bonds, 1994

In 1994, Bonds played one of the best seasons of his career, even with a season shortened.  He had a strike hitting of .312 with 37 home runs and a league-leading 74 walks, and 4th in MVP voting.  Continuing his lineage, he followed in his father and grandfather footsteps after signing a contract in 1993 for nearly $45million over 6 years with the Giants, whom his father spent 7 years playing for; and grandfather played 22 out of 23 MLB seasons.  At the time, it became known as the largest deal in baseball history.

 “But to be the best, you must face the best. And to overcome your fear, you must deal with the best.”

 

Michael Jackson, 1994

In one of the most iconic GQ issues to date, 1994’s issue rode straight off of the rollercoaster of Jackson’s 1993 court battle with an alleged molestation of a 13-year-old boy.  “Was Michael Jackson Framed?” concluded as follows:

“Given the slim evidence against Jackson, it seems unlikely he would have been found guilty had the case gone to trial. But in the court of public opinion, there are no restrictions. People are free to speculate as they wish, and Jackson’s eccentricity leaves him vulnerable to the likelihood that the public has assumed the worst about him.

So is it possible that Jackson committed no crime — that he is what he has always purported to be, a protector and not a molester of children? Attorney Michael Freeman thinks so: “It’s my feeling that Jackson did nothing wrong and these people [Chandler and Rothman] saw an opportunity and programmed it. I believe it was all about money.”

To some observers, the Michael Jackson story illustrates the dangerous power of accusation, against which there is often no defense — particularly when the accusations involve child sexual abuse. To others, something else is clear now — that police and prosecutors spent millions of dollars to create a case whose foundation never existed.” – Full Article Here

 

Charles Barkley, 1994

By 1994, he had made his second NBA All-Star Team and it became his best recorded playoff season in his stat book to date.  He became labeled amongst the “Bad Boys” of the league when he stated in 1993 that he was not a role model and should not be looked at as such.  It became a national ordeal when he wrote the same in his Nike commercial, prompting Dan Quayle, the former Vice President of the United States to name it a “family-values message,” begging parents nationwide to be the role models they seek for their own children.

“I think the media demands that athletes be role models because there’s some jealousy involved. It’s as if they say, this is a young black kid playing a game for a living and making all this money, so we’re going to make it tough on him. And what they’re really doing is telling kids to look up to someone they can’t become, because not many people can be like we are. Kids can’t be like Michael Jordan.

 

 Grant Hill, 1995

1995 was Grant Hill’s first All-Star NBA Team game.  He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the third pick in the NBA Draft after having graduated from Duke University in North Carolina.  With Michael Jordan’s retirement, he was anticipated to be the newest face of the league, and lived up to much of his expectations that year.  Right behind Isiah Thomas, he became the second Pistons rookie to score 1000 points in their first season ever, Hill with 19.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.77 steals per game.

“When you’re doing well, people want to take shots. He’s just sending a message: ‘Look, I’m still fighting. I’m still hungry like I was 20 years ago.’ That’s what I think.”

 

Tyra Banks, 1996

In this iconic issue, Banks served as the first woman EVER to grace the cover of GQ alone, and broke barriers as an African-American woman to have achieved such an honor.  Beginning her career at 15 years old, by 1996 she was 23 years old and a certified Supermodel.  She appeared as the first African-American on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and was dubbed Vh1’s “Supermodel of the Year” the very next year of 1997 before continuing her career towards television and film.

“Black women have always been these vixens, these animalistic erotic women. Why can’t we just be the sexy American girl next door?”

 

Dennis Rodman, 1997

After 1993’s aborted suicide attempt, Rodman became a constant spectacle of a reinvented “bad boy.”  At the time he appeared with Rebecca Romijn on this cover, he had gone from the Detroit Pistons, the San Antonio Spurs, to the Chicago Bulls.  And his skills remained intact.  In 96-97, he won his sixth rebounding title in a row.  He still met a few public battles including a fall onto a cameraman resulting in an infuriated kick to his groin, ending in a $200,000 settlement.  With a three game suspension, a loss of $1 million, and missing an additional 13 games due to knee injury, he managed to assist his Bulls to a game-six Finals victory against the Utah Jazz.

 “The people at the top of the league think they need to rein me in so I don’t become another Michael Jordan, somebody they aren’t able to mold and shape and make their puppet.

 

Tiger Woods, 1997

Woods officially began his quest to reign as the newest face of the professional golf league in August of 1996.  He immediately signed the ground breaking deals for the golf world when he signed the largest endorsements for Nike, Inc and Titleist as the most lucrative contracts at that time.  He was named Sports Illustrated’s 1996 Sportsman of the Year and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.  By April of 1997, he had won his first major, The Masters, becoming the tournament’s youngest winner ever.  And history continued to be made for more than a decade to follow.

“If you are given a chance to be a role model, I think you should always take it because you can influence a person’s life in a positive light, and that’s what I want to do. That’s what it’s all about.”

 

Will Smith, 1997

Refreshingly off the six-year-run of his highly acclaimed sit-com “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Smith was set for cinematic success.  In his first major blockbuster, 1996 proved “Independence Day” held the golden key to the next decade of blockbuster success.  The movie became the second highest grossing film in history at the time, and began the directorial fight for the hottest new actor on the scene.

“In my mind, I’ve always been an A-list Hollywood superstar. Y’all just didn’t know yet.”

 

Evander Holyfield, 1999

The previous 3 years for Holyfield had been a hell of a fight, no pun intended.  Holyfield became the first Heavyweight to win the World title three times since the reign of Muhammad Ali. 1996 saw the generation of millions of happy betting faces after Holyfield won the world champion title by a knockout in six rounds to Bobby Czyz.  Then, the long-awaited Holyfield versus Mike Tyson fight came to fruition.  With a highly favored Tyson over Holyfield, the shock to the world came when Tyson was defeated in an 11th round TKO.  Of course, the rematch is when the true aggression of Tyson’s frustration came through in the form of a bite to each of Holyfield’s ear.  First, to his right, and second to his left, tearing off the tip, known as the helix, and spit the flesh onto the ring, causing the hugest uproar in boxing history.  He went on to recover and defend his title against Michael Moorer and Lennox Lewis in the two years to follow.

“It is not the size of a man but the size of his heart that matters.”

 

Muhammad Ali, 1999

In line, GQ dubbed Ali “Athlete of the Century” as Sports Illustrated for “Sportsman of the Century” and BBC for “Sports Personality of the Century.”  All of which are relative to and true, as well as a testament to a culmination of his uncharacteristic presence from his charisma to his trash talking, as well as his skill and undisputed talent.  Nicknamed “The Greatest,” the outspoken boxer who publicly acknowledged and televised his transformation through time is recognized for far more than his amazing feats, including becoming the first to become a three-time lineal World Heavyweight Champion.  His advocating and alliance to the Nation of Islam combined with his public criticism of the U.S. military and Vietnam War became his most known public faces of opinion.  He became the face of the fight against the military draft after he was found guilty of draft evasion, stripped of his boxing titles and stripped of his boxing license.  The fight went on for up to four years, when the Supreme Court bared witness that his right to opt-out of the draft was lawful due to his religion and beliefs.

 “My way of joking is to tell the truth. That’s the funniest joke in the world.”

 

Sean “Puffy” Combs, 1999

By 1999, Combs had catapulted himself from an intern at Uptown Records into one of the biggest CEOs and executive producers on the music scene.  After discovering and producing the newest wave of hip-hop and r&b influential artists as Jodeci and Mary J. Blige, he went on to tackle rap.  Establishing Bad Boy Records, he signed Craig Mack and the now one of two infamous rappers of all time, the Notorious B.I.G.  Combs cultivated and signed the newest wave of r&b and hip-hop soulfuls to take the world by storm including Carl Thomas, Faith Evans, 112 and Total, and continued to produce hits for the next generation of Mary J, Usher, Lil Kim, TLC, Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men to name a few.  After the untimely death of Biggie, and the never-ending rumors of scandal to follow, he continued to build his empire and saw the release of his own commercial release which spent 6 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, winning a Grammy for Best Rap Album in 1998.

“It’s okay to be crazy, but don’t be insane.”

And that’s the best of GQ from 1950 – 2000.  Check out the covers up close and personal in the gallery below!

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