Chris Stokes (director)

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Chris Stokes
Christopher B. Stokes in 2014
Chris Stokes in 2014
Other names Christopher B. Stokes
Occupation Film director, Record producer, Screenwriter, Film producer
Years active 1995–present
Website
http://www.chrisstokesent.com

Chris Stokes is an American record producer, manager, and film director. He is the son of actress Irene Stokes and older brother of Hip Hop/R&B singer Juanita Stokes, and is notable for discovering many popular singers, actors, and performers.

Music career[edit]

Chris Stokes' career has its origins in writing and producing records. He came to public attention in 1995, producing his sister Juanita Stokes' single Mind Blowin'. He discovered several major acts of the 90's such as IMx/Immature, B2K, and Brandy and helped shape the solo careers of Marques Houston and Omarion, in addition to discovering such stars as Jhene Aiko, Sevyn Streeter, Mila J, and Kevin McHale of Glee (TV Series) fame.

While managing IMx/Immature, then called Immature, he discovered singer, rapper, and dancer Mila J, who landed a deal with MCA Records in 1995 under the name Gyrl, and she appeared later in the group Dame Four, managed by Stokes. He managed her first solo act at Motown under direction of Sylvia Rhone, and signed again with Motown in 2014. He discovered her sister, Jhene Aiko as well.[1] He also discovered Amber Sevyn Streeter, and with the group TG4 signed her to A&M Records. She would go on to pursue a songwriting career, with credits for artists such as Chris Brown and Ariana Grande.[2]

Stokes has writing and producing credits on Destiny's Child's The Writing's on the Wall, distributed by Columbia Records, which has sold over 17 million copies worldwide. He has written and produced for Bobby Brown, all B2K albums, and also wrote and produced for the solo careers of Marques Houston and Omarion. During this period Stokes also served as Vice President of A&M/Interscope Records.[3][4]

He founded the music/entertainment group TUG (The Ultimate Group), which became home to artists including Omarion, Marques Houston Immature/IMx), B2K, TG4, Mila J, and NLT. NLT marked the first major career step for Kevin McHale, who would go on to play the major role of Artie Abrams on Glee (TV Series).

Former B2K member, Raz B, accused Stokes of molestation claiming that as teenaged boys he and his bandmates were made to shower together.

Transition to film and television[edit]

"I have always had a passion for writing and directing. Although I loved doing Music and music videos, my dream was to direct feature films," Stokes says. Stokes is still involved as a consultant for Omarion and Marques Houston's careers. "I felt like it was time to pass the baton down to the next generation of young music moguls such as Omarion and Marques Houston. They both have their own labels now which gives me the freedom to focus more on my Film and Television career."[5]

Stokes first became connected with Film and Television through the talent he managed. In 1992, Marques Houston made his acting debut in the animated comedy film Bébé's Kids, and received his big break as a regular on Sister, Sister in 1995. All three members of Immature appeared in the film House Party 3 (1994).

His first film credit came in 2001 as the Writer/Director of House Party 4, which starred Immature, which by then had transitioned to their new name IMx. However, he is most widely recognized as the Writer/Director of the 2004 hit dance movie You Got Served, starring members of his TUG record label. The cast included B2K and Marques Houston. The film opened at #1 at the box office during Super Bowl weekend with $16 million grossed in its first week.

He also wrote and directed Somebody Help Me and Somebody Help Me 2, two horror/slasher films. The first, Somebody Help Me, was released to DVD on November 13, 2007 and made a television premiere on BET on Halloween 2007.[6] Both were distributed by Vivendi. The company's second feature, No Vacancy (film), another horror, was completed in 2011 and the first of Stokes' films not star talent from his music career. It was distributed by Grindstone / Lionsgate Home Entertainment.[7]

Also in 2011, Stokes returned to the dance battle genre with the dance-drama Battlefield America, starring Marques Houston, Gary Anthony Sturgis, and Lynn Whitfield. The movie follows a young businessman whose community service obligations require him to turn a group of misfit kids into a dance team. The movie was distributed domestically by Cinedigm, and opened in theaters June 1, 2012. Through this film, Chris Stokes is credited with discovering Camren Bicondova, who appeared next on Americas Best Dance Crew, Season 7, and on the Fox series Gotham (TV series) as schoolgirl Selena Kyle, Batwoman.

He has slated several more movies to be produced in 2012 and the following years, including the found-footage thriller Class of 2013, cop drama 9mm, and comedy Time of the Month.

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
2001 House Party 4 Writer, Director cameo appearance as "Ray Ray"
2004 You Got Served Writer, Director
2007 Somebody Help Me Writer, Director, Producer
2010 Somebody Help Me 2 Writer, Director, Producer
2012 Battlefield America Writer, Director, Producer
No Vacancy (film) Writer, Director, Producer
Boogie Town Writer, Director, Producer Not yet released

Christopher Brian Collection[edit]

In 2007, Stokes launched a clothing and fashion line,[8] the Christopher Brian Collection, which debuted at Magic (trade show) in Las Vegas February 2007.[9] The line featured Kim Kardashian as the principle spokes model and was available at Dash, her Calabassas boutique.[10] Promotional images for the brand featured topless pictures of Kim Kardashian wearing just the Christopher Brian pants.[11]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Who is Chris Stokes? chrisstokeslife.com. Retrieved 07/03/2014.
  2. ^ Sevyn Streeter Co-Writes Hits for Ariana Grande and Chris Brown, Records EP for Atlantic Records. http://www.songwriteruniverse.com/sevyn-streeter-123.htm Retrieved 07/03/14.
  3. ^ "CHRIS STOKES, a Platinum Plus West Coast Music Producer/Director, And Manager of the Hottest Hip-Hop Music Artists in the World Zooms Into the Illuminating Spotlight and Branches Out To Ionospheric Dimensions With Films!" http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/chris-stokes-a-platinum-plus-west-coast-music-producerdirector-and-manager-of-the-hottest-hip-hop-music-artists-in-the-world-zooms-into-the-illuminating-spotlight-and-branches-out-to-ionospheric-dimensions-with-films-71148637.html May 29, 2003. PR Newswire.
  4. ^ "CHRIS STOKES, CEO of THE ULTIMATE GROUP, Will Announce Company's New Film and Television Divisions, CHRISTOPHER BRIAN FILMS and THE ULTIMATE GROUP FILMS & TELEVISION" http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/chris-stokes-ceo-of-the-ultimate-group-will-announce-companys-new-film-and-television-divisions-christopher-brian-films-and-the-ultimate-group-films--television-71337747.html June 23, 2003. PR Newswire.
  5. ^ Official Chris Stokes. http://officialchrisstokes.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  6. ^ Who Is Chris Stokes. ChrisStokesLife.com. http://www.chrisstokeslife.com/chris-stokes/ Retrieved July 3rd, 2014.
  7. ^ No Vacancy, 2012 on IMDb. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1854582/?ref_=nm_flmg_dr_6
  8. ^ Christopher Stokes Reveals Plans Behind Clothing Line Debut. Fashion Victim, Dennicas's Place. http://dennicasplace.com/fashion_victim_Christopher_Stokes.php. Retrieved July 3rd, 2014.
  9. ^ Take Cover: Kim Kardashian. J'Adore Magazine, November 2007. http://www.jadoremag.com/take-cover/kim-kardashian. Retrieved July 3rd, 2014.
  10. ^ Take Cover: Kim Kardashian. J'Adore Magazine, November 2007. http://www.jadoremag.com/take-cover/kim-kardashian. Retrieved July 3rd, 2014.
  11. ^ TMZ: Chris Stokes. http://www.tmz.com/person/chris-stokes/. Retrieved July 3rd, 2014.