Steve Stoute

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Steve Stoute
Steve Stoute 13636-0306.jpg
OccupationCEO/Founder, Translation; Chairman, Carol's Daughter; Author

Steve Stoute (born June 26, 1970) is an American businessman and author. Stoute is the founder and CEO of the Translation, a marketing agency, and the author of The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy. Previously, he worked in the music industry as an American record executive and artist manager.

In 2017, Stoute received $70 million from investors such as Alphabet Inc. and Andreessen Horowitz to launch UnitedMasters, a music venture.

Music executive[edit]

From 1990 to 1999, Stoute was an executive at several labels in the music industry. At Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Stoute served as President of the Urban Music division and executive vice president.[1] Prior to joining Interscope, Stoute was president of Urban Music for Sony Music Entertainment, where he played a role in launching the music careers of Will Smith and Nas.[2] Stoute was the former manager to Nas and Mary J. Blige.[3]

Advertising executive[edit]

Stoute is the founder and CEO of Translation, a marketing firm with clients that include State Farm,[4] McDonald's,[5] and Anheuser-Busch InBev.[6] Translation's approach to advertising is managing ‘cultural’ nuances to allow consumers to know the difference between marketing communications intended to relate to them versus those that intend to ‘sell to them.'[7]

In 2009 the American Advertising Federation inducted Stoute into their Advertising Hall of Achievement, the industry's premier award for outstanding advertising professionals age 40 and under.[8] In 2010, Stoute was recognized as “Innovator of the Year” at the ADCOLOR awards ceremony, an initiative launched by the ADCOLOR Industry Coalition, to promote increased diversity in the advertising, marketing and media industries. In 2013, Stoute was named "Executive of the Year" by Ad Age, the leading publication for the advertising and marketing industries.[9] Most recently, Fast Company (magazine) named Stoute one of the "Most Creative People in Business."


In 2005, Stoute became the Managing Director and CEO of Carol's Daughter, a line of natural hair and body care products created by Lisa Price in Brooklyn, NY. He formed a board of investors including Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Jimmy Iovine, Tommy Mottola, and Thalía and a bevy of spokeswomen for the line include Mary J. Blige,[10] Solange Knowles, Cassie Ventura, Selita Ebanks, Kim Fields, and Jada Pinkett Smith.[11][12] The company grew and sought partnerships such as Disney's "The Princess & The Frog" via a collection of hair and body products for children and HSN via an exclusive fragrance launch with Mary J. Blige.[13][14] Today he serves as the brand's Lead Investor & Chairman.

He has appeared in the HBO series and book “The Black List Project,” featuring interviews and portraits with leading African American figures on being black in America.[15]


Stoute released his first book The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy on September 8, 2011 (Gotham Books).[16] In the book, Stoute draws from his diverse background in the music industry and brand marketing to chronicle how an upstart art form – street poetry set to beats – came to define urban culture as the new embodiment of cool.[17] Stoute's understanding of how hip-hop morphed into mainstream culture enabled him to relate to a new generation of thinking.

In February 2014, the book was made into a four-part VH1 Rock Doc, “The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip-Hop.”[18] In April 2014, the book was released as an audiobook narrated by Kerry Washington.[19]

Stoute has been the keynote or featured speaker at many notable events including the International Consumer Electronics Show,[20] the Sundance Film Festival,[21] South by Southwest (SXSW),[22] Fast Company Innovation Uncensored,[23] and AAF’s ADMERICA.[24] He also appeared on the main stage at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity with Sean Combs in 2013,[25] and again with Kanye West and Venture Capitalist Ben Horowitz in 2014.[26]

Charity work[edit]

In 2008, he joined forces with Mary J. Blige to co-found the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN), whose mission is to educate, and empower women through scholarships, grants and career development opportunities. In 2009 they opened their first facility, the Mary J. Blige Center for Women in Yonkers, New York. He had a vision.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Stoute was born on June 26, 1970 in Queens, New York.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Genius Appoints Translation Founder Steve Stoute to Board of Directors". Billboard. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  2. ^ Leeds, Jeff. "Bridging Hip-Hop Consumers and Suits". Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  3. ^ "Meet Steve Stoute, The Go-To Adman For Lady Gaga And Jay-Z". Business Insider. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  4. ^ Thielman, Sam (January 3, 2013). "Ad of the Day: State Farm". Adweek. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  5. ^ Gianatasio, David (June 7, 2013). "Big Mac Beguiles in 8 Crazy, Wonderful Short Ads From Translation". Adweek. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  6. ^ McMains, Andrew (August 6, 2012). "A-B InBev Consolidates Bud Light Business". Adweek. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  7. ^ Elliott, Stuart (February 2008). "A New Venture for Jay-Z, on Madison Avenue". The New York Times. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  8. ^ "Steve Stoute Advertising Hall of Achievement Induction Video". AAFChannel Youtube. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  9. ^ "ADCOLOR Honors Steve Stoute, Queen Latifah". Atlanta Post. November 12, 2010. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  10. ^ "Mary J. Representing Carol's Daughter - Brown Sista". August 24, 2006. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  11. ^ Smith[dead link]
  12. ^ "Will Smith, Jay-Z back beauty line". CNN Money. May 2005. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  13. ^ Naughton, Julie (August 2009). "Carol's Daughter Inks Disney Deal". WWD. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  14. ^ "Mary J. Blige Breaks Record at HSN with 'My Life' Perfume". H Listed. August 2010. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  15. ^ "HBO Black List Project". HBO. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  16. ^ "About the Book". Tanning of America website. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  17. ^ Spitz, Marc. "Q&A: Steve Stoute on Kanye West, Justin Bieber, and Music as "Culture's Trojan Horse"". Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  18. ^ "The Tanning of America". VH1. VH1. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  19. ^ Workneh, Lilly. "Kerry Washington to narrate audiobook for Steve Stoute's 'The Tanning of America'". The Grio. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  20. ^ "Diversity, Tech and Leadership". Splash. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  21. ^ "The Making of The Tanning of America". Sundance Film Festival. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  22. ^ "SXSW Interview: Nas and Steve Stoute". SXSW. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  23. ^ "Fast Company Innovation Uncensored - "Something New From The Sandbox" - New York - April 23, 2013". BuzzFeed. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  24. ^ Shropshire, Terry. "Steve Stoute to Discuss State Farm Campaign at AAF in San Diego". Rolling Out. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  25. ^ "Steve Stoute and Sean 'Diddy' Combs". Forbes. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  26. ^ Kaz. "Kanye West, Steve Stoute and Ben Horowitz at Cannes Lions [VIDEO]". STASHED. Archived from the original on August 22, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  27. ^ Wolfe, Roman (October 2009). "Mary J. Blige's Center for Women Opens in Yonkers". All Hip Hop. Retrieved August 22, 2011.