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Luke Eddins - Luke Hits
An avid music fan, Luke Eddins combined his skills as a musician with appreciation for unsigned bands to start a valuable niche business. Eddins started Luke Hits, a company that furnishes music for productions in the entertainment industry using songs created by unsigned bands. The company fills a need by offering film and television studios an alternative option to paying huge licensing fees for songs by artists on major record labels.
Eddins maintains a certain level of quality by matching studios with songs that are comparable to well known acts such as U2 or Mariah Carey. He has placed songs in popular television shows including One Tree Hill, Gilmore Girls and Grey’s Anatomy through Luke Hits. The company is also responsible for supplying music used in films including Uptown Girls, War of the Worlds, Ice Princess and Kangaroo Jack. Luke Eddins is among the most famous musical entrepreneurs that achieved success by targeting a niche market with high demand for his products.
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David Weinstone - Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals
In 1998, former punk rock musician David Weinstone built a music empire after experiencing difficulty in locating adequate programs for his own child. He started teaching interactive music lessons for kids and their parents using a modest set of instruments and home recordings. After a few weeks of launching, the basement run-music classes titled Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals attracted large groups of customers, media attention and record company offers. Weinstone also started selling CDs containing music used in the classes to parents of his students.
As popularity grew, he started licensing the music program and has become known in many countries around the world. Weinstone’s annual earnings grew from $30,000 to $250,000 by 2005 according to Entrepreneur Magazine. The Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals company has since developed over one dozen varieties of CD compilations and conducted live performances for young audiences. David Weinstone is among the famous musical entrepreneurs who found success by entering the educational market.
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Percy Miller - P. Miller Enterprises/No Limit Records
Known by his stage name, “Master P”, Percy Miller is one of the most famous musical entrepreneurs who built his empire from very humble beginnings. Miller’s plans of becoming a college basketball star at the University of Houston were brought to a halt due to a knee injury. He then moved to California and opened a record store called No Limit Records using $10,000 in money received from a lawsuit following the death of his grandfather.
During the early 1990s, Miller noticed that the growing hip-hop market was dominated by east coast and west coast artists. In an attempt to provide customers with music that represented popular styles from the south, he spent $1,000 to produce his first CD titled “The Ghetto’s Tryin to Kill Me.” The No Limit Records retail store transformed into a record label as Miller drove through inner-city neighborhoods, selling CDs out of the trunk of his car. As popularity grew, he released another album and sold over 250,000 copies of his CDs without a record deal.
Miller’s entrepreneurial skills let to a distribution contract with a major record company that allowed him to retain ownership of his master recordings. He expanded No Limit Records to include other hip-hop artists and grew the company to an estimated worth of $661 million by the late 1990s. Miller has since launched other ventures including a film production company, prepaid phone service and sports management company. He was the first rapper to make Fortune Magazine’s “40 richest under 40” list and was included in Forbes Magazine’s list of highest paid entertainers.