Mona Scott-Young (born February 15, 1967) is an American media mogul, television producer, executive producer and entrepreneur. She is the CEO of the multi-media entertainment company Monami Entertainment, best known for producing the VH1 reality television franchise Love & Hip Hop.
Life and career
Scott was born in Queens, New York City, to Haitian parents. While working at Radio City Music Hall, she was approached by the Brooklyn group TrackMasters to come on board as their manager. Through them, she met music executive Chris Lighty and with him co-founded the management company Violator. Over the course of twenty years, the company helped launch and revamp the careers of artists such as Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, Q-Tip, Foxy Brown, Ja Rule, Mobb Deep, 50 Cent, Mariah Carey, Fantasia and Missy Elliott, who she still manages today. She transitioned into television in 2005, producing The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliott on UPN and creating her own television production company, Monami Entertainment. In 2006, Jim Ackerman, a director at VH1 at the time, approached her to help develop a reality television series centered on rapper Jim Jones. Inspired by female ensemble-driven shows that were popular at the time, Scott-Young shifted the concept to focus on Jim's girlfriend Chrissy Lampkin and her circle of friends.
The series, now known as Love & Hip Hop, went on to become a huge success, spawning a media franchise that included the spin-offs Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood, Chrissy & Mr. Jones, K. Michelle: My Life, Stevie J & Joseline: Go Hollywood and Leave It To Stevie. In addition to the Love & Hip Hop franchise, Monami Entertainment has produced Donald Trump Presents: The Ultimate Merger for TV One, Cocaine: History Between the Lines for the History Channel, The Gossip Game and This Is Hot 97 for VH1,The New Atlanta for Bravo and Money. Power. Respect. for WE tv, as well as the feature film The Promise Keeper. In addition to television, Scott-Young is part owner and chief marketing officer of the moscato brand MYX Fusions with rapper Nicki Minaj, and serves on the board of The Haitian Roundtable, The RSQ Foundation and The GrassROOTS Foundation.
Scott married Shawn Young in 2005. They have two children.
Awards and accolades
Scott-Young has been honored at ASCAP's "Woman Behind the Music" event in 2011. She has been honored with awards from the National Association of Black Female Executives in Music Entertainment, named "Marketer of the Year" by Ad Age, and recognized by the National Congress and Convention of Haitian-Americans.
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- ^ abcdefgDelerme, Felipe (May 8, 2013). "Personal History: Mona Scott-Young". TheFader.com. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- ^Dorsey, Cynthia L. (April 28, 2015). "Is Mona Scott-Young A Game Changer In Telling Our Stories?". MadameNoire. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
- ^"VH1 Primetime Ratings Soar 50% in Adult 18-49 Demo in February". Retrieved November 21, 2012.
- ^Mitchell, Gail (March 25, 2016). "Mona Scott-Young, the Brains Behind VH1's 'Love & Hip Hop,' Sounds Off on Sexism, Reality TV and Missy Elliott's Next Album". Billboard. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
- ^"Mona Scott-Young Dishes on Her Presentation of Women and 'The Gossip Game'". Vibe. March 28, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
- ^Breslin, Susannah (July 15, 2013). "Nicki Minaj Battles Hip-Hop's Heavy Hitters For Booze Supremacy". Forbes.com. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- ^"ASCAP Honors Janelle Monáe, Siedah Garrett, Monica and Other Leading Ladies in Music at 3rd Annual Women Behind the Music Series". ascap.com. November 22, 2011.
There’s more to Mona Scott-Young than the Love & Hip-Hop franchise.
Though the show runner has been referred to as “The Devil” and “The Queen of Ratchet” for her portrayal of Black women on television, she stands by her decisions, saying that she wants to show us in all of our forms.
More so, she refuses to let other people define who she is. She opened up in our April issue and explained why she’s more than just a franchise.
‘Love & Hip Hop’ Creator Mona Scott-Young: ‘I Want Us to Be Represented in Every Form—Good, Bad and Ugly’
She is on the board of GrassROOTS Community Foundation
When Scott-Young was first asked to sit on the board of the GrassROOTS Community Foundation, an organization which works to improve the wellbeing and livelihood of Black girls, she declined, opting instead to raise money privately. Her desire to help young girls, though, quickly took over, and she decided to join the board. “Sometimes I hope that with that work starting at that age, maybe they’ll never end up across from me for a casting,” Scott-Young said. “I am always trying to provide opportunities that will allow them to live a different life.”
She sponsors two Haitian schools
Born in New York, Scott-Young was raised by her mother, who was a Haitian immigrant who couldn’t write or read. In addition to her participation on the GrassROOTS Community Foundation board, she has gone on to sponsor not one, but two schools in Haiti.
'Love & Hip Hop' Creator Mona Scott-Young: We Don’t Make Up Anything on the Show
Her Monami production company is worth $30 million
Since founding her production company, Monami, in 2008, she has turned it into a multimillion dollar company worth an unbelievable $30 million. Each week, the Love & Hip-Hop franchises attract 4 to 5 million viewers, she’s partnering with Nicki Minaj to launch a line of Moscatos, she landed a book deal with Simon & Schuster and she is working with LL Cool J’s wife to create a jewelry collection. Phew!
She’s attempting to broaden her reach
Perhaps most importantly, Scott-Young wants to bring a wide range of faces to cable television—both the good and the bad. Currently, she’s working on two shows: One that surrounds a group of Black female attorneys, and another that follows Teddy Riley’s family. “I want us to be represented in every shape and form—the good, bad, ugly—because I feel only with full acceptance of everything that comes with us will we ever really embrace ourselves and love ourselves fully,” she said.
For more on Mona Scott-Young, pick up the April issue of our magazine, available on newsstands now!