Ramon Hervey, entertainment expert and author of “The Fame Game” – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel
Showbiz scholar and author of “Fame Game: An Insider’s Playbook for Earning Your Minutes,” Ramon Hervey says his exciting new read, available on Amazon, is based on his own experiences working with people who are chasing their dreams.
Over her 40-year career in public relations and entertainment management, some of these talented and well-known people include Little Richard, Bette Midler, the Bee Gees, Aaliyah, Rick James, Vanessa Williams and many more. .
Hervey says he is successful in guiding the careers of these superstars because of his ability to create effective tactics.
He also believes that partnerships are not the sole responsibility of the person who manages the careers of these people. The talent must also have enormous ambition and dynamism.
“Let’s find a way to succeed,” Hervey said. “If you have a great work ethic, we have a great strategy and we have a common vision, fame can be the result.”
However, Hervey also admits that even the best exponents of entertainment can run into unexpected obstacles. “Every client crisis I’ve handled, we’ve been able to overcome the hurdle,” he says.
Hervey specifically talks about an incident with acclaimed singer, songwriter and producer Rick James. In the early days of MTV, the network was heavily criticized in the industry for not airing music videos by African-American artists. Hervey came up with the idea to start a dialogue about the issue and hopefully effect change using James as a catalyst.
Hervey recalls, “Rick was just one artist among many. Prince, Michael Jackson, all the big names of the time were not played.
“I found out there was going to be a Billboard music panel on the state of music videos, and Gail Sparrow, who was program director at MTV, was going to be on the panel,” Hervey recalled.
He understood that MTV executives were trying to protect themselves, but they didn’t have an artist on the panel either. He remembers offering a thought to James: “I suggested the idea to Rick and asked him if he would be interested. It would be a chance for him to be an ambassador for black music.
The idea was to force Sparrow to explain why MTV doesn’t air “black videos of black artists” and how that might “start an even bigger discussion.”
“Well, we had a script of how we were going to handle it all, and as soon as it was his [James] turn to talk, he attacked MTV for not playing his videos,” says Hervey.
Although James received a lot of media attention from the hype, the plan was for James to be the spokesperson for all black musicians. “The whole thing backfired on us,” Hervey says. “For me, not all press is good press.
“He (Rick) went on Nightline, ABC, and the LA Times did a story about him, but he was the one complaining about his videos not playing, and that’s what they were focusing on at the time. instead of making him a spokesperson and trying to be an ambassador for black music.
MTV would ban all Rick James music videos until his collaboration with Eddie Murphy on the hit song “Party All The Time” in 1985.
“The thing about disappointment is that it’s natural. We don’t live in a perfect world and there are no perfect people,” Hervey notes. “We are all fallible and we all have flaws. When you have to deal with disappointment, it helps you access yourself and try to figure out what you can do better.
In addition to his own illustrious accomplishments in entertainment, Hervey is also famous for his relationship with world-famous performer Vanessa Williams.
The couple married in 1987 and had three children, Melanie, Jillian and Devin. They have been divorced since 1997. Hervey and Williams met when he was hired to revitalize his career after an infamous scandal. The controversy involved the publication of salacious photos in adult magazine Penthouse, which led to Williams stepping down as the reigning Miss America in 1984.
Many media sources would place Hervey as the genius who saved his career by suggesting Williams capitalize on his talents as a musical artist. Hervey had this to say about their relationship.
“It’s hard to juggle being someone’s everything. I was a husband, a father, a protector and a manager,” he says. He now fondly recalls the many ways “love and partnership” with Williams forever changed his life. “I don’t regret anything and I would do it again.”
Hervey’s professional and personal relationships with James and Williams, respectively, are only a small glimpse into his book, “The Fame Game: An Insider’s Playbook for Earning Your Fifteen Minutes of Fame.” He also shares other fascinating stories and entertainment insights, including his thoughts on social media success and how the biggest benefactors are those who are already famous.
Hervey sums up this interview with some sound advice: “Don’t be obsessed with fame, obsess with being your best, because I think if you do that, you can stay in the game.
“If you always give your best, you have a better chance of achieving lasting, not temporary, success.”