Executive Decisions: Phil Thornton

Phil Thorton w: R&B DivasAs a member of the Soul Train Power 20, record executive and TV producer Phillip Thornton’s resume speaks for itself. For the Norfolk, VA native, the journey into the record business came around 1995. While attending Norfolk State University, Thornton accepted an internship with Arista Records. Shortly after his internship ended, Thornton ventured into artist management, which included a stint managing R&B group 112, and future R&B Divas stars Faith Evans and Lil Mo. After spending a substantial time managing artists, Thornton made his first leap into the television world by producing the TV One reality show I Married A Baller, featuring former NFL pro Eddie George and his wife Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George of 90s R&B group SWV. “I used to manage SWV when they reunited. That’s how it started.” After achieving success with I Married A Baller, Thornton produced two more shows including the TV One hit Lisa Raye: The Real McCoy.

A chance phone call from his former client, Faith Evans, kicked off what would become one of Phil Thornton’s most successful projects. “I got a phone call from Faith Evans about this concept that she and one of her friends, Nicci Gilbert, had developed. Another production partner, who they were pitching the show to, things didn’t work out. So they called me like, ‘Hey man, I got this new idea, I know you do TV. Could you maybe help me? I think it’s a good idea, but this is more of your world. You know this space.’ What happened shortly after was nothing short of amazing. The show, newly christened R&B Divas, was given the green light by the TV One network and debuted with record numbers. After two successful seasons, a Los Angeles spin off was given the go ahead.

Even with a successful television career, Phil Thornton has not forgotten the recording industry. In addition to developing several new shows, Thornton has also been busy with Tristian “Mack” Wilds and his debut album New York: A Love Story, which was nominated for a Grammy only two months after its release. To find out more information about Phil Thornton and his various projects, log on to www.tentooneentertainment.com.

—Nick Eden

Nick Eden is a singer/songwriter/R&B junkie based out of Atlanta, GA. He is a winner of the Steve Harvey New Star Project and appeared on Season 1 of BET/Centric’s Apollo Live. His new EP “From Nick Eden With Love” will be available on iTunes April 2014. Follow him on Twitter @nickeden and on Facebook.

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