10 Musicians Who Have Held Stake in Sports Teams
Beyoncé may be looking to buy a stake in her hometown's Houston Rockets basketball team, according to a Bloomberg report, and she would hardly be the first musician to dip her toes in sports ownership.
The trend stretches back to 2004, beginning with rappers like Nelly and Bey's own husband, JAY-Z, who formerly held a stake in the Brooklyn Nets. And it's more than a hop on the bandwagon, with many artists ponying up six figures or more for even a measly percentage of team ownership.
We run down 10 of the biggest music-star sports owners below:
According to a 2005 press release, the "Yeah!" rapper born Usher Raymond IV is part of an investor group led by Dan Gilbert, chairman and founder of Quicken Loans, that owns the Cleveland Cavaliers. He's maintained an involved presence in the team ever since, even launching a string of tweets in 2014 to beg LeBron James to return to the team (it worked). You can imagine he was pretty happy to see the Cavs win the NBA Finals in 2016, judging by a video of the artist celebrating with players Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson.
Don't anyone dare call Justin Timberlake a bandwagoner. It's a lesson one fan learned back in 2014, when questioning the "Can't Stop the Feeling!" singer's loyalty to the Memphis Grizzlies. As Timberlake was quick to point out, he's not only from Memphis, but he's also a minority owner of the team. The Grizzlies even enlisted Timberlake's help last summer to create a promotional film to convince point guard Mike Conley to re-sign with the team.
Should Beyoncé end up with stake in the Houston Rockets, it won't be the first time the Carter family has been NBA owners. JAY-Z once held stake in his hometown's Brooklyn Nets -- that is, until the rapper launched his own sports agency, Roc Nation Sports, in 2013. According to Forbes, Jay once held up to 1.5 percent of the $530 million team, though by the time he sold his share, it made up less than 1 percent of the total, still an estimated value of about $350,000.
Shortly before J.Lo and Marc Anthony's breakup, the Miami couple purchased a share of the NFL's Dolphins. Despite the fact that the Dolphins haven't made the Super Bowl since 1985, the couple haven't been the only Hollywood stars to snag a piece of the team: Gloria and Emilio Estefan became minority owners in 2009, the same year Fergie was approved as a part owner.
Soon after JAY-Z's purchase of stake in the Nets, Nelly joined the rapper-turned-NBA-owner trend himself, becoming a part-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats in 2004. But the Nellyville rapper's stake in the game ended in 2010, when Michael Jordan became the new owner of the NBA expansion team, now called the Hornets.
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith
The Hollywood power couple acquired a minority stake in the Philadelphia 76ers in 2011, as part of a group of investors led by multibillionaire Joshua Harris. It's unclear just how much stake the Smith family has in the team, but we do know the Fresh Prince is a Philly native -- and that his purchase was welcomed by the team's players. "I think it's dope that the Fresh Prince is one of our new owners," tweeted then-player Evan Turner in response, adding, "Maybe Willow can perform at halftime."
Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi became a majority owner in the Philadelphia Soul, an AFL expansion team, in 2004. And his investment paid off: The team won the ArenaBowl in New Orleans in 2008. But Bon Jovi left the team that year, and he just may have been their lucky charm. The Soul lost their next two appearances in 2012 and 2013, though they made a comeback with a second ArenaBowl win in 2016.
After an unsuccessful bid to become partial owner of his hometown Cincinnati Reds, 98 Degrees singer and reality star Nick Lachey took a second shot at sports ownership with the Tacoma Rainiers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. He ended up buying one-third of the team in 2006.
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley
Among all the celeb sports team owners on this list, that of Kiss band members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley is perhaps the most... personal. The duo were among the owners of the AFL's LA Kiss, which not only makes use of the band's name, but also its iconic logo. The Kiss ceased operations in 2016, but not without leaving their mark as possibly the only rock 'n' roll football players in history.
Country star Tim McGraw took on Jon Bon Jovi in 2004 -- but not through music. While Bon Jovi claimed majority ownership of the AFL's Philadelphia Soul that year, McGraw became part-owner of the league's Nashville Kats, further tightening his ties to Music City. Coincidentally, it was also the same year McGraw took on a role as a former football star in the sports drama flick Friday Night Lights.