The Grammy-winning entertainer and entrepreneur born Jonathan Smith has come a long way from deejaying high school parties in his family’s Atlanta basement. As the frontman for Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz, the rapper-producer is responsible for introducing hip-hop’s Southern subgenre crunk to the mainstream and helping to make Atlanta the capital of hip-hop. He made his mark as an A&R executive at Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def label and later started his own company, BME Recordings. Along the way, he’s had hits with Usher (the 2004 No. 1 single “Yeah!”) and written and produced songs for Ciara, Too Short, Tyga and Saweetie. A magnet for commercial endorsements, Jon recently announced a new season of his HGTV home-renovation show, “Lil Jon Wants to Do What?”

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