Edmonds Entertainment Group
Former real estate agent Tracey E. Edmonds is the President and CEO of Edmonds Entertainment Group, which covers both the e2 Records music label and the Edmonds Entertainment film production company, and the President and CEO of Robert L. Johnson's Our Stories Films, a studio established to produce comedy and family friendly feature films for African Americans and urban audiences. She has produced such films as the critically praised and commercially successful comedy “Soul Food” (1997), the independent movies “Hav Plenty” (1998) and “Punks” (2001), “Josie and the Pussycats” (2001), “Good Luck Chuck” (2007), “Who's Your Caddy,” (2007) and “New in Town” (2009). On television, the Los Angeles native is known for her work on “Soul Food: The Series” (2000-2004), “Lil' Kim: Countdown to Lockdown” (2006) as well as “College Hill” (2004-2007) and its spin-off shows “College Hill Interns” (2007), “College Hill Atlanta” (2008) and “College Hill: South Beach” (2009).
In show business for nearly 20 years, Edmonds received a Turner Broadcasting System's esteemed Tower of Power Award (2000), The Ebony Magazine Outstanding Women In Marketing & Communications Entrepreneur Award (2002), the National Organization for Women's Excellence in Media Award (2005) and The Caucus for Television Producers, Writers and Directors Diversity Award (2006). In 2004, she earned an Honorary Doctorate in business from Southern University. Edmonds has also served on the Board of Governors for the Producers Guild of America (PGA) and the Board of Trustees for the American Film Institute (AFI). She is also on the Board of Directors for the not-for-profit organization Children Uniting Nations (CUN).
Edmonds and her ex-husband and producing partner, Babyface (together from 1992 to 2007), have two sons together. Her romantic life has also been linked to comedian Eddie Murphy and celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito.
Childhood and Family:
Tracey Elaine McQuarn was born on February 18, 1967, in Los Angeles, California, to George and Jacqueline McQuarn. With the hope of becoming a psychiatrist, she majored in psychology and neurobiology at Stanford University in Stanford, California. After graduating in 1987, she changed her mind and embarked on a real estate career with her mother.
In 1990, Tracey met Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds when she auditioned for the music video “Whip Appeal.” She ended up winning the spot but was forced to leave the project because of chicken pox. When the two met at a recording studio a few months later, they began dating and were married on September 5, 1992. Tracey gave birth to the couple's first child, Brandon, in 1996. Their second son, Dylan, was born on April 2, 2001. On January 7, 2005, Tracey filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce was finalized on June 22, 2007. She exchanged personal vows with actor Eddy Murphy in January 2008, but they soon called the relationship off.
Producer of Soul Food
Tracey E. Edmonds entered show business in the early 1990s by founding Edmonds Entertainment Group (EEG). Within four years, the business had scored victory with “Soul Food,” a 1997 comedy that starred Brandon Hammond, Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long, Vanessa L. Williams and Irma P. Hall and was directed and written by George Tillman, Jr. The film was a financial and critical success and won four Image Awards and two awards at the 1998 Acapulco Black Film Festival and grossed more than $43 million. The soundtrack for the film, “LaFace,” in which Edmonds served as the soundtrack executive producer, received platinum certification from RIAA.
After “Soul Food,” Edmonds produced “Light It Up” for Fox 2000 in 1999. Starring Usher Raymond, Forest Whitaker and Rosario Dawson, the drama was nominated for a Political Film Society (PFS) Award for Peace, an Image Award and a Black Reel Award. Edmonds also produced the independent film “Hav Plenty” under her independent film production company e2 Filmworks, which she created after Edmonds Entertainment's overwhelming success with “Soul Food.” Premiering at the 1997 Toronto Film Festival, the comedy was released by Miramax several months after its screenings at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1998. It won Acapulco Black Film Festival awards for Best of Festival and Best Screenplay and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize in the Dramatic category at the Sundance Film Festival. Edmonds also acted in the film as Amy Madison.
Still under e2 Filmworks, Edmonds next produced “Punks,” which premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and was released through Urbanworld Films in 2001. Edmonds also branched out to television when she produced the television adaptation of “Soul Food,” which debuted on Showtime on June 28, 2000. The show ran for five seasons before being canceled in 2004. She went on to executive produce the groundbreaking reality show “College Hill,” which followed the lives of students at African-American colleges. Edmonds also executive produced the spin off series “College Hill Interns” (2007) and “College Hill Atlanta” (2008) and lent her producing talents to the made-for-TV film “Maniac Magee” (2003), based on the book of the same name by Jerry Spinelli, the short-lived series “Lil' Kim: Countdown to Lockdown” (BET, 2006), and “DMX: Soul of a Man” (BET, 2006), a reality program that taped the daily life of rapper DMX. In addition, she executive produced the competition show “David E. Talbert Presents: Stage Black” (2007) for TV-One.
Back to the big screen after the 2001 disappointing comedy film “Josie and the Pussycats,” which was loosely adapted on the comic of the same name and starred Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, Rosario Dawson, Alan Cumming and Parker Posey, Edmonds produced the romantic comedy “Good Luck Chuck” (2007) for Lionsgate. The movie was directed by Mark Helfrich and starred Jessica Alba and Dane Cook. Although it was regarded as one of the worst films of the year, the film debuted at No. 2 at the U.S. box office and had a total worldwide gross of over $53 million. The same year, she also oversaw “Who's Your Caddy,” a comedy film helmed by Don Michael Paul that starred Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, Lil Wayne, Terry Crews, Tony Cox, Andy Milonakis, Jeffrey Jones, Faizon Love and Jesper Parnevik. It was the first film produced by Our Stories Films, a studio founded by BET pioneer Robert L. Johnson in which Edmonds was appointed CEO and president.
Edmonds and her company EEG produced “College Hill: South Beach” in 2009. Her new film, “New in Town,” a comedy starring Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr., was released in the U.S. on January 30, 2009, before hitting the video stores on May 26, 2009. As for her upcoming film projects, she will work on the basketball movie “Ball Up” (2009), co-written by Michael McQuarn and Dan Pulick, and the drama “Four to the Floor” (2009), which was directed by Rotimi Rainwater. The cast of the latter film will include Alex Meraz, Naturi Naughton, Kyle Schmid and Evan Ross.
The Caucus for Television Producers, Writers and Directors Diversity, 2006
National Organization: Women's Excellence in Media, 2005
Ebony Magazine: Outstanding Women In Marketing & Communications Entrepreneur, 2002
Turner Broadcasting System: Tower of Power Award, 2000