Childhood & Early Life
Ramon Hervey II was born on October 18, 1950, in Chicago, Illinois, to Ramon T Hervey and his wife, Winifred. His parents’ was an inter-racial marriage. He grew up with two sisters, Winifred and Christie. Soon after his birth, the family moved to California. Ramon began his education there.
Ramon attended ‘Lompoc Junior High School’ in California. He graduated from ‘Cabrillo Senior High School’ in 1968, at the age of 18. Although he always had some degree of interest in the music industry, he never intended to follow music as a career option. In 1972, he earned his BA degree from ‘Whittier College’ in California and started looking for a job immediately.
In 1973, he bagged a job as a flight attendant. He worked there for a while, but his interests soon shifted to the music industry. He quit his high-paying job in ‘Pan American Airlines’ to work as a publicist for music publications.
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In 1974, Ramon bagged a job as a publicist for ‘Starlite Music Artistes,’ a popular artist management company. He wrote copies on behalf of artists and gained first-hand experience. After working there for a year, he quit his job and started working at ‘Hamlett Marsh Publishers’ as an editor. He devoted only a year to this new job and quit in 1976 to work for ‘Motown Records.’
‘Motown’ was one of the biggest American artist management firms and Ramon became the publicist for a number of artists who had signed with the company. He designed and executed publicity campaigns for artists such as Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, and Marvin Gaye. He was good at his job and successfully earned the goodwill of the artists.
After working for ‘Motown Records’ for a few years, Ramon joined ‘Rogers & Cowan’ as a writer and publicist. His skills and his knowledge of the industry had him getting promoted fast. In the late 1970s, he was promoted to the position of the director of music and the vice president of music and talent within the company.
His experience with ‘Rogers & Cowan’ earned him access to the industry on a larger scale. His long list of high-profile clients included names such as Bette Midler, Herb Alpert, Nick Nolte, George Benson, and the ‘Bee Gees,’ among others.
By the mid-1980s, Ramon was convinced that he should start his own company. He first started working with another company named ‘The Gibson Group,’ where he was a partner and co-president. Some of his most notable clients at the company were Vanessa Williams, Rick James, and Little Richard. He ended up marrying Vanessa Williams in the mid-1980s.
In the late 1980s, Ramon laid the foundation of his own artist management company, ‘Hervey & Company.’ Popular gospel singer Andraé Crouch became Ramon’s first client in the new company.
Over the years, the company has created quite a reputation in the market. The firm started becoming popular in the 1990s and spent an entire decade managing several upcoming and established artists.
The company has represented a diverse range of artists dealing in various musical genres, such as rap, hip-hop, R&B, rock, and gospel. The company also ventured into organizing live events and managing small independent record labels. Ramon also stepped into Hollywood and got associated with several studios and independent films, serving their public relations, marketing, and managerial needs.
The firm currently represents many notable artists such as the ‘Grammy’-nominated “a cappella” group ‘Sweet Honey in the Rock’ and popular British pop singer Glen Scott.
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One of the most talked-about success stories of his company has been the revival of the fading artist Little Richard. Ramon urged Richard to publish his biography to give people a peek into his struggle-filled personal life. The biography, ‘Little Richard, The Quasar of Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ was published soon. The book became a bestseller and invited several controversies that made Richard relevant again, thereby revitalizing his dying career.
After establishing himself as a music-industry mogul, Ramon ventured into film production. In 2004, Ramon began his stint in the film production arena with the documentary film ‘Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed.’ The documentary portrayed the life of the first female African–American congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm. Directed by Shola Lynch, the documentary won a ‘Peabody Award.’
Ramon was also associated with a crime thriller documentary film titled ‘Free Angela.’ He worked as a music supervisor for the documentary. The film portrayed the troubled life of pop culture icon Angela Davis. The documentary earned massive critical acclaim and won the 2014 ‘Image Award’ for the ‘Best Documentary.’
He has also worked as a music supervisor for the documentary film ‘Hot Flash Havoc.’ He served as an executive producer for televised concerts of artists such as Andraé Crouch and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds.
He also served as a music consultant for the romantic–comedy film ‘Should’ve Been Romeo.’ However, his association with films remains limited, as he concentrates more on ‘Hervey & Company.’
His company also organizes concerts and brings actors and filmmakers to several major film festivals across the world. Presently, his company features on the list of the top-most artist management/PR firms in the US.
In 1984, Ramon Hervey II met Vanessa Williams after being hired as her manager. His job was to revitalize her career. While working, they fell in love. They got married in 1987. Ramon was 33 years old at that time, while Vanessa was 23. This was later known as one of the most talked-about marriages in Hollywood.
The couple divorced in 1997, after 10 years of marriage. Despite a bitter divorce, Ramon and Vanessa never expressed any hatred toward each other on any public platform.
Ramon and Vivian have two daughters, Jillian and Melanie, and a son, Devin.