Veteran Entertainment Attorney Was 71 – Billboard

Veteran entertainment attorney Kendall A. Minter, whose diverse range of past and present clients included songwriter-producers Jermaine Dupri, Bryan-Michael Cox and D’Mile, MC Lyte, Kirk Franklin, Lena Horne and the Backstreet Boys, has died. He passed away suddenly from medical complications on Dec. 6 in Atlanta. He was 71.

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Minter, a longtime social advocate who also represented politicians, religious leaders, churches, authors and sports figures, was also the general counsel and an officer of the Living Legends Foundation. In 2015 Minter was presented with the 32-year-old organization’s Chairman’s Award.

“Kendall and I have been friends and colleagues for more than 30 years,” said Living Legends chairman David C. Linton in a statement released by the organization. “Kendall is one of the reasons why the Living Legends Foundation has maintained and survived as one of the leading and one of the few Black music organizations. We’re still standing because of his guidance. He helped us sustain the organization through some turbulent times, especially during the transition from the old model of the recording industry to today’s model, providing us with steady and sound legal counsel. We’re forever grateful for his service and leadership, not only to the Living Legends Foundation, but to the other Black organizations that he helped build during the past 40 years as well as his commitment to a long list of Black music and entertainment executives that he mentored and counseled.”

Before his death, Minter was Of Counsel with the entertainment & sports practice group at Greenspoon Marder LLP in Stone Mountain, Georgia. At Greenspoon Marder, he represented clientele in the areas of entertainment, corporate, intellectual property, sports and new media matters.

He also led and maintained his 43-year law practice, now known as Minter & Associates, based in Atlanta. Over the course of that period, his varied clientele past and present also included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Miriam Makeba, Peter Tosh, Musiq Soulchild, Goodie Mob, Montell Jordan, Ashanti, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Teddy Riley, Heavy D & The Boyz, radio pioneer Frankie Crocker, boxer Evander Holyfield, the Government of Jamaica and The Central Park Five, now known as The Exonerated Five, among others.

Minter also co-founded and served as the first executive director of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA) and was the former chairman of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation. He served as a board member as well for Sound Exchange, Georgia Music Partners and the DeKalb Entertainment Commission.

Born May 24, 1952 and raised in the Flushing section of Queens, NY, Minter earned his B.A. in political science from Cornell University in 1974 and his law degree from Cornell Law School in 1976. His first job out of law school was as association general counsel and corporate representative for broadcasting at Fairchild Industries. Over the course of his law career, Minter practiced with firms in Georgia, New York and the District of Columbia. He launched his first solo practice, the Law Firm of Kendall A. Minter, in 1980 and later opened affiliated offices in Los Angeles and London.

Minter’s other accomplishments include writing the book Understanding and Negotiating 3600 Ancillary Rights Deals: An Artist’s Guide to Negotiating 3600 Record Deals. He served as well as an adjunct professor at Georgia State University in the School of Music and the College of Law, where he taught copyright and music publishing.

Details about funeral services for Minter will be announced shortly.

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