Women Behind The Mic Panel

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Women Behind The Mic - #OriginalBadGirl - The Bad Girl's of Bad Boy

As the history of Hip-Hop is written it will be filled with stories of various points-of-view. In a male-dominated industry the women who worked tirelessly behind the scenes at Bad Boy Records to help it become the most successful label in the 1990s and 2000s are glaringly absent from stories being told. These women are the Culture Creators of the Golden Era. The work of these women shaped, shifted and created the foundation of what became known as popular culture. From the Legal aspect to Marketing and Promotions to Publicity and Management, these are the Bad Girls of Bad Boy who helped position artists like Craig Mack, 112, Faith Evans, Total, and The Notorious B.I.G. from obscurity into household names. These Bad Boy artists have sold over 2 Billion records world-wide and earning Diamond Certifications.





Michelle’s career began in music when she worked alongside Sean Combs as the Director of Marketing for Bad Boy Entertainment. Michelle conceived, developed, planned & executed the marketing blueprints for the label for artists like The Notorious BIG, Craig Mack, Faith Evans, Total & 112 who combined have generated more than 30 million in album sales to date. 

She has worked as General Manager & Director of Marketing at ByStorm Entertainment and has held Vice President of Marketing positions at both Sony Music & MCA Records working with artists such as Mary J. Blige, Babyface, Charli Baltimore, Jaguar Wright, & more. 

Today, she is the Chief Experience Officer of Digital Chick Consulting considers herself to be a change agent of the new millennium in marketing platform innovation.  Michelle is the Co-Author & Co-Creator of The Women Behind The Mic Book and Docu-Series.



Dr. LaJoyce Brookshire will tell you she is a full-time wife and mother and a part-time everything else. That includes being a Naturopathic Doctor and a six-time bestselling author and a New York Times bestselling auhor of the novel based on the smash hit movie Soul Food with five concurrent bestselling books.

LaJoyce was a high-powered entertainment publicist to the STARS. As Director of Publicity at Arista Records in the mid-90s, artists such as The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Toni Braxton, Kenny G, OutKast, Monica, Deborah Cox, Craig Mack, Total, Faith Evans, 112, Usher, TLC, Whitney Houston, and The Notorious B.I.G aka (Biggie Smalls) to name a few. Due to her efforts as Director of Publicity her artists sold over 100 million albums worldwide.

LaJoyce is the Co-Author & Co-Creator of The Women Behind The Mic Book and Docu-Series.




A career spanning nearly over twenty years in the entertainment and financial services industries, Audra N. Washington is a true model of executives who have made and continue to make an impact whenever she helms a team or project.

Her start at the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) as one of fou rAfrican American Writer Relations Representative of Membership, sanctioned Audra to recruit Black songwriters, producers and artist to ASCAP for the protection of their intellectual performance royalties. Superstars signed to ASCAP under Washington’s tutelage include Sean “P-Diddy” Combs, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keyes, Missy Elliott, Maxwell, Timbaland and the late Notorious B-I- G. Not only did Ms. Washington recruit new writers to the repertoire, she developed close relationships with pioneer songwriters with extensive revenue earning music catalogs. During her tenure at ASCAP, Audra caught the attention of EMI Music Publishing and became the Creative Director EMI-Jobete Music Publishing. She oversaw the artistic use of the entire Jobete Catalog, which is the music publishing entity of Motown Records. Her conversations with Motown legends Stevie Wonder, Suzanne dePasse, Berry Gordy and various Jobete writer’s empowered Washington to become a pivotal force at EMI. Washington’s first creative concept and execution for Motown/Jobete was the 32 nd NFL Super Bowl Half-Time Show celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Motown Records.

Audra is the CEO & Founder of Poised Magazine (poisedmag.com). Poised celebrates the individuality, style and success of Black women 40-65+. Black women in full control of the seasons of their lives and living their best lives NOW!


Gwen Niles knows the "ins and outs" of Bad Boy Records, having served for 19 years prior to her time as the Office Manager/Legal Assistant to the Legendary Entertainment Attorney Louise West and the late Reggie Ossie “Combat Jack”.  This former VP of A&R Admin and Production as a humble and kind spirited person, Gwen is very protective of the authenticity of the relationships and experiences that have fostered the careers of the likes of Sean (Diddy) Combs, Craig Mack, the Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans, Total, 112 and others who have come through the doors of Bad Boy as singers, writers, musicians and producers.

In addition, aside from Bad Boy, Gwen has had a phenomenal career discovering and managing a number of well known producers and songwriters. Today she’s pivoted her business style and acumen into the creation of The Crabby Shack, as co-founder of a funky eatery in Brooklyn, NY, Gwen is making people smile one crab and lobster roll at a time.



Kierna Mayo has been seen actively on CNN in the past year as a guest contributor in topics related to AfricanAmericans, Diversity, Music, Film and Television. Most recently launching “Cassius” Digital Magazine, designed to Empower the Culture, she has also served as the Senior Vice President of Content and Brands at Interactive One. Kierna formerly served as an Editor in Chief and Vice President of Digital Content of Ebony magazine. She served as Editorial Director of Digital for EBONY Magazine. Before joining Johnson Publications, Kierna was instrumental at Bankable Enterprises, where she served as Editorial Director of Tyra.com; Tyra Banks' young women's magazine. With over 20 years of experience, she has written for magazines including Essence, Marie Claire, Glamour, Seventeen, Vibe and Uptown. A graduate of Hampton University, she is also the co-founder and founding Editor-in-Chief Honey Magazine. You can find Kierna planting in her garden in Long Island, enjoying life with her husband Lorenzo and two sons.

Co-founded by Michelle Joyce (former Director of Marketing for Bad Boy Entertainment) and La Joyce Brookshire (former Director of Publicity for 

Arista, Women Behind the Mic is a powerful movement designed to empower women, on how to succeed in the business of entertainment with successful women executives in music, film, radio and TV — the culture creators of the Hip-Hop and R&B Golden Era.

Women Behind The Mic includes both a book series and a docu-series. The first book in the Series – ‘Women Behind The Mic Vol 1’ is scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2018.