BET Names Influential African Americans

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BET Networks announced the picks for its Top 25: Money. Power. Respect., a series that rates the most influential African Americans.

Among those chosen were hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, Sen. Barak Obama (D-Ill.), Merrill Lynch CEO Stanley O’Neal, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and basketball Hall-of-Famer Magic Johnson.

Winners were selected based on net worth, visibility, impact on society and reputation.

“This is not your traditional ‘Who's got the most cake’ list," said Stephen G. Hill, executive vice president of music programming at BET. “Each individual's standing in the community and the absolute influence they have worldwide were relevant factors. Bottom line: We think the audience will debate about this list as much as we did.”

The show airs Friday, Sept. 29 at 10 p.m.

Additional footage, commentary and coverage, as well as a complete list of 25 power players, can be found at ( and on BET's broadband feature, BET on Blast, following the premiere.