Home » Meet Suzanne de Passe: Iconic entertainment visionary

Meet Suzanne de Passe: Iconic entertainment visionary

A look into the iconic business ventures of American entertainment legend, Suzanne de Passe

by Victor Adetimilehin

Suzanne Celeste de Passe, a woman with amazing innovative and leadership abilities in the American entertainment industry, co-chairs the de Passe Jones Entertainment Group, bringing her visionary prowess to television, music, and film production. She was born into a family that had culturally rich heritage in New York City, with a mother of Jamaican descent and a father of French and Haitian descent. de Passe’s journey from the lively streets of Harlem to the corridors of Motown Records, where she worked her way up from being a creative assistant to becoming the President of the company, showcases a remarkable path of determination, dedication and hard work. Her remarkable journey began in the nightlife of New York City, leading her to Motown, where she became instrumental in the rise of icons like The Jackson 5 and The Commodores.

Elevating her career further, de Passe transcended the boundaries of Motown to establish de Passe Entertainment in 1992, after partnering with her mentor, Gordy Berry to create the now defunct Gordy/de Passe Productions. Her work, celebrated in Vanity Fair and photographed by Annie Leibovitz, covers groundbreaking television specials and series, earning her multiple Emmy, NAACP Image, and Peabody Awards, and an Academy Award nomination. As a well-respected figure in academia and media, she not only imparts wisdom at institutions like Harvard and Howard University but also shapes future narratives through her role as the Producer-in-Residence at Emerson College. de Passe’s long-lasting legacy is a testament to her unique contribution to the entertainment industry, solidifying her status as a formidable force in shaping American culture and entertainment.

Shinning in a male dominated industry

De Passe Entertainment LLC, founded by de Passe in 1992, was a distinct force in the entertainment industry, focusing on content creation and the management and grooming of talents. Suzanne formed De Passe Entertainment after working for Motown for 24 years and her mentor, Gordy Berry left the production business. She decided to become an entrepreneur and created the independent production company, showcasing her doggedness and courage to ‘play’ in a male-dominated ‘game’. De Passe Entertainment went on to produce iconic projects like Who’s the Man?, Motown, The Temptations, Sister Sister, All-American Girl, among others.


Suzanne de Passe is a visionary in the entertainment world and she showcased her seamless ability to blend creativity and executive business know-how through her venture, Creative Partners. With her storied career beginning at the iconic Motown Records and evolving through decades of creating and producing culturally impactful television and film content, de Passe harnessed her deep industry insights to launch Creative Partners.

When two veterans join forces…an iconic duo!

Launched on the 1st of January, 2007, De Passe Jones Entertainment marks the collaborative venture of Suzanne de Passe alongside Madison Jones, with an agenda to craft, secure, and bring forth a diverse collection of works in television, cinema, theater, digital platforms, and literature. Together, Madison and Suzanne have generated about $2 billion in entertainment revenue for projects they are responsible for. De Passe Jones Entertainment is a multiple award-winning company that sources, develops, acquires, and produces a variety of high-quality television, motion picture, theater, new media, and print content.

Enough experience to speak!

Suzanne de Passe is recognized for her influential role as a professional speaker, available for engagements through platforms like APB Speakers and All American Speakers. Her iconic career in the entertainment industry, particularly her significant contributions at Motown Records and with De Passe Jones Entertainment, enriches her speaking topics. She shares insights on the success of Motown, adapting life stories for the screen, and leadership in entertainment, drawing from her experiences in discovering iconic acts and producing celebrated content​​​​​​.

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