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Steve Stoute Explains To 'Nightline' How Hip-Hop Stars Are Status Symbols (VIDEO)

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Former music executive Steve Stoute is no stranger to pairing A-list talent with selling some of today's hottest brands and products. The advertising executive was recently featured on an episode of "Nightline" where he was profiled during the launch party of his September released book, "The Tanning Of America: How the Culture of Hip-Hop Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy."

During the five minute clip Stoute discussed how he influenced McDonald executives to tap into pop culture for the fast-food chain's highly successful "I'm Lovin' It" campaign.

"They were going through tough times and they came up with the campaign 'I'm Lovin' It'. The executives at McDonalds brought me on and said 'could you find a way to ensure that when we launch, I'm Lovin' It that, that tagline is accepted by popular culture,' he explained to ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts. "I went to Justin Timberlake because I thought he'd be great because he was one of the great artist in the music business and he was fully tanned. Black girls, white girls, no one looked at him through color."

Stoute's close friend and industry colleague Sean "Diddy" Combs also elaborated on the marketing guru's impact on hip-hop culture. "He was the one for us that was the deal maker. He didn't just make the deal he helped to empower hip-hop, he didn't sell it out," he declared. "He's come in to help all of us to make the connections with the people that we wouldn't normally make the connections with."

Check out the interview in its entirety below and HuffPost Black Voices ongoing video series "The Tanning Effect" above.

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