Derek ‘Fonzworth Bentley’ Watkins
PHILANTHROPIST, ACTOR, MUSICIAN, AUTHOR
The First Gentleman of Hip Hop, Fonzworth Bentley, Derek Watkins, graduated from Atlanta’s Morehouse College with a bachelor of science degree concentrating in biology, then attended New York’s prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology. After becoming one of the most popular maitre d’s in New York City, he raised his profile as Sean “Diddy” Combs’s personal assistant.
He later became the arbiter of good taste for Courvoisier, and Style & Fashion correspondent for Access Hollywood, covering the Oscars, Golden Globes, and Grammys. He was also named one of People magazine’s “50 Hottest Bachelors” in 2004. Bentley has appeared on MTV’s Making of the Band 2 and in music videos with OutKast, Kanye West, and Usher. He has also appeared in two feature films, Honey and Fat Albert.
Bentley is the author of the book, Advance Your Swagger: How to Use Manners, Confidence, and Style to Get Ahead. He released a much talked-about album, “C.O.L.O.U.R.S” featuring artists such as Kanye West, Andre 3000, Lil’ Wayne and others.
Aside from being an authority on style, manners, and Hip-Hop culture, Bentley is recognized throughout the music industry and the country as a talented artist and trend-setter.
Since breaking on to the scene in 2001; actor, musician, entrepreneur and best selling author Derek ‘Fonzworth Bentley’ Watkins has never looked back. As the current host of Lift Every Voice on BET; Derek relishes in the opportunity to inspire his viewers with an uplifting and in depth conversation with some of today’s hottest mainstream and gospel icons.
Driven by a deep faith and motivated to inspire others, Derek spends much of his personal time supporting numerous charities. The Joseph E. Lowery Institute, The White House Fatherhood Initiative, Know How 2 Go, Tied To Greatness and the UNCF Empower Me Tour are just a few of the organizations Derek has had the pleasure of working with over the years. Those combined experiences motivated him to launch the Fonzworth Bentley Leadership Institute to provide educational opportunities for people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.