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Ruffhouse – Platinum Island Branded Entertainment’s last 4 consecutive projects moved over 14 million units each. It swept the Grammy Awards at a level which has never been surpassed in music history. Ruffhouse partners Stephen Stone, Joe Nicolo, and Thad Shirey are the most successful joint venture in the history of Sony Music.

Ruffhouse Records is a label which could barely pay its rent when it first set up camp in an old gutted out, cob-web filled abandoned butcher shop located in North Philadelphia. Today, if there are any cob-webs still to be found in the building, they are most certainly covered over with gold and platinum records. The lack of uncovered wall space in the 10,000 square foot recording facility is pretty much indicative of the billion or so dollars that partners Joe Nicolo, Chris Schwartz, Stephen Stone and Thad Shirey generated with their string of mega-hit successes including Kris Kross, Cypress Hill, The Fugees and Lauryn Hill.

After being cited by Forbes magazine as among the “Most Successful Companies in America”, and then going on to sweep the Grammy Awards at a level which to this day nobody has been able to surpass (Beyonce only tied their record in 2004), Ruffhouse shocked the industry when they announced that they were selling the entire label outright to SONY MUSIC at the pinnacle of success.

Foreseeing the financial predicament that was about to loom upon the music business as a result of the downloading phenomenon, Stephen Stone came up with a brilliant strategy back in 2000 which would leave the rest of the industry in the dust. The idea was to create a trend which he coined as Madison & Vine, whereby the focus would be shifted away from reliance upon a record company to develop and market new artists. Instead, entertainment projects would be created as cross-branding and reverse-branding initiatives in media advertising platforms. The 30 Days ‘til I’m Famous television production is the premier result of Stephen Stone’s new agenda in the entertainment industry.



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