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As Blackberry reels from its recently reported $4.4 billion third quarter loss, the company has announced that performing artist Alica Keys’s year-long stint as global creative director has come to an end.
Neither the company nor Keys have explained why they are parting ways. As a story on Forbes pointed out, if Keys’s compensation included equity, then it’s worth 33 percent less than it was a year ago when she started her gig at the Canadian telecommunications company.
CNNMoney reported that her job with Blackberry officially ends on Jan. 31.
Blackberry isn’t the first to hire on a celebrity and call them a “creative director” rather than a spokesperson.
Rapper 50 Cent used to have a $100 million deal with Glaceau’s Vitamin Water before he walked away when the company was acquired by Coca-Cola. ThisWashington Post article explains how the then-rising store managed to ink a partnership worth half-billion dollars.
Last year Justin Timberlake agreed to take on the role of creative director for Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light Premium brand. A 60-second ad promoting the beer debuted during Super Bowl 2013 and featured his hit single “Suit & Tie.”

Marc Jacobs spent a year as creative director of the Diet Coke brand to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2013 and Beyonce Knowles partnered with Pepsi.

Back in 2005 singer and former No Doubt front woman Gwen Stefani teamed up with HP to release a limited edition “Harajuku Lovers” digital camera.

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