University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
September 15, 2009
Contact: Joy Crawford-Washington, Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6211

Host of MTV’s “From G’s to Gents” to Speak at USA
Fonzworth Bentley
Fonzworth Bentley

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at the University of South Alabama will host an evening with Entertainer Fonzworth Bentley on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at the University of South Alabama Mitchell Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Bentley, the host of MTV’s “From G’s to Gents” and former personal assistant to Sean “Diddy” Combs, is a visual/musical artist and author who’s bridging the worlds of high-fashion and hip-hop.

Born Derek Watkins, Bentley is the author of “Advance Your Swagger: How to Use Manners, Confidence and Style to Get Ahead.” This book is designed to bring his generation back to the grace and dignity of their ancestors.

Bentley is about to release his debut album, “CoolOutrageousLoversof UniquelyRawStyle, C.O.L.O.U.R.S.” His mother Harriette Watkins said music has been in Bentley’s blood since birth.


“His uncle, a band director, played him Beethoven’s 5th Symphony at 18 months and by the time Derek was two-and-one-half years old, he was learning to play the violin via the Suzuki method,” Watkins said.”

Following high school, Bentley entered Morehouse College, where he won a campus comedy competition. Following that event, he met Bill Cosby and found a mentor who taught him the fine points of entertainment. Bentley reached out to Combs and worked for him for two years.

In 2002, after reading his Bible and praying, Bentley resigned as Diddy’s assistant and headed for Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He landed a role in the films “Honey" and “Fat Albert.” He has also appeared in several music videos with OutKast, Usher, and Kanye West.

Bentley was recognized by GQ magazine as the “First Gentleman of Hip Hop,” and his mission is to show everybody how to matriculate with style and humility.

“It’s about making sure you’re the best individual you can be so that when the opportunity presents itself, you are prepared,” Bentley said. “Obtaining a good education is a key ingredient in preparing one for success.”

Co-sponsors of this event are the African-American Student Association, Jaguar Productions, Men of Excellence, Upward Bound, Aids Awareness Poets, Inc., USA –NPHC Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Alpha Elites, and the Mobile Kappa League.


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