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Jason Lee: Battle To Success From Trauma & Hardship

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SPLASH NEWS/StarTalksNow COMPOSITE

On August 16, 1977 at 04:59am in Stockton, California, Jason Lee Johnson was born.

Lee was shocked to learn of the tragic death of his older brother, Rodney Townsend, who was shot and killed at the bar of El Dorado Bowl in Stockton, California on March 1, 1997.

According to law enforcement, Townsend, 27, stood in the way of a bullet that was intended for someone else with the fired shot wounding his face. Townsend left behind a wife, Tanya, and two daughters, Simone and Mytae. Jason addressed his brother’s passing during an episode of Love & Hip Hop upon his return to the franchise in season six. His childhood was tough with Jason‘s mother, Evelyn Townsend, battling drug addiction leading to the media personality being put into the foster care system in Stockton, California. These traumatic events at a young age impacted the mindset Lee has today, which is evidently to strive for better and hold high ambitions for success.

Since the mid-2000s, Jason has developed his own personal brand in turn launching him into success and stardom within the entertainment industry.

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Between 2010-2012 the media guru had already launched the I Am Ready Foundation and iamjasonlee.com — this was the starting point for the now-popular entertainment news brand, Hollywood Unlocked.

Jason has links to some of the biggest names in Hollywood, from Tiffany Haddish, Cardi B to Kanye West – recently becoming Ye’s head of media. His fight for success doesn’t derive from an egotistic standpoint, his demand for success is to show the Black community that you can become who you want to be. It doesn’t take a genius to find the meaning behind Lee’s motives, simply look at his 500k strong Instagram profile showing posts that demonstrate his actions that have led to the TV hosts success. The odds have been shamefully stacked against him from the beginning yet he’s managed to develop and grow one of the most successful entertainment brands to date with just the HU Instagram totalling over 3 million followers to date.

Hollywood Unlocked became the main focus for Jason as he progressed through his television career as a presenter and guest star on various shows. The website domain itself hasn’t always belonged to the blogger, and was a task to obtain for the brand to continue.

For a while throughout the mid-2010s as Lee developed the business model and website’s interface, he used iamjasonlee.com, with the main title reading as ‘Jason Lee, Hollywood Unlocked’, the only real reference to what was to come. HollywoodUnlocked.com sifted through many hands including former website teen.com (now seventeen.com), before eventually becoming available for Jason to purchase and use in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic lockdown.

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The brand itself continued on, regardless of having a website, successfully growing on social media and YouTube where audiences could engage with content published via those channels. In November 2019, Jason announced to his audience, “I’m in the process of re-building my website. We’re not just an Instagram blog and we’re definitely not just a YouTube blog, we actually have a whole multimedia network from the podcast, to the syndicated show to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook. All of you guys are our community and we are in the process of growing that community.”

Opinions from social media users are mixed about the rising star, with some claiming Jason is “messy” which I heard quite a lot when asking around – but from my basic research, there is no real evidence of this. In fact, if “messy” is gaining success to his level, then I’d take that.

The business guru often shares his next project and ideas with his followers, however behind the scenes he moves strategically and at a fast pace with even his own staffers needing to keep up, but there’s method in his madness, and history proves this with his execution on projects.

Who is Jason Lee?

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