By Calynn M. Lawrence
Tyson Beckford is a true vet in the male modeling industry. Standing at 6 feet with a tone physique and beautifully ambiguous multiracial heritage, this former supermodel has changed the game for many. Especially those of color. As one of the most well known male supermodels he leads a great way for those seeking to follow in his path. That is why he was named this week’s Model Millionare.
Tyson was born to a mixed race family of Jamaican, Panamanian and Chinese heritage. He spent some of his child hood in Jamaica and some in The Bronx, New York. By the time he was a young adult, he was recruited to “The Source”, a hip hop magazine that worked to include only the top fashion models, by a talent scout, Jeff Jones in 1992. Jeff Jones has since been credited with discovering Beckford as he was the one who gave him his first break in the industry. Soon after, Beckford was contracted by Ralph Lauren as the starring model for the company’s Polo line of male sportswear.
With his career blowing up, he was deemed “Man of The Year” in 1995 by VH1. As well as being name one of the world’s most beautiful people by People magazine. He was also ranked number 38 on VH1’s 40 Hottest Hotties of the ’90s.
Some of his television and film endeavours as a host and actor include the following: My Wife and Kids, Half & Half, Video on Trial, Make Me a Supermodel, Zoolander, Addicted and Hotel California. For music videos, he has done the following: “Anything” by SWV, “Breathe Again” and “Unbreak My Heart” by Toni Braxton, “Act a Fool” by Ludacris, “21 Questions” by 50 Cent, ” Toxic” by Britney Spears, “infinity” by Mariah Carey, “Go Hard” by DJ Khaled and “One More Chance” by The Notorious B.I.G.
With all of this success, he has amassed a net worth of over $14 million throughout his career. Obviously, he’s doing something right! A nice portion of his profits go towards charity as well. Some of the organizations that he stands by are the National RESPECT! Campaign against domestic violence, recording a voice message for the Giverespect.org Web site which speaks about the importance of respect for others. He is also an ambassador for the non-profit Kick4Life which is an organization that uses the power of soccer to engage vulnerable youth in holistic care and support in Africa. What an example to the future male models of this generation!