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What Drives You? ET’s Kevin Frazier Reveals the Keys to His Success

  • Things To Know
  • Jeannie Assimos
  • 7 minutes

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Entertainment Tonight’s Kevin Frazier has reached levels of success many of us can only dream about. At 57, he’s the co-anchor of the syndicated news show, has several Emmy awards sitting in his office, and has impressive side gigs as a sportscaster for ESPN and FOX. The founder of hiphollywood.com, he’s also a proud husband and father of three sons. I wanted to find out what has driven his success, and what his advice was for others looking to achieve their goals.

Q: Kevin you clearly have been very successful in your career and life. Do you remember when you were a kid, what you wanted to do when you grew up?

KF: It’s funny because as a kid I wanted to be a basketball coach. My father was a basketball coach, so I was going to get involved in that because I loved it. When I was in the 4th grade, my media teacher told us about a short film contest that was happening in our county, so I made a short film, with my cousin filming, about my father’s basketball team. We shot everywhere behind the scenes and putting that film together, I just loved it. But I always thought I’d be a basketball coach!

The fact that I ended up doing this was very bizarre. I started out as a cameraman in Charleston, and my first couple of days there, I was just fascinated by the process of the news. I would stand there in the newsroom and was fascinated by the way they got live shots in and updated, and told stories. From then on, I wanted to learn and understand that process. I love to tell stories and from there on, I was driven to understand how they did this every day.

Q: So from that point on, where you laser-focused on that? Or were you open to whatever was to come?

KF: I was way open. I was a cameraman, and I learned that from the ground up. I always looked at things like, “What is the day presenting me with?” What does the day present you with? And can you maximize that day and that moment? I think so many times, people look ahead and they get in front of themselves, then you stop maximizing what’s happening that day. If you do your best that day, you’ll build to the next day, and the next day.

It’s funny because when the ET staff was sent home because of the pandemic, they told me I’d have to do the show from home somehow. And there was joy in my heart, because I had all of this camera equipment in my house. I did everything from my house. I had tripods, I was shooting, some days I’d use my kids! It was crazy, but because of that learning, I was able to incorporate all of that into this moment.

Q: So what advice would you give someone who is looking to achieve their goals and be successful in life?

KF: You have to do something that you have a passion for, and I know that sounds crazy, and people always say that, but when I first came out of school and got my job in Charleston, I was making 13k a year. All of my friends were making 50 or 60k, and I was calling my girlfriend and asking to borrow money! I was living in my grandparent’s attic! But each day when I went to work, there was joy and excitement for me in doing what I did. When you have that joy, you work harder, you are more invested, and you begin to grow and you don’t even see it. That’s what I urge everyone to do. I see so many people who are afraid to chase their dream. Or you get locked into a job because you want these material things, and these material things stop you from having this joy. Things come and go. They really come and go.

Q: So true. What does success mean to you now?

KF: Success to me now means telling stories that I want to tell. Success to me now is my boys. I look at them every day, and the human beings they are becoming. The foundation you build for them, the times where you have to give them tough love, the times you spoil them, the times you show them the world, and show them how to decode and work through this world. I love spending time with my family and I am so grateful that I get to spend time with them. People will be like, “What are you doing tonight? Are you going to this party in Hollywood?” I’m like, “Nope I’m sitting in the backyard and I’m watching basketball practice, or I’m driving to soccer practice.” That’s success for me because that’s what I love.

Q: It’s such a blessing you have this rooted aspect of your life, because you are in the middle of this Hollywood storm, where you see people every day swept away by the illusion of fame and seeking validation. And it isn’t enough, right?

KF: It’s funny because the other day I was talking to Matthew McConaughey’s publicist about how her child and my child play in the same basketball league, and she was joking about me being in my tuxedo on Oscar Sunday coaching a basketball game before the awards started. I left the gym and went right to the red carpet. I was like — that’s what it is about! I’m going to go and interview the most fabulous people in the world, and it’s going to be incredible, but that morning I’m standing there at the court, and it’s Will Ferrell and I coaching the game, and I’m in a tuxedo, and I wouldn’t have missed that.

Q: Speaking of passions, how did HipHollywood.com come to be?

KF: This was back in 2005-2006. It really started because there were several African American bloggers writing about Hollywood, one girl was based in Pennsylvania, another based in Richmond, Virginia. I went to do an interview with Usher, and when I got back to my desk, I was reading these blogs where they were saying Usher was getting divorced, that he was in a terrible fight with his wife, and I was like, “I just came from an interview with Usher, his wife, they had a baby, and they were happy.” I literally called this blogger and I asked her how she got her information. She said her cousin had an assistant who knew someone who knew Usher. So, this is what HipHollywood has always been about, highlighting and telling accurate stories about African American people in entertainment.

Q: As you know, we are an auto app, so I have to ask, what was your first car?

KF: My first car was a 1971 VW bug. There was a hole in the floor, so when you pulled up the mat you could see the ground as you drove. It was a 2-gear automatic shifter. That first car is just independence and freedom. It allows you to go anywhere, and we forget, the automobile changed this country because it gave us the freedom to go anywhere and do anything. I remember the night I got it, I remember calling my girlfriend, then driving around her block so she could see my car, and hear me shifting, and the pure excitement of that moment.

Check out Kevin’s other passion project, HipHollywood.com.

Follow Kevin on Twitter and Instagram, and don’t miss him on Entertainment Tonight.


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