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BlackBerry and Alicia Keys end 'creative director' relationship

Alicia Keys is handing back the title of ‘global creative director’ to BlackBerry. According to CBC News on Thursday, the singer took on the role one year ago, which was meant to help the company grow business in a world of Apple and Android products.

BlackBerry Global Creative Director Alicia Keys holds a new BlackBerry at the BlackBerry 10 launch event at Pier 36 in Manhattan on January 30, 2013 in New York City.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

As of Jan. 30 of this year, Alicia Keys will be officially out. Though she held the title of creative director, some speculated that she was little more than a presence to help promote and sell the Blackberry 10 smartphone.

However, in the statement announcing her departure, the Canadian company thanked Keys for her role in the BlackBerry Keep Moving Project, launching the BlackBerry Scholars program and advocating for women in STEM.

Despite her involvement with the company and the BlackBerry 10, GlobalNews reports that sales of the smartphone were disappointing.

BlackBerry’s statement on Thursday stated that the company enjoyed the opportunity of working with “such an incredibly talented and passionate individual.”

Naming celebrities as not just spokespeople for a product but giving them integral roles inside a company has become a big trend as of late. In 2010, Lady Gaga became the creative director for Polaroid, though they soon filed for bankruptcy. Early in 2013, Justin Timberlake became the creative director for “Bud Light Premium,” and Taylor Swift and Beyoncé announced partnerships with Diet Coke and Pepsi, respectively.

What do you think went wrong with this relationship? Or do you think celebrity “creative director” positions are the real problem?

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