Danyel Smith

culture lead in Washington, DC

Danyel Smith

culture lead in Washington, DC

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Danyel Smith is a Washington DC-based media creative, television producer, and author. She is currently culture lead—senior producer and editor— at ESPN’s The Undefeated. Recent fave projects include the television special, The Undefeated In-Depth: Serena with Common, Misty Copeland En Pointe, and Dance, Little Sister. Prior to ESPN, Danyel was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford, where she cofounded HRDCVR, an innovative hardcover culture magazine. In addition to writing for Elle, ESPN The Magazine, NPR, the New Yorker, Condé Nast Media Group, and the New York Times, Danyel has served as editor of Billboard, editor-at-large at Time Inc, and as editor-in-chief of VIBE. She is the author of two novels, ‘More Like Wrestling’ and ‘Bliss,’ and is completing a history of black women in pop music. Danyel’s rare relationships with influential artists—from Beyoncé to Mariah Carey to Jay Z to Romeo Santos and more— continue to imbue her projects with vibrance and authenticity.