Q&A: LaToya talks about her Star turn as endorser

Jackson sibling to plug Australian malt beverage

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LaToya Jackson, perhaps the third most controversial member of the Jackson dynasty, has signed on as an endorser for Star Ice, a flavored malt beverage from Australian marketer Star Beverages that uses the tagline "Ice me down under." Kate MacArthur couldn't resist checking in with the just-turned-50-year-old entertainer who has gained more fame for her nonmusical efforts than her singing.

Why did you agree to promote this product?

My business partner and Star Ice got together. I had a taste of it and I enjoyed it and I thought it was great drink. I thought I would do it if I could do my own beverage, too. As we go on, I'm going to come out with my own champagne or red wine ... under the Star Ice brand.

You've been highly paid for efforts in the past, including your Playboy shoot. How were you compensated for Star Ice?

This is a business venture. Let's just say that I'm part owner and I have a very good portion of the company.

How are you planning to promote Star Ice?

We just completed a commercial and the print ads. I am on way to luncheon party at [Wolfgang Puck's] Chinois at Caesars Palace to meet with [75 to 80] distributors. I am going to definitely be out there and be hands-on. It's very important that it's well-received.

You've had some issues with the Jackson family, and you released tracks from your album under your nickname, Toy. Are there still issues, and is that why you've dropped the Jackson name?

There are no issues with them at all. ... Toy, that was used for musical reasons. When it comes to business, it will be me, LaToya. Musically it will be Toy. Toy, I decided, would be better, and it was. ... A lot of people thought Toy was an Asian girl, and they loved the song. I called up so many promoters, and they all just wanted to speak to Toy. ... When I told them it was me and my name is LaToya Jackson, they couldn't believe it.

What are your expectations for Star Ice?

I only think positive. I only think of the best. My expectation is if I do this properly, it will be one of fastest-selling drinks out there.
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