Danyel Smith is a New York City-based media creative, television producer, and author. She is currently the culture lead—senior producer and editor— at ESPN’s The Undefeated. Some recent projects include the television special, The Undefeated In-Depth: Serena with Common, Misty Copeland En Pointe, and Dance, Little Sister. She lectures widely on subjects related to pop culture and music.
Prior to ESPN, Danyel was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford, where she co-founded 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.
Danyel is the author of two novels, More Like Wrestling and Bliss. Currently, she is working on a history of black women in pop music entitled Shine Bright, to be published by One World/Random House. Her own rare relationships with influential artists--from Beyoncé to Mariah Carey to Jay Z and more--imbue her projects with vibrance and authenticity.