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 For many artists, employing a parent as manager simply boils down to the issue of trust ...

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 Having your parent manage you carries some heavy risks, a child psychologist warns ...

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 Believe it or not, people have told Beyoncé's father, 'I think your daughter sucks' ...

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 Most parents don't know how to manage, dawg, 'American Idol' judge Randy Jackson says ...

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— by Corey Moss

Not long ago, Bow Wow called a meeting with Teresa Caldwell, his mother/manager — or as they say in the entertainment industry, his "momager." The 17-year-old rapper was more than satisfied with her managing, but it was taking up so much of her attention that she was slacking as a parent.

"It was hard to hear [that he was missing me as a mom], but he was right," Caldwell recalled from her office in Atlanta. "The truth is ... it's a challenge."

It most certainly is. Just look at history:

  • Last December, Aaron Carter fired his "momager" of 10 years, Jane Carter, claiming she took $100,000 from his bank account without permission. Aaron, who is co-managed by his father (recently divorced from Jane), rehired her a month later, two days before she assaulted her ex-husband's now wife.

  • Before reconciling in February 2002, LeAnn Rimes had a pending lawsuit against her father/manager, Wilbur Rimes, and his partner, claiming they stole $7 million from her. Wilbur countersued, calling LeAnn a "spoiled brat."

  • When he died in February 2003, Whitney Houston's father, John Houston, had a $100 million breach-of-contract lawsuit pending against his daughter, whom he alleged failed to pay him for two years of management service.

  • Going back further, Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys battled for a decade with their father, Murray Wilson, widely regarded as a demanding and controlling manager who did more harm than good.

  • Joe Jackson had a similar reputation as manager of the Jackson 5, and Michael Jackson said he used to regurgitate at the sight of him. "I never had a childhood," Michael told CBS News last December.

  • And parent manager nightmares extend beyond the music business. Just ask Macaulay Culkin, who has accused his father and former manager of stealing millions and misguiding his career. Both are home alone now.

Still, with all the examples of parent-managing gone wrong, several of today's biggest stars insist on being managed by mom or dad.

  Photos: Artists With Their Parent/Manager
Usher, Beyoncé, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, Ashanti, Brandy and JoJo are just some of the hot celebrities managed or co-managed by a parent.

So why risk it?

"Obviously one of the best benefits is we split the dough," Usher said at a recent tour stop, flashing his famous smile. "Nah. To be perfectly honest with you, there is not another person who could have your best interests [at heart like a parent does]."

"It's really fortunate to have someone that cares about you," Beyoncé said a few days later. "Even if you don't sell a record, if you completely stop singing, you know that they are there for the right reasons, because they care about you and they want to see you succeed."

While there are multiple cases of parent managers allegedly stealing from their children, hundreds of non-parent managers have been accused of the same thing. (Just watch TLC's "Behind the Music," or most other "Behind the Music" episodes for that matter.) So, given the option, who would you trust more to handle the dough?

"When you've got your family behind you, you've got trust behind you ..." — Ray J (pictured with sister Brandy)
"I feel in my heart I can trust my family," said Ray J, whose mother manages him and sister Brandy. "When you make a lot of money, a lot of people out there try to take things from you ... but when you've got your family behind you, you've got trust behind you, and that's real important. They been with you from day one, so you know they're doing this for you and not for a million dollar cut."

"I've been approached by several managers, but at the end of the day, it's still a trust factor," said veteran producer Rodney Jerkins, who is managed by his father. "He's proven it over and over again, and that's why I stick with him."

Jerkins also considers it a bonus that his father comes from outside of the bright lights of the music business, which is most often the case with parent managers. "He doesn't need to have a bunch of friends in the industry, 'cause that's not his thing," the hitmaker said. "His thing is to be home doing the contracts, making sure that I get the best deal possible."

Diana DeGarmo feels the same about her mother, who not only manages her but lived with her and the other "American Idol" finalists during the show, a requirement for contestants under 18. "I appreciate that she's the kind of person who doesn't like to be in the forefront," DeGarmo said. "It's so funny, when she was on TV, she was like, 'I can't believe people know who I am now.' "

For Bow Wow, his mother qualifies simply based on how well she knows him. "She's my mother, so obviously she knows what I like and she knows the things that I don't like."

NEXT: Having your parent manage you carries some heavy risks, a child psychologist warns ...
Photo: Getty Images

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