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Power Players

No. 98
Gary Overton

Sony Music Nashville
Twitter: @SonyNashville
Small Town, Big Business...

Following the dynamic Joe Galante as chairman/CEO at Sony Music Nashville was no small task for Gary Overton, who arrived at the company after 15 years as executive VP/GM of EMI publishing's Nashville division. Few would argue Overton's leadership style is more low-key than Galante's, but since he took the helm in the spring of 2010, the label-whose country imprints are RCA Nashville, Columbia Nashville, BNA and Arista Nashville, as well as Christian label Provident-has excelled in all key metrics. In Billboard's 2011 year-end assessment, Sony Music Nashville ranked No. 1 on the Top Country Labels tally, and its artists delivered 16 of the tracks on the Top 50 Hot Country Songs list and 14 titles on the Top 50 Top Country Albums chart. Six of Sony Music Nashville's seven 2011 album releases debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums, with two others in 2010 under Overton. Since he's been at SMN, its artists have scored 15 No. 1 singles, for a total of 25 weeks atop Hot Country Songs, and the company has signed 10 artists, including buzz acts like Casey James, Wade Bowen, Love & Theft and the Lunabelles. As a label chief in turbulent times, Overton says he finds himself "in the middle of how we redefine our job and recalibrate what a record company does." As he approaches his second anniversary in the job, Overton's redefinition and recalibration are going powerfully well.

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