Billboard's 2011 Women In Music Honorees
Billboard's 2011 Women In Music Honorees

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No. 15
Ethiopia Habtemariam

Executive VP/head of urban music, Universal Music Publishing Group; senior VP, Motown Records
Twitter: @habersmasher

A Billboard "30 Under 30" honoree in 2005, Ethiopia Habtemariam is now in the big leagues. As executive VP/head of urban music at Universal Music Publishing Group, Habtemariam has proved to be a savvy prophet of the next big thing. Her signings include Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, J. Cole, Keri Hilson, Ester Dean (Rihanna), Brian Kennedy (Kelly Clarkson), producer Polow Da Don and Cash Money (Nicki Minaj, DJ Khaled, Mac Mane). Habtemariam's latest deals have been struck with Ari Levine and Philip Lawrence of the Smeezingtons (Bruno Mars, B.o.B); GloJoe Music, the publishing division of Vincent Herbert and Troy Carter that has signed DJ White Shadow (Lady Gaga); and Hit Boy (Kanye West and Jay-Z's "Niggas in Paris") through Polow Da Don. She was named to her concurrent Motown Records senior VP role in September. "It's such a great time in music," she says. "Tired of the cookie-cutter sound, people are taking more risks; the creative energy is strong. And while the new role at Motown is a huge opportunity and a lot of responsibility, it's not about pressure so much as excitement."

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