MONTE LIPMAN, 51
Chairman/CEO, Republic Records
Last Year’s Rank: 15
In its 20th year, Republic Records, with a roster that includes The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Drake and Nicki Minaj (both through Cash Money) and Taylor Swift (through Big Machine) owned 11.7 percent of the market and dominated Billboard's year-end charts. The Universal Music Group-owned label, which is run by the brothers Lipman, topped nearly 60 chart-topping categories, including Top Label, Top Hot 100 Label, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Label and Top Adult Top 40 Label. Monte says success comes from creating space for imaginations to wander by eliminating structured meetings and conference calls: "Our best decisions are made in the hallway." Avery's goal for the future is to sign "artists that can really touch all corners of the world," something that he acknowledges has become increasingly difficult. "It's getting harder and harder to break new acts. For a company like ours, whose lifeblood depends upon breaking new artists, it always has been the hardest thing, but it seems to be getting even harder."
Artist With Whom He’d Trade Places (Avery): "Jack Johnson. His priorities from the first time we met were ‘I am who I am, and I have a lifestyle and things I care about.'"