RCA Inspiration Recruits eOne Music Exec Phil Thornton

Derek Blanks
Phil Thornton

Phil Thornton has been appointed senior VP and general manager for RCA Inspiration, Billboard has learned. His appointment follows this week’s earlier announcement that the label is now operating under Provident Music Group, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. As a result, RCA Inspiration has shifted its base of operations to Nashville from New York.

Thornton will oversee daily initiatives and manage business operations for RCA Inspiration, as well as establish external partnerships. Reporting to Provident president/CEO Terry Hemmings, Thornton succeeds Geo Bivins, who will still retain his title as senior VP of urban promotion at RCA Records. For the last four years, Thornton served as VP/GM of urban inspirational at eOne Music, whose roster included gospel, Christian and R&B artists.

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In a statement announcing Thornton’s appointment, Hemmings said, “Phil Thornton is a demonstrated leader and visionary with an infectious passion for gospel music and breaking artists.”

Prior to his tenure at eOne Music, Thornton established Ten2One Entertainment, a multimedia television production and artist management firm. Management clients included Faith Evans, Michelle Williams, Kenny Lattimore and Mack Wilds. Thornton also executive produced the TV One series R&B Divas Atlanta and its spinoff R&B Divas L.A. He still serves as executive producer of BET’s It’s a Mann’s World, which stars David and Tamela Mann.

At RCA Inspiration, Thornton will oversee a roster of established stars and emerging artists that includes Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Sapp, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin’s Fo Yo Soul Recordings roster, Travis Greene and Le’Andria Johnson. Thornton tells Billboard that a new single from Grammy Award winner Johnson is slated for the fall.

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Adds Thornton, “I see great opportunities for RCA Inspiration as we create synergies with Provident Music Group’s multiple divisions.” The label, home to such Christian and worship acts as Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman and Third Day, also houses Provident Films (War Room, Woodlawn) and Essential Music Publishing, among other divisions. “We’re ready,” continues Thornton, “to raise the bar and take the genre to new heights.”