AMANDA CATES, 37
Head of marketing and digital strategy, Maverick Nashville
Took Aldean to No. 1: Cates quarterbacked the promotion and digital campaigns for Jason Aldean’s Rearview Town, which premiered only on premium-streaming tiers in April but still debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Central to the LP’s chart-topping success: The Appalachian State University grad coordinated a series of Apple Music exclusives, including a Beats 1 interview and a live version of “Drowns the Whiskey,” both of which helped the album hit No. 1 on the streaming service’s country albums chart.
TONY COREY, 36
VP marketing, Island Records
A Lot of Lovato Streams: “The most successful campaigns start with the artist’s vision,” says Corey, who calibrated the marketing campaign for Demi Lovato’s 2017 album, Tell Me You Love Me, to the LP’s “soulful R&B-driven” sound, which helped score her biggest single to date, “Sorry Not Sorry.” (The track peaked at No. 6 on the Hot 100 and generated upwards of 610 million streams.) The East Carolina University grad says he’s also part of the push to “build on the success of our new artist Loote,” the pop duo that has generated over 80 million U.S. streams.
IAN CRIPPS, 29
VP A&R, Atlantic Records
Made Mason Ramsey Famous: In April, Cripps partnered with Big Loud Records to sign 11-year-old “Walmart yodeling kid” Mason Ramsey, whose debut single, “Famous,” hit No. 4 on Hot Country Songs. “After spending time with him, I knew he was a star,” says Cripps, adding that his goal is to find artists “who create their own lanes.” The A&R executive also bet early on hip-hop artists DRAM, whose “Broccoli” hit No. 5 on the Hot 100, and KYLE, whose breakthrough single, “iSpy,” reached No. 4 -- both with assists from Lil Yachty.
JAMIL "BIG JUICE" DAVIS, 29
Co-founder/co-CEO, The Revels Group/RVG Records; founder/CEO, Big Juice Poppin Party Promotions
G-Eazy Victory: While co-managing flagship client G-Eazy -- who has three top 10 Billboard 200 albums and 5.5 billion streams to his name -- Davis and his partner of 10 years, Matt Bauerschmidt, guide a roster that includes Leven Kali, Anthony Russo, Dounia, Gibson Hazard and Carly Rose. To deal with their growing client list, they added three junior managers to the staff in 2018. “I love young hustlers,” says Davis. Revels Group also manages Drake’s Aubrey and The Three Migos Live! Tour.