JASON OWEN, 42
President/CEO, Sandbox Entertainment; co-president, Monument Records
NINE GRAMMY NOMS FOR SANDBOX CLIENTS: Years of artist development came to fruition for Owen’s clients in 2018: Kacey Musgraves’ critically heralded album, Golden Hour, scored four Grammy nominations -- without the benefit of a major hit. Dan + Shay’s self-titled third studio set contained smashes “Tequila” and “Speechless,” the latter of which became the longest-running No. 1 by a duo on the Country Airplay chart since Florida Georgia Line’s “Stay” in 2014. (Owen co-manages Dan + Shay with Scooter Braun.) “It proves you don’t have to stick to a formula -- I never have,” says Owen, whose influence in Nashville became apparent in February 2018 when he wrote a letter denouncing the Country Music Association’s appointment of Mike Huckabee to the board of its CMA Foundation because of anti-gay statements that Huckabee had made in the past. Owen’s protest, among others, led to the former Arkansas governor’s swift resignation from the board.