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UMPG's Jody Gerson to Receive Songwriters Hall of Fame Abe Olman Publisher Award

Jody Gerson
Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group Jody Gerson on stage during 2020 Billboard Power List for the 62nd annual GRAMMY Awards on Jan. 23, 2020 in Hollywood, Calif.

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) chairman and CEO Jody Gerson will receive the Abe Olman publisher award at the 51st annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner, it was announced Wednesday (March 11). The event is scheduled for June 11 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

The Abe Olman publisher award, which is named after one of the founders of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, is given out each year to a music publisher “who has had a substantial number of songs that have become world-renowned and has furthered the careers and successes of a great number of songwriters.” Past recipients include Caroline Bienstock, Milt Okun, Martin Bandier, Irwin Robinson, Freddy Bienstock, Lance Freed, Ralph Peer and Beebe Bourne.

"It’s wonderful to be acknowledged by the Songwriters Hall of Fame for a career that I love so much," Gerson said in a statement to Billboard. "I am deeply honored."

Songwriters Hall of Fame president and CEO Linda Moran called Gerson “one of the most innovative and creative music publishers in contemporary music publishing today.”

“She combines a strong A&R and creative progressive path with tremendous business savvy,” she continued. “Add in her strong alliances with and her mentoring and nurturing of songwriters and artists of all genres, whether they be new to the business or high-profile names, as well as her continuing to break through barriers, there is no doubt that Jody will be a dominant force in our business for as long as she wants."

Over her more than three decades of experience in the industry, Gerson has broken barriers. She is the first woman chairman of a global music company and the first to be named CEO of a major publisher. In January, she also became the first woman and first music publishing executive to receive Billboard’s Executive of the Year honor.

Since joining UMPG in 2015, Gerson has helped grow revenue at the publisher by 40% and led signings and deal extensions for songwriters including the Bee Gees, Elton John, Carly Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Rosalia, Alicia Keys, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Jack White, SZA, Post Malone, Quavo, Ariana Grande, H.E.R., Harry Styles and Maren Morris.

On the non-profit side, Gerson co-founded and served on the board of directors for She Is the Music, which champions equality and inclusion for women in the industry. She additionally serves on the boards of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, MusiCares, the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and The Archer School for Girls.

Earlier in her career, Gerson served as co-president at Sony/ATV Music Publishing and headed both the East Coast and West Coast publishing divisions at EMI prior to that. On the film side, she produced Drumline and ATL and executive produced VH1’s Drumline 2.

Inductees in the Songwriters Hall of Fame this year include Mariah Carey; Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart (Eurythmics); Ernie Isley, Marvin Isley, O’Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley and Chris Jasper (The Isley Brothers); Steve Miller; Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo (The Neptunes); Rick Nowels; and William “Mickey” Stevenson. Songwriter Paul Williams will receive the Johnny Mercer award at the ceremony.


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