Executive Turntable

Amazon Music Country Lead Kelly Rich Is Leaving

Kelly Rich
Courtesy Photo

Kelly Rich

Kelly Rich, Amazon Music’s country lead, is set to exit the role on Aug. 30, the company tells Billboard.

"I've genuinely loved my time at Amazon Music and am so proud of what we’ve built for country music. I’m excited to take some time to be with my family," Rich said in a statement.

Rich first joined Amazon Music in 2017 as senior label relations manager. As the country lead for Amazon Music, Rich worked with artists and labels in Nashville to help drive collaborative efforts around content launches, events and promotions. The news of her departure was first reported by Country Aircheck.

Rich has been honored as a Billboard Woman in Music (2010-2013), a Billboard Country Power Player (2017-2020) and more. She is on the board of the Academy of Country Music and a member of Leadership Music's Class of 2020. Prior to joining Amazon Music, her career included stops at Big Machine Label Group, UMG Nashville, DreamWorks, Arista Nashville, BMG and Western Merchandisers.

Amazon Music has increasingly made country music a key part of its music strategy in recent years. Country music is among the most-requested music genres on Amazon Music's Alexa, while Amazon's Country Heat playlist remains a top vehicle for introducing music fans to new country artists. In 2016, Garth Brooks revealed an exclusive deal with Amazon Music, for several of his albums to be available exclusively on Amazon Music Unlimited.

For Billboard's 2021 Country Power Players list, Rich told Billboard, "The share of country streams on Amazon Music continues to be more than two times the industry average."

Next year, the Academy of Country Music Awards will leave CBS and head to Amazon Prime Video, which will mark the first major music awards show to stream exclusively.

Amazon Music has already posted a job posting for the country lead role.