SARAH TRAHERN, 53
CEO, Country Music Association
The TV Ratings Whisperer: The 51st annual CMA Awards wrangled 14.3 million viewers in November 2017, up 14 percent from 2016; the Reba McEntire-hosted CMA Country Christmas drew 8.2 million, up 19 percent from 6.9 million; and a televised CMA Fest special in August attracted 5.7 million, its largest audience in three years.
International Harvester: In her fifth year as CEO, Trahern continues to expand the CMA's global reach with a multiyear distribution deal in Latin America and an award presentation at U.K. and Australian festivals. "The fans there know the music and lyrics just as well as the fans here," says the C-SPAN alumna.
*Declined to reveal age
Contributors: Trevor Anderson, Megan Armstrong, Jim Asker, Dave Brooks, Ed Christman, Camille Dodero, Adrienne Gaffney, Gary Graff, Jenn Haltman, Joe Levy, Melinda Newman, Paula Parisi, Eric Spitznagel, Phyllis Stark, Deborah Wilker
Methodology: A committee of Billboard editors and reporters weighed a variety of factors in determining the 2018 Country Power list, including, but not limited to, Billboard's 2017 Top Artists and Top Tours rankings; nominations by peers, colleagues and superiors; impact on consumer behavior as measured by such metrics as chart, sales and streaming performance, social media impressions, and radio and TV audiences reached; career trajectory; and overall impact in the industry. When available, financial results are taken into consideration. Where required, U.S. record-label market share was consulted using Nielsen Music's market share for album plus track-equivalent and streaming-equivalent album consumption units, and Billboard's quarterly top 10 publisher rankings. Unless otherwise noted, Billboard Boxscore and Nielsen Music are the sources for tour grosses and sales/streaming data, respectively. Nielsen is also the source for radio audience metrics. Unless otherwise noted, streaming figures cited represent combined U.S. on-demand audio and video totals.