No. 27

Executive VP/head of urban, Universal Music Publishing Group; senior VP, Motown Records


Ethiopia Habtemariam is one of few industry executives—male or female—wearing two hats while making a musical statement. In publishing, she kicked off 2013 by announcing the signing of Miguel (“Adorn”). Also notching chart success: UMPG peers J. Cole (the No. 1 Born Sinner) and Rock City teaming with Mike Will Made It (No. 1s by Miley Cyrus and Rihanna). And hits by Justin Timberlake, Ari Levine/Philip Lawrence (Bruno Mars) and Robin Thicke brought UMPG kudos as BMI pop and urban publisher of the year. “We pride ourselves as being a team of publishers who discover, develop and nurture our writers,” Habtemariam says. Meanwhile, Motown posted top 10 R&B album debuts by Chrisette Michele and India.Arie. In advance of their upcoming duets album, Babyface and Toni Braxton scored an adult R&B No. 1 with first single “Hurt You.” Also coming in 2014: Motown releases by Erykah Badu and Kem, plus debut projects by Stacy Barthe (also a UMPG writer), Kevin Ross and Stori. “I’m proud to work alongside an amazing team at both UMPG and Motown,” Habtemariam says. “They continue to inspire and motivate me.” —Gail Mitchell