No. 5

Senior VP, AEG Live


Debra Rathwell not only oversees the hugely active New York office of AEG Live, but she’s a force in national touring. In addition to the annual 700 shows promoted by AEG in the Northeast, the Carolinas and Canada, AEG New York had exceptional touring successes under Rathwell’s watch. Justin Bieber wrapped a strong tour of Europe, the United States, Canada and Asia, with Australia and South America still to come. Bieber will finish as one of the elite tours of 2013 with $155 million in gross and 1.6 million tickets sold. Carrie Underwood, now an arena-level mainstay of remarkable consistency, assembled a 95-city North American tour, grossing $47.5 million. The Who ended its tour at Wembley Arena in London, filming Quadrophenia after a highly successful run on both sides of the Atlantic, with 38 shows grossing $28 million. “It was a terrific way to start 2013, with a lot of sold-out arena shows,” Rathwell says. AEG Live New York also played a role in several AEG touring artists playing locally, including the Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney. Rathwell notes that “a lot of time and talent was devoted” to young developing stars like Ariana Grande, Austin Mahone and J. Cole, who are “all artists we look forward to working with in 2014.” Rathwell’s office also steered “The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,” a John Mellencamp collaboration with Stephen King and T Bone Burnett that launched as a 19-theater tour through the heartland this fall. Producers are now evaluating touring and Broadway options for 2014, she says. Among her most memorable events of 2013 were the Global Poverty Concert in New York’s Central Park, featuring Santana, Alicia Keys, John Mayer and Kings of Leon, and the Teenage Cancer Trust Benefit at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden starring the Who and featuring Elvis Costello. —Ray Waddell