Kathy Spanberger
Kathy Spanberger

President/CEO, peermusic

Deal-Making Fireworks
For peermusic president/CEO Kathy Spanberger, the last 12 months have involved a lot of deal-making. She and her team signed writer Tyrese Gibson and a co-­publishing deal for the band Dead Sara, and worked with peermusic Nashville creative director Michael Knox (Jason Aldean's producer) to ink a co-publishing agreement with Neil Thrasher. Hits from Thrasher include Aldean's "Tattoos on This Town" and "Fly Over States" and Rascal Flatts' "Banjo."

My Mentor: "I have been lucky enough to have some great mentors in my career, but if I had to pick one, it would have to be my boss for the last 34 years, Ralph Peer, II. While I have learned just about everything I know about music publishing from him, he is a mentor to me because of his extraordinary integrity. He taught me that the music publisher's main role is protecting the right of songwriters."

In addition, peermusic acquired 2412 Music, the company that achieved enormous success with songwriter Ester Dean on such hits as Katy Perry's "Firework." In the Latin genre, peermusic is enjoying success with Juanes' "MTV Unplugged" album, has new releases coming from Anahi and Gloria Trevi, and continues to work closely with songwriter Chayanne. Among the year's highlights, Spanberger cites winning BMI's urban song of the year award for Nicki Minaj's hit "Super Bass," on which Dean was a co-writer. "[It] is a nice accomplishment for an independent publisher," she says. "The company's songs has been nominated in the past but we finally got there." Looking ahead, peermusic is expecting big things from Daniel James, who is signed out of the company's Stockholm office. "He is working with Mutt Lange, so hopefully we will have some U.S. hits coming next year," she says. "We have also signed a joint-venture deal with 1500 or Nothin', an urban production group consisting of James Fauntleroy and Larrance Dopson."