Brenda Romano
Brenda Romano

President of promotion, Interscope Geffen A&M Records

Chart-Topping Thrills
In her 17th year at Interscope Geffen A&M, president of promotion Brenda Romano continues to steer the careers of such acts as Eminem, Lady Gaga, Dr. Dre and U2.

My Mentor: Jimmy Iovine, chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M Records and co-founder, Beats By Dre.; former Warner Bros. Records Chairman/CEO Tom Whalley; Chris Lopes, senior VP/promotion Interscope. Iovine and Whalley "for their guidance and wisdom" that have influenced her career, and colleague and husband Lopes "for the inspiration he gives [me] every day."

In 2012, Romano developed promotional strategies and led campaigns across radio formats for No. 1 songs by Maroon 5, LMFAO, Carly Rae Jepsen and Ellie Goulding. Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" was no mere hit: It became one of 2012's pop culture touchstones. The 13-month climb to No. 1 for Goulding's "Lights" is one of the top artist development stories of the year. IGA's four No. 1s on Billboard's Mainstream Top 40 chart are the most by any label this year. "It's always a thrill when a song goes to No. 1, but the paths for these songs were as unique and different as the artists themselves-and that's what made it so fulfilling for all of us," Romano says. This past year, she also played a pivotal role in developing Interscope's roster of burgeoning acts, including Imagine Dragons, Lana Del Rey, "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips and Zedd. Successfully promoting songs to radio was far from her only accomplishment: Romano also developed brand strategies at radio for Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, the top-selling headphone brand developed by Dr. Dre and IGA chairman Jimmy Iovine.