The Music Business Association (Music Biz), formerly NARM and digitalmusic.org, will present an Independent Spirit Award to Jonathan Poneman, Co-Founder of Sub Pop Records, and a Presidential Award for Sustained Executive Achievement to Sylvia Rhone, founder and CEO of Vested in Culture, distributed by Epic Records on May 7 at the Opening Session of the Music Biz 2014 annual convention in Los Angeles.
“It is a tremendous honor to receive this award from Music Biz, an organization that recognizes the importance of independent music and the business behind it as much as Sub Pop does,” said Poneman in a statement. Poneman co-founded the label over 25 years ago with Bruce Pavitt who retired from active participation in the label in the late 1990's. Sub Pop has been responsible for launching the recording careers of Nirvana, The Postal Service, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Fleet Foxes, Beach House and many more.
“Jonathan Poneman is responsible for one of the industry’s most important success stories in the last several decades, as his label Sub Pop remains a shining example of an organization that can consistently showcase quality art as well as commercial success,” said James Donio, President of Music Biz. Previous recipients of the Independent Spirit Award include Brett Gurewitz, Epitaph Records Founder and Bad Religion singer/guitarist; Rachelle and Joe Friedman, founders of J&R Music & Computer World in New York; and Tom Silverman, Founder and CEO of Tommy Boy Entertainment.
Syliva Rhone will be the first female executive to receive the Presidential Award for Sustained Executive Achievement, which has previously been presented to Clive Davis, Paul Smith, Henry Droz, Jim Urie, Dick Clark and Casey Kasem. “I have had the fortune of working with many of the past honorees who have received this distinguished recognition from the Music Business Association, and it is a true privilege to be counted among them,” said Rhone.
Rhone started as a secretary at Buddha Records in 1974 and went on to work at SVP/GM of Atlantic Records in 1986, CEO/President of Atlantic's EastWest Records in 1990 (becoming the first African-American woman to head a major record company), Chairman/CEO of Elektra Entertainment Group in 1994, and moved to Universal as President of Motown Records, EVP of Universal Records and Chairman of the Universal Motown Record Group in 2004. In 2012, she founded Vested in Culture under the umbrella of Sony Music Entertainment.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Sylvia into the ranks of our esteemed Presidential Award recipients,” said Donio, President of Music Biz. “Her career has spanned four decades, during which she has helped transform the music industry. Rising to the most senior positions at all three major labels, her commitment, vision, and leadership have set a very high bar for others to emulate."
The Association’s annual conference, Music Biz 2014, is set for May 6-8 in Los Angeles.