Warner Music has tapped Rani Hancock to lead the revival of Sire Records, the label co-founded by Seymour Stein and Richard Gottehrer. Hancock's first day as president of Sire, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, will be Aug. 1. The label group also announced that Stein will stay on as chairman.
Hancock was most recently executive vp/head of A&R at Island Records, another storied label co-founded by a music industry legend (Chris Blackwell). While at the Universal Music imprint, she helped develop the solo careers of Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas and others. Before that she was evp of A&R at Sony Music's RCA, where she signed or worked with Miley Cyrus, Kesha, Adam Lambert, among others.
The Berklee College of Music grad began her career working alongside yet another icon, Clive Davis, at Arista Records and later J Records, where she worked with now-superstars Maroon 5 and Alicia Keys.
"It has been my dream to be joined by someone I can work together with to help strengthen and expand the label," said Stein in a statement. "Given Rani's exceptional track record and tremendous enthusiasm, I am convinced she is the person to build both the Sire roster and brand, and help take the company into the future."
Sire's current artist roster includes Cold Fronts, Residual Kid and Alvarez Kings. During its most influential period, in the late-1970s and 1980s, the Sire family included Madonna, The Ramones, The Pretenders and Talking Heads, plus new wave and post-punk British acts like The Cure, The Smiths and Depeche Mode.
"I've always been inspired by Sire's roster of artists and the label’s fearless, independent spirit," Hancock said. "So many great Sire artists have pushed the boundaries of music and fashion, while having pop hits that appeal to a mainstream audience, from Madonna to the Ramones, from Talking Heads to the Pretenders. I hope to continue that tradition of finding and supporting culture-changing artists who make hugely popular music that withstands the test of time."
Added Max Lousada, who becomes CEO of recorded music at WMG in October: "Whether it’s artists or executives, we're focused on attracting and developing true talent who will pioneer the future of music. Rani is the perfect example of our approach, as her own rare qualities will, in turn, draw original, genre-defying artists to Sire."
Warner Bros. Records CEO and chairman Cameron Strang said, "Over the past half-century, Sire has stood for quality, integrity and an intense devotion to artists. Seymour and Sire have played a central role in the story of Warner Bros. Records and helped set a new standard in the art of artist development. Rani is the perfect leader to grow Sire’s amazing legacy and chart a new course for this iconic label."