Sony Music Group chairman Rob Stringer will receive the 2022 Grammy Salute to Industry Icons award. Stringer will be honored at Clive Davis‘ and the Recording Academy’s Pre-Grammy Gala on Sun, Jan. 30, 2022, the evening before the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. The event will be held at its customary home, the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. (The event wasn’t held last year because of the pandemic.)
“Rob has been one of the most influential leaders in our industry for decades,” Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement. “His work in building a more inclusive culture in music and his love for real artists have been game-changing. From introducing the world to so many talented artists to always putting them first … Rob’s impact is massive. We take great pleasure in honoring him and his groundbreaking contributions to the music community at the 2022 Pre-Grammy Gala.”
Davis, who received the award in 2009, concurred. “A music man to his core, Rob Stringer is an innovator, a pioneer and a true champion for artists,” Davis said in a statement. “He has been at the front line of change in the music industry for decades, advancing social justice and tolerance, developing major global artists, all while spearheading hit after hit after hit. The night of the Pre-Grammy Gala is a night that celebrates music and it is also a night that celebrates that person who has uniquely contributed to the health of the music industry and to music itself. That person, this year, is most deservedly Rob Stringer.”
Previous honorees include, besides Davis, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss, Clarence Avant, Irving Azoff, Martin Bandier, Sir Richard Branson, Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter, Ahmet Ertegun, David Geffen, Berry Gordy Jr., Lucian Grainge, Debra L. Lee, Doug Morris, Mo Ostin, and Antonio “L.A.” Reid.
For the past decade, the invitation-only Pre-Grammy Gala has included the presentation of the Grammy Salute to Industry Icons award. The night has become one of the most exclusive Grammy Week events. Sometimes, the event makes news, as it did two years ago when Sean Combs put the Recording Academy on notice that he wanted to see major changes in the way it operated.
“Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys,” Combs noted in his acceptance speech. “Black music has never been respected by the Grammys to the point that it should be … And that stops right now. I’m officially starting the clock. You’ve got 365 days to get this sh-t together. We need transparency, we need diversity.”
Stringer has been chairman of Sony Music Group since 2019 after being appointed CEO of Sony Music Entertainment in 2016. He is responsible for leading the global strategies and activities of the world’s largest music publishing company and second-largest recorded music company.
Within Sony Music, Stringer has continued expanding and evolving the company’s approach to artist development and breaking hits globally. In 2021, he implemented the programs Artists Forward and Songwriters Forward to create more earnings opportunities for artists and songwriters. The programs also prioritize health and wellness support for creators around the world.
In 2020, he was instrumental in the launch of Sony Corp’s $100 million Social Justice Fund to support social justice and anti-racist initiatives around the world.
Stringer started his career at CBS Records in 1985 and rose to become managing director of Epic Records in 1992 and chairman of Sony Music UK in 2001. When Sony Music entered into a joint venture with BMG in 2004, Stringer became chairman of Sony BMG Music UK. He was promoted to chairman of the U.S.-based Sony Music Label Group in 2006, and when Sony Corp. acquired BMG’s half of the joint venture in 2008, he was appointed chairman of Sony Music Entertainment’s Columbia Records.
Over the course of his career with Sony Music, Stringer has worked with global superstars including AC/DC, Adele, Barbra Streisand, Beyoncé, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Celine Dion, The Clash, Daft Punk, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, George Michael, Harry Styles, Jack White, John Legend, John Mayer, Michael Jackson, Pharrell Williams, P!nk, Sade, Tony Bennett and Tyler, The Creator.
In addition, Stringer has led successful collaborations between the worlds of music, television and film. Stringer, the younger brother of Sir Howard Stringer, also drives the continued development of digital and interactive content strategies and platforms.