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Women in Music 2023
Music Groups

Towalame Austin

Executive vp of philanthropy and social impact, Sony Music Group

Tiffany R. Warren

Executive vp of diversity, equity and inclusion, Sony Music Group

Julie Swidler

Executive vp of business affairs/general counsel, Sony Music Entertainment

Andrea Finkelstein

Executive vp of global business affairs, Sony Music Entertainment

Melissa Thomas

Executive vp of international marketing, U.S. repertoire, Sony Music Entertainment

Angela Lopes

Senior vp of strategy and investment, Sony Music Entertainment

From the blockbuster successes of Harry Styles and Beyonce to the artist-development breakout stories of Steve Lacy and Latto, it was a massive year for SMG across all facets of the company — but its victories were as much internal as they were external. Austin has overseen initiatives such as SMG’s Global Scholars Program to support first-generation college students in music-related fields of study. Warren has guided partnerships focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion with GLAAD, Disability:IN and Lean In, which advances gender equality. Within business affairs, Swidler and Finkelstein saw the completion of SME’s acquisitions of AWAL and Som Livre and expanded the Artists Forward and Real Time Tools projects to support SMG’s creators. Thomas leads SME’s international department, sharing in the global triumphs of Styles, Adele and artists across the company’s roster. Between its acquisitions and investments, Lopes says, the company is “adding new opportunities and dimensions to our business and elevating new voices and ideas in the marketplace.”

Richelle Parham

President of global e-commerce and business development, Universal Music Group

Erika Begun

Executive vp/head of investor relations, Universal Music Group

Susan Mazo

Executive vp of corporate social responsibility, events and special projects, Universal Music Group

Kristen Bender

Senior vp of digital innovation strategy and business development, Universal Music Group

Amy Isbell

Senior vp of public policy and government relations, Universal Music Group

Gabriela Lopes

Senior vp of global insights, Universal Music Group

UMG is the biggest music company on the planet, which often makes it a bellwether for the changing business. Parham and her team have embraced change with their direct-to-fan initiatives, including one-off merchandise items and fan experiences built on new products and exclusives. This year led to a box-set reissue of The Beatles’ Revolver, which topped a trio of charts after its fall release and landed the album at No. 4 on the Billboard 200. That’s part of the company’s “fan data strategy,” in which, Parham says, “fans have multiple ways to connect with their favorite artists, so we built platforms that compile these interactions and provide our artists and labels with a more comprehensive view of their fan base than ever before.”

Oana Ruxandra

Chief digital officer/executive vp of business development, Warner Music Group

Masha Osherova

Executive vp/chief people officer, Warner Music Group

Janelle Curtis

Chief enterprise transformation officer, Warner Music Group

Addie Adeniran

Senior vp of people team, Warner Music Group

Bernadette Rotolo

Senior vp/head of global systems, Warner Music Group

Jessica Goldenberg

Senior vp of digital strategy and business development, Warner Music Group

While WMG reshuffled its executive ranks, bringing in Robert Kyncl as its CEO and appointing new leaders in a number of territories around the world, the existing team has been hard at work charting the future of the major-label group. That has meant partnerships with a slew of web3 companies such as non-fungible token marketplaces OpenSea, OneOf and The Sandbox; digital collectibles platform Blockparty; blockchain companies LGND.io and Polygon; web3 protocol POAP; gaming licensing company STYNGR; blockchain gaming developer Splinterlands; and digital fashion developer DRESSX — all in the past year alone. “From our time spent evangelizing evolving technologies to the investments we have made this year to first-of-their-kind partnerships, WMG is focused on resetting the foundations of our business to maximize both revenue streams for artists and touch points between artists and fans,” Ruxandra says. “We’ve just scratched the surface of the work that needs to be done to drive new opportunities.”

The global triumphs of ADELE and others were boosted by MELISSA THOMAS of Sony Music’s international department.

Michael Buckner for Variety

Labels and Distributors

Temi Adeniji

Managing director/senior vp of Sub-Saharan Africa and special projects, Warner Music South Africa

Adeniji and the Warner Music South Africa team capitalized on the global success of Nigerian singer-songwriter CKay’s sleeper hit, “Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah)” — which earned the Afrobeats artist his first No. 1 on the Rhythmic Airplay chart — while releasing his debut studio album, Sad Romance, in September. She adds, “The acquisition of a majority stake in Africori, Africa’s leading digital music distribution, music rights management and artist development company, helped expand Warner Music’s footprint on the continent.”

Rebecca Allen
Jo Charrington

Co-presidents, EMI Records

Allen and Charrington took over joint leadership of EMI Records in March 2022 and soon guided the integration of Capitol Records — a front-line Universal Music Group label in the United Kingdom since 2013 — within the wider EMI group. The success of EMI in 2022 included No. 1 singles by Lewis Capaldi, Sam Smith and Taylor Swift, whose Midnights album registered 204,000 U.K. chart sales in its first week — the biggest opening week of Swift’s career in Britain, according to the Official ChartsCo. “It has been an incredible year for both myself and Becky,” says Charrington. “It has been a strong and exciting start, and this is just the beginning.”

Caryl Atwood

Senior vp of commercial partnerships, Sony Music Nashville

Taylor Lindsey

Senior vp of A&R, Sony Music Nashville

Jennifer Way

Senior vp of marketing, Sony Music Nashville

One of the past year’s most satisfying accomplishments has been watching the rise of developing artist Nate Smith, says Atwood, noting that his No. 1 Country Airplay hit, “Whiskey on You,” has garnered over 200 million streams. Smith, who will tour with Thomas Rhett starting in May, was also named a member of the Grand Ole Opry’s NextStage Class of 2022. “It has been gratifying to know that the work that Nate, his team and team Sony has done so far is paying off,” says Atwood, especially as the label sets up the release of his self-titled debut album in April.

Rayna Bass

Co-president, 300 Entertainment

Last June, Bass was promoted to co-president of 300 Entertainment alongside Selim Bouab after joining the company as a manager of marketing. The two report to Kevin Liles, chairman/CEO of 300 Elektra Entertainment, the company formed in June 2022 with the sale of 300 Entertainment to Warner Music Group. Bass was instrumental in the success of 300’s flagship artists Gunna and Megan Thee Stallion. The “Pushin P” rapper scored his second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 last year after releasing DS4ever and secured two Grammy nominations. Megan scored her fifth top 10 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart with her 2022 release, Traumazine. “ ‘Pushin P’ was one of the biggest records of the year,” Bass says, “so for Gunna to be recognized for his craft and nominated was incredibly gratifying.”

The success of MEGAN THEE STALLION’s album Traumazine was one highlight of the past year for RAYNA BASS of 300 Entertainment.

Rich Fury/GI

Kristen Burke

President, Warner Music Canada

Heading Warner Music in Canada since late 2021, Burke has made significant changes, such as “resetting” the A&R team “to ensure a broad spectrum of perspectives, relationships and cultural touch points,” she says. New signings “at the heart of their cultural scenes” include synth-pop singer Diamond Cafe and viral pop duo Crash Adams. Burke also signed distribution deals with “forward-thinking labels” like Vancouver’s Chaos Club and Montreal’s Lisbon Lux and “reinvigorated” Warner Music Canada’s Quebec A&R. This spring, the company is also moving its headquarters to downtown Toronto.

LaTrice Burnette

Executive vp, Def Jam Recordings; president, 4th & Broadway

Natina Nimene

Executive vp of promotion and artist relations, Def Jam Recordings

Theda Sandiford

Senior vp of commerce and digital marketing, Def Jam Recordings

Burnette says that last year, Def Jam “delivered hits for our stars and demonstrated our passion and prowess for artist development,” citing its new signees Muni Long and Armani White. Alongside Roc Nation and Hollywood Records, Def Jam released Rihanna’s first single in five years, “Lift Me Up,” from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. It earned her nominations for best original song at the 2022 Golden Globes and the 2023 Academy Awards. Pusha T’s It’s Almost Dry earned him his career-first Billboard 200 No. 1 and a best rap album nod at the 2023 Grammys, where Muni Long was up for best new artist and won best R&B performance with “Hrs & Hrs.” Burnette says, “With some exciting new signings and an ever stronger executive team, we are looking forward to an even better 2023.”

Jennifer Citron

Senior vp of touring and events, Columbia Records

Kim Rappaport

Senior vp of business and legal affairs, Columbia Records

Kerry Hickey

Senior vp of film and TV licensing, Columbia Records

Columbia last year earned the distinction of being Billboard’s No. 1 Radio Songs Label, and Beyoncé, Harry Styles and Adele scored three of the 10 album of the year nominations at the Grammys, with Styles winning that award. Now the company is looking to the future by “remain[ing] aggressive and creative in deal-making to secure new and diverse acts and push music into the metaverse and gaming areas,” says Rappaport. “It will be exciting to see that shine in 2023.”

Karima Damir

Director of A&R and marketing, Sony Music Entertainment Middle East

Damir, a native of Casablanca, Morocco, oversaw the 2022 expansion of Sony’s office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and a strategic partnership with Craft Media and GHMZA Creative Studios. The tie-up allowed SME to sign Khaleeji and pop artists Bader Al Shuaibi and Bashar al-Shatti while continuing to drive releases such as Damayer by Lebanese singer Elissa and the Arabic album Ya Fatenny by Egyptian singer Mohamed Hamaki. “I’m looking forward to disrupting the scene,” says Damir, “and discovering even more emerging Arab musicians in the new year from a diverse range of genres in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Levant and North Africa.”

Giselle De Armendi

Senior vp of business and legal affairs, Warner Music Latin America

De Armendi has guided deals including Alternative Distribution Alliance’s recent expansion into the Latin market and Warner Music Latina’s partnership with Rapetón Approved, the artist-development venture backed by reggaetón star Yandel and Angel “El Guru” Vera. Tapping into new markets has been key for Warner Latina, which is focused on its regional Mexican roster, signing legacy acts like Pesado and newcomers like Danny Lux, who opened for fellow Warner mainstream act Coldplay in Mexico and is slated to perform at Coachella. Other significant additions to the Warner Latina roster in the past year include producer Ovy on the Drums, who topped Billboard’s Latin Producers chart for 17 weeks; rapper Tiago PZK; and Argentine star Paulo Londra, who has had a string of hits since his return to recording.

Melissa Exposito

Managing director, Sony Music Central America and the Caribbean

Exposito continues to propel Sony’s growth beyond the U.S. Latin market, helping marquee artists such as Manuel Turizo conquer new territories, including Central America. Turizo’s “La Bachata” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart and No. 6 on the Billboard Global 200. Seven months after its release, the track still ruled Spotify’s Top 50 in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama, according to Sony. Exposito is also focused on helping develop new talent. Her newest signee is 17-year-old J Noa, a promising rapper from the Dominican Republic.

Cris Falcão

Managing director of Latin America, Ingrooves Music Group

Just over three years after she joined Ingrooves Music Group to lead its expansion into Brazil, Falcão is reaping the fruits of her work. Promoted to managing director of Ingrooves Latin America, she was thrilled to learn that “Tubarão Te Amo,” a hit by Ingrooves client and Brazilian indie label Nas Nuvens Records, reached No. 2 on Spotify’s Viral Songs in the United States in December 2022: “With the language barriers we still face, being able to cross borders with a viral hit is fulfilling,” she says. Last year, Ingrooves was also granted its third U.S. patent for its artificial intelligence-driven music marketing tool. A flagship of the music marketing and distribution company, these tools, says Falcão, “have helped independent labels like Serca fuel growth for its band, Los Lara, as they drive new fan engagement throughout Latin America.”

Maria Fernández

Executive vp/COO, Latin Iberia, Sony Music Entertainment

Nerea Igualador

Vp of digital business U.S. Latin, Sony Music Entertainment

Sony Music’s leadership in the Latin region was fueled by hits like “La Bachata” by Manuel Turizo, “Te Felicito” by Rauw Alejandro and Shakira, and Bizarrap’s smash collaboration, “Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53,” while artists like Camilo, Maluma, C. Tangana and Kany García had success in markets around the world. Stateside, “I’m especially focused on increasing consumption of Latin music in the U.S. general market,” says Igualador, who also negotiated YouTube’s global livestream of Camilo’s concert at Madrid’s Puerta de Alcalá, the platform’s largest deal for a Latin act in 2022. At a social level, Sony continues to support multiple organizations and causes, says Fernández, citing beautification initiatives for Pine Villa Elementary in Miami, which serves low-income children. (She was also principal for a day.) Meanwhile, Fernández became the first Latina to join the board of directors of Fender Musical Instruments.

Kristy Gibson

Senior vp of film/TV and video games synchronization, Atlantic Records

Angelique Jones

Vp of sales and streaming, Atlantic Records

Ashley Keiser

Vp of artist development, Atlantic Records

Jenna Rosenberg

Vp of digital marketing, Atlantic Records

Whether they were breaking artists or helping superstars soar, women at Atlantic worked across genres and mediums to get it done. Rosenberg mentions partnerships with Instagram and TikTok for Ed Sheeran and with Fortnite for Silk Sonic; Keiser, the breakout success of GAYLE; Jones, the streaming wins of Jack Harlow, Lil Uzi Vert and Don Toliver; and Gibson, synchs for Hayley Kiyoko on Netflix’s Do Revenge and ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise. Gibson also singles out placing Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” in Netflix’s Someone Great as a pinnacle: “That synch finally helped me explain to my 92-year-old grandma what I did for a living.”

Andreea Gleeson

CEO, TuneCore

Self-released artists on TuneCore have earned $3 billion since the Brooklyn-based, Believe-owned company was founded in 2005. Gleeson says she has had a mantra during her long tenure at TuneCore: “If our artists are successful, then we are successful.” That certainly held true last year, as TuneCore artists Alexandra Kay, J. Maya and Lauren Spencer-Smith were among the acts named in TikTok’s Musical Class of 2022. If those names aren’t recognizable yet, Gleeson likes to remind the industry that Lizzo, Ed Sheeran and Chance the Rapper were all once TuneCore artists.

Wendy Goldstein

Co-president, Republic Records

Danielle Price

Executive vp, Republic Records

Kerri Mackar

Executive vp of brand partnerships, Republic Records

Xiarra-Diamond Nimrod

Vp of marketing strategy, Republic Records

In 2022, Republic Records ranked at No. 1 on all three year-end label rankings — Top Labels, Billboard 200 Labels and Billboard Hot 100 Labels — for the second straight year thanks to blockbuster runs by superstars like Taylor Swift, Drake and The Weeknd. Goldstein says that her team is most proud of the “new vanguard of music industry leaders” making themselves heard within the company, including as part of the Republic Records Action Committee’s efforts to increase diversity. “I’ve gotten to watch our leadership team devote countless hours and resources to mentoring our rising female employees,” says Goldstein. “We’ve got this amazing cohort of women who are spearheading the future of the business.”

“We’ve got this amazing cohort of women who are spearheading the future of the business,” says Republic Records co-president WENDY GOLDSTEIN, whose team helped drive the success of artists including TAYLOR SWIFT.

Michael Buckner for Variety

Jane Gowen

Executive vp of product development and marketing, Universal Music Enterprises

In 2022, two major UMe clients debuted on the Billboard 200, The Beatles and Norah Jones, with deluxe releases of Revolver and Come Away With Me (20th Anniversary), respectively. By year’s end, UMe had seven of the top 20 catalog albums on the tally. Beyond the charts, Gowen is particularly proud of her team for launching The Beatles on TikTok, along with other “key catalog artists, resulting in more than 240 billion views” collectively.

Kristin Graziani

President of Stem distribution, Stem

For Stem, Graziani oversees a team that helps independent creators get their due in royalties and get them on time. She credits her colleagues for the hundreds of millions of dollars already delivered, because their relationships with artists “are currency in this industry.” Artists who recently benefited from Stem’s business model include Brent Faiyaz, whose Wasteland debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200; Canadian rapper bbno$; and American R&B singer Justine Skye. Stem’s future? Giving artists financial tools to be fully independent — because “many aspects of the industry are begging to be unfucked.”

Stacey Green

Senior vp of administration and operations, Disney Music Group

Karen Lieberman

Vp of sales and digital, Disney Music Group

The fortunes of Disney Music Group flourished in 2022 thanks to the smash Encanto soundtrack and its Hot 100 No. 1 single, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” That early-2022 success kicked off what Lieberman calls a “record-breaking year” for the company. “Now one of the biggest Disney soundtracks of all time, with what is now the biggest Disney hit of all time [“We Don’t Talk About Bruno”],” she says, “Encanto was a project that transcended all ages and cultures and media platforms worldwide.”

Ethiopia Habtemariam

Former chairwoman/CEO, Motown Records

Britney Davis

Senior vp of marketing and artist development, Motown Records

Habtemariam, who announced her departure from Motown in November 2022, rebuilt the storied label into the strongest position it has held in years: from its 0.9% U.S. market share when she took the helm as chairwoman/CEO in March 2021 to 1.3% in December 2022. Contributing to that growth was the label’s long-running joint venture with Quality Control (which was sold to HYBE America in a deal announced Feb. 8). In the last year, the partnership yielded Lil Baby’s No. 1 Billboard 200 debut, It’s Only Me, and Quavo and Takeoff’s No. 7-bowing Only Built for Infinity Links. Motown’s win column also sported albums from Vince Staples and Smino, plus several headline-grabbing signings: YoungBoy Never Broke Again and his Never Broke Again collective, as well as Brandy and Diddy, who scored a No. 1 Adult R&B Airplay hit with “Gotta Move On,” with Bryson Tiller.

Nazan Haciguzeller

Managing director, Universal Music Turkey

The Turkish economy makes the country’s music business challenging: Inflation is close to 65%, Haciguzeller says, and streaming subscription prices haven’t kept up. But Haciguzeller, who started working for EMI in 1998 and ascended to her current role in 2015, has still scored some important wins. The label is in its sixth year of a brand partnership deal with Turkish Airlines. And rapper Lvbel C5, whom the label signed in 2020, had the top album on Spotify in Turkey, as well as the top song (“Numara”) for content creation on Turkish TikTok. “We differentiate as a real record label,” Haciguzeller says, “since we invest in artists’ careers, including brand partnership deals.”

JoJamie Hahr

Executive vp of recorded music, Nashville, BMG

Artists signed to BMG’s BBR Music Group in Nashville, including Lainey Wilson and Jelly Roll, each experienced strong breakthroughs over the past year, with Jelly Roll earning his first No. 1 Country Airplay hit in January with “Son of a Sinner” and Wilson landing her second chart-topper on that list with “Never Say Never,” a 2022 collaboration with Cole Swindell. “As a label, having multiple artists break through on the scale that they did is always going to be atop the list of achievements,” says Hahr, “but we take pride in simultaneously having huge records on Jason Aldean, Dustin Lynch and Parmalee as well.” Promoted to her new role with BMG in January, Hahr now oversees BBR Music Group and its roster, as well as imprints Broken Bow Records, Stoney Creek Records and Wheelhouse Records.

Allison Jones

Executive vp of A&R, Big Machine Label Group

“2022 was filled with so many accolades and history-making milestones for our artists,” says Jones. Among the highlights were Thomas Rhett landing his 18th No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart with “Half of Me” (featuring Riley Green) and Carly Pearce topping the list with “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” (with Ashley McBryde), marking only the third duet between two solo women to reach the summit since the chart’s 1990 inception. Newcomer Jackson Dean peaked at No. 3 on Country Airplay with his first single, “Don’t Come Lookin.’ ”

ALLISON JONES of Big Machine Label Group cheered CARLY PEARCE for topping the Country Airplay chart with “Never Wanted To Be That Girl,” with Ashley McBryde.

Christopher Polk for Variety

Juliette Jones

COO, Alamo Records

With a roster that includes some of the hottest acts in hop-hop, Alamo experienced “tremendous growth,” says Jones about the label, which Sony Music Entertainment acquired in 2021. “Lil Durk and Rod Wave continued growing their brands and cementing themselves as mainstream stars,” she says, alongside acts Smokepurpp, 03 Greedo, blackbear and Yung Mal. While scoring hits from Durk and Wave, Jones says the label is also looking ahead to success with newer signees Chenayder and DD Osama.

Michelle Jubelirer

Chair/CEO, Capitol Music Group

Rebecca “Dimplez” Ijeoma

Senior vp of digital marketing and content development, Capitol Music Group

Jen Ashworth

Vp of global commercial marketing, Capitol Music Group

Jubelirer’s team oversaw the “cultural emergence” of Doechii, Ice Spice’s breakout success with the combined 100 million streams of “Munch (Feelin’ You)” and “Bikini Bottom” and signing Kodak Black, which is “of huge importance to our company,” she says. Other Capitol achievements Jubelirer cites: Astralwerks’ status as a top U.S. dance label, Blue Note’s partnership with Anderson .Paak’s APESHIT imprint, Capitol Christian scoring 20 Dove Award wins and 20 Grammy nods and Sam Smith’s first No. 1 song, “Unholy,” with Kim Petras. “Just the start of what is going to be an amazing period in Sam’s career,” Jubelirer says.

Lyn Koppe

Executive vp of global catalog, Legacy Recordings/Sony Music Entertainment

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis movie, released in June, helped make 2022 “an exceptional year” for the late King of Rock’n’Roll’s RCA-owned recording catalog, which Koppe’s team oversees. She says that Legacy’s efforts targeted “new fans of his music,” who clicked with a soundtrack that includes songs by Doja Cat, Swae Lee, Diplo, Måneskin and Kacey Musgraves, plus a Stevie Nicks-Chris Isaak cover of Presley’s 1963 obscurity “Cotton Candy Land.” “Six-plus months later, these new fans still seem to be listening to Elvis Presley,” Koppe says, “which is phenomenal.”

Cat Kreidich

President, ADA Worldwide

With distribution companies “having a moment,” as Kreidich puts it, while “social media is ubiquitous and new tracks are being uploaded to streaming services every second,” Warner Music-owned ADA Worldwide expanded. The company made distribution deals with producer Murda Beatz and the new group of two labels from veteran dance-music executive Patrick Moxey. Kreidich salutes her staff of “rising stars and established executives,” including top executives Adriana Sein, Samantha Moore, Andrea Slobodien, MaryLynne Drexler, Sam Juneman and newly appointed head of global physical sales and marketing, Cathy Bauer. “These women are shaping the future,” Kreidich says. “I’m so proud to be standing shoulder to shoulder with them.”

Cris Lacy

Co-chair/co-president, Warner Music Nashville

Kristen Williams

Senior vp of radio, Warner Music Nashville

In early 2023, Lacy added the co-chair title to her co-president title at Warner Music Nashville, sharing the role with Ben Kline. The company’s artists Bailey Zimmerman and Cody Johnson both topped the Country Airplay chart last year — with “Fall in Love,” and “ ‘Til You Can’t,” respectively — earning Johnson CMA’s single of the year and music video of the year. Cole Swindell earned his fourth consecutive (and eighth overall) Country Airplay No. 1 single with the four-week leader “She Had Me at Heads Carolina.” “My goal for 2023 is to invite and ignite a wider group of unique musical storytellers,” Lacy says.

Illustration by Alycea Tinoyan

Cindy Mabe

President, Universal Music Group Nashville

Lori Christian

Senior vp of marketing, Universal Music Group Nashville

Stephanie Wright

Senior vp of A&R, Universal Music Group Nashville

With a roster that includes superstars Luke Bryan, George Strait, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton and Carrie Underwood, Mabe (who was Billboard’s Country Power Players 2019 Executive of the Year) is working hard to develop tomorrow’s superstars, including Mickey Guyton, whom Time named its 2022 breakout artist of the year.

“Mickey’s cultural impact has also significantly opened the doors for Black artists who are coming to Nashville and releasing country music,” Mabe says. “She is a really important, groundbreaking artist.”

Mabe also heralds the past year’s accomplishments by Jordan Davis, whose new album, Bluebird Days, she describes as a way for “a reluctant songwriter to become a highly sought-after breakout country star.” Davis’ “Buy Dirt” (featuring Bryan) was named the Country Music Association’s song of the year in November, and he scored his fourth Country Airplay No. 1 with “What My World Spins Around” in January. Singer-songwriter Parker McCollum also keeps making strides, selling out his RodeoHouston appearance and winning best new male artist of the year at the 2022 Academy of Country Music Awards. “His impact is explosive,” says Mabe, “and he’s just getting started.” —Melinda Newman

Hazel Malit

CFO, Concord Label Group

“Concord’s evolution has allowed me to grow beyond my role as label group CFO,” Malit says. “It has given me opportunities to contribute to the success of our artists, provide career opportunities for underrepresented groups and impact culture in various communities.” She did due diligence on the company’s $1.8 billion asset-backed securitization, which was the largest ever asset-backed securitization of music rights and included over 1 million copyrights. She was a part of the team behind Swedish band Ghost’s IMPERA, which scored the biggest sales week for a hard rock vinyl album since 1994. She also saw Concord’s new-release business grow by double digits.

Katie McCartney

GM, Monument Records/Freehand Management

“Social media and tech constantly shifts how people listen and what rises to the top,” says McCartney. “Adaptation is key, but you also can’t lose authenticity… a personal touch.” In 2022, Monument’s Walker Hayes reached No. 2 on Top Country Albums with Country Stuff: The Album and McCartney explored a new strategy in artist promotion with the Introducing Tigirlily Gold Tour. Monument integrated brands and charities into Tigirlily’s 25-plus tour stops, welcoming local figures from media personalities to sports marketing teams with “exclusive experiences for their existing fan base.”

Simone Mitchell

President, Quality Control Music/Solid Foundation Management

As president of Quality Control Music and Solid Foundation Management, Mitchell has had a front row seat as QC’s artists expand their impact beyond music. “It was a huge honor for me to be named president of QC and to see all the expansion of the empire into sports, film, tech and more as we approached our 10-year anniversary in 2023,” Mitchell says. In 2022, Yung Miami of City Girls turned the microphone on her peers with her viral REVOLT podcast, Caresha Please, and, in addition to releasing his new album, It’s Only Me, Lil Baby partnered with Amazon to produce the documentary Untrapped: The Story of Lil Baby.

YUNG MIAMI of CITY GIRLS turned the microphone on her peers during 2022 with her Revolt podcast Caresha Please.

Paras Griffin/GI

Michele Nadelman

CFO, Warner Records

Claudia Butzky

Executive vp of brand partnerships and sync, Warner Records

Karen Kwak

Executive vp/head of A&R, Warner Records

Warner Records helped launch a major star last year with Zach Bryan, whose American Heartbreak scored the second-biggest week for a country album in 2022 following its May release. The singer-songwriter was a true crossover success, with American Heartbreak topping three genre charts: Top Country Albums, Top Rock Albums and Americana/Folk Albums. Butzky also touts the label’s December “integration of his music plus his on-camera performance” in the smash Paramount+ series Yellowstone, which embedded his music in one of TV’s biggest hits.

Nico Neves

Digital marketing director, Nice Life Recording Company

Neves’ work in the past year contributed to the success of Lizzo, whose fourth studio album, Special, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 last July. The album’s lead single, “About Damn Time” had a viral rise on social media and topped the Hot 100 for two weeks, crowning the Detroit-born star TikTok’s No. 1 music artist of 2022. “The impact that ‘About Damn Time’ had across social platforms catapulted the song to the top of the charts, receiving numerous award nominations and more,” says Neves. “It was incredibly exciting to be a part of.”

The impact that LIZZO’s hit “About Damn Time” had across social media, the charts and awards shows “was incredibly exciting to be a part of,” says NICO NEVES of Nice Life Recording Company, which co-released the song with Atlantic Records.

Mark Von Holden for Variety

Alejandra Olea

Managing director, Americas, Believe

Olea’s multimillion-dollar division — which encompasses Latin music label Believe and artist solutions and services for 25 countries across North America, South America, Portugal and Spain — contributed 14.5% of Believe’s companywide revenue in 3Q 2022, a 35% increase over 2021. In her third year at Believe, Olea restructured her team “to maximize opportunities for artist development in a digital ecosystem where they can thrive.” Originally from Mexico, Olea has helped grow the roster at Believe’s regional Mexican music label Afinarte to include top Mexican artists like El Fantasma, Los Dos Carnales and Voz de Mando.

Dawn Olejar

Executive vp/GM, Verve Label Group

Olejar’s promotion to executive vp and GM of Verve Label Group, a division of Universal Music Group, came in August 2022, just four months after the music company helmed Jon Batiste’s sixth album, We Are, to Grammy-winning glory. “It was amazing for our team to celebrate an album and campaign that we all worked so hard on,” says Olejar. Verve Label Group was also named Billboard’s No. 1 classical album label for a fifth year in a row and continues “to work with the most talented classical artists in the world.”

Leila Oliveira

President, Warner Music Brazil

A key figure in Warner Music Brazil’s digital transition over the last decade, Oliveira became its president in October 2022, making her the first woman to lead a major Brazilian label. Developing artists’ careers and international expansion remain priorities, she says. “Most of our biggest stars [have been] with us since the beginning,” Oliveira says, recalling that Anitta has been with the label since 2013. In 2021, music producer Pedro Sampaio became the only male Brazilian artist to have two tracks on the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart simultaneously, and singer Ludmilla’s “Socadona” reached the top 10 on the TikTok Trend Report. “It has been really exciting to see this movement of taking our artists’ talent and music overseas.”

Vanessa Picken

Chair/CEO of Australia and New Zealand, Sony Music Entertainment

In June 2022, Sony named Picken, who previously worked as managing director of label group [PIAS], as the first female CEO of a large music company in Australia. (Her appointment came after the departure of Sony Australia CEO Denis Handlin in June 2021, following a monthslong probe by Sony into reports of harassment and bullying within its Australian company.) Sony Music artists held the No. 1 spot on the Australian Recording Industry Association album chart for 16 weeks in 2022, including Australian acts Gang of Youths, Midnight Oil and Parkway Drive. The label also added eight new signings to its Australian and New Zealand roster and developed new, critically acclaimed Australian talents including Forest Claudette and KYE.

Sylvia Rhone

Chairman/CEO, Epic Records

Stephanie Yu

Executive vp of business and legal affairs, Epic Records

Traci Adams

Executive vp of promotion, Epic Records

See Executive of the Year profile here.

Marie-Anne Robert

Managing director, Sony Music Entertainment France

Robert heads Sony Music’s operations in the world’s fifth-largest recorded-music market. Recent artist signings include French slam poet Grand Corps Malade and rapper Alonzo, whose song “Tout Va Bien” featuring Ninho & Naps topped the French chart for five weeks and has been streamed over 100 million times, according to Sony Music. Other 2022 label successes included breakout campaigns for French acts Tiakola and Spanish singer Rosalía. Together they helped Sony Music Entertainment France become the only major label to grow its share of the country’s digital music market last year, says Robert, an active mentor of female entrepreneurs in the music industry.

Brenda Romano

President of promotion, Interscope Geffen A&M

Michelle An

Executive vp/head of visual content, Interscope Geffen A&M

Annie Lee

CFO, Interscope Geffen A&M

Nicole Wyskoarko

Executive vp/co-head of A&R, Interscope Geffen A&M

Building upon its success with film projects from Billie Eilish in 2021, IGA’s rejuvenated film division launched several noteworthy projects in 2022. Disney+ acquired Olivia Rodrigo’s driving home 2 u, while Hulu purchased Machine Gun Kelly’s Life in Pink. And Selena Gomez’s critically acclaimed My Mind & Me opened the AFI Fest before being picked up by Apple TV. “We’re extremely proud of the work we’ve done with our reenergized film division,” says An. “Interscope Films is an incredibly important platform from which we can extend the reach of our amazing artists.”

“We’re extremely proud of the work we’ve done with our reenergized film division,” says MICHELLE AN of Interscope Geffen A&M, citing projects including OLIVIA RODRIGO’s driving home 2 u, which was acquired by Disney+.

Courtesy Interscope Films

Jacqueline Saturn

President, Virgin Music Label & Artist Services

Virgin Music Group had a number of wins with both new and legacy artists over the past year. The company invested in artist development for acts such as Rema and Montell Fish and reaped the benefits with the success of the songs “Calm Down” and “Hotel,” respectively. Both were added to Spotify’s Today’s Top Hits playlist. Acraze’s “Do It to It” was another streaming success, surpassing 1 billion streams worldwide. Saturn says the 70-plus gold and platinum RIAA certifications that were earned by artists such as Trippie Redd, Clairo, Omy De Oro, Internet Money and Chesca was also a major source of pride.

Doreen Schimk

Co-President, Warner Music Central Europe

Schimk has one of the most interesting backstories in the music business: She escaped from the former East Germany as a teenager, a journey that became the subject of the 2011 German movie Westwind. After moving to London and New York to learn English, she got into the music business — first at the German indie Edel, then at Sony Music Germany and finally at Warner. In August 2021, she and Fabian Drebes were named co-presidents of Warner Music Central Europe, which oversees operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. She and Drebes are especially focused on dance music and German language hip-hop, and one 2022 priority was launching Atlantic Records Germany “to be a new doorway for German rap artists,” Schimk says. “It’s based in Berlin and it’s growing out of the culture there.” In late January Warner Germany had four releases in the top 10 of the singles chart.

Gabi Serafine

Vp of operations, Artist Partner Group/Artist Publishing Group

Artist Partner Group had significant success last year, doubling 2021’s sales and passing the 50 million weekly streaming mark, according to the company, while adding a slew of emerging acts (Lexi Jayde, Anti Da Menace, Lambo4oe, bludnymph) to its rapidly expanding roster. Serafine was also excited about the launch of APG’s sleep brand, Sleep Soul — in conjunction with Jhené Aiko and Taz Askew — providing soothing R&B sounds as a sleep aid for the whole family. In addition to new act signings (Macaroni Toni, Leven Kali and Trgc), APG also scored a major streaming hit with TWISTED’s “Worth Nothing,” which appeared on the Fast & Furious Drift Tape album.

Kakul Srivastava

CEO, Splice

Srivastava aims to make sampling even more key to music creativity and Splice the strongest supplier in the business. Splice Sounds, its library of 2 million-plus royalty-free samples, “appear in hundreds of top 100 tracks every year,” she says. “We released over 300,000 new sounds across 134 genres, with the direct contributions of creators from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.” Splice recently added artificial intelligence to its tech tools to enhance sampling’s creative possibilities. Bad Bunny and producer-DJ Flume are among the global stars who have joined the platform’s 4 million-plus registered users.

Claire Taylor

U.S. GM, Beggars Group USA

Taylor says the past year has been a time of “expansion and growth” for Beggars Group USA, both internally and externally. In addition to a number of hires and promotions, Beggars has marketed new releases from artists such as Big Thief, Spoon, Interpol and The Smile (with Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood) across multiple platforms. Additionally, Taylor says the company has been excited to add new albums from artists including Bartees Strange, Black Midi and Snail Mail to the Beggars Group catalog alongside staples from Adele, The Cult, Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, FKA twigs, The xx and Cocteau Twins.

Colleen Theis

President/COO, The Orchard

Tricia Arnold

Executive vp of global artist/label services and sales, The Orchard

Mary Ashley Johnson

EVP, sales and artist & label services, for the U.S. and Canada

Last year was the indie music distributor’s best yet. “We broke records across the board for our labels and clients,” says Theis. Distribution of Bad Bunny’s blockbuster album Un Verano Sin Ti certainly was one highlight. But the company also made big strides across the business. The Orchard had its “highest-ever market share” by championing great indie labels and artists, reached a 50/50 gender split with women in key leadership roles and achieved “top-notch results” for its labels and artists including Kelsea Ballerini, RAYE and Caroline Polachek. “Empowering creators will always be at the core of what we do,” says Theis.

Candice Watkins

Senior vp of marketing, Big Loud Records

“It has been an intense couple of years at Big Loud,” Watkins says. “We’ve put out music that continues to impact the genre as a whole, breaking records and earning awards that five years ago, when I joined this company, we were just dreaming about.” Big Loud’s Morgan Wallen landed at No. 4 on Billboard’s 2022 year-end all-genre list of top male artists and topped the year-end country artists chart as well. Big Loud artist MacKenzie Porter and Wallen topped the Country Airplay chart in 2022, while singer-songwriter HARDY won acclaim this year for his rock and country album, The Mockingbird & The Crow. Says Watkins: “It’s the way our team transitioned to new heights over the last couple of years that I’m most proud of.”

Selina Webb

Executive vp, Universal Music U.K.

Webb says launching a dedicated program to redress a shortage of women in senior A&R roles is her proudest achievement of last year. The initiative enables women working in any department of Universal Music U.K., or any of its front-line labels, to apply to move to its A&R teams. “It’s an opportunity for our existing execs to apply to switch roles and receive training and mentoring from some of the best A&Rs in the business,” says Webb, who joined Universal in 1998 as director of press at Polydor Records and rose through the ranks to become executive vp of the United Kingdom’s biggest record company in 2016.

Carolyn Williams

Executive vp, RCA Records

Karen Lamberton

Executive vp of soundtracks and film/TV licensing, RCA Records

Jenna Novak

Vp of international marketing, RCA Records

“It’s an honor to be a part of an organization that recognizes and invests in the power of women, both in our artists and the incredible team of women behind our amazing projects,” Williams says. The label has powered major chart success over the past year by female artists including Doja Cat, Latto, Tems, Tate McRae, Jazmine Sullivan, H.E.R., P!nk and Billboard’s Woman of the Year SZA, whose album SOS spent eight weeks atop the Billboard 200.

“It’s an honor to be a part of an organization that recognizes and invests in the power of women,” says RCA’s CAROLYN WILLIAMS, citing the success in the past year of DOJA CAT, Latto, Tems, Tate McRae, Jazmine Sullivan, H.E.R., P!nk and Billboard Woman of the Year SZA.

Neilson Barnard/GI

Jackie Winkler

Vp of A&R, Island Records

“Nothing has been more fulfilling than witnessing my roster of bold female artists be authentic in crafting some of the best music of their careers,” says Winkler, “between Demi Lovato diving back into her rock roots, Sabrina Carpenter being honored as a prominent songwriter, Lauren Spencer Smith showcasing her powerhouse vocals and Stacey Ryan gaining global success as a young pop jazz protégée.” Winkler says her passion “has always lied in helping shape songs and albums from beginning to end and I take enormous pride in what my artists have accomplished this year. My goal will continually be to seek out extraordinary artists that set the bar at the highest level.”

Elsa Yep

COO, Universal Music Latin America & Iberian Peninsula

Paula Kaminsky

Managing director, GTS Universal U.S. Latin; manager (Sebastián Yatra)

Yep, in her new post as COO for the entire Latin region, focused on consolidating Universal’s “360 powerhouse reach” and “embracing business diversification.” This included the consolidation of Virgin Label & Artists Services in Brazil, developing new business opportunities like e-commerce for artists like Aitana and Karol G, and continuing to globally break acts including Feid and Lasso. A major point of pride was Kaminsky’s management client Sebastián Yatra, who sold out his 78-date global Dharma tour, performed at the Academy Awards and won his first Latin Grammy. “All the great things that happened in 2022 were key for fans, brands and the industry to discover how talented Sebastián is as a singer-songwriter and what a special human being he is,” says Kaminsky.

Music Publishing

Leslie Ahrens

Senior vp of creative for Latin America, Kobalt

Christine Jeanneret

Senior vp of business affairs, Kobalt

Melissa Emert-Hutner

Vp of creative, Kobalt

In the wake of its September sale of a majority stake to the technology-focused investment firm Francisco Partners, Kobalt’s roster continues to expand. Ahrens, Emert-Hutner and Jeanneret were key to signing and extending dozens of notable acts in the past 18 months including Karol G, Justin Quiles, Anuel, Ovy on the Drums, Omah Lay, Del Water Gap and IDLES. (The last act is particularly dear to Emert-Hutner, who wrote in an internal “Kobalt Quiz” that the band’s South by Southwest 2018 show at the British Music Embassy venue was one of her all-time most memorable.)

Alisa Coleman

COO, ABKCO Music and Records; board chair, The Mechanical Licensing Collective

Home to The Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke, The Animals and other legends, ABKCO’s “rich catalog of gems” provides plenty of licensing opportunities on the publishing and master side, says Coleman. Third-party ad campaigns in 2022 led to the resurgence of 1960s hits on streaming platforms, she says, such as Bobby Womack’s “Breezin’ ” for Chime credit cards and Dee Dee Sharp’s “Mashed Potato Time” for Airbnb, which had a 1,500% increase in Shazams and “major streaming uplift” on digital service providers. In her role as board chair at the MLC, she proudly reveals it has reached “the billion-dollar distribution mark.”

Jennifer Knoepfle

Executive vp/co-head of A&R, Universal Music Publishing Group

Alexandra Lioutikoff

President of Latin America and U.S. Latin, Universal Music Publishing Group

Joy Murphy

Senior vp/head of film and television licensing and clearance, Universal Music Publishing Group

Ana Rosa Santiago

Senior vp of Latin music, Universal Music Publishing Group

Angelica Merida

Vp of business and legal affairs, international and digital business development, Universal Music Publishing Group

“From stars like Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, Rosalía, SZA, Metro Boomin and Steve Lacy to songwriters and producers like Kid Harpoon, Omer Fedi, Take a Daytrip, ATL Jacob, Rodney Jerkins and many more, UMPG’s talent pool is unmatched,” says Knoepfle. Though they have many marquee names headlining their roster — quite a few of which have been honored with nominations for Golden Globes, Grammys and Academy Awards in the last year — the women in leadership at UMPG are also equally trying to grow and invest in tomorrow’s stars. One way the team has worked to identify and foster the best new talent? The founding of UMPG’s Global Creative Group, a team of senior A&R executives from all over the world who work together to expand opportunities across borders for their writers. Above all, for UMPG’s women in leadership, it’s about providing the “best service for [their] songwriters,” adds Knoepfle.

Liz Lewis

Senior vp of songwriter services, Sony Music Publishing

Amy Coles

Vp of creative marketing, film and TV, Sony Music Publishing

Ari Gelaw

Vp of creative, Sony Music Publishing

Amy Roland

Vp of synch and new business, Sony Music Publishing, U.S. Latin

Yendi Rodríguez

Senior director of creative A&R, Sony Music Publishing, U.S. Latin

Sony Music Publishing’s women in leadership are focused on always “finding new ways to support SMP’s catalog of songwriters across every division,” says Lewis. In the last year, the major publisher scored a number of triumphs: The song “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” by Kate Bush achieved viral success and a No. 3 slot on the Hot 100 after its appearance in Netflix’s Stranger Things, the company expanded further into Africa, and the team finalized a number of new deals with talents including Anitta, Bizarrap, Ryan Tedder and Muddy Waters. Concurrently, the team is focused on helping their writers with initiatives like its Legacy Unrecouped Balance Program and Songwriter Assistance as well as “driving new creative opportunities for their songs like our new Sample Initiatives,” says Lewis of the move to encourage songwriters to sample or interpolate songs from Sony’s vast back catalog.

Carianne Marshall

Co-chair/COO, Warner Chappell Music

Vivian Barclay

Managing director, Warner Chappell Music Canada

Shani Gonzales

Executive Vp/managing director, Warner Chappell U.K.; head of international A&R, Warner Chappell Music

Natalie Madaj

Senior vp of global digital, Warner Chappell Music

Two years after creating a “refreshed company strategy,” Warner Chappell “has built great momentum and worked hard to diversify our revenue streams,” Marshall says. The creative services team has “worked behind the scenes to amplify our songs and songwriters,” she adds, with initiatives like a new podcast honoring Warner Chappell Music writers from the Great American Songbook era and a documentary to showcase the work of WCM’s Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and the late Thom Bell. With a new vision statement, which Marshall calls the team’s “north star,” Warner Chappell has had “double-digit revenue growth of 30% in [fiscal year 2022]… one of our strongest years yet.”

Helen Murphy

Former CEO, Anthem Entertainment

“All of our artists are knocking it out of the park,” says Murphy, who is recognized for the company’s achievements during the past year. (On Feb. 6, an Anthem representative noted that Murphy is no longer CEO of the company, with Jason Klein, former senior vp of business affairs and Canadian GM, named interim CEO.) Among Anthem’s recent highlights: Rush’s Moving Pictures reentered the Billboard 200 at No. 11 after a 40th-anniversary rerelease, while two country No. 1s were achieved by songwriters Matt Rogers (for Cody Johnson’s “Til You Can’t”) and Jordan and Jacob Davis (for Jordan’s “Buy Dirt,” featuring Luke Bryan). Murphy also launched the Real Country Livin’ series with SiriusXM and co-produced/directed the José Feliciano documentary Behind This Guitar.

Natalia Nastaskin

Chief content officer, Primary Wave

Samantha Rhulen

Senior vp of business and legal affairs, Primary Wave

Deb Klein

Manager, Primary Wave

Primary Wave’s biggest move this past year was securing a $2 billion infusion from Brookfield Asset Management. But even before that, the company racked up an impressive haul of acquisitions, including rights to the catalogs of Joey Ramone, Julian Casablancas and Huey Lewis & The News. “After more than three years of negotiating and drafting, we finally closed” on the estate of James Brown, “one of the longest-running and most difficult, but also one of the most important deals for our company,” says Rhulen. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Klein kept the company’s management division — with artists like Melissa Etheridge and Cypress Hill — humming, while Primary Wave capped the year with the Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody, one of several productions that Nastaskin is overseeing.

Mary Megan Peer

CEO, peermusic

The third-generation CEO says that in 2022, “cross-cultural collaborations set up by peermusic creative teams had both a cultural and commercial impact.” Peer notes that co-writes between peermusic’s Swedish writers and those in Korea and Japan resulted in nine No. 1 singles in Korea, four in Japan, one in China and iTunes No. 1s in 28 countries. Sweden’s Andreas Öhrn alone had five No. 1 projects in Japan and Korea, she says. In September, a song camp in Lagos, Nigeria, hosted by production duo SOS and writer Larry Gaaga “paired some of our U.S. and U.K. writers with 18 up-and-coming local writers.”

Mia Segolsson

GM, Polar Music International

The Voyage, ABBA’s first new album in 40 years, earned the Swedish band five Grammy nominations and its highest album chart placement in the United States, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in November 2021. The set, released by Universal Music Group-owned Polar Music International, has sold 2.5 million copies, according to the Stockholm-based label, which ABBA manager Stig Anderson founded in 1963 and is now headed by Segolsson. ABBA’s studio comeback was followed by the pioneering ABBA Voyage show, in which digital avatars of the group’s four members perform alongside a live band inside a purpose-built arena in London’s Olympic Park. Since opening in May, the show has sold over 1 million tickets, according to UMG.

ABBA’s label Polar Music International, headed by MIA SEGOLSSON, released the group’s first new album in 40 years, The Voyage. It debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in late 2021, ahead of the opening of the ABBA Voyage show in London in May.

Nicky J Sims/GI

Amy Thomson

CEO, Hester Jones

Before launching her new company, Hester Jones, Thomson had been chief catalog officer at Merck Mercuriadis’ Hipgnosis Song Management, where the last year “was intense,” she says. “After breaking apart all of the acquisitions, I was able to move huge catalogs into our direct care, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, Jack Antonoff and many more. Arguably, we built the largest small publisher in the world.” Among other moves for Hipgnosis, Thomson worked with the U.K. government on its investigation into streaming, “sitting on their metadata committee as we strive to fight for a transparent and accurate flow of money for all.” Her new company, she says, “will organize, display and manage catalogs for artists who are demanding their affairs are fully in order.”


Kajal Gayadien

Director and global head of record label licensing, Amazon Music

Angela Romero

Global Latin editorial lead, Amazon Music

Julia Heiser

Head of live event merch, Amazon Music

Sierra Lever

Label relations manager, hip-hop/R&B/Afrobeats, Amazon Music

Last year, Amazon Music launched a post-Thursday Night Football Amazon Music Live concert series; boosted its Artist Merch Shop to sell exclusive items from J. Cole, Tyler, The Creator and others; and, according to Gayadien, initiated a “massive effort” to add 100 million songs to its catalog in ad-free shuffle mode. The latter move drew criticism from Amazon Prime users who balked at paying more fees for on-demand streaming, but Gayadien says, “This enabled fans to discover millions more artists and gives these artists an opportunity to reach more fans.”

Min Hu

CFO, Tencent Music Entertainment

Tencent Music Entertainment’s 2022 achievements eased the sting from Chinese regulators that depressed its share price in 2021. TME’s on-demand streaming service grew 20% to 85.3 million subscribers in the third quarter of 2022, helping offset losses in its social entertainment segment. The company also completed a secondary listing in September on the main board of the stock exchange in Hong Kong, in addition to its primary listing on the New York Stock Exchange. With more than 742 million users, “TME has been using technology to elevate the role of music in people’s lives,” says Hu, “and enable them to create, enjoy, share and interact with music.”

Vivien Lewit

Global head of artists, YouTube/Google

Alyse Bobb

Director of legal, YouTube

Jodi Ropert

Vp of YouTube marketing, YouTube

YouTube could always attract viewers. The more important question for the music industry was: Could it make money for artists? Last year, YouTube answered in the affirmative by paying over $6 billion in royalties in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2022, according to the company. YouTube Music and Premium grew to 80 million subscribers in 2022 — a 30 million increase from its 2021 announcement. And its short-form video platform, YouTube Shorts, is making inroads on TikTok. These efforts, says Lewit, “speak to our missions to be the No. 1 revenue generator for the music industry and the best platform for every music fan and artist.”

Amanda Marks

Global head of business development and music partnerships, Apple

Rachel Newman

Global head of editorial and content, Apple Music

Jen Walsh

Senior director of content and services, international, Apple

Apple’s honorees are recognized for their contributions to Apple Music’s success in the past year. The biggest news for the digital music service is its sponsorship of the Super Bowl Halftime Show on Feb. 12 featuring Rihanna. But Apple Music, which now features over 100 million songs, has marked numerous milestones in the last 12 months. Since the launch of its immersive spatial audio streams in June 2021, over 80% of subscribers worldwide have experienced the product. In October, Apple Music announced that spatial audio would be available in Mercedes-Benz vehicles. It is also the format for Apple Music Live, which has featured performances by Harry Styles, Lil Durk, Mary J. Blige, Billie Eilish, Luke Combs, Wizkid and Alicia Keys. As 2022 came to a close, Apple Music unveiled a redesigned Replay feature that allows users to discover their top songs, albums, artists and genres from the previous year with a personalized highlight reel that can be shared on social media.

Dawn Ostroff

Senior advisor/former chief content and advertising business officer, Spotify

Madeleine Bennett

Head of music strategy, Spotify