Skip to main content
Women in Music 2023

Virginia Bunetta

Managing partner/artist manager, G-Major Management

Bunetta’s client Thomas Rhett scored big in 2022 with “Half of Me” featuring Riley Green, his 18th No. 1 single in a decade on Country Airplay. “This is such a special milestone because as a manager and a management company, we have been with him through each chart-topping hit starting with his first, ‘It Goes Like This,’ in 2013,” says Bunetta. “Also in 2022, we signed rising country music artist Mackenzie Carpenter and launched her music career with ‘Can’t Nobody’ on SiriusXM’s The Highway Find. We have intentionally kept our roster small so when artists like Mackenzie come along there are resources and space to give her the focus a new artist needs to become successful.”

Amanda Cates

Head of artist services, Maverick Nashville

The digital maven for the management company’s artists, Cates marketed Jason Aldean’s four-month Rock N Roll Cowboy Tour. It followed his double album Macon (released Nov. 12, 2021) and Georgia (released April 22, 2022) and his Carrie Underwood duet “If I Didn’t Love You,” which won the Academy of Country Music (ACM) single of the year award. Darius Rucker launched the Riverfront Revival Festival in Charleston, S.C., in October, and Brooks & Dunn continued the REBOOT Tour, heightened by a viral TikTok campaign in which the duo’s 1992 song “Neon Moon” rose again.

Sonia Clavell

President/CEO, Clavell Marketing/Diamond Music

Clavell has been focused on repositioning marquee client Ivy Queen as the female leader of reggaetón. “It was a major objective and one I believe we’ve achieved in personal industry milestones,” says Clavell. In 2022, the urban singer forayed into bachata with “Quién Dijo,” which displayed her versatility. Ivy also joined Bad Bunny onstage for his World’s Hottest Tour stop in Los Angeles, where they performed “Yo Perreo Sola.” Clavell adds, “Seeing Ivy once again get the recognition and respect she deserves as the first female star in the genre has been immensely gratifying, especially as a female manager in reggaetón.”

Martha Earls

Owner, Neon Coast

Earls stays busy steering the Kane Brown juggernaut while guiding the rising careers of Nightly, Dylan Schneider and Restless Road. Brown’s third album, Different Man, debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and spawned three No. 1 hits. “Kane also elevated his touring from sold-out arenas with the successful conclusion of the NBA tour to stadiums starting with his hometown sold-out show at the University of Tennessee football stadium in Chattanooga [Tenn.] and the upcoming Fenway Park show in Boston,” says Earls, who notes that Nightly and Restless Road also enjoyed sold-out tours.

Ann Edelblute

Owner, The HQ

Edelblute shepherded Carrie Underwood through another stellar year with her client finishing 2022 as Billboard’s Top Country Female Artist. Underwood’s year was propelled by the release of Denim & Rhinestones, her 10th consecutive top 10 debut on the Billboard 200, as well as a sold-out Las Vegas residency, the Denim & Rhinestones tour and headlining Stagecoach with a “Mane stage” performance with Axl Rose. “She then rejoined Axl [and] Guns N’ Roses on their global stadium tour with surprise guest performances at both of their sold-out nights at London’s Tottenham [Hotspur] Stadium,” Edelblute says. In addition to her fit52 fitness app and Bodyarmor partnership, Underwood returned for her 10th season as the voice of NBC’s Sunday Night Football Open. She also added to her trophy case with her eighth Grammy, her 16th ACM Award, her 24th and 25th CMT Music Awards — the most wins for any artist — and the People’s Choice Award for The Country Artist of 2022.

Under the management guidance of ANN EDELBLUTE of The HQ, country superstar CARRIE UNDERWOOD closed 2022 as Billboard’s Top Country Female Artist.

Terry Wyatt/WireImage

Kerri Edwards

President, KP Entertainment

KP Entertainment client Luke Bryan celebrated the launch in 2022 of his Las Vegas residency, a run so successful he added 12 more dates this year through April. He also scored his 26th No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart for his feature on Jordan Davis’ “Buy Dirt.” Client Cole Swindell had a knockout year as well, scoring his biggest radio hit to date with “She Had Me at Heads Carolina,” which topped Country Airplay for four weeks and in January — over six months after its release last June — was still in the top 10 on Hot Country Songs.

Mary Hilliard Harrington

Artist manager, Wild Heart/Red Light Management

In addition to executive-producing New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash for Paramount+ and CBS, Harrington oversaw the return of the Seven Peaks Music Festival in September (alongside longtime client and festival founder Dierks Bentley), and saw strong numbers for rising artists The War & Treaty and Caylee Hammack. According to Wild Heart, the company was involved in 15 No. 1 hits in the last year, including Elle King and Miranda Lambert’s “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” — the first female duet to top the Country Airplay chart since Reba McEntire and Linda Davis’ “Does He Love You” in 1993.

Marion Kraft

President/CEO, ShopKeeper Management

ShopKeeper’s marquee clients Miranda Lambert and Tenille Townes scored side-by-side honors in 2022 with Lambert winning her first ACM entertainer of the year award — and Townes taking the same trophy at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards, where she also won top female artist, album (Masquerades) and single (“Girl Who Didn’t Care”). Lambert continued to expand her restaurant and retail businesses (which include Red 55 Winery, Casa Rosa, Idyllwind and Wanda June) while adding dates to her Velvet Rodeo residency in Las Vegas; releasing her eighth studio album, Palomino; and earning four Grammy nominations. Townes, who is managed by ShopKeeper’s Crystal Dishmon, also branched out last year, making her acting debut in the Hallmark movie Time for Him To Come Home for Christmas.

Rosa Lagarrigue

Founder/CEO, RLM

Lagarrigue is proud of her team at RLM for resuming international touring following the pandemic. “Last year we organized more than 450 concerts, of which 70 took place in the U.S., Latin America and Europe,” she says. “Moreover, in 2022, we got back to promoting international artists in Spain, successfully organizing Ricardo Arjona’s and Ricardo Montaner’s Spanish tours.” In addition to managing and booking established artists like Raphael, Ana Torroja and Rozalén, Lagarrigue adds that RLM continues to bet on its record label, Sin Anestesia, with “excellent results” for emerging talents like Paula Mattheus and Marlena.

Under founder/CEO ROSA LAGARRIGUE, RLM organized some 450 concerts last year while also managing and booking artists including Spain’s ANA TORROJA.

Omar Vega/FilmMagic

Rebeca León

CEO, Lionfish Entertainment

In early February, León and her superstar management client Rosalía revealed an amicable business split. But that followed a banner year for Rosalía; her groundbreaking album Motomami lifted her star even higher, with the support of León’s Lionfish Entertainment. The Spanish innovator became the first woman to win album of the year for a second time at the Latin Grammys, and Metacritic recognized the album as the most critically praised release of 2022. “With all appreciation for the achievements we worked so hard for in the past,” León says, “this was without a doubt Lionfish Entertainment’s proudest year.”

Sarah Montgomery
Anna Savage

Managers, Full Stop Management

Full Stop Management represents some 40-plus clients, including Harry Styles, Lizzo, the Eagles, John Mayer and Jon Bon Jovi, and in 2022 it added Cardi B and U2 to its roster. Collectively, its artists amassed billions of streams in 2022, with one or more acts represented by the company in the Hot 100 all year. “Our team navigated the pandemic and the slowdown so effectively that when things started to open up again these past 12 months, our artists such as Anderson .Paak and James Blake were strategically positioned to move their careers forward in very big ways,” says Savage. The roster performed over 850 shows combined. “The combination of our clients’ undeniable talent along with our team’s shared values, ‘test and learn’ strategy, and collaborative 360 support has helped contribute to this waterfall effect of success,” Montgomery adds.

Luana Pagani

President, Seitrack US

Returning to a “sort of normal after a period of disruption and fear” resulted in a fruitful year, says Pagani, adding that Seitrack US booked over 180 shows, including two back-to-back sold-out concerts by Los Ángeles Azules at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, Calif. Seitrack also released new music by its clients and signed Spanish star Alejandro Sanz and Mexican newcomer Michelle Maciel. Pagani led the team that orchestrated Yuridia’s mariachi album, Pa’ Luego es Tarde, which marked the artist’s debut entry on the Regional Mexican Albums chart at No. 7. “More than ever, I felt that my role encompassed not only being creative and entrepreneurial but also nurturing and stabilizing,” she says.

Melissa Ruderman

Managing partner, Range Media Partners

Neelam Thadhani

Music Manager, Range Media Partners

Range Media Partners management client Jack Harlow closed 2022 at No. 14 on Billboard’s year-end Top Artists tally, propelled by Come Home the Kids Miss You, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. In January, it was reported that the company is a front-runner to represent rap star Nicki Minaj. “I am most proud of the way Range uses close lines of communication and information-sharing to create synergy between all departments,” says Ruderman. “We have put music artists into major acting roles in film and TV, created big synch moments for songs and sold scripts and show ideas from musicians who never had access to do so previously. This is a major point of difference for our company.”

Dina Sahim Reed

Artist manager, SALXCO

After splitting in 2012, Sahim Reed’s client Swedish House Mafia kicked off an epic return a decade later with Paradise Again, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. The group performed its latest project across the globe, starting with a co-headlining stint at Coachella — its first live performance since reuniting — with The Weeknd. The act continued with its world tour and ended with its first North American residency at Las Vegas’ XS Nightclub. Sahim Reed adds that another client, British singer-songwriter Hope Tala, is gearing up to release her debut album, executive-produced by nine-time Grammy winner Greg Kurstin, in 2023 on Republic Records.

Sophia Sansone

Managing partner, Make Wake Artists

Six years after the Vanderbilt University graduate started as an assistant to Make Wake Artists founder Chris Kappy, Sansone rose in 2022 to managing partner of the firm, playing a key role in the activities of reigning Country Music Association (CMA) entertainer of the year Luke Combs and in the management of Nicole Combs. She helped guide the rollout of Luke Combs’ global tour, which includes 14 American stadium dates. “I feel blessed,” she says, “that Kappy has given me the opportunity to grow.”

Ebonie Ward

CEO, 11th & Co

With a keen eye for success with Southern rap artists, Ward has overseen three monumental releases in the last year: Future’s chart-topping ninth album, I Never Liked You; Flo Milli’s major-label debut, You Still Here, Ho?; and Gunna’s second Billboard 200 No. 1 DS4ever. Plus, Ward established her own management firm, 11th & Co. The achievements of her clients “are not only proud moments for my company,” Ward says, “but are pillars that have shifted and impacted today’s music and culture.”

Janet Weir

Owner/manager, House of 42/Red Light Management

As the management company for Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd, Weir’s House of 42 guided a 42-date tour for Morris’ first post-pandemic concert run. Morris employed a 50% female road crew, hitting key venues including Radio City Music Hall in New York, the Hollywood Bowl, Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colo., and Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. She also played the Newport Folk Festival, country music festival Stagecoach and RodeoHouston, attracting what Weir calls “an incredible community of the most supportive, inclusive and diverse fans.” Morris’ Humble Quest was nominated for the CMA’s album of the year award.

MAREN MORRIS, who is managed by JANET WEIR of House of 42, staged a 42-date concert tour, for which 50% of her road crew were women.

Matt Winkelmeyer/GI


The 2023 Women in Music list drew a record number of nominations. As a result, in two sectors for which Billboard publishes separate power lists, law and business management, we have chosen to include honorees on the Women in Music list only from companies and firms that have not been previously included.

Gillian Bar

Partner, Carroll Guido Groffman Cohen Bar & Karalian

Bar represents a number of clients who she says serve as “meaningful role models to young women,” including rising singer-songwriter Gracie Abrams, English TikTok sensation PinkPantheress and budding star Remi Wolf. But she says her proudest moment over the past year has been closer to home: “I’ve watched my 15-year-old daughter become inspired by some of the artists I represent, which makes working in this business all the more rewarding.”

Ilene Farkas

Partner/executive committee member/co-chair of the music litigation practice, Pryor Cashman

The most senior female litigation partner at Pryor Cashman, Farkas’ powerhouse roster of clients includes Megan Thee Stallion, H.E.R., Bruno Mars, Cardi B, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran. Pryor Cashman also represented the National Music Publishers’ Association and Nashville Songwriters Association International in its litigation before the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board against the interactive music streaming industry — led by Apple, Amazon, Spotify and Google — seeking higher mechanical royalty rates. The Phonorecords IV settlement established what the NMPA called the “highest royalty rate in the history of streaming anywhere.”

Priyanka Khimani

Founder, Khimani & Associates

Widely regarded as one of India’s foremost entertainment lawyers, Khimani shepherds Indian hip-hop stars Divine, King and Raja Kumari, among others, as well as rapper-songwriter AP Dhillon, now based in Canada. Working on a variety of matters including synch licenses and brand collaborations, Khimani says her “constant endeavor has been to make India more accessible and relatively less complex to navigate as a territory.” She has also changed the way deals have typically been done in the country. “My firm and I have set precedents when it comes to ownership, especially of independent music as it finds its way into films and advertisements,” she says. “Deviation from the traditional ‘buy-out’ model is becoming a mainstay.”

Elizabeth Moody

Senior partner/chair of new media practice, Granderson Des Rochers

Moody’s practice focuses on the intersection of technology and music rights, which recently involved advising the interactive concert streaming platform Wave on its upcoming production of The Calvin Harris Experience to give the livestream concert in virtual reality and on TikTok an “‘immersive’ twist, with the promise of audio-reactive visuals,” she says. Moody also repped gaming giant Roblox in its collaboration with Elton John on “Beyond the Yellow Brick Road,” a metaverse experience allowing fans access to an interactive world inspired by the artist’s life and legacy. Her key aim, she says, is to help clients “create effective business models and innovative licensing deals.”

Laurie L. Soriano

Partner, King Holmes Paterno & Soriano

Soriano negotiated Frank Ocean’s recent deal as a Coachella 2023 headliner. She also represented the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in their contract with Secretly Canadian, which led to two Grammy nominations, while client Kim Petras’ active year culminated in the Grammy-winning Hot 100 No. 1 single “Unholy” with Sam Smith. Soriano is chair of the executive committee of the Recording Academy’s Entertainment Law Initiative. In that role, she “steered the process by which the executive committee brought on nine new members out of a group of 18, bringing fresh, diverse voices into the mix.”

Monika Tashman

Partner, Manatt Phelps & Phillips

Tashman is an advocate and champion for artists, songwriters and other creators, empowering them to push boundaries and become CEOs of their own brands. “Over the past year, we helped numerous genre icons reimagine the business landscape in which they operate,” says Tashman, “allowing them to think like entrepreneurs and build businesses that will not only help them identify and capitalize on new revenue streams, but also establish new business practices that will help drive the future of music.” The firm’s current roster includes Papa Roach, The Pretty Reckless/Taylor Momsen and Blondie.

Helen Yu

Principal, Yu Leseberg

Yu was one of the key lawyers to represent Argentine trap star Paulo Londra in his contentious legal battle with label Big Ligas, which accused him of breach of contract. Londra countersued for fraud and negligent representation in the multimillion-dollar Miami court case, but just days into a closely watched trial, Yu and Londra’s other lawyers reached a confidential settlement with Big Ligas. Yu says she’s proud to have played a part in “securing Paulo Londra’s freedom” from his label and that she wants to “continue to be an even stronger advocate for Latin recording artists taking back control of their careers.”


Lori Badgett

Senior vp/co-team leader of entertainment banking, Nashville, City National Bank

Badgett has been instrumental in increasing City National’s Nashville business — taking the company in Music City from a handful of colleagues to more than two dozen staffers serving top names in the music industry, while driving growth in deposits and loans. Additionally, Badgett and her team have offered financial services to artists, producers and other entertainers to help them successfully return to the road after pandemic-driven touring shutdowns.

Sherrese Clarke Soares

Founder/CEO, HarbourView Equity Partners

Before officially opening its Newark, N.J.-based headquarters with an 18-member team in December 2022, HarbourView had acquired more than 50 music catalogs since launching a little over a year ago. Those acquisitions belonged to worldwide artists such as Latin star and “Despacito” co-writer Luis Fonsi, R&B/pop icon Usher, country group Lady A and rock band Sum 41 singer-songwriter Deryck Whibley. Incubating strategies “focused on investing in attractive companies across the media landscape,” Clarke Soares adds, “HarbourView believes creators deserve a seat at the table creatively and economically, owning their narrative and maximizing value for all.”

The music of country act LADY A was among the 50-plus catalogs acquired in under a year by HarbourView Equity Partners, headed by SHERRESE CLARKE SOARES.

John Shearer/GI

Lylette Pizarro McLean

Founder/co-managing partner, Influence Media

Lynn Hazan

Co-managing partner, Influence Media

Influence Media last year partnered with BlackRock Alternative Investors and Warner Music Group on a fund that has secured over $750 million in backing to buy music assets. The fund is run internally at Influence by Hazan, Pizarro McLean and partners Rene McLean and Jon Jashni, a team with a decadeslong track record of innovative monetization for iconic intellectual property. Last year, the fund announced the acquisition of works from Future (“Life Is Good,” “Jumpman”) and Blake Shelton (“Boys ’Round Here,” “Austin”), the latter of which includes an artist-driven profit-share model. Its portfolio of 25-plus catalogs includes previously announced partnerships for works by songwriter-producer Tainy (Cardi B’s “I Like It” featuring Bad Bunny and J. Balvin, Bad Bunny’s “Dákiti” featuring Jhay Cortez), the hit-making team The Stereotypes (Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic,” “That’s What I Like”) and singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez (Dua Lipa’s “One Kiss,” Calvin Harris & Sam Smith’s “Promises”).

Nari Matsuura

Partner/co-leader of music economics and valuation services practice, Citrin Cooperman

In January 2022, Massarsky Consulting partners Barry Massarsky and Matsuura joined Citrin Cooperman as partners and co-leaders of the firm’s new music economics and valuation services practice. Massarsky has described Matsuura as “the modeling architect behind the music-asset acquisition marketplace … the top story of the industry.” Matsuura says: “In the last 12 months, our team has conducted over 400 music-asset valuations valued at over $9 billion, including the portfolios of most of the major music funds such as Hipgnosis, Round Hill and Reservoir.” Citrin Cooperman “fully supported our role to expand,” she adds. “This included integrating our music economics and valuation services practice with the company’s music-royalty auditing and transaction diligence, providing a service across deal structures that fully realizes the growth of the music industry.”

Business Management

Kella Farris
Stephanie Self
Catherine Moore

Partners, Farris Self & Moore

“FSM’s strategic growth has been the biggest achievement for us over the last 12 months,” Farris says of the Nashville-based business management firm, which has distinguished itself for its range of services as well as its touch. Farris Self & Moore’s growing renown has necessitated the hiring of additional staffers, and “we are currently building out 10,000 square feet of new office space on historic Music Row, where we will relocate this spring,” Farris adds. Still, “we will continue to provide and remain true to our core values of being authentic, boutique/family, all-in and innovative.”

Michelle Richburg

President/CEO, Richburg Enterprises

A Black female business owner who built her own firm over the past decade, Richburg says that diversity and inclusion are at the core of her legacy. While her privately owned company does not report financial results, it has experienced “year after year … exponential growth,” she says, and recently added two more members to a staff that is fully people of color. Richburg recently graduated from the Prospectus Accelerator program of Walker’s Legacy, a digital media platform for multicultural women in business, inspired by the work of Black activist-entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker. Richburg has co-authored the motivational book Still, I Thrive!: 24 Lessons on How To Pivot and Evolve During an Unexpected Crisis, and her company is the tax firm of record for the $100 million Warner Music Group/Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund.


Ellen Healy-Pietropaoli

Senior marketing director of global consumer engagement, music and entertainment, PepsiCo

As part of its global partnership with the European Football Association (UEFA), Pepsi leads artist selection, contracting and promotion for performances at some of the world’s biggest televised sporting events. Healy-Pietropaoli spearheaded Camila Cabello’s performance at the UEFA Champions League Final soccer match in Paris in May (which Pepsi says drew 283 million viewers) and an all-female lineup of Becky Hill, Stefflon Don and Ultra Naté at the Women’s Euros Final in London. “I’m fortunate to be a leader in a company that breaks down barriers,” she says, “helping women to succeed as masters of their craft.”

PepsiCo’s ELLEN HEALY-PIETROPAOLI spearheaded CAMILA CABELLO’s performance at the UEFA Champions League Final soccer match in Paris in May.

Trae Patton/NBC/GI

Shizuka (Shiz) Suzuki

Vp of global brand sponsorships and experiential marketing, sports and entertainment, American Express

Leading strategic brand partnerships and experiences across sports, music and entertainment, Suzuki has helped put a fresh face on the 173-year-old firm, partnering with Harry Styles on his Pleasing Holiday Shop pop-ups and minting non-fungible tokens at the Austin City Limits Festival. Jack Harlow was a drop-in on the Amex x NBA 2K23 Lab stream, which set a streaming record for the NBA’s Twitch channel, with over 1 million views in two hours. Millennials and Generation Z drove 60% of new cards in the fourth quarter of 2022, up 29% in billed business, according to the company.

Ronnie Yoked

Head of experiential marketing, Anheuser-Busch

Yoked’s commitment to multicultural talent helped drive September’s Rumbazo Latin Music Festival in Las Vegas, where over 5,000 fans “indulged in [great] vibes, authentic Latin food and art,” says Yoked. Produced in partnership with Anheuser-Busch, the festival offered a mix of established stars (Maluma, Prince Royce, Ivy Queen) and breakout acts (Natanael Cano, Omar Apollo, Yendry). “It was an all-encompassing celebration,” says Yoked, whose portfolio includes 150 music events a year. “Experiences change minds, and with that have the power to make the world a slightly better place.”


Donna Caseine

Executive vp/global creative director, Reservoir Media

Faith Newman

Executive vp of A&R and catalog development, Reservoir Media

Caseine and Newman, two of the women leading Reservoir Media, both started and ended the year in celebration. In early 2022, Caseine helped honor client Joni Mitchell as MusiCares’ Person of the Year in 2022, and Newman bookended it by ushering De La Soul onto streaming services, just in time for the 50th anniversary year of hip-hop. “It is an incredible milestone for Reservoir,” says Newman of De La Soul. There were also plenty of other milestones for the company leaders, including the acquisition of Tommy Boy Music and welcoming Oak Felder, Killer Mike, Snarky Puppy, Phil Manzanera, Henry Jackman, Matt Sorum, Travis Tritt, Nick Lee and the late Fred Rister and Louis Prima to the Reservoir family.

Dominique Casimir

Chief content officer, BMG

Allegra Willis Knerr

Executive vp of global synch licensing, BMG

Following a year when BMG signed global deals with Duran Duran, Bryan Adams and Louis Tomlinson, among others, Casimir says one of her favorite moments of 2022 was the signing of a long-term lease with one of Berlin’s most renowned venues, the Theater des Westens. “It was an incredible statement of our ambitions in live entertainment,” Casimir says. BMG has roughly 1,100 employees worldwide, and has worked to land talented female executives, Casimir says, pointing to her fellow Women in Music honorees Willis Knerr and BMG Nashville’s JoJamie Hahr, as well as BMG’s executive vp of global recorded-music supply chain operations, Nitsa Kalispera.

Elizabeth Collins

Co-president, The Azoff Company

Collins is co-president of The Azoff Company with Susan Genco and helped the company launch its new record label, Giant Music. (The label’s moniker echoes the name of Giant Records, which Irving Azoff launched as a joint venture with Warner Music in 1990.) The new label’s first signing, the Atlanta-based rapper SwaVay, will be released through a partnership with Def Jam Recordings. “We have built an incredible team there and just started signing some amazing young artists,” Collins says. On top of that, The Azoff Company’s sports and entertainment company, Oak View Group, opened the Moody Center in Austin — which Collins calls “an incredible addition to that community” — as well as the Acrisure Arena in Coachella Valley, Calif. These initiatives in recorded music and the live industry both fit with “our mission of doing right by artists in each of our businesses,” Collins says.

Tina Davis

Senior vp of A&R, EMPIRE

Titilope Adesanya

Director of operations, EMPIRE Africa

EMPIRE’s global reach remains top tier with the success of its African artists including FireBoy DML, Kizz and Black Sherif. After a great showing at South by Southwest in 2022, EMPIRE flew out its flagship African artists to record at its San Francisco studio for the compilation Where We Come From, Vol. 1. Despite the company’s significant wins, it’s EMPIRE’s diversity in the workplace that shone throughout the past year. “We’re really proud of the gender diversity of our company which is half women,” says Davis. “It speaks volumes of the culture here and is something we hope to see more of throughout the music business.”

Amber Grimes

Partner/executive vp/GM, LVRN Management

In early 2022, the Atlanta-based label LVRN tapped Grimes, a partner in its management group, as its new executive vp and GM. “We’ve been methodically growing our management division, bringing to our roster Baby Tate, who has had a viral hit with ‘Hey Mickey,’ ” says Grimes. “We also built a successful strategy and execution behind Summer Walker’s ‘Karma (Sped Up)’ and Last Day of Summer (Sped Up), the first-ever sped-up full album released from any artist.” Another key initiative by LVRN was its partnership with Microsoft on LVRN Unplugged “which brought a live performance series to the metaverse,” says Grimes.”

Allison Kaye

President of music, HYBE America/SB Projects

Jennifer “Jen” McDaniels

President of management, HYBE America/SB Projects

Jules Ferree

President of brands and ventures, HYBE America/SB Projects

Seon Jeong Shin

T&D business department leader/GM, T&D Japan

Min Hee-jin

President, ADOR

If HYBE can find additional success with the marketing model that built K-pop group BTS into megastars, the Korean company could become a global force. In 2021, HYBE, through HYBE America, acquired Ithaca Holdings and its properties including SB Projects guided by Kaye and McDaniels and the homes of Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato. HYBE launched a new label, NAECO, in Japan in December. The latest win came in January when HYBE imprint ADOR put K-pop girl group NewJeans’ single “Ditto” onto the Hot 100, while reaching No. 8 on the Billboard Global 200. In February, HYBE acquired the parent company of Quality Control Music as well as a minority interest in Korea’s SM Entertainment.

The breakthrough K-pop girl group NEWJEANS, which reached No. 9 on the Billboard Global 200 with its single “Ditto,” is the latest achievement of HYBE executives on their ADOR imprint.

Courtesy of ADOR

Molly Neuman

Chief marketing officer, Downtown Music Holdings

Lisa Robinson

Vp of community and social engagement, Downtown Music Holdings

Realignment was job one for Downtown Music Holdings during the past year as the music services conglomerate brought together its companies — FUGA, Downtown Neighboring Rights, AdRev, Downtown Music Services — and added new units to create a new division, Downtown Music. This allowed the company to “rather dramatically” streamline its management of more than 30 million music assets (primarily songs) for nearly 2 million clients in over 145 countries. “This was done with the vision of constantly improving the work we do as a team and the services we provide around the world,” says Neuman, who came to Downtown after serving as president of Songtrust and also working at Kickstarter, the American Association of Independent Music, Rhapsody and eMusic. “Our efforts to always improve data integrity, conflict prevention and optimization of revenue for our clients are in constant focus. We continue to do this work along with our commitments to community-building efforts inside Downtown, with charitable organizations and the music industry at large.”

Clara Pablo

Senior vp of global marketing, WK Entertainment

Maluma’s international Papi Juancho world tour was a massive success with the help of his management team at WK Entertainment. His homecoming performance before some 53,000 fans in Medellín, Colombia, filmed for Amazon, was one for the books with surprise appearances by Madonna and Grupo Firme. “This show was a dream of Maluma’s for so long,” says Pablo. “Working on his dream and watching it all come together after months and months of hard work from our team is something I will cherish forever and never forget.”

Hays Rudolph

General counsel/vp of business and legal affairs, Secretly Group

Secretly Group achieved a major milestone last year, says Rudolph, by closing its first collective bargaining agreement with the Secretly Group Union, one of the first independent-label unions. The company also launched two new Secretly brands, All Flowers Group and drink sum wtr. And the Secretly team signed artists such as Yeah Yeah Yeahs while leading album campaigns for acts including MUNA, Mitski and Sharon Van Etten.

Samantha Saturn

Chief marketing officer, SESAC Music Group

SESAC Music Group hit the ground running in 2022 with operations across performing rights, licensing and administration services, sonic branding and music resources for churches. Affiliates under the SESAC Performing Rights umbrella accounted for 69 No. 1s on Billboard charts including the Hot 100 and 30 direct Grammy nominations, according to the company. Saturn also notes SESAC Scores’ Reel Change: The Fund for Diversity in Film Scoring awarding grants to over a dozen composers. “The films are now going on to receive distribution and critical recognition, opening doors to a more diverse film composer community.”

Maria Weaver

President, WMX

Last year was a transformative time for WMX — the artist services, media and creative content division of Warner Music Group. One of the highlights Weaver is most proud of is the company’s launch of three free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels on The Roku Channel: WMX Hip-Hop, WMX Pop and WMX Rock. “These channels provide additional opportunities for our artists to reach their fans and for our original content to reach new audiences,” says Weaver. “They also give our advertisers more opportunities to leverage the power of music to reach their consumers.”

Music Groups
Labels and Distributors
Music Publishing


Rights Groups
Activism and Philanthropy