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Women in Music 2023
Rights Groups

Andrea Czapary Martin

CEO, PRS for Music

Last year was one of accelerated growth for the United Kingdom’s biggest collecting society, which collects royalties on behalf of 160,000-plus rights holders from live and public performance, as well as broadcast and streaming. In October, PRS for Music paid out 211 million pounds ($261 million) to members, the organization’s largest single distribution in its 108-year history, with annual revenue well on track to surpass 2021’s 777 million pounds ($961 million) total. The launch of a new metadata portal later this year will deliver “greater speed, accuracy and transparency throughout the royalty chain,” says Martin, “ensuring songwriters get the credit they are due.”

Elizabeth Matthews


During the past year, ASCAP members wrote No. 1 songs that appeared on 34 separate Billboard year-end charts, including “About Damn Time” by Lizzo on Hot R&B Songs and “Easy on Me” by Adele on Adult Contemporary, according to the performing rights organization (PRO). In March 2022, ASCAP announced record-setting revenue of $1.3 billion and royalty distributions that topped $1 billion to its songwriter, composer and publisher members. Of the success, Matthews says, “I am filled with gratitude for the hard work and dedication of our incredible ASCAP team. Overall, I think our biggest achievement is also the key to our success: putting music creators first.”

Cécile Rap-Veber


Since October 2021, when she moved into the top job, Rap-Veber — who has filled a series of roles for the French collecting society since 2013 — says she has been “working to create SACEM 3.0.” Now that collecting societies compete to represent publishers and songwriters in most markets outside the United States, the idea is to make SACEM more digital and more international with ventures like the URights platform that SACEM developed with IBM. The society collected 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in 2021, up 7% from the previous year, and the return of concerts should spur further growth. “We want to be the best collecting society in the world,” Rap-Veber says, “in terms of revenue and also getting creators the most money possible.”

Anjula Singh

CFO/COO, SoundExchange

Sixteen years into her SoundExchange tenure, Singh was promoted to CFO/COO last March. In 2022, she contributed to building “technology solutions to make the business of music easier for creators, ensuring our stewardship of nearly $1 billion each year is distributed with equal swiftness and accuracy,” she says. Singh highlights the June launch of SX Works, a back-end integrated global publisher services administration and licensing division that “applies our best-in-class tech to streamline and modernize another piece of the music industry.”

Alison Smith

Executive vp of distribution, publisher relations and administration services, BMI

In 2022, BMI posted record revenue — a nearly 16% jump — thanks to strong growth in streaming to distribute an all-time high of $1.5 billion to its affiliates. Helping to drive this achievement was Smith, who oversees all of the PRO’s domestic and international royalty distribution and administration services for more than 1.3 million affiliated songwriters, composers and music publishers. “To hit those historic numbers, the BMI team processed approximately 2.2 trillion performances, up 13% over [the previous] year,” says Smith, adding that the organization — which recently changed its business model from operating on a nonprofit basis to for-profit — implemented a new accelerated distribution schedule. The schedule reduced the time between performances and royalty payments.

Ellen Truley

Chief marketing officer, The Mechanical Licensing Collective

Truley has been the chief marketing officer of the MLC since March 2020. Last year, the MLC’s membership rose to nearly 25,000. In seeking to accurately match a song to its creator, the MLC reports that it has achieved an 89% match rate, leading to more than $1 billion distributed in royalties.


Michele Ballantyne


“Bringing people together is the cornerstone of my role,” says Ballantyne. “My top priority has been to rebuild RIAA’s sense of connectedness among our team, the [Washington] D.C. community and our music policy peers. That’s why my proudest achievement last year was leading the RIAA in opening the doors of our new, state-of-the-art headquarters.” With a concert-quality live performance stage and cutting-edge recording studio designed by Interscope Records, the trade group’s new office hosted events honoring its own 70th anniversary, as well as the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. The latter included a who’s who of rap talent such as honorees MC Lyte and Grandmaster Flash, with special guests Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Universal Music Group general counsel Jeff Harleston.

For the RIAA, MICHELE BALLANTYNE guided events including its 50th-anniversary tribute to rap in Washington, D.C., in August featuring GRANDMASTER FLASH and MC Lyte.

Johnny Nunez/GI

From left: Stephanie Li, Bri Berkley, Shannon Sorensen, Ashley Joyce, Kartraice Hooper, Catherine Calidonna, Charlotte Sellmyer, Danielle Aguirre, Amelia Binder, Kerry Mustico and Danielle Suber photographed on January 24, 2023, at the NMPA offices in Washington, D.C.
Lexey Swall

The Women Leading The NMPA

The team that drives the success of the National Music Publishers’ Association comprises almost entirely women, reporting to NMPA president/CEO David M. Israelite.

Two of its members appear on the 2023 Women in Music list: Executive vp/general counsel Danielle Aguirre belongs to our Women in Music Hall of Fame due to her Co-Executive of the Year honor in 2018, when her advocacy helped pass the Music Modernization Act. Senior vp of government Amelia Binder, new to the list in 2023, was chosen from among her colleagues for her work, since joining the organization in 2015, in executing lobby efforts and managing the NMPA’s political action committee, along with building relationships with decision makers on Capitol Hill.

Aguirre tallies the major victories achieved last year by the NMPA, along with the Nashville Songwriters Association International. “The Copyright Royalty Board upheld the 44% rate increase we won for the 2018-2022 period,” she says. “Then the CRB approved the NMPA/NSAI agreements with labels and digital services, setting the highest rates ever anywhere in the world, for 2023-2027. The settlement also opens the door for new and exciting business relationships with platforms to benefit songwriters.”

Binder adds: “While our settlement with digital services ensures songwriters receive the highest streaming rates in history, we are still fighting for songwriters to be paid back royalties owed by the digital companies that appealed the rate increase we won in 2018. This ongoing process has created uncertainty for over half a decade and illustrates how broken the process has become. This is why CRB reform will be a major focus for us in the new Congress.” —Thom Duffy

Amelia Binder

Senior vp of government affairs, National Music Publishers’ Association

See “The Women Leading the NMPA” (above)

Lisa Hresko

GM, American Association of Independent Music

As a key member of the A2IM team, led by president/CEO Richard James Burgess, Hresko shares recognition for a very significant achievement in the past year by the independent recording industry’s trade association. “I’d really like to highlight the fact that we are now offering our members health insurance through the A2IM benefits store,” says Hresko. “Launched this past fall, this offer is available to all A2IM members and offers open enrollment for health, dental and vision insurance and other benefits. This is a game-changer for small businesses and their employees.” In-person events returned in the past year with the association’s Indie Week and the Libera Awards, which also drew more than 137,000 livestream viewers, according to A2IM.

Ruby Marchand

Chief awards and industry officer, Recording Academy

“I’m proud of the exciting new alignment that the academy has achieved between its awards and membership divisions over the past 12 months,” Marchand says. “Awards and membership go hand in hand: The more diverse and engaged our membership is, the better our awards process can evolve.” Marchand points to the progress the Recording Academy has made over the past four years to increase the diversity of its voting membership. “We’ve added 1,913 women to our voting membership, and we’re now 77% of the way toward our goal of adding 2,500 women voting members by 2025.” But that’s just one aspect of the increased diversity the academy is seeking. Marchand says it is also looking for members that represent “all genres and crafts of our industry and who represent a broad spectrum of racial, ethnic, geographic and gender identities.”

Frances Moore


Under Moore’s leadership, the international trade association of the recording industry continues to expand its global reach. In the past year, IFPI restructured its operations in Southeast Asia, opening its first office in Vietnam and moving its Hong Kong office to Singapore to “better exploit the potential of the region,” says London-based Moore. And in late January, Colombian record executive Adriana Restrepo was appointed IFPI’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean. In November, IFPI launched the first official music streaming chart for the Middle East and North Africa, which was the fastest-growing region in 2021, with trade revenue growing 35% year on year to $89.5 million, according to IFPI’s latest Global Music Report. In February 2022, BTS was named winner of IFPI’s global recording artist of the year award.

In 2022, FRANCES MOORE of IFPI congratulated BTS on the group’s global recording artist of the year award.

Eric Jamison/CBS/GI

Portia Sabin

President, Music Business Association

“It’s important that we have broad representation on our board, although true inclusivity is a moving target that we’re always going to be striving toward,” says Sabin. But the Music Business Association is making progress. As of January, 52% of the trade group’s newly elected board members are people of color — the highest share in the organization’s history, and 14 of 25 new directors are women. “We are proud that our board took this seriously and voted to make diversity a reality. We have these same goals for ourselves in terms of our staff and speakers for our events.” Last year’s Music Biz conference featured 50% female speakers, and 40% were people of color.

Helen Smith

Executive chair, IMPALA

Promoting diversity and sustainable growth across the independent sector is a priority for Smith, who leads the Brussels-based trade organization representing almost 6,000 independent labels and music companies in Europe. In April, IMPALA launched a carbon calculator tool, enabling members to measure their environmental impact. Other initiatives that Smith launched include a 10-point plan to reform music streaming, which includes labels paying a fair digital royalty rate to artists. “I am super proud that we take a stance on sometimes difficult subjects,” says Smith, “and promote positive change.”

Sarah Trahern

CEO, Country Music Association

Over the last year, Trahern is most proud of the CMA’s ability to position itself for the future. “We reimagined what CMA membership looks like and developed a new framework dedicated to member development, retention and recruitment,” she says, through innovative partnerships like Discovery Education and establishing programs like the Women’s Leadership Academy and the Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship. “We have also placed an emphasis on education and community impact in order to reach all channels of the music business,” she says. “By investing in these types of pipeline projects focused on professional development and advancement, we have been able to foster a sense of true collaboration and connection throughout the country music landscape.”

Activism and Philanthropy

Ashaunna Ayars

Co-founder/executive vice chair, Black Music Action Coalition

Caron Veazey

Co-founder/co-chair, Black Music Action Coalition

The Black Music Action Coalition furthered its reform agenda by launching a music accelerator program at Tennessee State University with Wasserman Music, Nashville Music Equality and the RIAA. It also established the Music Makers Grant with production duo Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, implemented a paid internship/mentorship program with Audiomack and presented its second Music in Action awards gala to honor advances in racial and social justice initiatives. Ayars, founder/chief marketing officer of The Ayars Agency, and Veazey, founder/CEO of talent management firm Something in Common, underscore that BMAC’s “North Star goal” is to “eradicate racism within the music business overall.”

Lyndsay Cruz

Executive director, ACM Lifting Lives/Academy of Country Music

ACM Lifting Lives had a special focus this past year on mental health. “We launched our first digital content series, The Check-In, which partnered with country artists including John Osborne of Brothers Osborne, Lindsay Ell, Jimmie Allen and many more for candid conversations about their own mental health struggles and how they’ve learned to overcome them, as well as the role music plays in their self-care,” Cruz says. “We created the series to help destigmatize mental health challenges and raise awareness about their prevalence, as well as educate viewers on ways to treat and cope with their own struggles. I’m also proud to say that 2022 was our most successful fundraising year in ACM Lifting Lives history, welcoming new partners that align with our vision and goals.”

Heather Lowery

President/CEO, Femme It Forward

Femme It Forward aims to “champion, empower and celebrate the women who are pushing our culture forward,” says Lowery. This past year, the female-led music and entertainment company presented four female-headlined R&B tours featuring Sevyn Streeter; Alex Isley with Green Bunn, LAYA and Zyah Belle; Teyana Taylor; and the Big Femme Energy Live Orchestra Experience featuring Ambré, Baby Rose and SayGrace. “We also executed our Femme It Forward show series, which featured multiple lineups with emerging and established female R&B artists including Ari Lennox, Queen Naija, Ashanti, Mya, Muni Long, Tank and the Bangas, SWV, Faith Evans and 702,” says Lowery. Also, “we produced the Serenade series featuring male R&B artists like Boyz II Men, Ty Dolla $ign, DVSN, 112, Dru Hill and Omarion.” And in November, the company hosted its inaugural Give Her FlowHERS awards, a fundraiser for its mentorship program, featuring “trailblazing women in entertainment who empower, uplift and inspire change, like hip-hop star Latto and singer-songwriter Victoria Monét,” says Lowery. During Grammy Week, Femme It Forward also partnered with Mastercard for the She Runs This event celebrating entrepreneurship for Black women in business and hip-hop.

ARI LENNOX was one of the artists presented during a series of shows last year promoted by HEATHER LOWERY’s Femme It Forward.

Joseph Okpako/WireImage

Laura Segura

Executive director, MusiCares

“MusiCares was able to serve over 21,400 people in the music community over the past fiscal year,” says Segura. “This is more than double what an average year used to be. The mission is needed more than ever coming out of the pandemic, and we are thankful for all the supporters that make it possible.” In addition to growth in services, programs and partnerships, MusiCares has brought on new team members, including Theresa Wolters as vp of health and human services. Says Segura: “She and her expanded team uphold MusiCares’ long-standing reputation for great service, confidentiality and care.”


Alessandra Alarcón

President, SBS Entertainment

“Exploring and developing new partnerships in markets that we’ve identified as growth opportunities” has become Alarcón’s main focus for SBS Entertainment, she says. In a year, the division produced and executed over 20 concerts, including the urban-focused Calibash in Los Angeles and the reintroduction of Amor en Vivo, a Latin pop-focused concert in New York. Marking another key growth area for SBS was the 2022 acquisition of two Florida radio stations — WPYO (El Zol 95.3) Orlando and WSUN (El Zol 97.1) Tampa — for a total transaction price of $12.5 million.

Mary G. Berner

President/CEO, Cumulus Media

Cumulus’ ongoing transformation to a multichannel, on-demand, audio-first media company under Berner’s leadership took another step forward with the launch of its music partnerships division, forming collaborations between music labels and Cumulus’ various platforms. “This effort ensures music will have a future as rich as its past and further solidifies the company’s strong commitment to the music industry,” she says. On the radio side, Cumulus continues to cultivate new artists and music on stations such as rock outlet WKQX (Q101) Chicago, top 40 WWWQ (Q99.7) Atlanta and country KSCS (New Country 96.3) Dallas-Forth Worth.

Luz María Doria

Vp/executive producer, Despierta América, Univision

Univision’s Despierta América (Wake Up America!), which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, notched another win as the No. 1 morning show on Spanish-language TV. According to the broadcasting company, it reached an average of 8.8 million monthly viewers in its 2021-22 season and had the highest 18-49 and 25-54 audience compositions compared with English-language weekday morning programs. Doria, who has spotlighted emerging and established musicians alike throughout the years, says Despierta América “has opened the doors to new music stars who today are the biggest idols, [such as] Maluma, Karol G, Shakira, J Balvin and Bad Bunny.”

Leslie Fram

Senior vp of music and talent, CMT

Last April, CMT teamed with the management services company mtheory to announce six individuals who were chosen for the new Equal Access Development Program, an artist management and training initiative. The artists were Madeline Edwards, Miko Marks and Valerie Ponzio, along with music management professionals Charlene Bryant, Kadeem Phillips and Marques Vance. The program, part of CMT’s wider CMT Equal Play Initiative, is Fram’s proudest accomplishment of the past year, she says, and the artists and executives selected are an essential industry lifeline. “Diversity is imperative to the future of our format,” she says, “and we specifically designed this program to create a pipeline and blueprint to ensure lasting impact and change the landscape for future generations in country music.”

Zeina Grenier

Director of North America music publishing, Meta

Alyssa Talovic-Garcia

Head of music label partnerships, North America, Meta

Liz Miller

Strategic partnerships, music artists, Meta

In addition to the company’s visual activations — creating effective music video and Reels moments with its label partners — Meta worked with the music industry on a new monetization feature that generated shared ad revenue for creators and rights holders. By encouraging creators to use popular songs in videos longer than a minute, the feature boosts social interactions and “provides an additional way for music publishers, songwriters, labels, artists and creators to earn more money on Facebook,” says Grenier. “In 2022, our artist partnerships team expanded our scope more meaningfully across Meta’s most exciting new products and features, helping to build toward the future,” adds Miller, citing projects with Jaden Smith, Sofi Tukker, Hayley Kiyoko — and “a Notorious B.I.G. concert featuring his avatar.”

Marisa Jeffries

U.S. lead, label partnerships, TikTok

Working with Rosalía on Motomami TikTok Live, which was nominated for a Grammy for best music film, among other honors, was a high point for Jeffries this past year. “To have the hard work of so many teams recognized by some of the most respected institutions in music is a testament not only to Rosalía’s artistry but also underscores the role TikTok plays in offering endless opportunities for artists to express themselves and evolve how music is experienced and shared,” she says. Successful follow-ups with Taylor Swift, Steve Lacy and Omar Apollo solidified that impact.

Rachel Levy

Executive vp of film music, Universal Pictures

Among all the projects Levy worked on in 2022, two stand out for her as highlights: Minions: The Rise of Gru reinvented classic 1970s songs with such diverse contemporary artists as St. Vincent, Phoebe Bridgers and H.E.R., as well as the collection’s “crown jewel,” the original song “Turn Up the Sunshine” performed by Diana Ross and Tame Impala. “Overall, the soundtrack was an extremely fulfilling creative collaboration with the filmmakers and [executive music producer] Jack [Antonoff] and worked perfectly with the film’s musical DNA. [It] also was an incredible tribute to one of my favorite eras in music,” Levy says. Also high on her achievements list was rom-com Marry Me. “It’s not that often that one gets an opportunity to curate an album’s worth of songs for a character in a film, especially someone as amazing as Jennifer Lopez.”

For the film Minions: The Rise of Gru, RACHEL LEVY of Universal Pictures guided the use of “Turn Up the Sunshine,” performed by DIANA ROSS and Tame Impala.

Matthew Baker/Redferns

Thea Mitchem

Executive vp of programming/executive vp of hip-hop and R&B programming, iHeartMedia; program director, WWPR (Power 105.1) New York

Marissa Morris

Senior vp of artist relations, iHeartMedia

Alissa Pollack

Executive vp of global music marketing and strategy, iHeartMedia

IHeartMedia’s move into the metaverse with its launch of iHeartLand — which combines music and gaming to extend the company’s station brands and national promotions — stole the show in 2022. “The power of our broadcast stations matched with the endless opportunities available in the metaverse has been an exciting frontier to explore alongside our artist partners,” says Morris. IHeart’s ongoing partnership with artists continued with events such as the launch party for Lizzo’s Special and an exclusive virtual reality performance from J Balvin and Carrie Underwood in partnership with Meta.

Constance Orlando

Executive vp/head of specials, music programming and music strategy, BET

With oversight of all original programming, Orlando’s creative vision helped BET gain viewership and share, with double-digit ratings increases for the BET Awards and the BET Hip Hop Awards. BET led in awards show viewership among Black viewers ages 18-49 with an impressive top five, based on live/same day data from Nielsen: the BET Awards (No. 1), BET Hip Hop Awards (No. 2), Soul Train Awards (No. 3), Stellar Awards (No. 4) and NAACP Image Awards (No. 5). “We take pride in authentically celebrating Black culture and artistry,” Orlando said last fall when she was honored as one of Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players.

Lori Rischer

Senior vp of marketing and promotion, In2une Music

With a background in music management, marketing, artist development and radio promotion, Rischer has had a long career in the entertainment industry. In2une Music, which describes itself as “a music coalition providing label services for independent labels and publishing companies,” plays an important role “for independent artists in the music industry,” says Rischer. The company has built a foundation at multiple radio formats and deploying a college-lifestyle marketing team of representatives around the country to advance the careers of artists including JVKE, Lizzy McAlpine, mxmtoon, Dayglow, iann dior, Willow and Lindsey Stirling.

Jennifer Witz

CEO, SiriusXM

SiriusXM strengthened its commitment to artist promotion and development in 2022, with Lizzo and Halsey among those headlining its Small Stage series. The satellite radio service also added programs and channels hosted or curated by artists such as Selena Gomez and Brandi Carlile. At the same time, SiriusXM kept an ear to the future, breaking new acts through its Artist Accelerator program. “We’ve dedicated ourselves to providing our listeners with the soundtrack to their lives,” Witz says, “from the biggest artists on the planet to the next big thing.”

BRANDI CARLILE is among the artists for whom SiriusXM, under JENNIFER WITZ, created new curated and hosted channels in the past year.

Gary Miller/GI

Trevor Anderson, Rania Aniftos, Rich Appel, Cathy Applefeld Olson, Megan Armstrong, Nefertiti Austin, Katie Bain, Alexei Barrionuevo, Karen Bliss, Starr Bowenbank, Dave Brooks, Dean Budnick, Anna Chan, Leila Cobo, Elizabeth Dilts Marshall, Bill Donahue, Thom Duffy, Chris Eggertsen, Deborah Evans Price, Griselda Flores, Adrienne Gaffney, Gary Graff, Paul Grein, Amit Gurbaxani, Raquelle “Rocki” Harris, Lyndsey Havens, Gil Kaufman, Steve Knopper, Juliana Koranteng, Katy Kroll, Carl Lamarre, Cydney Lee, Elias Leight, Robert Levine, Joe Levy, Jason Lipshutz, Heran Mamo, Geoff Mayfield, Taylor Mims, Beatriz Miranda, Gail Mitchell, Melinda Newman, Jessica Nicholson, Paula Parisi, Ronda Racha Penrice, Glenn Peoples, Isabela Raygoza, Kristin Robinson, Jessica Roiz, Tom Roland, Neena Rouhani, Dan Rys, Crystal Shepeard, Richard Smirke, Jaelani Turner-Williams, Andrew Unterberger, Jewel Wicker, Deborah Wilker

Nominations for Billboard’s executive lists open no less than 120 days in advance of publication, and a link is sent to press representatives by request before the nomination period. (Please email thom.duffy@billboard.com for inclusion on the email list for nomination links and for how to obtain an editorial calendar.) Billboard editors and beat reporters choose the industry sectors to be included on each list, the most significant companies within each sector and the maximum number of honorees per company. For two industry sectors for which Billboard publishes separate power lists, law and business management, we have chosen to include on Women in Music only companies and firms not previously recognized in this list. In choosing honorees, editors weigh a variety of factors including, but not limited to, nominations by peers, colleagues and superiors. For Women in Music, we considered the impact of honorees and their companies on consumer behavior, as measured by year-end Billboard charts, sales/streaming performance and market share, using data available as of Jan. 5. Career trajectory was also considered. Where required, U.S. record-label market share was consulted using Luminate’s current market share for albums, as well as track-equivalent and streaming-equivalent album consumption units and Billboard’s quarterly top 10 publisher rankings. Unless otherwise noted, Billboard Boxscore and Luminate are the sources for tour grosses and sales/streaming data, respectively. Luminate is also the source for radio audience metrics. The source for radio metrics is monitored station airplay from Mediabase provided by Luminate.

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