Chairman/CEO, RCA Records
Last Year’s Rank: 22
FLYING SOLO: Before losing his partner, former co-chairman/COO Tom Corson, to Warner Bros. Records last September, the duo presided over a fresh and inventive R&B renaissance. “It’s a style we brought back in a completely different way,” says Edge of the label’s milestones, which included breaking Khalid (his American Teen album peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200) and SZA (her major-label debut, Ctrl, entered the chart at No. 3), both of whom were nominated for best new artist Grammys. Bryson Tiller‘s Trapsoul also went double-platinum, and, in early December, Miguel‘s repertoire-expanding War & Leisure peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200.
STRAIGHT EDGE: “While it’s sad that Tom isn’t going to stay with us, we definitely are strong and stable,” says the label chief, who in January promoted John Fleckenstein and Joe Riccitelli to co-presidents, and signed Childish Gambino.
POTENTIAL INDUSTRY PITFALL: “We’re thrilled that there has been an upturn in revenue — it’s a big change from where we’ve been in many years — but we’re in danger of having too much hype.”