NEIL PORTNOW, 69
President/CEO, The Recording Academy
Last Year’s Rank: 45
THE BIG NUMBER: Since the academy’s fiscal year began in July 2017, MusiCares has dispersed $5.9 million to 7,900 members, “the largest number of clients and dollars distributed in the charity’s history,” says Portnow. The 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year fundraiser honoring Tom Petty generated over $8.5 million, a record.
MOVING AND GROOVING: Portnow’s 15th year at the academy’s helm marked a period of growth, including moving the Grammy Awards back to New York, a switch to online voting and combining the academy’s 28-year-old foundation with its 10-year-old exhibit arm to create the Grammy Museum Foundation, “a powerhouse of preservation and education,” says Portnow.
STRESS REDUCER: “I’m a flea-market guy. It takes my mind off of everything else.”