President, Republic Group
Last Year’s Rank: 70
MILESTONES: Convincing in-demand songwriter Julia Michaels, whose “Issues” was the top-selling debut song of 2017, to become a recording artist and developing Hailee Steinfeld into a platinum-selling act — 840 million U.S. streams without an album — alongside her film career.
ONE OF THE ‘FOUR’: The high-energy Walk, who begins each day with a “run, bike, row” workout, kicked off 2018 as a judge on new Fox talent show The Four. Walk’s promotion of “Despacito” and “Mi Gente” to mainstream radio helped Republic end the year as the No. 1 Hot 100 label, and he’s excited about Latin music sustaining its crossover. “It’s one of the most important movements we’ve seen in years,” he says.
THEATRICAL PRODUCTION THAT RECENTLY INSPIRED HIM: “Springsteen on Broadway. For me, it emphasized the importance of storytelling and realness in relation to music — and how that affects an entire community of people.”