As part of our annual Power 100 issue, Billboard asked some of the world’s biggest artists about their favorite executives. Go here to see the full list.
ON LUCIAN GRAINGE
“I’ve known Lucian for a while but we recently became really close friends, and he is passionate, to say the least. The way he follows through with his vision is inspiring, and he keeps the team focused.”
ON MICHAEL RAPINO
“Loyalty, hard work and thinking out of the box make the perfect person to be in business with. That’s the guy I want on my team. Michael Rapino is that guy … He’s a rebel heart.”
ON JIMMY IOVINE
“The first time I spoke to Jimmy Iovine, it was on a 5 a.m. conference call with my management team and the top guys at Apple. Earlier that day, Father’s Day to be exact, I had written a blog post criticizing Apple Music, the new streaming service Jimmy had worked tirelessly to create and cultivate. The ‘Apple Letter’ went viral. I remember thinking, ‘Jimmy Iovine must hate me right now.’ But to my surprise, the voice I heard on the other end of the phone was jovial and thoughtful. He told me that he thought those of us in the industry speaking up about this were right. Later on I would learn that Jimmy was one of the voices that advocated in my favor, and in favor of fairly compensating all music creators for Apple’s three-month free trial period.
“Since that day, I’ve gone on to work with Jimmy and [Apple Music original content director] Larry Jackson on a concert film of The 1989 World Tour. The brainstorming sessions and meetings about this project were electric, with ideas being shared and bounced around with such excitement. Jimmy is one of those rare people who is thrilled by doing what he does every day. His energy is contagious.
“I’ll never know what would’ve happened if Jimmy hadn’t been at Apple, factoring his industry knowledge, humility and generosity into the equation. But I do know this: Jimmy respects the people who make music, and in turn, has become one of the most loved and revered people in the music world.”
ON DOUG MORRIS
“Doug is a songwriter at heart. He doesn’t chase trends. Instead, he patiently waits for a song with ‘magic’ — a song that unavoidably makes you feel something — and then it’s full steam ahead. It’s heartwarming to have a ‘true north’ like him in my corner, encouraging me to trust in my own music.”
ON JULIE GREENWALD AND CRAIG KALLMAN
“Julie and Craig have the most f–ing creative and innovative way of approaching the biz. They’re team players who help bring my vision to life in a fun, new way. Plus, they always let me roll up wherever.”
ON TOM CORSON AND PETER EDGE
“To put it mildly, my albums haven’t always been the most U.S. radio-ready. When Jeff Bhasker was crafting Uptown Special, I was constantly thinking that I wanted to give Peter and Tom a record they could do something with to show them it wasn’t pointless sticking by me.”
ON STEVE BARTELS
“Steve breaks the stereotype of the whole ‘big and scary executive’ thing. Although extremely smart and professional, he’s still a giant teddy bear. He’s always giving handwritten notes to people and blasting music from his office. He’s a people person, a father and cares about his team.”
ON LOUIS MESSINA
“Louis literally found me sitting on the sidewalk and invited me on his bus. He told me he would take me to stadiums in two years — and he did. He’s one of those characters you want to hang around with all the time, but usually those types are without the drive or sense that Louis has in abundance.”
ON RANDY GOODMAN
“I’m really happy to have Randy at the helm. His enthusiasm and work ethic from day one really energized his team.”
ON JESUS LOPEZ
“Jesus is a visionary and innovator, from the inception of rock en Espanol to the birth of reggaeton, always taking chances and marking trends. I’ve been fortunate to call him my friend, partner and mentor through the years.”