Billboard is honoring the late Chip Hooper from Paradigm with a new award for young professionals, to be given out Nov. 13 during the Billboard Live Music Summit & Awards at the Montage in Beverly Hills.
The Chip Hooper Award will be presented to a young rising star working as an executive in artist representation, management or concert promotion. The award was developed in conjunction with Paradigm to honor the industry pioneer, who played an essential role in the touring careers of acts such as Phish and Dave Matthews Band and was instrumental in the growth strategy of Paradigm’s music division.
After a lengthy submission period that produced dozens of nominations, five finalists for the Chip Hooper award have been chosen. A jury made up of Paradigm executives, Billboard staff, friends and family members of Hooper and industry representatives will select the first ever winner, which will be announced at the awards.
This year’s five finalists are listed below:
Kelly Stelbasky, Live Nation
Stelbasky had the opportunity to work for and learn from Chip at Monterey Peninsula Artists, and through a ton of hard work, Stelbasky has quickly climbed the ropes at Live Nation running successful tours for Zac Brown Band, Dead & Co and many more from the company’s Beverly Hills headquarters where she now works as v.p. of touring. Stelbasky is a cancer survivor, a great leader, a loyal friend to many, and a true inspiration for people within and outside of the music business.
Brittanie Delava, AEG
The AEG talent-buyer is a home grown success story, starting as a tour manager on the road looking after punk rock bands, working as an assistant with Dave Shapiro at UTA/The Agency Group and joining AEG as coordinator in the clubs and theaters touring division. She has taken risks with artists like Street Light Manifesto, booking them in the biggest venue they have ever played and then selling it out. She has worked with the AEG touring team to develop a relationship with Illenium who is exploding into arenas in 2019. Like Chip, she has been a teacher as well as a successful promoter. She takes time to work with the assistants and coordinators at AEG to teach them more about the business, pushing them to want more. Like Chip, Brittanie doesn’t take any flack from an agent, manager or promoter but will blow you up with a smile and charisma.
Rebeca Leon, Lionfish Management
After a decade at AEG Live’s Latin Division, Leon launched her own management and content company Lionfish in 2017, in partnership with Colombian star Juanes and J Balvin. Lionfish also recently joined Pharrell Williams, Caron Veazey of I am OTHER and Ron Laffitte of Patriot Management in a venture to develop content and manage other acts, such as up-and-comers Matt Hunter, Sky, Rosalia and Fuego. Leon is one of only a female managers in the Latin business and has been honored with AEG Chairman’s Award in 2015 as well as the TJ Martell Women of Influence Award in 2016.
Jeff Krones, CAA
Based in the agency’s Nashville office, Krones works with artists across a broad spectrum of genres, including Twenty One Pilots, Needtobreathe, NF, Dan + Shay and many more, many of whom he signed as unknowns without a label deal and developed into headliners. He has been a driving force in building the careers of clients such as Twenty One Pilots, who sold 300,000 tickets this fall for their upcoming arena tour, with select festival headlining dates set for 2019; NF, who recently wrapped the Logic arena and amphitheater tour, kicked-off his tour this month playing 3,000-5,000 capacity rooms; and Needtobreathe will have sold 200,000 tickets on their current tour, averaging 5,000 a night, with sold out shows at such iconic venues as Denver’s Red Rocks amphitheater and the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.
Alicia Karlin, Madison House
Alicia Karlin is v.p. and senior event producer for the ever-innovative Madison House Presents. She is the talent buyer for the critically acclaimed Electric Forest festival where she oversees many of the aspects of the fan and artist experience. In July of 2018, AEG Presents fully acquired the renowned Firefly Music Festival and Alicia was named talent buyer. Working from Boulder, Colorado, Alicia’s dedication within the music community extends to sitting on the executive board of national nonprofit Conscious Alliance, an organization committed to hunger relief and youth empowerment, working with music communities and events to raise much needed money and food donations with local food banks with a focus on impoverished Native American communities.