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David Gray to Head Up Universal Music Publishing’s New Global Creative Group

The longtime UMPG executive will continue serving as executive vp and head of U.S. A&R.

David Gray has been tapped to head up the newly-formed UMPG Global Creative Group at Universal Music Publishing Group. A longtime employee of the publisher, Gray most recently served as its executive vp and head of U.S. A&R, a position he will continue to hold while expanding his focus.

UMPG Global Creative Group is part of the publisher’s initiative to identify and expand global creative opportunities for its signees and further strengthen its commitment to A&R. The group will boast a team of senior A&R executives from key territories across the globe, including Gray, who will report on its progress to UMPG chairman and CEO, Jody Gerson.


Gray has been a mainstay at UMPG since 2013, also previously serving as executive vp/head of West Coast A&R, though he now works out of New York City. Under his leadership, Gray and UMPG closed deals with acts including Shawn Mendes, Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, Julia Michaels, Delacey, Logic and Tommy Brown. Gray also recently worked with production duo Take a Daytrip to build their joint venture, No Idle, with UMPG.

Prior to his tenure at UMPG, Gray began his career as an artist, songwriter, publisher and TV music executive. After serving as the lead singer in the band Idle Wilds (an RCA Records signee) and working as a UMPG-affiliated songwriter, Gray started on the executive track, serving as an A&R for Zomba, Sony Music International, David Massey’s Daylight Records imprint at Sony Music and Syco Music. At Syco, he oversaw music and casting for shows like X Factor and America’s Got Talent and developed then-rising stars including Leona Lewis and Westlife.

In a statement, Gerson said that Gray “is always the first to offer support to all of our writers and our creative executives, from all over the world. With this much deserved promotion, David will further build on UMPG’s global creative strategy which sets us apart from the industry – from investing in the best talent across all territories and developing their careers, to supporting music’s biggest superstars.”

Gray added, “As UMPG continues to lead the industry with our best-in-class A&R strategy, our newly formed Global Creative Group will further maximize the worldwide success of our songwriters. I am grateful for Jody Gerson for allowing me to lead in this area and am confident that UMPG’s next creative chapters will be our best yet.”