The GRAMMY Foundation announced today that Daniel Ek, co-founder and CEO of Spotify, will deliver the keynote address at the GRAMMY Foundation's 14th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative Luncheon & Scholarship Presentation on Feb. 10, 2012, at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. John Branca, a partner in the law firm of Ziffren Brittenham LLP and former Board Chair of MusiCares, will be the recipient of the 2012 Service Award at the at this year's luncheon.
"For close to 15 years, our GRAMMY Foundation Entertainment Law Initiative has created a forum where law students and seasoned attorneys can come together for research, dialogue and debate in the field of entertainment law," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy, the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares. "This year, we are pleased to have a digital visionary such as Daniel Ek join us for what will undoubtedly be an insightful and thought-provoking keynote address. It is also our pleasure to honor our good friend, former MusiCares Board Chair and steward of our current MusiCares 20th Anniversary Campaign, John Branca, with our Service Award. Both of these individuals are at the forefront of our industry."
Ek, a serial entrepreneur and technologist who started his first company in 1997 at the age of 14, co-founded Spotify in 2006 with Martin Lorentzon. As CEO of Spotify, Ek's role is to guide the vision and strategy of the company as it grows. Leading the management team from his hometown of Stockholm, Ek is also responsible for nurturing a passionate working environment for everyone at Spotify.
Prior to Spotify, Ek founded Advertigo, the online advertising company acquired by TradeDoubler, and previously held senior roles at Nordic auction company Tradera. He was also chief technology officer at Stardoll, the fashion and entertainment community for tweens with more than 100 million users worldwide.
"It's a really exciting time for the music industry," said Ek. "Today we have the ability to listen to all the world's music, instantly and wherever we are on the planet. That's a pretty amazing idea and one which inspired me to launch Spotify. I'm a big supporter of the GRAMMY Foundation's Entertainment Law Initiative and look forward to catching up with everyone in February."
The Service Award was established in 2006 to recognize contributions by prominent entertainment attorneys that include outstanding service to individuals (pro bono or otherwise); leadership and participation with organizations that help advance the music community; and work to affect positive change that benefits the community overall. Past honorees include David Braun, Jay L. Cooper, John T. Frankenheimer, Joel A. Katz, Paul G. Marshall, and Al Schlesinger.
"I'm honored by the recognition and pleased to join such a distinguished group of past Service Award recipients," added Branca. "Daniel is one of our industry's real visionaries, and I'm looking forward to his talk, as well as hearing about the topics presented in the winning student papers — they often prove to be cutting-edge topics in our industry."
Branca specializes in the music and live appearance industries. He is a leading artist representative, having represented an unprecedented 29 members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, including Aerosmith, the Beach Boys, Bee Gees, the Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones, and Carlos Santana, among others, and such other artists and celebrities as Enrique Iglesias, Nickelback and Mike Tyson. He has been at the forefront in the acquisition and sale of music publishing catalogs, including the acquisition of the Beatles catalog, ATV Music, for Michael Jackson, as well as its merger with Sony Music to create the world's third-largest music publisher, Sony ATV Music. Branca has also been the architect of the sales of many major music catalogs, including Berry Gordy's Jobete Music Co., the Kurt Cobain catalog, the Leiber and Stoller catalog, and the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization.
He serves on the board of trustees for Occidental College, participates as an active fundraiser for the UCLA athletic department and serves as the Co-Chairman of MusiCares' 20th Anniversary Campaign. Branca also serves on the Board of Trustees for the GRAMMY Museum and the Pauley Pavilion Renovation Campaign Committee.
The ELI luncheon is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week, a celebration that will culminate with the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012. The telecast will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
ELI has three components: the Writing Competition, a GRAMMY Week ELI luncheon featuring a prominent keynote speaker and a Legal Seminar series. The ELI Writing Competition invites law students to write a 3,000-word paper on a compelling legal topic facing the music industry today. Past award-winning topics have featured issues germane and timely to the music industry including bootlegging, music sampling and litigation against peer-to-peer network users. The deadline to submit an online application is Jan. 2, 2012, at 11 a.m. PT. For complete contest rules, send an email to email@example.com.
The contest culminates with the winning student authors discussing their essays in a question-and-answer presentation at the prestigious ELI luncheon. Past luncheon keynote speakers have included Edgar Bronfman Jr., chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group; Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.); Clive Davis, chief creative officer of Sony Music Entertainment; Timothy J. Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG; will.i.am, GRAMMY Foundation Board member and frontman/producer of the Black Eyed Peas; and Strauss Zelnick, former president and CEO of BMG Entertainment, among others.
Once again, this year the Foundation added ELI Writing Competition workshops at prominent law schools around the country with the goal of helping students with their essays. ELI also continued its partnership this year with www.box.com to allow students to upload their submissions directly over the Internet. Box.com's mission is to make it easy for individuals and businesses to access, manage and share all their content online.
For information on purchasing tables or tickets to the event, please call Loren Fishbein at 310.392.3777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.