Music Industry Heavyweights Attend 2018 Billboard Power 100


Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images


Music Industry Heavyweights Attend 2018 Billboard Power 100

Industry professionals from across the music business gathered at the annual GRAMMY Week event to share their thoughts on power, the secrets to their success and more

GRAMMYs/Jan 26, 2018 - 11:08 am

On Jan. 25 Billboard magazine unveiled its Power 100 list, honoring the current players who are blazing new paths and scaling new horizons in the music industry, The annual GRAMMY Week event in celebration of the new list was hosted at Manhattan, New York's chic Nobu 57, drawing music industry magnates and top-selling artists as well as the honorees of Billboard's Visionary, Executive of the Year and Label of the Year awards.

With the idea of the Power 100 list, the concept of power and what it means to those in the industry takes on different meanings.

For Daniel Glass, founder and president of Glassnote Entertainment (and No. 81 on the list), the P in power stands for passion.

"I think power moves the needle and really furthers the development of music and artist," said Glass. "I think it comes with respect, passion and perseverance."

"Power ought to be a couple of things," noted Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy, who ranked as No. 44 on the list. "In our business, it ought to be good judgment and particularly the ability to judge talent and art and recognize the next generations that are coming through. Power also has to do with creating an environment where an artist's career can flourish and soar. Power is just being fair and open-minded and mentoring and bringing along the next generation of music people and executives."

"I think a lot of people at the party here do lead by example," said Pentatonix member Kirstin Maldonado. "They are very powerful in what they stand for and how they use their power."

Mentors have been important for many people on the list, ranging from parents to music teachers to executives to other artists who fostered future talent. They have left indelible impressions on those they've worked with.

When asked about mentoring in today's business world, which has changed measurably over the last decade, Adam Alpert, CEO of Disruptor Records and Selector Songs (No. 76), remarked, "It's hard to bridge that generational gap, but those who are able to are fortunate. What is more prevalent is the younger generation working more together and trying to help each other more. And realizing that it's not so much about competition but there's room for everyone to be successful and there's always room for more great music."

Artists at the event also offered words of advice for younger people who wanted to follow in their footsteps, even being younger themselves. Pentatonix's Scott Hoying recalled how his group said yes to everything, taking on many gigs, creating as much content as possible and meeting whomever they could meet.

"Saying yes, gaining momentum and creating a network is so important," said Hoying. "A lot of people say no to a lot of things because they're nervous or anxious about it, but stepping outside of your comfort zone is what is going to make you grow."

Harrison Mills, one half of GRAMMY-nominated electronic duo Odesza, feels that authenticity is sometimes unappreciated, or not as important to some people as it should be.

"Copping trends can really hurt you in the long run," he said. "If you're trying to build a career, think about how you want to sound in 10 years — think about yourself and what you want to represent and not a trend."

On the business side, Glass stressed learning the history of the business. "Learn what the predecessors did to pave the way," he advised. "It's really important to respect the past before you go forward."

The awards presentation was a good place to start, as it highlighted individuals whose careers have flourished and thrived in the long haul, building upon lessons from the past.

Clive Davis introduced Jody Gerson, CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, who received this year's Visionary Award.

"After three decades of experience, she has built a truly wonderful track record identifying and developing talent," said Davis. "She is the highest-ranking female executive in music and the only female global chairman in music and she's the first woman CEO of a major music publishing company."

Gerson's signings have included the Bee Gees, Prince, Adele, Coldplay, and many others. Upon accepting the award, She told Davis, "I actually learned how to be a publisher by pitching songs to you for all those years." She joked that he turned most of them down initially, but that experience taught her resilience.

Atlantic Chairman/COO Julie Greenwald and Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman accepted the award for Label of the Year, sharing the honor with their superiors, dedicated staff and artists. The company had the biggest album of 2017 with Ed Sheeran's ÷, which sold the equivalent of 2.8 million albums. They had the first Hot 100 No. 1 single in 19 years from a female rapper, Cardi B with "Bodak Yellow." They also scored five of the most streamed songs of last year.

Live Nation Entertainment CEO/Director Michael Rapino topped the Power 100 list this year. Since joining Live Nation in 2005, he quadrupled the company's enterprise value. It is now up to $9 billion, and Billboard estimates that the company accounted for 64 percent of the tickets sold in North America in 2017.

"I think it's a great time in the business," Rapino told the crowd upon accepting the Executive of the Year award. "Sometimes we have a live versus recorded debate and we love both sides of the business, but it's great to see the live side doing well, helping sell some concert tickets and some music. It's equally great to see subscription and record labels booming and growing back. Both sides are incredible. There are 41 new entries on the [Power 100] list, so hopefully we get a whole new generation of young, diverse individuals, both on live and recorded, continuing to make this the best place to work."

After the ceremony, John Amato, president of the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group expressed his pleasure at seeing the GRAMMYs returning to New York City this year for the milestone 60th GRAMMY Awards for the first time in 15 years and commended Portnow as a "true visionary."

"I really love working with him on this event as well as our GRAMMY contenders issue," Amato said. "I'm so excited for the show."

For Portnow, who was born and raised in New York, and who started his career here, the GRAMMYs return to New York is special and exciting.  

"Everybody's pumped," declared Portnow. "I think the excitement is palpable. There are a lot of statistical reasons why we should be here. Half our members are east of the Mississippi. Half of the business is here. New York being the home of so many iconic and important music styles. The venues and the clubs and the history."

He views this trip back to New York as a chance to experiment and try new things never done before. He noted that while some may be rousing successes and some may not, it will be an exciting learning and growing experience for the GRAMMY Awards.

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(Bryan Reesman is a New York-based freelance writer.)


GRAMMY SoundChecks With Gavin DeGraw

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

On Aug. 28 Nashville Chapter GRAMMY U members took part in GRAMMY SoundChecks with Gavin DeGraw. Approximately 30 students gathered at music venue City Hall and watched DeGraw play through some of the singles from earlier in his career along with "Cheated On Me" from his latest self-titled album.

In between songs, DeGraw conducted a question-and-answer session and inquired about the talents and goals of the students in attendance. He gave inside tips to the musicians present on how to make it in the industry and made sure that every question was answered before moving onto the next song.


Juan Gabriel named 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year


Juan Gabriel named 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year

Annual star-studded gala slated for Nov. 4 in Las Vegas during 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Week celebration

GRAMMYs/May 15, 2017 - 01:36 pm

 Internationally renowned singer/songwriter/performer Juan Gabriel will be celebrated as the 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year, it was announced today by The Latin Recording Academy. Juan Gabriel, chosen for his professional accomplishments as well as his commitment to philanthropic efforts, will be recognized at a star-studded concert and black tie dinner on Nov. 4 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev. 

The "Celebration with Juan Gabriel" gala will be one of the most prestigious events held during Latin GRAMMY week, a celebration that culminates with the 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards ceremony. The milestone telecast will be held at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Nov. 5 and will be broadcast live on the Univision Television Network at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central. 

"As we celebrate this momentous decade of the Latin GRAMMYs, The Latin Recording Academy and its Board of Trustees take great pride in recognizing Juan Gabriel as an extraordinary entertainer who never has forgotten his roots, while at the same time having a global impact," said Latin Recording Academy President Gabriel Abaroa. "His influence on the music and culture of our era has been tremendous, and we welcome this opportunity to pay a fitting tribute to a voice that strongly resonates within our community.

Over the course of his 30-year career, Juan Gabriel has sold more than 100 million albums and has performed to sold-out audiences throughout the world. He has produced more than 100 albums for more than 50 artists including Paul Anka, Lola Beltran, Rocío Dúrcal, and Lucha Villa among many others. Additionally, Juan Gabriel has written more than 1,500 songs, which have been covered by such artists as Marc Anthony, Raúl Di Blasio, Ana Gabriel, Angelica María, Lucia Mendez, Estela Nuñez, and Son Del Son. In 1986, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared Oct. 5 "The Day of Juan Gabriel." The '90s saw his induction into Billboard's Latin Music Hall of Fame and he joined La Opinion's Tributo Nacional Lifetime Achievement Award recipients list. 

At the age of 13, Juan Gabriel was already writing his own songs and in 1971 recorded his first hit, "No Tengo Dinero," which landed him a recording contract with RCA. Over the next 14 years, he established himself as Mexico's leading singer/songwriter, composing in diverse styles such as rancheras, ballads, pop, disco, and mariachi, which resulted in an incredible list of hits ("Hasta Que Te Conocí," "Siempre En Mi Mente," "Querida," "Inocente Pobre Amigo," "Abrázame Muy Fuerte," "Amor Eterno," "El Noa Noa," and "Insensible") not only for himself  but for many leading Latin artists. In 1990, Juan Gabriel became the only non-classical singer/songwriter to perform at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and the album release of that concert, Juan Gabriel En Vivo Desde El Palacio De Bellas Artes, broke sales records and established his iconic status. 

After a hiatus from recording, Juan Gabriel released such albums as Gracias Por Esperar, Juntos Otra Vez, Abrázame Muy Fuerte, Los Gabriel…Para Ti, Juan Gabriel Con La Banda…El Recodo, and El Mexico Que Se Nos Fue, which were all certified gold and/or platinum by the RIAA. In 1996, to commemorate his 25th anniversary in the music industry, BMG released a retrospective set of CDs entitled 25 Aniversario, Solos, Duetos, y Versiones Especiales, comprised appropriately of 25 discs.   

In addition to his numerous accolades and career successes, Juan Gabriel has been a compassionate and generous philanthropist. He has donated all proceeds from approximately 10 performances a year to his favorite children's foster homes, and proceeds from fan photo-ops go to support Mexican orphans. In 1987, he founded Semjase, an orphanage for approximately 120 children, which also serves as a music school with music, recreation and video game rooms. Today, he continues to personally fund the school he opened more than 22 years ago.   

Juan Gabriel will have the distinction of becoming the 10th Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year honoree, and joins a list of artists such as Gloria Estefan, Gilberto Gil, Juan Luis Guerra, Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and Carlos Santana among others who have been recognized. 

For information on purchasing tickets or tables to The Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year tribute to Juan Gabriel, please contact The Latin Recording Academy ticketing office at 310.314.8281 or

Set List Bonus: Bumbershoot 2013
Grizzled Mighty perform at Bumbershoot on Sept. 1

Photo: The Recording Academy


Set List Bonus: Bumbershoot 2013

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 04:22 am

Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.

By Alexa Zaske

This past Labor Day weekend meant one thing for many folks in Seattle: Bumbershoot, a three-decade-old music and arts event that consumed the area surrounding the Space Needle from Aug. 31–Sept. 2. Amid attendees wandering around dressed as zombies and participating in festival-planned flash mobs to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," this year the focus was on music from the Pacific Northwest region — from the soulful sounds of Allen Stone and legendary female rockers Heart, to the highly-awaited return of Death Cab For Cutie performing their 2003 hit album Transatlanticism in its entirety.

The festival started off on day one with performances by synth-pop group the Flavr Blue, hip-hop artist Grynch, rapper Nacho Picasso, psychedelic pop group Beat Connection, lively rapper/writer George Watsky, hip-hop group the Physics, and (my personal favorite), punk/dance band !!! (Chk Chk Chk). Also performing on day one was Seattle folk singer/songwriter Kris Orlowski, who was accompanied by the Passenger String Quartet. As always, Orlowski's songs were catchy and endearing yet brilliant and honest.

Day one came to a scorching finale with a full set from GRAMMY-nominated rock group Heart. Kicking off with their Top 20 hit "Barracuda," the set spanned three decades of songs, including "Heartless," "Magic Man" and "What About Love?" It became a gathering of Seattle rock greats when, during Heart's final song, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready joined for 1976's "Crazy On You."

Day two got off to an early start with performances from eccentric Seattle group Kithkin and Seattle ladies Mary Lambert and Shelby Earl, who were accompanied by the band Le Wrens. My highlight of the day was the Grizzled Mighty — a duo with a bigger sound than most family sized bands. Drummer Whitney Petty, whose stage presence and skills make for an exciting performance, was balanced out by the easy listening of guitarist and lead singer Ryan Granger.

Then the long-awaited moment finally fell upon Seattle when, after wrapping a long-awaited tour with the Postal Service, singer/songwriter Ben Gibbard returned to Seattle to represent another great success of the Pacific Northwest — Death Cab For Cutie. The band celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their album Transatlanticism by performing it from front to back. While a majority of attendees opted to watch the set from an air-conditioned arena, some of us recognized the uniqueness of this experience and enjoyed the entire set lying in the grass where the entire performance was streamed. 

Monday was the day for soul and folk. Local blues/R&B group Hot Bodies In Motion have been making their way through the Seattle scene with songs such as "Old Habits," "That Darkness" and "The Pulse." Their set was lively and enticing to people who have seen them multiple times or never at all.

My other highlights of the festival included the Maldives, who delivered a fun performance with the perfect amount of satirical humor and folk. They represent the increasing number of Pacific Northwest bands who consist of many members playing different sounds while still managing to stay cohesive and simple. I embraced the return of folk/pop duo Ivan & Alyosha with open arms and later closed my festival experience with local favorite Stone.

For music fans in Seattle and beyond, the annual Bumbershoot festival is a must-attend.

(Alexa Zaske is the Chapter Assistant for The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter. She's a music enthusiast and obsessed with the local Seattle scene.)

Neil Portnow Addresses Diversity & Inclusion, Looks Ahead During Speech At 2019 GRAMMYs

Neil Portnow and Jimmy Jam

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images


Neil Portnow Addresses Diversity & Inclusion, Looks Ahead During Speech At 2019 GRAMMYs

Jimmy Jam helps celebrate the outgoing President/CEO of the Recording Academy on the 61st GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Feb 11, 2019 - 10:58 am

As Neil Portnow's tenure as Recording Academy President/CEO draws to its end, five-time GRAMMY winner Jimmy Jam paid tribute to his friend and walked us through a brief overview of some of the Academy's major recent achievements, including the invaluable work of MusiCares, the GRAMMY Museum, Advocacy and more.

Portnow delivered a brief speech, acknowledging the need to continue to focus on issues of diversity and inclusion in the music industry. He also seized the golden opportunity to say the words he's always wanted to say on the GRAMMY stage, saying, "I'd like to thank the Academy," showing his gratitude and respect for the staff, elected leaders and music community he's worked with during his career at the Recording Academy. "We can be so proud of what we’ve all accomplished together," Portnow added.

"As I finish out my term leading this great organization, my heart and soul are filled with gratitude, pride, for the opportunity and unequal experience," he continued. "Please know that my commitment to all the good that we do will carry on as we turn the page on the next chapter of the storied history of this phenomenal institution."

Full Winners List: 61st GRAMMY Awards