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Meet The Biggest Players In The Game With Billboard’s 2020 Power List

The music industry runs—and thrives—off of powerful individuals working quietly behind the scenes. To recognize this, Billboard organized a list of the most powerful industry figures by sector and listed them alphabetically. The Billboard Power List recognizes individuals who are not only excelling at their jobs, but going above and beyond to elevate the entire business. The list will continue to evolve with time, and individuals can weigh in on their thoughts.

Let’s take a look at a few of the list highlights.

Executive of the Decade

Lucian Grainge
Chairman/CEO, Universal Music Group

During his first two years in charge, Grainge bucked conventional wisdom and led UMG through the ambitious acquisition of EMI Recorded Music and announced that the company would be investing in A&R and developing new artists. His strategy quickly began to pay off: Vivendi turned down an $8.5 billion offer from Softbank for UMG in May 2013 as the company’s valuation began to rise. 

Read Grainge’s full profile here.

Executive of the Year

Jody Gerson
Chairman/CEO, Universal Music Publishing Group

Since she took over, UMPG’s revenue has grown by 40%, with annual revenue surpassing $1 billion for the first time at the end of 2018. The year since has been even brighter: Through the first three quarters of 2019, UMPG enjoyed a 12.6% increase to $910 million, ensuring another record-setting year.  

Read Gerson’s full profile here.

Music Groups

Sony Music Group (Rob Stringer, Dennis Kooker, Kevin Kelleher, Julie Swidler, Tom Mackay)

Warner Music Group (Steve Cooper, Max Lousada, Stu Bergen, Eric Levin, Paul Robinson, Oana Ruxandra)


Henry Cárdenas, Founder/CEO, Cárdenas Marketing Network
Paul Gongaware, John Meglen, Jay Marciano, Rick Mueller, Gary Gersh, AEG Presents
Louis Messina, Messina Touring Group
Bob Newman, ASM Global
Darren Pfeffer, Madison Square Garden Co.
Michael Rapino, Denis Desmond, Arthur Fogel, Bob Roux, Brian O’Connell, Omar Al-Joulani, Lesley Olenik, Live Nation
Pasquale Rotella, Insomniac Events
Jared Smith, Ticketmaster
Alejandro Soberón Kuri, Corporación Interamericana de Entretenimiento (CIE)
Paul Tollett, Goldenvoice


Steve Boom, Ryan Redington, Amazon Music
Lyor Cohen, YouTube
Daniel Ek, Dawn Ostroff, Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify
Cussion Kar Shun Pang, Tony Yip, Tencent Music Entertainment Group
Oliver Schusser, Amanda Marks, Rachel Newman, Zane Lowe, Larry Jackson, Apple Music
Kerry Trainor, SoundCloud

Labels & Distributors

Steve Barnett, Michelle Jubelirer, Ashley Newton, Ethiopia Habtemariam, Jacqueline Saturn, Capitol Music Group
Darcus Beese, Eric Wong, Island Records
Scott Borchetta, Big Machine Label Group
Aaron Bay-Schuck, Tom Corson, Warner Records
Mike Dungan, Cindy Mabe, Universal Music Group Nashville
Mike Easterlin, Gregg Nadel, Elektra Music Group
Peter Edge, John Fleckenstein, Joe Riccitelli, RCA Records
John Esposito, Warner Music Nashville
Denzyl Feigelson, Platoon
Randy Goodman, Sony Music Nashville
John Janick, Steve Berman, Joie Manda, Interscope Geffen A&M
Craig Kallman, Julie Greenwald, Michael Kyser, Kevin Weaver, Atlantic Records

Kevin Liles, 300 Entertainment
Monte Lipman, Avery Lipman, Jim Roppo, Wendy Goldstein, Republic Records
Jesús López, Universal Music Latin America and Iberian Peninsula
David Massey, Arista Records
Martin Mills, Beggars Group
Doug Morris, 12 Tone Music Group
Brad Navin, Colleen Thei, The Orchard
Lonny Olinick, AWAL
Ron Perry, Jenifer Mallory, Columbia Records
Bruce Resnikoff, Universal Music Enterprises
Sylvia Rhone, Epic Records
Paul Rosenberg, Def Jam Recordings; Shady Records; Goliath Artists
Afo Verde, Latin Iberia; Sony Music Entertainment
Bryan “Birdman” Williams, Ronald “Slim” Williams, Cash Money Records
Iñigo Zabala, Warner Music Latin America & Iberia

So these are merely some of the incredible individuals and group that work hard around the clock. The full list is published by Billboard.

*Billboard editors weighed a variety of factors in determining the 2020 Billboard Power List, including, but not limited to, nominations by peers, colleagues and superiors, and impact on consumer behavior as measured by chart, sales and streaming performance, social media impressions and radio/TV audiences reached, using data available as of Dec. 2, 2019. Year-end Billboard charts for 2019, career trajectory and industry impact were also considered, as were financial results when available.

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Farra Tai
You can catch Farra taking photos in pit at Seattle shows or at home editing photos and writing articles.
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