Music Biz 2017 has ended
Please note that Monday, May 15 consists of pre-convention meetings, digital service workshops, the Entertainment & Technology Law Conference, and the Industry Jam 2. The full program will take place Tuesday, May 16  through Thursday, May 18.  

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Featured Presentations & Special Events [clear filter]
Monday, May 15

8:00pm CDT

Industry Jam 2 [TICKET REQUIRED]

Tickets are only $20 with all proceeds benefiting the Music Biz Scholarship Foundation. Admission is FREE for full-time music business students with proper ID. Click here to purchase tickets.

Back by popular demand, the Industry Jam will make its return to the Music Biz convention on Monday, May 15 at 8:30 PM! Doors open promptly at 8 PM. Join your friends and colleagues for an evening of live music, special tributes, awards presentations, signed instrument raffles, giveaways, and more!

SiriusXM ‘80s host Richard Blade will serve as the emcee for the evening, which will include:

  • Rare reunion of the original Alice Cooper band with Dennis Dunaway, Michael Bruce, and Neal Smith
  • Tribute to Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s legacy with band member Carl Palmer
  • Celebration of the Summer of Love’s 50th Anniversary featuring Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, Cathy Richardson of Jefferson Starship, and Mark Stein of Vanilla Fudge
  • Tributes to The Doors, Leon Russell and Joe Cocker, Chicago, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane
  • Nashville Symphony Quartet
  • Nashville Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero
  • Country star Mark Collie
  • The Fisk Jubilee Singers
  • Special Awards to the Alice Cooper band, Glen Campbell, and artist manager Toby Mamis
  • Honoring Music Biz’s former Board Treasurer John Trickett

The Jam will close with a live performance from house band The R.A.T.S. (Rock Against Terrorism), featuring a lineup of top musicians and industry executives:
  • John Esposito (Warner Music Nashville)
  • Adam Kury (Candlebox, Legs Diamond)
  • Mike Aquino (Kevin Cronin, Jack Blades, Jim Peterik)
  • Dave Dederer (Amazon Music, Presidents of the United States of America)
  • Mike Gillespie (Concord Music Group)
  • Music Biz Chairman Fred Beteille (Facebook)
  • Music Biz Vice Chairman Steve Harkins (Baker & Taylor)
  • Randy Antlept (Off-Broadway, Todd Rundgren)
  • Marty Silber (Brian Wilson, Jeff Beck)
  • Island Styles (Candlebox, Jimmie’s Chicken Shack)
  • Judy Tint (Counselor-at-Law, performs with The Four Tops)
  • Joe Rapolla (Monmouth University)
  • Hillel Frankel (aka Frankie Hill, Liquid Soul and Heavy Manners)
  • Scott Sellwood (Source3)
  • Adam Parness (Pandora)
  • Richard Storms (Record Archive)
  • Kevin Quigley (Cinedigm)
  • Steve Herrman (Delbert McClinton, Lyle Lovett, Kenny Chesney, Waylon Jennings)

Click here for more information.

Monday May 15, 2017 8:00pm - 11:00pm CDT
Grand Ballroom
Tuesday, May 16

4:00pm CDT

Featured Presentation: Music's Leading Ladies Speak Out powered by Nielsen Music

After the overwhelming response to our debut outing last year, Music Biz is thrilled to work alongside Nielsen Music to bring Music’s Leading Ladies Speak Out to the program in 2017. The event was developed to empower the next generation of female executives in the music business and discuss ideas to overcome and eliminate inequality. The session will feature some of the music industry’s most influential female executives as well as GRAMMY Award-winning Pop superstar Kelly Clarkson, who will inspire attendees with stories from her experiences as a songwriter, recording artist, live performer, wife, and mother.

Grab some light refreshments from the back of the room and prepare yourself for this empowering discussion.

Nielsen Welcome: The Marketability of Female Artists
Erin Crawford, Sr. VP & General Manager of Nielsen Music, will kick off the Leading Ladies program by sharing exclusive insights on the marketability of female artists in this ever-evolving music world. The discussion will feature female-focused data as well as fan affinity analytics that can be leveraged to drive engagement and build meaningful brand partnerships for today’s women in music.

Creative Partnerships: An Interview with Julie Greenwald and Kelly Clarkson
Atlantic’s Julie Greenwald’s keen and often maternal instincts have helped her to uniquely nurture the careers of major artists such as Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Christina Perri, Janelle Monáe, Twenty One Pilots, Sturgill Simpson, Coldplay, Paramore, Rob Thomas, James Blunt, Jason Mraz, Death Cab for Cutie, Fun, Trey Songz, Flo Rida, and Wiz Khalifa. Today, her conversation with NPR Music’s Ann Power’s will illuminate how she achieved her success in a male-dominated business, as well as her views and approach on the many issues around work/life balance.

Greenwald will be joined on stage by GRAMMY Award-winning Pop superstar Kelly Clarkson. Clarkson will talk about her relationship with Greenwald and her decision to join Greenwald at Atlantic Records Group. The two will also share stories of their experiences in the music industry and explain how they were able to achieve success on their own terms.

Changing the Conversation: The Power of Women & Mentoring In Today’s Music Business
Our program will round as a group of successful female executives explore what led them into the music business, the challenges they have experienced early in their careers, the partnerships they have formed with other successful women in the business, and the mentoring roles they have taken within their companies, as well as within the industry, to educate and empower future female executives.

avatar for Erin Crawford

Erin Crawford

SVP & GM Music, Nielsen
As the GM for Nielsen Music, Erin Crawford leads the business strategy for the industry’s leading source of music data, insights and analytics. Under Crawford’s leadership, Nielsen Music has evolved into a new era of data-driven fan research that is driving solutions for the modern... Read More →
avatar for Leslie Fram

Leslie Fram

SVP Music & Talent, CMT
Leslie Fram serves as Sr. VP of Music Strategy and Talent for CMT, overseeing all music integration within the CMT brand, including original programs, CMT.com and music video airplay across all screens. Since joining CMT in 2011, Fram has negotiated key partnerships with major and... Read More →
avatar for Ann Powers

Ann Powers

Ann Powers is NPR Music's critic and correspondent. She writes for NPR's music news blog, The Record, and she can be heard on NPR's newsmagazines and music programs.One of the nation's most notable music critics, Powers has been writing for The Record, NPR's blog about finding... Read More →

avatar for Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson

Recording Artist
Kelly Clarkson has released six studio albums, one greatest hits album, and one holiday album; has sold more than 21 million albums worldwide; and has had 10 singles in the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. She is the recipient of three GRAMMY Awards, four American Music... Read More →
avatar for Tracy Gershon

Tracy Gershon

Manager, Red Light Management/Independent A&R Consultant
Tracy Gershon is a noted music business professional with a wide-ranging career discovering, nurturing and developing influential talent as an A&R and music publishing executive as well as an artist manager. During her A&R career at Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment... Read More →
avatar for Julie Greenwald

Julie Greenwald

Chairman and COO, Atlantic Records Group
Julie Greenwald, Chairman and COO of The Atlantic Records Group, began her music career in 1992 at Def Jam Records, eventually being named head of the Island Def Jam Music Group’s marketing department after their merger with the Universal Music Group in 1998. Four years later, in... Read More →
avatar for Jessica Sobhraj

Jessica Sobhraj

CEO, Cosynd
Jessica Sobhraj is a 10+ year veteran of the music industry that currently serves as CEO of Cosynd — a cost effective, easy, and legal way for creators to create simple agreements to protect their content. She is also President of Women in Music — a 32 year-old non-profit that... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Trahern

Sarah Trahern

CEO, Country Music Association (CMA)
Sarah Trahern has more than 30 years of experience in the television business, including 21 years producing or overseeing Country programming. Today, she is the CEO of the esteemed Country Music Association (CMA), which was formed in 1958 as the first trade group to promote a single... Read More →

Tuesday May 16, 2017 4:00pm - 6:00pm CDT
Grand Ballroom East

6:00pm CDT

WEA Cocktail Party
The first day of meetings has ended, and it's time to celebrate! Enjoy complimentary cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while previewing some of WEA's hottest artists and upcoming releases.

Tuesday May 16, 2017 6:00pm - 7:00pm CDT
Bridge Bar
Wednesday, May 17

8:30am CDT

Awards Breakfast & Presentations sponsored by CMA
Enjoy breakfast compliments of the Country Music Association (CMA).

Doors open at 8:15 AM. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Following remarks from today’s breakfast sponsor CMA and Music City Music Council's Executive Director Justine Avila, Music Biz President James Donio will update attendees on the state of the industry and highlight Music Biz’s top initiatives of 2016 and what to expect from the Association in 2017. Music Biz Board Chairman Fred Beteille of Facebook will welcome the 2017-2018 Music Biz Board of Directors and Board Vice Chairman Steve Harkins of Baker & Taylor will announce the Scholarship Foundation Class of 2017.

Music Biz will also recognize this year’s business award winners. The Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement, recognizing individuals for their exceptional vision, leadership, and commitment, will be presented to Mike Dungan, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville. The Independent Spirit Award, recognizing significant contributors to the independent music community that embody the spirit of new thinking, entrepreneurship, and success in the industry, will be presented to Music Millennium’s Terry Currier.

GRAMMY Award-Winning vocal group Little Big Town will perform live following the awards presentations.

avatar for Justine Avila

Justine Avila

Exec. Dir., Music City Music Council
Justine Avila was chosen by the Music City Music Council to serve as the first full-time executive director for the organization after an intensive search process led by music industry executives Ed Hardy and Joe Galante with the support of Mayor Megan Barry, who also serves as co-chair... Read More →
avatar for Fred Beteille

Fred Beteille

Product Manager, Facebook
Fred Beteille is a Product Manager on Facebook Live, responsible for public broadcasts and publisher verticals including News, Sports, and Entertainment. Prior to joining Facebook, Beteille was Product Manager at Google/YouTube, where he helped spearhead music and rights management... Read More →
avatar for James Donio

James Donio

President, Music Business Association
James Donio is the President of the Music Business Association. Since taking the top role in 2004, Donio has evolved the organization from one primarily focused on physical product retailers to a more inclusive trade association that represents the full breadth of the current music... Read More →
avatar for Steve Harkins

Steve Harkins

VP & GM, Baker & Taylor
avatar for Damon Whiteside

Damon Whiteside

Chief Marketing Officer, Country Music Association (CMA)
Damon Whiteside, Chief Marketing Officer at the Country Music Association (CMA), oversees CMA's Marketing, Digital, Research, and Strategic Partnerships Departments. CMA's signature events include the top-rated CMA Awards, CMA Music Festival, and CMA Country Christmas, all of which... Read More →

Wednesday May 17, 2017 8:30am - 10:30am CDT
Grand Ballroom

4:00pm CDT

Featured Presentation: Keynote Conversation with Spotify's Troy Carter
Spotify's Global Head of Creator Services Troy Carter will sit down with Nate Rau, Music Business Reporter of The Tennessean to discuss ways in which Spotify is supporting artists, delivering the best music experience to a global audience and contributing to the growth of the larger music industry ecosystem. Carter will reveal specifics around how Spotify partners with and amplifies artist stories, helps artists better understand their listeners to more effectively grow and engage their fan base, and drives discovery to break artists and connect fans to music around the world. 

avatar for Nate Rau

Nate Rau

Music Business Reporter, The Tennessean
Nate Rau has been a reporter in Nashville since 2003, and spent over the last three years as a music business reporter for The Tennessean. His reporting has been recognized with various national and regional awards, especially for investigative and project reporting. The U.S. Copyright... Read More →

avatar for Troy Carter

Troy Carter

Global Head, Creator Services, Spotify
Troy Carter is a 20-year entertainment industry veteran who launched the career of Lady Gaga, and has managed a roster of superstar artists that includes Music Biz 2015 Breakthrough Artist of the Year Meghan Trainor, John Legend, Charlie Puth, Lindsey Stirling, and many more. Carter... Read More →

Wednesday May 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:00pm CDT
Grand Ballroom East

6:00pm CDT

The Orchard's 20th Anniversary Happy Hour
Unwind after a long day of meetings and enjoy drinks and light bites courtesy of The Orchard, celebrating 20 years in business. The Orchard is a pioneering music, film and video distribution company operating in more than 25 global markets. With a holistic approach to sales and marketing combined with industry-leading technology and operations, The Orchard empowers businesses and creators in the entertainment industry.

Wednesday May 17, 2017 6:00pm - 7:00pm CDT
CC Rotunda
Thursday, May 18

12:30pm CDT

Awards Luncheon sponsored by BuzzAngle Music
Enjoy lunch compliments of BuzzAngle Music.

Doors open at 12:15 PM. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Our favorite time of the year … recognizing career excellence and creativity in our industry with the prestigious Music Biz Awards!

The event will kick off as we honor two of the year’s hottest new stars with Breakthrough Artist Awards – Warner Bros’ Lukas Graham and Columbia Nashville’s Maren Morris. Lukas Graham, a Danish pop band, was crowned one of the biggest breakout act of 2016, earning three GRAMMY nominations for their smash single “7 Years,” including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The band, which is led by vocalist and songwriter Lukas Forchhammer, has reached the top of the charts with 2 billion streams worldwide and achieved Certified Gold status on their debut self-titled album. Rising Country star, Maren Morris, released her debut album for Columbia Nashville, HERO, on June 3, 2016, becoming the label’s first artist of the SoundScan era to top the Billboard Country chart with his/her first album. Morris’ Platinum-certified single, “My Church” also won Best Country Solo Performance at the 2017 GRAMMY Awards in addition to her nominations for Best Country Song, Best New Artist and Best Country Album for HERO.

The honorable Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award will be presented to award-winning choreographer and performer, multi-Platinum recording artist, and television personality Paula Abdul in recognition of her active roles as a spokesperson and advocate for national charity organizations. Selected to be an ambassador of We.org, she uplifts and empowers tens of thousands of youths in cities all over the globe as a speaker for We Day — a movement that brings together world-renowned speakers and performers to celebrate the power young people have to change the world. This year, Abdul partnered with Turnaround Arts to adopt a school in Brooklyn, NY, and to help foster arts education in impoverished schools across the nation.

This year's prestigious Artist of the Year Award will honor record-breaking Pop superstar, Adele. Her latest album, 25, was the first ever to sell more than 3 million copies in a single week (3.38 million total in traditional sales), blowing past the 15-year record previously held by NSYNC’s No Strings Attached. It was also the first album to sell more than 1 million copies in multiple weeks since Nielsen began tracking sales in 1991, with 1.11 million traditional sales in its second week and 1.15 million in its holiday-bolstered fifth week. 25 has since been certified Diamond for 10 million in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with the album and its single “Hello” earning Adele five GRAMMY Awards at this year’s 59th annual ceremony, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Pop Solo Performance.

The Outstanding Achievement Award will celebrate the massive success of the Hamilton Original Cast Recording and the Hamilton Mixtape albums. The Hamilton Original Cast Recording, which has been certified 3x-Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), scored the highest Billboard 200 debut week for a cast recording in over half a century at #12, became the first-ever Broadway cast album to reach #1 on the Billboard Top Rap Albums chart, and was the best-selling Broadway cast album of both 2015 and 2016. The Hamilton Mixtape — produced by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots and featuring Busta Rhymes, Nas, Usher, Sia, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, Wiz Khalifa, John Legend, Common, Chance The Rapper, and more — posted the largest first-week sales for a compilation album since 2012, becoming the first compilation to top the Billboard 200 chart in two years.

The multi-award-winning Country recording artist and multimedia entertainment mogul Reba McEntire will receive the 2017 Chairman’s Award for Sustained Creative Achievement. McEntire’s latest album, Sing It Now: Songs of Faith and Hope, was released jointly through Big Machine Label Group’s NASH Icon Records and the Capitol Christian Music Group in February 2017, topping both the Billboard Country and Christian/Gospel charts for multiple weeks. The double-disc collection marks McEntire’s 13th ascent to #1 and features both traditional hymns and contemporary tracks. Fans from both genres and beyond continue to embrace the lead single, “Back to God,” whose music video has surpassed 6 million views to date.

avatar for Fred Beteille

Fred Beteille

Product Manager, Facebook
Fred Beteille is a Product Manager on Facebook Live, responsible for public broadcasts and publisher verticals including News, Sports, and Entertainment. Prior to joining Facebook, Beteille was Product Manager at Google/YouTube, where he helped spearhead music and rights management... Read More →
avatar for James Donio

James Donio

President, Music Business Association
James Donio is the President of the Music Business Association. Since taking the top role in 2004, Donio has evolved the organization from one primarily focused on physical product retailers to a more inclusive trade association that represents the full breadth of the current music... Read More →

Colin Hanks

Actor & Director
avatar for Jim Lidestri

Jim Lidestri

CEO, BuzzAngle Music
Jim Lidestri is the Founder and CEO of Border City Media, a New York-based music technology company that has developed the innovative service, BuzzAngle Music, which has radically changed the way businesses analyze entertainment consumption and related trends.  BuzzAngle Music provides... Read More →

Thursday May 18, 2017 12:30pm - 2:00pm CDT
Grand Ballroom

2:30pm CDT

Featured Presentation: NSAI Songwriters in the Round
There is nothing quite like hearing the songs you know and love, performed by the songwriters who wrote them, the way they were originally written. Songs are performed “in the round” fashion (with each songwriter taking turns singing a hit song they wrote). You will also be able to hear the stories behind the songs. Watch as people are transformed by the magic of songs that change lives and mark history.

avatar for Rhett Akins

Rhett Akins

Rhett Akins found his way to a professional music career when Decca Records (which had been reactivated then) heard one of his demos. The label was impressed with the singer and quickly signed him in the mid 90s. He dropped his first album, A Thousand Memories, in 1995. The record... Read More →
avatar for Bart Herbison

Bart Herbison

Executive Director, Nashville Songwriters Association International
Bart Herbison is Executive Director of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the world's largest not-for-profit songwriters trade organization dedicated to the songwriting profession. Established in 1967, the organization’s membership of nearly 5,000 spans... Read More →
avatar for Rivers Rutherford

Rivers Rutherford

With a name like Rivers Rutherford, it's no surprise this soulful storyteller was destined to become one of Nashville, Tennessee's (and music's) most talented and accomplished singer-songwriters. Having grown up in the shadow of Elvis' Graceland homestead of Memphis, Rutherford came... Read More →

Thursday May 18, 2017 2:30pm - 3:30pm CDT
Music City Ballroom

7:00pm CDT


WHO KNEW is presented by MusicRowSearch.

This is FREE to all Music Biz convention attendees with prior RSVP. Email tom@musicrowsearch.com to reserve your ticket. Reserved tickets will be held until 6:30 PM on the night of the event. After 6:30 PM your ticket may be given to others waiting for entrance to the event. A Music Biz badge is required even if you have reserved your ticket. Doors open at 6 PM.

WHO KNEW is a music-industry networking event mixing executives, powerbrokers, undiscovered mavericks and rising stars. Every two months at WHO KNEW, seasoned professionals share their stories, predictions and advice from all corners of the entertainment industry. This special edition will include the following industry professionals: 

  • Linda Bloss-Baum, Sr. Director of Industry Relations, SoundExchange 
  • Bob Farnsworth, Founder & Creative Director, Hummingbird Productions 
  • Laura Hutfless, Co-Founder, FlyteVu 
  • Tom Jackson, Producer & Author of “Live Music Method”
  • Peter Jenner, Manager of Pink Floyd and The Clash 
  • Annie Lin, General Counsel, Loudr 
  • Benji Rogers, CEO, dotBlockchain Music

Thursday May 18, 2017 7:00pm - 9:30pm CDT
City Winery 609 Lafayette St, Nashville, TN 37203