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"Sylvia is a first-class music executive who not only brings to Motown and Universal a unique understanding of the creative community and what inspires it, but extensive management experience."
——Doug Morris, UMG Chairman/CEO
RHONE NABS MOTOWN,
UNIVERSAL STRIPES
Veteran Record Exec Named Motown President, Universal Executive VP
She's back and Universal Motown's got her.

In a long anticipated move, Sylvia Rhone has been appointed President of Motown Records and Executive Vice President of Universal Records by Universal Motown Records Group Chairman Mel Lewinter, who remembered he had an Aunt Sylvia once who made some delicious kugle.

In her new role, the former Elektra Entertainment Chairman will have direct responsibility for the Motown label, home to some of music's biggest stars, including Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Michael McDonald, Brian McKnight and India.Arie, among others. Moreover, she will serve as Executive Vice President of Universal Records where she will be involved in a number of musical projects.

Said Lewinter: "As we continue to expand Universal Motown's A&R driven strategy, there is no one better to compliment our team than Sylvia. Her enthusiasm for discovering a diversity of artists and her unique vision regarding the complexity of new platforms and formats that drive our industry, make her a natural to lead Motown's evolution into the future. And she gets me into Nobu without a reservation." 

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Sylvia," remarked Universal President Monte Lipman. "I know that her creative spirit, passion, and unparalleled business skills will help us continue to break new ground for our artists.  And she's a huge fan of Eiffel 65."

Commented UMG boss Doug Morris: "Sylvia is a first-class music executive who not only brings to Motown and Universal a unique understanding of the creative community and what inspires it, but extensive management experience. The entire Universal family joins me in welcoming her on board. But there's no truth to the rumor she'll become the Fifth Top."

Added Rhone: "It's an honor and a homecoming to be working with Doug Morris and Mel Lewinter again.  The culture they've created here is a huge breath of fresh air and the consummate music environment: One that breeds passion, creativity, respect and unparalleled success. I consider Doug Morris the seminal music man, and couldn't ask for better colleagues to work with than Mel, Jimmy Iovine, L.A. Reid and Monte Lipman.  I look forward to being part their continuing success story and the amazing legacy of this historic and vibrant label."

Rhone was the first African American female CEO to invade the formerly male-dominated bastions of the record industry.  As Chairman/CEO of the Elektra Entertainment Group, she had helmed one of Warner Music Group's most prestigious labels since 1994. Under her leadership, Elektra experienced a nearly decade-long run with such chart-topping, award winning artists as Missy Elliott, Metallica, Jet, Fabulous, Staind, Gerald Levert, Tracy Chapman and Jason Mraz, among others.

Ms. Rhone began her career with Buddha Records in 1974.  Over the next several years, primarily with Atlantic Records, Ms. Rhone received a succession of promotions, taking on broader responsibilities in 1986 with her appointment as VP/GM of Atlantic's Black Music Operation.  In 1988, she was promoted to Sr. VP of Atlantic Records. 

In 1990, Ms. Rhone became the first African American woman to head a major record company when she was named CEO/President of Atlantic's new East West Records America division.  A year later, when the East West artist roster and operations were combined with Atco Records, Ms. Rhone was named Chairman/CEO of Atco/EastWest, and subsequently EastWest Records America.  At EastWest she was directly responsible for the careers of superstar artists including En Vogue, Gerald Levert, Pantera and Simply Red, among others.

Rhone has been honored with more than two-dozen awards during her career.  A graduate of the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania,  Ms. Rhone was named an Alumni Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, and is a recipient of the Black Alumni of Pratt's Lifetime Achievement Award.  Ms. Rhone is an inductee of the National Association of Black Female Executives In Music And Entertainment Hall of Fame.  Most recently, she was awarded the Turner Broadcasting 2004 Trumpet Award, which heralds the accomplishments of distinguished African Americans around the globe in fields as diverse as law, politics, and entertainment.


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