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Frances Preston RIP

FRANCES W. PRESTON, the longtime face and voice of BMI, died of congestive heart failure Wednesday morning at her home in Nashville. Preston spent six decades at BMI, serving as the org’s President/CEO from 1986 until 2004. Hired in 1958 to open a Southern regional office for BMI in Nashville, Preston was appointed VP in 1964, making her the first female corporate executive in Tennessee, as well as the first fulltime PRO rep in the South. She helped build an economic infrastructure to support and connect the creative and commercial sectors in Nashville, helping to pave the way for the city’s future as a songwriting hub. In 1985, she rose to SVP Performing Rights, and the following year she was named President and CEO, bringing her to BMI headquarters in New York. Kris Kristofferson dubbed Preston the “songwriter’s guardian angel,” and Fortune called her “one of the true powerhouses of the pop music business.” She’s survived by her three sons, Kirk, David and Donald, as well as six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. We'll never forget her announcing an award for Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'" at a BMI bash several years ago. She will be missed. (6/13a)

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