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A DI-VINE CAPITOL CONGRESS (WITH SURPRISE GUEST
SIR PAUL)

CFO Geoff Harris, Caroline GM Jacqueline Saturn, President Ashley Newton, Barnett, Grainge, Motown President Ethiopia Habtemariam, COO Michelle Jubelirer and Blue Note President Don Was (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for CMG)

The fifth annual Capitol Congress took place on Wednesday, 8/8, at the ArcLight Theatre in Hollywood, followed by an evening celebration a few blocks up Vine St. at the Tower.

During the day-long SRO gathering, CMG’s staff, the company’s international affiliates, industry reps from around the world and members of the media watched as execs spoke and artists presented their upcoming projects. After opening addresses from UMG ruler Sir Lucian Grainge and CMG head coach Steve Barnett, the focus turned to music. Among the artists who took the stage during the morning and afternoon sessions were Troye Sivan, NF, Queen Naija, social-media influencer Loren Gray and new Capitol signing Fletcher.

A major highlight was a surprise appearance by Paul McCartney, who received CMG’s inaugural Capitol Icon award and was interviewed by Marc Maron for a special edition of his WTF podcast. During the conversation, Macca spoke in depth about the making of Egypt Station, coming this fall, shared anecdotes and discussed his enduring influence and relevance. In addition, Lyft and Capitol teased an upcoming partnership in support of Egypt Station.

Red-hot hip-hop trio Migos also surprised attendees, joining Quality Control founders Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “Pee” Thomas and fellow QC artists Lil Yachty, Lil Baby and Yung Miami of City Girls for a presentation of awards and certifications by Motown President Ethiopia Habtemariam. Pee teased more projects coming from the label, “even before the end of the year.”

The busy Habtemariam also unveiled footage from what’s described as the definitive Motown documentary, Hitsville: The Making of Motown—directed by Gabe Turner and Ben Turner of Fulwell 73—which will be released next year. She then moderated a panel, “Culture: The New Mainstream,” which included a discussion of Motown’s enduring influence.

A new partnership between CMG and Vivendi-owned advertising firm Havas was announced by company CEO Paul Marobella and Jason Peterson, Chief Creative Officer of Havas Creative, North America. They revealed that The Annex—a Havas-powered cultural network—will launch Annex Tower Creative within the Capitol Tower. The arrangement will result in brand partnerships and campaigns with artists across CMG’s labels. The first of these will be between Lil Yachty and Conagra Brands' Chef Boyardee line of pasta products (we kid you not) including a music video.

Honored during the day were MC Hammer; BBC Radio 1, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary; and the late Bill Hearn, the longtime head of Capitol Christian Music Group.

View the photo gallery here.

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