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SYLVIA RHONE AT
THE EPICENTER

Sylvia Rhone’s recent elevation to Chairman/CEO of Epic Records has occasioned cheers and plaudits from many corners of the industry. Her promotion by Sony Music boss Rob Stringer follows multiple successes, notably streaming monsters from Camila Cabello, Travis Scott, 21 Savage, Future and DJ Khaled.

Rhone’s career in the music biz spans nearly four decades, and she has witnessed all manner of change over the years. She was the single African-American woman to top a major label one other time—a quarter-century ago, as boss of the Elektra Entertainment Group. But it’s only in the last few years that more opportunities have opened to gifted women execs at the top of the food chain, an overdue development that accompanied other changes. Among these were the ripples of the #MeToo movement through the halls of power—which led to the unseating of a few powerful players—and the Grammy “step up” kerfuffle that resulted in the empowerment of Tina Tchen and incoming Recording Academy boss Deborah Dugan. All of this adds fascinating context to Rhone’s ascent to the Chairmanship.

As Rhone savors her august new title in an evolving era, we asked some people who’ve worked alongside her to weigh in. Here's a sampling of the response.

"Sylvia has been such a strong supporter of my music," commented Camila Cabello. "I am so thrilled to see her become Chairman & CEO of Epic. It’s equally wonderful to see more female executives getting the top spots in music. Bravo."

"Sylvia Rhone is a visionary exec with the intelligence, strength and sensitivity to navigate a radically changing business," observes Sony/ATV boss Jon Platt. "Most importantly, she has inspired countless women and people of color in this industry by showing what’s possible when you have the talent and the guts to go the distance."

Sylvia Rhone is a pioneer, a visionary—one of the most extraordinary and savvy executives I've ever had the opportunity to work with," says Roc Nation Co-Founder/CEO Jay Brown. "An inspiration and mentor to so many, her ear and business sense are unparalleled. All she has to do is step in the room, and everyone knows that Sylvia Rhone has always been and always will be THE Chairman and CEO.”

“This is not only a big day for Sylvia Rhone," noted UMPG chief Jody Gerson when the news broke. "Her promotion to Chairman and CEO is an inspiration to our entire industry and the change we are working to affect for an equal and inclusive future. We all must acknowledge and applaud that a move has been made in the right direction and it’s breaking glass ceilings and driving progress. Good for Sylvia and good for all of us.”

"I am honored I get to work with Sylvia," says attorney Dina LaPolt, who'll join Rhone for a keynote discussion at MIDEM in June. "Her wealth of experience and heart has helped her shepherd the careers of countless music artists, all while maintaining an eye toward both the artistic vision of her clients as well as the cultural relevance and responsibility of her work. She is intelligent, fiercely driven, and deeply focused on the well-being the artists and creators she works with.  This is all in addition to her trailblazing role on behalf of women and people of color." 

Added our own Michelle Santosuosso in response to Rhone's magisterial new headshot, above: "Those earrings are everything, Ms. Rhone."

 

 

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