Our newly published Rainmakers II chronicles some of the most powerful and influential figures in the music business; it’s also a map of the profound changes in the biz over the past several years.

The subjects chronicled herein are all major operators running extremely successful companies, some of which have been iconic brands for more than 75 years, while others number among the most important indie labels of all time. They follow in the outsize footsteps of legends like Goddard Lieberson, Berry Gordy, Mo Ostin, Clive Davis, Chris Blackwell, Russell Simmons, Bhaskar Menon, Joe Smith, David Geffen, Jac Holzman, L.A. Reid and Doug Morris, all of whom shaped the modern landscape (as explored in our History of the Music Biz series).

Monte Lipman, Peter Edge, Steve Barnett and John Janick all arrived at their current jobs during the transitional period when Morris assumed the reins at Sony Music, Sir Lucian Grainge took control at UMG and Jimmy Iovine exited the record biz in the megabucks deal that brought Apple into streaming.

Darcus Beese, David Massey, Aaron Bay-Schuck, Tom Corson, Ron Perry, Paul Rosenberg and Sylvia Rhone—as well as new publishing power dyad Guy Moot and Carianne Marshall—assumed their current posts quite recently but have all had outstanding careers. It’s worth noting that changes at the top of Columbia, Warner Records (formerly Warner Bros.), Epic, Def Jam and the newly restarted Arista, as well as two of the major pubcos, all took place within the last two to three years.

That’s a seismic changing of the guard, and the new leadership is strongly reflective of an evolving biz. The bona fides of these recently anointed company heads reflect, among other things, the dominance of streaming, the massive role of black music and the vital importance of nimble A&R in the new paradigm.

Scooter Braun, Jay Brown and Guy Oseary, meanwhile, have had tremendous success for a long while as some of this century’s most cutting-edge representatives of talent; they’ve also built massive companies that have affected the center of gravity in the business.

Marty Diamond and Tom Windish began as passionate entrepreneurial players in the live space before building their own companies out of closets and spare bedrooms; these boutique ventures grew into the monster now known as Paradigm’s music department.

Nick Holmstén and Steve Boom are currently reshaping the entire music ecosystem—as integral players at two digital giants that have rescued music revenues—and are having an enormous impact on the present and future of the industry. Sarah Trahern has been an essential player in expanding country music’s reach globally, technologically and otherwise—while preserving its history—during her tenure as CMA boss.

These Rainmakers hail from little English towns and rural U.S. hamlets, from London and Wolverhampton, from L.A., NYC, Detroit and Philly. Some worked their way up the ladder, while others flew to the top without ever having served at a major before. But they are all piloting the machinery of our business at the very highest level.