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NEAR TRUTHS:
STARS IN RESIDENCE

Rob Stringer, having led Sony through its hottest year in decades (and his career best), has capped it off with a fleet of high-profile Grammy nominations.

Ron Perry’s Columbia, now on everyone’s shortlist when seeking a home for something hot, finds three superstars—Beyoncé, Adele and Harry Styles—competing for Album, Record and Song of the Year Grammys, a unicorn moment for a single label. A rising Big Red star, ROSALÍA, was also among the label’s nominees. (Perry’s EVP/GM, Jen Mallory, meanwhile, continues to earn the praise of all who cross her path.)

Regardless of how he fares on Grammy night, Jeffrey Azoff-repped Styles is in a white-hot career moment. Harry’s had the #1 streaming song of the year, dominated streaming and radio and seen phenomenal success on the road with the new-school residency model (and averaging a ridiculous $80+ per head in merch). He’s also appeared in multiple feature films, expanding his already enormous pop-cultural footprint. Jeffrey has had a remarkably successful run; some say it must be the water at Ladera.

The year saw another spotlight moment for Jonathan Dickins-repped Adele, too, thanks to the aforementioned Grammy love and the long-awaited relaunch of her Vegas residency, a cash- and tissue-dispensing marvel that has once again underscored her blinding star wattage. Not that it needed underscoring. Dickins, too, has fabulous success in his DNA.

As for Bey, she delivered her most impactful album in years, and if there’s any justice, this beloved, culture-shifting icon should take home some major hardware on Music’s Biggest Night. Is a stadium tour in the offing?

Meanwhile, Peter Edge’s impeccable taste in record-making and judicious patience helped spark another major year for RCA, which has had a remarkable renaissance. The label enjoyed tremendous action with Doja Cat and new breakouts Steve Lacy and Latto, who stand out in a marketplace littered with one-and-dones; now TDE’s SZA returns to the forefront with a huge #1 bow, chart-busting streams and a hot tour. The House of Nipper’s recent relocation to L.A., the present creative center of the biz, has suited its mojo well. COO John Fleckenstein provides the glue and ensures that the trains run on time.

Sylvia Rhone-led Epic, with streaming giant and, per GQ, “best rapper alive” Future—whose “WAIT FOR U” f/Drake & Tems was the year’s #3 streaming song—as well as Travis Scott, DJ Khaled and 21 Savage, appears to be the epicenter of hip-hop at this moment. The top-tier Grammy noms for Future and Khaled will likely drive yet more chart action.

David Massey’s Arista has scored a rock breakthrough with glammy Italian troupe Måneskin, now vying for a Best New Artist Grammy. Mosco’s Alamo has a Top 10 YTD album thanks to Lil Durk and another, by Rod Wave, in the Top 50.

What’s more, it’s hard to overstate how impressive the rise of Brad Navin-headed The Orchard has been; it’s truly emerged as a force in the new ecosystem. More about that in a future installment.