Music Biz 2019 Conference Panels, Keynotes, and Award Winners: A Dynamic and Diverse Calendar Awaits This Year’s Attendees

Music Biz 2019, powered by the Music Business Association, will take place Sunday, May 5 through Wednesday, May 8 at the luxurious JW Marriott Nashville. Heralded year after year for its slate of educational programming, the Annual Conference has become the industry’s premier business-focused event, and features presentations from influential industry trailblazers seldom seen at other events.

“Following our largest event in 17 years, we are thrilled to bring our Annual Music Biz Conference to the newly opened JW Marriott Nashville for the first time ever,” commented Music Biz President James Donio. “Featuring over 300 lauded experts from all facets of the industry, this year’s extraordinary program is set to address everything from the latest advances in technology and law, to the increased awareness and emphasis on mental health, diversity and inclusion. There’s a lot to be excited about at this year’s Conference, and we’re eager to share all of it with the Music Biz community.”

The four-day Conference commences Sunday, May 5, as Capitol Records’ Amber Grimes will kick things off with an inspiring conversation about her journey in the music business. Sunday also sees the return of Music Biz’s Digital Service Provider Workshops hosted by Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify, SoundCloud, and YouTube. The Conference’s Career Development Workshops, geared toward students and young professionals, will teach the strategies and best practices to achieve success in the music industry. More prescient than ever given the recent passage of the Music Modernization Act, this year’s Entertainment & Technology Law Conference (presented by Fox Rothschild and supported by Dickinson Wright) will explore the law as it relates to the ever-changing music industry. This year’s Law Conference will also serve as the platform for the first public address of newly appointed RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier. Sunday’s program concludes with a tide-turning interview of Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, conducted by Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams.

Monday, May 6 will begin with the long-time Conference highlight CMA Breakfast, featuring live performances from Kassi Ashton, Danielle Bradbery and Cassadee Pope followed by President Donio’s Annual Address and the Music Biz Board’s Steve Harkins’ Chairman’s Remarks.  

The 7th annual Metadata Summit, a series of discussions about improvements in the metadata landscape in the music space, will take place starting at 10:45 am on Monday. Following a highly lauded debut in 2018, Monday marks the return of #NEXTGEN_NOW, featuring discussions from dynamic young executives in the industry about their rise to the top led by Billboard/Forbes’ Cherie Hu. Budding songwriters can draw inspiration and ideas from the Indie Artist & Songwriter Forum (powered by Songtrust). Co-Founder of The Orchard and indie artist champion Richard Gottehrer will keynote the forum, touching on his vast knowledge and experience as a songwriter, producer and industry innovator. Breakout programming on Monday will discuss the topics of enhancing physical packaging, ensuring representation of diverse voices, and leveraging video content for promotion, among others. It also includes the last session of Music Biz’s Leadership Webinar series, led by Certified Executive Coaches Adam Mirabella and Ilana Zivkovich. Monday’s program concludes with Def Jam Recordings CEO Paul Rosenberg discussing his storied career as a manager and a label executive and his future vision for the industry-at-large with Rolling Stone Contributing Editor Joe Levy.

Day 3 of the Conference, May 7 begins with a Breakfast & Presentation sponsored by Rolling Stone magazine. Tuesday’s Brand & Strategic Partnerships Summit (powered by FlyteVu), will gather top-level music, brand executives, and artists across all mediums including Country recording artist Lauren Alaina, to discuss the power of branding in music and entertainment. Back for its second year, Financial Literacy Summit (powered by Lyric Financial) will educate attendees on maintaining financial stability in the music business. The summit will conclude with an in-depth interview with Hip-Hop legend and entrepreneur Slick Rick, discussing how he has developed revenue streams outside of the recording arts and became a mogul for his own personal brand. Tuesday’s breakout programs will include topics such as how integrating music can enhance ad campaigns, how the MMA will affect income for songwriters and publishers, and how music business educators can best respond to their students’ needs both in and out of the classroom.

The Music Biz Awards & Hall of Fame Dinner will take place Tuesday night, and is sponsored by BuzzAngle Music, City National Bank, Cracker Barrel, Jammber, and TiVo. At this year’s event, Peter Frampton will receive the Chairman’s Award for Sustained Creative Achievement; Bebe Rexha and Kane Brown will receive Breakthrough Artist Awards; Darius Rucker will accept the Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award; Sony Music Nashville Chairman and CEO Randy Goodman will receive the Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement; Record Archive owners Richard Storms and Alayna Alderman will accept the Independent Spirit Award; and The Orchard Co-Founder Richard Gottehrer will receive the Outstanding Achievement Award. The dinner will also feature a live performance from CMA and ACM Award-winning artist Luke Combs. Building upon the inaugural induction of Tower Records’ Russ Solomon at last year’s Music Business Hall of Fame ceremony, this year’s dinner will see the induction of the late Sir George Martin by his son Giles Martin. The 2019 Hall of Fame class also includes major labels Atlantic Records and Capitol Records; independent label Sub Pop; industry executives, the late Ahmet Ertegun, Herb Abramson and Miriam Abramson (later Bienstock); music industry landmarks the Apollo Theatre, CBGB, Hitsville U.S.A. — The Birthplace of Motown, Sun Studio, and the Troubadour; and Rolling Stone magazine.

The Conference’s last day, Wednesday, May 8, will feature a joint interview of Motown/Capitol’s Ethiopia Habtemariam and Caroline’s Jacqueline Saturn by Billboard’s Gail Mitchell. The session will dive into how this industry power duo has lent their voice to ensure a bright and prosperous future for women across the business on their way to the top of the corporate ladder, both individually and through collaboration on major industry deals. Held throughout the day, the Career Day Interviews will give students a chance to interview with today’s top companies for internship and entry-level positions. Breakout sessions on the Conference’s final day cover topics such as working with DSPs to market music beyond playlist inclusion, taking advantage of remixes and sampling to create new revenue streams, and the changes that new technologies are bringing to music discovery and human language alike. Nashville’s popular WHO KNEW event will close out the event’s final day.

Visit for the most up-to-date conference information. To register for the 2019 event, go to


About the Music Business Association:

The Music Business Association is a not-for-profit membership organization that advances, promotes and invests in the future of the music business by providing a trusted forum where ideas and cooperation flourish. Through events, education and engagement, the Association brings together the full breadth of the industry for unparalleled access to networking, resources and thought leadership.


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