RIAA’s Cary Sherman to Receive Presidential Award at Music Biz 2018 in Nashville

The Music Business Association (Music Biz) will present its Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement to Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), at the Music Biz 2018 conference’s Awards Breakfast on May 16, 2018, at the Omni Nashville Hotel.

“As the head of RIAA, Cary has worked tirelessly on behalf of the recording industry, and he has done so during some of the most challenging times in the history of the music business,” said James Donio, President of Music Biz. “As he prepares to retire at the end of 2018, we are thrilled to recognize his many achievements by presenting him with our prestigious Presidential Award in honor of the vision and leadership he has shown, and highlighting his commitment to ensuring the recording industry’s growth and vitality.”

Sherman joins a list of previous honorees that includes Mike Dungan, John Esposito, Dick Clark, Walter Yetnikoff, Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun, Jim Urie, Ted Cohen, Clive Davis, Don Cornelius, Casey Kasem, Sylvia Rhone, John Marmaduke, Bob Higgins, Paul Smith, Scott Borchetta, Akio Morito, Eric Paulson, Henry Droz, and Russ Solomon.

“It’s truly an honor to be given this award when you look at the esteemed list of music legends who have previously received it,” said Sherman. “When I reflect on the tumultuous journey the music industry has endured, with the rapid technological changes and the seismic shifts in consumption, I am gratified to have been able to play a part in helping us weather the storms and come out on the other side. For Music Biz to recognize me for that is particularly rewarding.”

Sherman began his career in 1971 at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Arnold & Porter, where he worked his way up to Senior Partner. There, he served as outside counsel to the RIAA and head of the firm’s Intellectual Property and Technology Practice Group. In 1997, he joined the RIAA as General Counsel, becoming President in 2001 and Chairman and CEO in 2011. Today, he represents the interests of the $7.7 billion U.S. sound recording industry, which now derives more than three quarters of its revenues from digital formats. He has been named to Billboard Magazine’s Power 100 List and described by National Journal as an “intellectual property guru” and “one of the top copyright attorneys in the country.”

Throughout his RIAA tenure, Sherman has helped guide the industry’s efforts to facilitate new ways for fans to access music and to ensure that music creators are properly compensated as streaming has become the dominant format of the business. He was instrumental in the enactment of the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act in 1995, which along with his work on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998, established a new right for artists and labels to be compensated by digital music services. That right has since become the core legal foundation obligating streaming services to pay royalties for their subscription services. Additionally, Sherman has guided music community collaboration on multiple issues, from anti-piracy and technology initiatives to landmark litigations such as MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster in 2005. At a time when piracy was rampant and the authorized music marketplace was in its infancy, that case reshaped the legal landscape for actions against pirate sites and helped level the playing field for licensed music services.

An amateur musician and lyricist, Sherman is a member of the Board of Levine Music in Washington, D.C., where he recently served as Chairman. He also serves on the board of the Anti-Defamation League, and previously served on numerous other boards, including the Copyright Society, Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, The Computer Law Association, The Computer Lawyer, and BNA’s Patent, Trademark and Copyright Journal.

Music Biz 2018, which will return to Nashville from May 14-17, is the music industry’s premier event, giving the commerce and content sectors a place to meet with trading partners, network with new companies, and learn about new trends and products impacting the music business. Last year’s event drew 2,000 attendees, the annual convention’s largest turnout since 2001. Registration for 2018 will open on October 10. For more information, visit

About the Music Business Association
The Music Business Association (Music Biz) is a membership organization that advances and promotes music commerce — a community committed to the full spectrum of monetization models in the industry. It provides common ground by offering thought leadership, resources, and unparalleled networking opportunities, all geared to the specific needs of its membership. Music Biz brings a unique perspective and valuable insight into the trends and changes that innovation brings. Today, we put our collective experience to work across all delivery models: physical, digital, mobile, and more. Music Biz and its members are committed to building the future of music commerce — together.

Music Biz Media Contact
Laurie Jakobsen, Jaybird Communications —, 646.484.6764