Universal Music Publishing Group Chairman and CEO Jody Gerson will be the 2020 recipient of the Abe Olman Publisher Award at the 51st Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner. The event is slated for Thursday, June 11th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
According to the announcement, the Abe Olman Publisher Award, named after one of the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s founders, goes to a music publisher who has had a substantial number of songs that have become world-renowned and has furthered the careers and successes of a great number of songwriters. Past Abe Olman Publisher Awardees have included Caroline Bienstock, Milt Okun, Martin Bandier, Irwin Robinson, Freddy Bienstock, Lance Freed, Ralph Peer and Beebe Bourne.
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“Jody Gerson is one of the most innovative and creative music publishers in contemporary music publishing today,” said SHOF President & CEO Linda Moran . “She combines a strong A&R and creative progressive path with tremendous business savvy. Add in her strong alliances with and her mentoring and nurturing of songwriters and artists of all genres, whether they be new to the business or high-profile names, as well as her continuing to break through barriers, there is no doubt that Jody will be a dominant force in our business for as long as she wants. It is a great honor for the SHOF to celebrate the indomitable Jody Gerson.”
Since joining UMPG in 2015, Gerson has dramatically improved the company’s financial performance, growing its revenue 40%. Gerson has also led the signings and extensions of world-class songwriters including the Bee Gees, Elton John, Carly Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Rosalia, Alicia Keys, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Jack White, SZA, Post Malone, Quavo, Ariana Grande, H.E.R., Harry Styles, Maren Morris and many more. Prior to joining Universal Music, Gerson served as Co-President of Sony/ATV Music Publishing and was part of the senior management team at EMI Music Publishing. Outside of music, Gerson has also served as a producer of the successful films “Drumline” and “ATL” and as executive producer for VH1’s “Drumline 2.”
She was named Variety‘s Hitmakers Executive of the Year for 2019.
The first female chairman of a global music company and the first woman to be named CEO of a major music publisher, Gerson cofounded and serves on the Board of Directors for She Is The Music, a nonprofit championing equality and inclusion for women. She also serves on boards for the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, MusiCares, the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and The Archer School for Girls.
Inductees at this year’s event include Mariah Carey, Eurythmics (Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart), the Isley Brothers, Steve Miller, the Neptunes (Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams), Rick Nowels and William “Mickey” Stevenson. ASCAP president and chairman of the board and veteran singer-songwriter-actor Paul Williams will receive the Johnny Mercer Award.
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