Power Rulers: Women in R&B and Hip Hop
Radio Facts would like to celebrate the success of the many hard working women in the industry who help the music industry machine operate. The ladies on this list should be an inspiration to many as they have become masters of their craft. Some have switched careers and some have maintained their positions with numerous promotions for their hard work and dedication. We will be spotlighting more women in RF issues to come (click “Next” above or below to see the next “Power Ruler”)
Mona Scott Young – Love and Hip Hop/Atlanta & NY
Mona Scott Young worked for Violater management and had built a reputation and roster of clients over a 20 year period. She was burnt out with her job and ready to take on a new challenge. She boldly left her position and created her own production company Monami Entertainment, to pursue a goal of creating a hip hop reality series. She admits that she would often wake up in cold sweats at night stressing over if she had made the right decision to leave a secure position that she had built for 20 years. Obviously, it turned out to be a great decision as both Love and Hip Hop shows (Atlanta and NY) are very successful and have catapulted Young’s career into the stratosphere. Young stated in an interview that she knew SHE was the best person to tell the story because she lived the life and she knew the life. it was not just an idea she was presenting.
Cynthia Johnson – VP Urban Promotion – Columbia Records
Cynthia Johnson is not only one of the hardest working people in the industry she is also one of the most loved and respected. Cynthia “CJ” Johnson is a consummate professional who has amazing follow through on each project. She has worked many major artists’ projects over the years on labels like: Arista, MCA, Interscope and Warner Bros. Her incredible roster of talent on Columbia includes:
Juicy J and more…
Juliette Jones – EVP Promotions Atlantic Records
Juliette Jones’s career has endured an impressive escalatioun over the last few years. She exited her postion at the former J Records (now RCA Music) in 2011 as VP Urban Promotion to accept an offer at Warner Bros where she was the SVP/Urban Promotions. Recently she was promoted again to Atlantic records as Executive VP/Promoton. Some of the artists Juliette works with are:
EVP/Head Of Urban Music, Universal Music Publishing Group;
SVP, Motown Records
Ethiopia is one very busy industry executive, she heads the urban publishing arm of Universal Music Group to make sure the writers have very long careers and she is the SVP of Motown Records. The label is about to release a new project featuring Toni Braxton and Babyface working together again. Motown has also just started a gospel label Motown Gospel with several releases scheduled. Ethiopia works with Ne-Yo, Miguel, Big Sean, Erykah Badu and many other artists in the publishing realm.
Sylvia Rhone – Vested in Culture/Epic Records
No list of leading executives in music would be complete without including industry legend Sylvia Rhone. Her joint venture with Epic Records, Vested in Culture, established early this year has a slate of releases forthcoming. Rhone is Chairman of VIC, she left her post at the helm of Universal Motown in May of 2011, . She previously worked for many years at various labels with massive success including: Buddah, East/West, Elektra, Warner Bros, Motown and more. She has worked in the industry for an unprecidented 40 years. Her goal with the new label venture is to work with acts from several genres.
Carolyn Williams – SVP Urban Marketing RCA Music
Carolyn Williams is the SVP Urban Marketing at RCA Music. Her job includes handling the marketing of one of if not THE largest rosters of talent on a label. Acts on the label include Fantasia, Jamie Foxx, Charlie Wilson, Chris Brown, R Kelly, Alicia Keys, Marsha Ambrosius and MANY more. She started at the label (then J Records) in 2001 as the Director of Marketing and has since been promoted to her current position.
Thea Mitchem – VP Programming iHeartmedia (formerly Clear Channel) NY
Thea Mitchem is a highly respected executive who works for the media giant iHeartmedia (formerly Clear Channel). She is the VP of programming for five stations in the number one market including Power 105, KTU, Lite FM, Q104 and Z100 before that, she handled nine stations in the Washington/Baltimore market. She was named one of the Most Influential Women in Radio by Radio Ink in 2011 and 12.
Shante Bacon – 135th St Agency
Shante Bacon started her industry career working for Kevin Liles at Def Jam and that could not have been an easy feat according to Liles’ book, Make It Happen: the Hip-Hop Generation’s guide to Success. During her tenure at Def Jam she was repeatedly promoted ending up as the director of marketing. She resigned from Def Jam in 2004 to pursue her dream of having her own agency. She partnered with Saptosa Foster to establish the 135th Street Agency in New York and Atlanta. Her hugely successful agency has an impressive roster of clients that include Walt Disney Studios, US Postal Service, NY Times an several major record labels and major movie production companies.
Gail Mitchell – Billboard Senior Editor R&B/Hip Hop
Gail Mitchell has been supporting the R&B and Hip Hop community for years working for some of the music industry’s most respected trade publications. She was once at R&R then after a few stops she ended up at the industry’s bible Billboard magazine as the Senior Editor for R&B and Hop Hop. Mitchell has an incredible work ethic and is highly respected by singers, rappers and the industry for her first rate work. She has been the editor at Billboard for R&B and Hip Hop since 1999.