Music rights company BMG has hired Richard Blackstone to be the Chief Creative Officer of BMG US. He is the former Chairman and CEO of Warner/Chappell Music and, more recently, has been working with the Zac Brown Band. Blackstone, who will be based in BMG’s US headquarters in New York City, also has strong ties to Nashville. In this newly created role, he will report directly to Hartwig Masuch, CEO of BMG.
Since its founding in late 2008, BMG has completed a number of major acquisitions including Crosstown Songs America, Cherry Lane Music Publishing Inc, Stage Three Music and Evergreen Copyrights, as well as signed a number of prominent artists and songwriters.
Blackstone will oversee the rosters of the recently acquired companies as well as direct efforts to sign new talent to continue to build on the company’s rapid growth.
Blackstone has been a respected executive in the entertainment industry for nearly 20 years. In 2005 he was appointed to the position of Chairman and CEO of Warner/Chappell, becoming responsible for all aspects of Warner Music Group’s worldwide music-publishing division operating in over 35 countries.
In 2007 he broke from WMG and transitioned to work in new media. He has been working with the Zac Brown Band, specifically advancing the songwriting career of Wyatt Durette, Brown’s frequent co-writer. The signing of Durette is one of his many successful signings which also include helping launch the musical careers of Linkin Park, Macy Gray, Britney Spears, and many others.
Prior to joining WMG, Blackstone was President of Zomba Music Publishing. Originally a transactional attorney, Blackstone joined Zomba in 1989 as Director of Business Affairs. Recognizing his talents in both business and the arts, he was later promoted to the dual role of Head of Creative and Head of Business Affairs, a position that included oversight of Zomba’s Country Music division located in Nashville. Once BMG acquired Zomba Publishing, Blackstone was made President and was given the additional responsibility of overseeing Brentwood Benson Music Publishing, the leading contemporary Christian music publisher.