John Esposito To Be Honored at Music Biz 2016

John Esposito.

John Esposito.

The Music Business Association (Music Biz) will present its Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement to John Esposito, President and CEO of Warner Music Nashville (WMN) on Tuesday, May 17, during the Music Biz 2016 convention’s Awards Breakfast.

The event will be held in the middle of the organization’s May 16-18, 2016 conference at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel in Nashville. Registration is open now, with early bird discounts available until March 11, 2016.

Past honorees include 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 as well as organizations including the Country Music Association (CMA), The Recording Academy (NARAS), and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

“John has devoted his considerable talents to our industry for more than 30 years to advance the growth and vitality of the music business,” said James Donio, President of Music Biz. “His most recent work heading WMN and his leadership as President of the CMA Board have been critical to the explosive growth of country music.”

“It’s a privilege to be counted among the music business royalty that have accepted this Award in the past, and I thank Music Biz for this amazing recognition,” said Esposito. “My goal has always been to spread the word about the music I love, and I’m happy to have had the opportunity to do so on such a grand scale.”

In 2009, Esposito helped establish WMN, a division of the Warner Music Group (WMG) dedicated to expanding the label’s presence in Music City. Fueled by a three-fold increase in share on the singles charts, WMN artists have amassed more than 40 weeks at No. 1 since his arrival, which has led to multiple gold and platinum sales certifications. Under his stewardship, the division has made history with artists taking home numerous awards in categories ranging from New Artist of the Year to Entertainer of the Year to an astonishing five-time Male Vocalist of the Year award for Blake Shelton. Current WMN artists include Shelton, Hunter Hayes, Ashley Monroe, Brett Eldredge, Cole Swindell, Frankie Ballard, Charlie Worsham, Jana Kramer, Kenny Rogers, Randy Travis, and more.

Esposito previously served as President and CEO of WEA Corp., where he was responsible for U.S. sales and marketing activities, distribution, and global management and distribution of WMG’s digital assets. Prior to that, he held the title of General Manager/Executive Vice President at the Island Def Jam Music Group as well as a variety of executive positions at PolyGram, Inc. and Mitsubishi Electronics America. He also served as Chief Operating Officer of music and movies at The Wiz retail chain.

In addition to his position as President of the CMA Board of Directors, Esposito is also a Board Member of the T.J. Martell Foundation, Country Radio Broadcasters (CRB), the Nashville Convention & Visitor’s Corp., and the Nashville Music Council. He also serves as Governor to the Nashville Chapter Board of The Recording Academy (NARAS) for 2015-2017.

A dedicated environmentalist, Esposito created WMG’s environmental campaign, WMGreen, for which he was awarded the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) “Forces for Nature” honor in 2006 as well as Music Biz’s (then NARM) inaugural Green Award for Environmental Responsibility. He serves on the NRDC’s Global Leadership Council as well as the advisory boards for the Air Service Coalition, created by the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, and FLO {thinkery}.


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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine,, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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