CMA Honors Bill Denny, Welcomes SoundExchange’s Michael Huppe

 Pictured (L-R): Lon Helton, CMA Board member; Bill Denny; Sally Williams, General Manager, Ryman Auditorium and CMA Board President; and John Esposito, President/CEO, Warner Music Nashville and CMA Board Chairman. Photo: Kayla Schoen / CMA

Pictured (L-R): Lon Helton, CMA Board member; Denny; Sally Williams, General Manager, Ryman Auditorium and CMA Board President; and John Esposito, President/CEO, Warner Music Nashville and CMA Board Chairman. Photo: Kayla Schoen / CMA

The Country Music Association honored board member Bill Denny as the namesake and inaugural recipient of its J. William Denny Award on Tuesday (Aug. 16) during its quarterly CMA Board of Directors meeting in Nashville. The award is presented in recognition and appreciation of a lifetime of dedication, distinguished service, and meritorious contributions to the CMA Board of Directors. The honor can only be presented once a year and may honor a person living or deceased.

“It’s been a pleasure to watch the Country Music Association grow to international prominence while keeping focused on its primary function of promoting Country Music,” said Denny. “The music created by Nashville’s talented songwriters and musicians has brought global attention to ‘Music City’ and the CMA Board has always been a reservoir of bright, highly skilled and creative business people willing to spend their volunteer time to help the industry expand. I’m delighted to have this award named in my honor and I appreciate it very much.”

Denny joined the Board in 1961. He served as President in 1966 and Chairman in 1975 and has served on numerous committees. During his outstanding tenure, Denny contributed to the unprecedented growth of the organization, impacting the success of CMA’s many initiatives in the U.S. and abroad. He was named a lifetime Director in 1976.

Denny retired as President of Nashville Gas in 1998. He served on the Board of the parent company, Tennessee Natural Gas Lines, Inc., from 1978 until it was acquired by Piedmont Natural Gas, Inc. in 1985, at which time he became Corporate Vice President for Tennessee for Piedmont Natural Gas, and remained Division President of Nashville Gas. Prior to that, he was President and Chairman of Cedarwood Music Publishing Co., Inc. from 1962 until 1983, and owner of Hatch Show Print. He is currently the owner of Denny Properties, a real estate investment firm.

All future recommendations for recipients of this honor should be submitted to the CMA Awards and Industry Relations department. All submissions will be evaluated by the Awards and Recognition Committee and then presented to the Board of Directors for discussion and/or approval.

Pictured (L-R): CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern and former CMA Executive Director Jo Walker-Meador congratulate Board member Bill Denny as the recipient of the inaugural J. William Denny Award. Denny began serving on the CMA Board during Walker-Meader's tenure. Photo: Kayla Schoen / CMA

Pictured (L-R): CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern and former CMA Executive Director Jo Walker-Meador congratulate Board member Bill Denny as the recipient of the inaugural J. William Denny Award. Denny began serving on the CMA Board during Walker-Meader’s tenure. Photo: Kayla Schoen / CMA

Additionally, SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe addressed the CMA Board of Directors at their quarterly meeting in Nashville on Tuesday (Aug. 16). During his keynote, Huppe addressed the ecosystem of the global music business and the need for industry-wide technology standards that enable efficient and accurate distribution of royalties.

SoundExchange has distributed more than $3.5 billion in performance royalties to U.S. artists and rights holders since its inception.

SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe addresses the CMA Board of Directors during their quarterly meeting Tuesday at the Omni Hotel in Nashville. Photo: Kayla Schoen / CMA

SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe addresses the CMA Board of Directors during their quarterly meeting Tuesday at the Omni Hotel in Nashville. Photo: Kayla Schoen / CMA

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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