Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube/Google and founder of music content company 300, will keynote a featured presentation on Wednesday afternoon, May 16 during the Music Business Association’s Music Biz 2018 conference at the Omni Nashville Hotel. Cohen will discuss his career journey, his current role at YouTube/Google, and his thoughts on the future of the music business.
“Lyor’s tremendous impact on the music industry cannot be understated, from nurturing the rise of Hip-Hop at Def Jam Recordings, to pioneering the 360 deal at Warner Music Group, to merging music with tech to launch the careers of a new generation of artists at 300, to his current role at YouTube and Google,” said James Donio, President of Music Biz. “He has always had his finger on the pulse of what’s next, and we can’t wait to hear what he has to say during his Music Biz 2018 keynote.”
Cohen began his career at Rush Management in 1984, where he managed seminal hip-hop acts such as Run-D.M.C., DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, EPMD, the Beastie Boys, Eric B and Rakim, Public Enemy, Whodini, LL Cool J, and Kurtis Blow, while simultaneously serving as President of Def Jam Recordings. After selling Def Jam to Universal Music Group (UMG) in 1999, Cohen successfully merged Mercury, Island, and Def Jam Recordings to create the Island-Def Jam Music Group, expanding his work beyond Def Jam’s hip-hop roots. Cohen was then recruited by the Warner Music Group (WMG) as Chief Creative Officer in 2004, where he merged Atlantic and Elektra Records to create the Atlantic Music Group and expertly positioning WMG for growth. There, he was intimately involved in the careers of The Killers, fun., Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, The Black Keys, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Elvis Costello, Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, Ryan Adams, and Nickelback, among others.
Cohen went on to become CEO and President of Recorded Music at WMG, and is widely considered to be the father of the 360 deal. In 2013, he founded 300, a music content company that leverages innovative technology to discover, cultivate and promote rising artists with a boutique focus. There, he championed a new generation of culturally impactful artists like Young Thug, Fetty Wap, Highly Suspect, Migos, and others. He currently serves as Global Head of Music at YouTube/Google.
Music Biz 2018 will also feature the presentation of the Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement to Cary Sherman, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA); the Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award to Scooter Braun, founder of SB Projects; the Independent Spirit Award to the Radakovitz Family, owners of record store chain Dimple Records; and a Breakthrough Artist Award to Republic Records singer/songwriter Julia Michaels, with a host of other awards to be announced.
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