Capitol Christian Music Group has promoted Monica Coates and EJ Gaines each to the position of Co-Executive Director of Motown Gospel, it was announced today by CCMG Chairman & CEO Peter York. Coates has also been promoted to Vice President of A&R/Creative of Motown Gospel, with expanded responsibilities including overseeing the growth and development of the company’s Gospel publishing assets, and Gaines has been elevated to Vice President of Marketing at CCMG, bringing his expertise to a broader artist roster. Coates reports to CCMG’s Chief Creative Officer Brad O’Donnell and Gaines to CCMG’s Chief Marketing Officer Hudson Plachy, and both executives continue to be based at the company’s headquarters in Nashville.
The promotions of Coates and Gaines align with a succession plan York had developed last year with CCMG’s prior Chairman & CEO William Ray “Bill” Hearn. Hearn passed away in December after a long and courageous battle with cancer. CCMG President of Motown Gospel Ken Pennell has also announced he will retire from the company, effective April 1 after 20 years at the company developing countless Gospel stars including Smokie Norful, Kierra Sheard and Tasha Cobbs Leonard.
“Monica and EJ have both contributed so much to the success of Motown Gospel, and these promotions reflect both the outstanding jobs they do and the expansion of their responsibilities within CCMG,” said CCMG Chairman & CEO Peter York. “Ken and I have worked closely together for two decades and I can’t thank him enough for his friendship and contributions to Gospel Music and our company. He will truly be missed, and everyone at CCMG wishes him nothing but the best in his retirement.”
Prior to assuming their new roles, Coates and Gaines were Motown Gospel’s Vice President of A&R and Vice President of Marketing respectively, with the two working closely together to build upon the company’s artist signing and development strategies. Both executives joined the company in 2016, with Coates directing A&R, Creative and Promotion functions, and Gaines overseeing Commercial Partnerships, Publicity and Events, Digital Marketing and Content Creation/Monetization, Sync and Business Affairs.
Coates is a 25-year veteran of the Gospel Music industry, with experience in artist management, promotion, publicity and A&R. Prior to joining Motown, she was Director of Operations at Kirk Franklin’s Fo Yo Soul Recordings (affiliated with RCA Records), where she oversaw management of the label and campaigns for artists including Franklin, The Walls Group, and Tasha Page-Lockhart. She began her career at Fred Hammond’s production house, Face To Face, where she also served as his personal manager. She also spent five years at Verity Records (now RCA Inspiration) as Senior Director of A&R working with best-selling artists Donnie McClurkin and Hezekiah Walker among many others. Coates’ first book, The Beginner’s Guide To The Gospel Music Industry, was published in 2009.
Prior to accepting his Motown Gospel role, EJ Gaines was an entertainment attorney and artist manager, helping guide the careers of numerous artists, including Mary Mary, Natalie Grant, Donald Lawrence, William McDowell, and Jonathan McReynolds. He began his career at Jive Records and Verity Records, before becoming an executive assistant to artist Donnie McClurkin. Gaines graduated from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an associate at Carter, Ledyard & Milburn LLP, later launching the entertainment division at Waterford Law Group, PLLC in 2013.
Motown Gospel is the label home to artists Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Tye Tribbett, Brian Courtney Wilson and many others.
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