Arista Records Relaunches With David Massey As President/CEO

Pictured (L-R): Clive Davis, David Massey, Rob Stringer

Legendary record label Arista Records has relaunched, with David Massey as President/CEO. Massey, based in New York, will report directly to Sony Music Entertainment CEO Rob Stringer.

In addition, Sony Music and Massey have entered into a new joint venture for Massey-led artist management and music publishing businesses.

Clive Davis founded the Arista Records label in 1974; the label served as a recording home to artists including Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Carlos Santana, Patti Smith, the Grateful Dead, and many others. The label was shuttered in 2011, along with the Jive and J imprints. However, Arista Nashville has continued to operate, and is currently home to artists including Brad Paisley, Cam, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s duet album.

Davis said, “I am really delighted to see the Arista name return to a place of prominence under an executive with the talents of David Massey. David is a true music man who has tremendous respect for artistry, and he is the ideal choice to carry on the label’s great tradition.”

Massey was previously president/CEO of Island Records. Since 2013, he oversaw artists including Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Elton John, Bon Jovi and others. Prior to his work at Island, Massey spent six years as president of Mercury Records, working with Neon Trees, Portishead, and more. His career also includes roles as Exec. VP, A&R at Sony Music Label Group U.S., and president of imprint Daylight Records. Earlier in his career, he was at Sony Music’s Epic Records, where he spent a decade in a variety of roles, including EVP/GM, and Exec. VP, A&R.

Massey commented, “I want to thank Rob Stringer for the phenomenal opportunity to return to Sony Music in an expansive new partnership and lead the next chapter of Arista Records. Clive Davis made the Arista name synonymous with tremendous creativity and great songs, and I look forward to continuing that identity by working with the many talented people at Sony to build a new roster of hit artists. I am also excited to join forces with Sony to drive additional growth through artist management and music publishing.”

Stringer said, “We are excited to be reintroducing the iconic Arista brand as a full major label under the leadership of David Massey. David is a visionary and progressive talent developer and his recent success at breaking new artists around the world only highlights his remarkable consistency of creative success year after year. As well as releasing new music to the world, David will use his vast experience in building new publishing and artist management ventures that will enhance Sony Music’s overall music strategy.”


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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

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