Caitlyn Smith & Team Celebrate International Women’s Day With Panel At RIAA
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Creative Right Caucus, National Music Publishers Association and Recording Academy hosted a special conversation with Caitlyn Smith and her all-female team in celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8).
Monument Records GM and Smith’s Manager Katie McCartney, VP A&R Universal Music Publishing Nashville Missy Roberts and producer/engineer Gena Johnson rounded out the panel alongside moderator USA Today National Music Writer Melissa Ruggieri for an open discussion about women in the music business. The overall theme of the night showcased what a woman’s unique perspective offers to the wider industry.
RIAA Chief Policy Officer Morna Willens welcomed the audience with excitement and acknowledgment that women have made a lot of progress in the music business – but not nearly enough. She shared a few insights from a recent USC Annenberg study reflecting the slow movement toward equality before introducing video remarks from Creative Rights Caucus Co-Chair, Congresswoman Judy Chu.
“Hearing from these amazing women in the industry on International Women’s Day is so important because they are showing countless girls that they too can succeed in this business. We know that when women see other women in these positions, and especially when they receive mentorship and guidance, they are much more likely to succeed. In fact, over 90 percent of women in the music industry who had been mentored felt that their careers benefited as a result, and women with mentors earn more money and are more satisfied with their career growth. I look forward to continuing our work together to make the music industry even stronger and more inclusive,” stated Chu.
“In the last few years, I’ve shifted to this team of women and it gave me a space to be more vulnerable, to be more comfortable. And it pushed me into a spaces like production, things I’ve never done, all because of this magical group of women,” said Smith.
“I have had some incredible mentors – Faith Hill, Sheryl Crow, Karen Fairchild and Lori McKenna – that have sat down with me and talked about being a mom and an artist, all of the challenges in balancing important aspects of your life,” she added. “So being able to sit with a hero, in whatever field you’re in, and have them say ‘you can do this,’ it for sure helped me keep going in times that I didn’t know I could. To have these pillars in my life, I mean that’s just the best damn thing.”
Smith wrapped the event with an acoustic performance featuring her Miley Cyrus cut “High” along with “Lately” and “The Great Pretender” from her self-produced third album High & Low. Reflecting on the symbolic night, she finished the set with a stirring cover of Carole King‘s “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman.”
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