2020 Billboard Power List Event
Signage is seen at the 2020 Billboard Power List Event at NeueHouse Hollywood on January 23, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
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Billboard’s Grammys 2020 Power 100 Event Pins Leadership As The Music Industry’s Most Lucrative Tool

The event was held in Los Angeles ahead of the Grammy Awards.

The start of a new decade inspired a change of plans for Billboard’s annual Power List. In previous years, the publication ranked 100 music industry professionals for their strides in the business by creating strategies that have propelled artists to the top of the charts and proved that the senior practices of the business can sometimes benefit from a fresh makeover. For 2020’s edition, the brand opted to not rank those chosen professionals but instead gathered and produced a list of honorees including Lyor Cohen (YouTube’s Global Head of Music), Roc Nation’s Jay-Z (Chairman), Desiree Perez (CEO), and Jay Brown (Vice Chairman) to Quality Control’s CEO Pierre “P” Thomas and COO Kevin “Coach K” Lee.

To a resounding applause inside the event’s NeueHouse location on a balmy Thursday evening (Jan. 23) in Los Angeles, Hannah Karp, Editorial Director of Billboard Media Group, explained the reason for the change and the company’s hope that next year will produce another list of futuristic innovators. “For one thing it’s always been hard to compare the power of executives in different sectors,” Karp said. “We also wanted to inspire a new generation of music business executives that honor leadership instead of just leverage.”

The first award of the night, which was named in honor of Jay Frank, a beloved music industry veteran who worked as senior vice president at Universal Music Group (UMG) before he passed away from cancer in 2019, was given to Mitchell Shymanskly, vice president of data and analytics at UMG, for his strides in digital music leadership.

“Jay was a visionary in our field, he saw things differently which is the true definition of an innovator,” he said. “He was looking constantly for an edge and it was a great privilege of mine to have the opportunity to work alongside him.” Shymanskly learned the mantra, “We don’t succeed alone.” That quote was echoed by Columbia Records chairman/CEO Ron Perry, who received the Breakthrough Award. He gave praise to his team for their work and success, especially after a year of witnessing Lil Nas X’s breakneck speed to pop stardom.

While future pioneers both in front and behind the mic filled the room, a living legend who helped shape some of music’s most fortified models also made a special guest appearance. The Clive Davis Visionary Award was presented to Atlantic Records’ Craig Kallman (CEO) and Julie Greenwald (COO) by the man himself, Clive Davis.

Greenwald shared the duo’s singular vision that allows Atlantic Records the ability to remain one of the music industry's pillars of success. “Build and maintain a music company that we love, we surrounded ourselves with an extraordinary team of people and then we signed artists that both Ahmet and Lyor would truly be proud of,” Greenwald said. For women in the music industry, being able to take that stage and receive these awards was a major feat for Jody Gerson, UMG’s CEO, who received the Executive of the Year award. The Executive of the Decade award was given to UMG's chairman/CEO Sir Lucian Grainge. “To me, what is most meaningful is that this is a recognition without qualifications,” she said. “I am being honored not as a female executive, but as an executive. It is my hope that this award will help pave the road for more exceptional and diverse leaders to come. We all deserve to be judged for our merits regardless of who you are or how you identify.”

Gerson also sits on the board of directors for She Is The Music (SITM), a program that promotes inclusivity in the music industry. Gerson revealed that UMG will donate $50,000 to the organization, which aims to provide resources for gender diversity in songwriting, producing, executive positions and more. In 2018, the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative conducted a study on the lack of women representation in the music sector. The research, which was published in 2018, concluded that for the year of 2017 out of 651 producers only two percent were women while men dominated at 98 percent. In the songwriting world, out of 2,767 credited songwriters, 12.3 percent were women while 87.7 percent were men.

Now, with new sights and plans set to change the makeup of the industry, Gerson reiterated that there's no better time than the present to implement new practices. “The moment of change is here.”

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Pop Smoke: 5 Suspects Arrested In Connection With Rapper’s Murder

Five people have been arrested in connection with the murder of Pop Smoke, the Los Angeles Police Department's  Robbery-Homicide Division revealed on Friday (July 10). According to an LAPD news release, the suspects include two teenagers and three adults, the latter of whom were identified as Corey Walker, 19, Jaquan Murphy, 21, and Keandre D. Rodgers, 18.

The LAPD claims that the suspects are gang members who were involved in Jackson’s murder in February, and in the murder of an 18-year-old victim who was gunned down last year in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

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Pop Smoke, whose birth name was Bashar Jackson, was gunned down at a temporary rental home in the Hollywood Hills while visiting Los Angeles. The 20-year-old Brooklyn native was the victim of an armed robbery, per the LAPD.

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Jada Pinkett Smith Confirms Past Relationship With August Alsina

As promised, Jada Pinkett Smith brought herself to the infamous red table but she wasn’t alone. Will Smith joined his wife to address August Alsina’s claims in a special mini-episode of Red Table Talk that premiered on Friday (July 10).

Jada confirmed that she was once in a relationship with the 27-year-old singer while “separated” from Will. According to Jada, things with Alsina started out as a platonic friendship before turning into something more.

“As time went on, I got into a different kind of entanglement with August,” she admitted.

The actress went on to clarify that Will never August “permission” to date her. “The only person that can give permission in that particular circumstance is myself,” she said. “I could see how he would perceive it as ‘permission' because we were separated amicably and I think he also wanted to make it clear that he’s not a home wrecker — which he’s not.

“I was in a lot of pain. I was broken. I definitely realized that you can’t find happiness outside of yourself, and luckily enough, you and I were going through a process of healing in a much different manner,” Jada told Will. “I would definitely say we did everything we could to get away from each other only to realize that that wasn’t possible.”

Later in the talk, Will asked Jada what she was looking for in August. “I just wanted to feel good,” she said. “And it was really a joy just to heal somebody.”

The couple, who have been together for 25 years, also revealed their relationship mantra: “We ride together. We die together. Bad marriage for life.”

Watch the full episode below.

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Kid Cudi Announces Eminem Collaboration, "The Adventures Of Moon Man And Slim Shady”

Kid Cudi and Eminem are releasing a new single, "The Adventures of Moon Man and Slim Shady,” scheduled to drop this Friday (July 10).

Cudster’s daughter, Vada, announced the news in an adorable video posted to his Twitter account on Wednesday (July 8).

And now a word from Princess Vada the chosen... pic.twitter.com/xmgIMkUntz

— The Chosen One (@KidCudi) July 8, 2020

Besides working with Eminem, Cudi collaborated with Kanye West on an upcoming Kids See Ghost animated series. Additionally, the Ohio native is gearing up to debut an animated Netflix series, Entergalactic, based off his upcoming concept album of the same name. Cudi will executive produce the series along with Kenya Barris.

The 36-year-old rapper and actor will also appear in the HBO mini-series, We Are Who We Are. The coming-of-age story centers around two teenagers living on an American military base in Italy.

Watch the trailer below.

 

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