Jody Gerson (Songwriters Hall of Fame)
Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) chairman/CEO Jody Gerson will be the recipient of the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s Abe Olman Publisher Award at the 51st Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) Induction and Awards Dinner, scheduled for June 11 at New York’s Marriott Marquis Hotel.
The award, which is named for one of the SHOF founders, is given to a music publisher responsible for a substantial number of songs that have become world-renowned, who has also furthered the careers and successes of numerous songwriters. Past honorees have included Caroline Bienstock, Milt Okun, Martin Bandier, Irwin Robinson, Freddy Bienstock, Lance Freed, Ralph Peer and Beebe Bourne.
“Jody Gerson is one of the most innovative and creative music publishers in contemporary music publishing today,” stated SHOF president/CEO Linda Moran. “She combines a strong A&R and creative progressive path with tremendous business savvy. Add in her strong alliances with, and her mentoring and nurturing of, songwriters and artists of all genres whether they be new to the business or high-profile names, as well as her continuing to break through barriers, there is no doubt that Jody will be a dominant force in our business for as long as she wants.”
With over three decades of experience, Gerson is one of the music business’s most respected and accomplished executives, and a preeminent creative authority. She is the first female chairman of a global music company, and the first woman to be named CEO of a major music publisher.
Since joining UMPG in 2015, Gerson has had a hand, via signings and contract extensions, of songwriters including the Bee Gees, Elton John, Carly Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Rosalia, Alicia Keys, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Jack White, SZA, Post Malone, Quavo, Ariana Grande, H.E.R., Harry Styles and Maren Morris.
She cofounded and serves on the Board of Directors for She Is The Music, a nonprofit organization championing equality and inclusion for women. She also serves on boards for the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, MusiCares, the National Music Publishers Association and The Archer School for Girls.
Gerson was named Billboard’s “Executive of the Year,” thereby becoming the first music publishing executive--and first woman--to receive this honor. She has been cited among the magazine’s “Power 100” list for several consecutive years, and was included in Rolling Stone’s “Future 25” and Variety’s “Power of Women L.A.” listings. She was named the 2016 March of Dimes "Inspiring Woman of the Year" for her accomplishments as a leader in the entertainment industry and as a dedicated mother.
Prior to joining Universal Music, Gerson served as co-president of Sony/ATV Music Publishing. She also worked in senior management at EMI Music Publishing, and was a producer of the successful films Drumline and ATL--and was executive producer for VH1's Drumline 2.
Previously announced, the 2020 SHOF inductees are Mariah Carey, the Eurhythmics’ team of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, the Isley Brothers (Ernie Isley, Marvin Isley, O’Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley and Chris Jasper), Steve Miller, The Neptunes’ team of Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams, Rick Nowels, and William “Mickey” Stevenson. Legendary songwriter Paul Williams will receive the SongHall’s prestigious Johnny Mercer Award.
Established in 1969, the Songwriters Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the work and lives of those composers and lyricists who create music around the world. To qualify for induction, a songwriter must be a published writer for a minimum of 20 years with a notable catalog of hit songs.