Nashville vet Hinton ankles label

Lewis to head diskery

NEW YORK — After more than four decades in the business, country-music veteran Bruce Hinton has decided to leave his post as chairman of Universal Music Group imprint MCA Nashville — capping his 19-year tenure at the venerable country imprint.

He will be replaced by Nashville veteran Luke Lewis, who also oversees UMG’s Mercury Nashville and Lost Highway labels. Exec has earned wide praise over the past year as one of the architects of the quintuple-platinum “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack. He also helped launch the career of multiplatinum songstress Shania Twain.

Hinton didn’t give a specific reason for the departure, noting only that he was looking forward to spending more time with family.

“I am leaving the label in good hands,” said Hinton, who will receive the honorary title of chairman emeritus at MCA Nashville.

Hinton’s own pedigree is formidable: His tenure at MCA Nashville saw the rise of such artists as Vince Gill, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood and Lee Ann Womack. The label also boasts the No. 1 selling female country artist of all time, Reba McEntire.

Exec cut his teeth in the record business at Warner Bros., starting in 1960 and working his way up to head of national promotion at Warner/Reprise. He shifted to Columbia Records in 1965, then helped found the first ever independent promotion company a few years later.

Hinton started at MCA Nashville in 1983 as senior VP and general manager, moving up to president in 1989. He was tapped for the chairman’s post in 1993.

He’s also been active in philanthropy and sits on several boards, including the City of Hope Executive Board as well as those of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and the Country Music Foundation.

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