×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Barnett new chairman of Capitol Music Group

Exec was former chief operating officer at Columbia Records

Kicking off a new era for EMI’s labels at Universal Music Group, Steve Barnett has been named chairman-CEO of UMG’s Capitol Music Group.

The appointment, which had been rumored, was made by UMG chairman-CEO Lucian Grainge, to whom Barnett will report.

Barnett, who will be based at the Capitol Tower in L.A., was previously co-chairman-COO at Columbia Records.

He will now take management responsibility for the EMI properties acquired by UMG for $1.9 billion in September: Capitol Records, Virgin Records, Blue Note, Astralwerks, Harvest, Capitol Christian Music Group, Caroline and Capitol Studios.

Unlike the 1999 merger of Polygram and UMG, which ultimately melded those two companies’ music holdings, UMG is opting to maintain the EMI labels as a stand-alone unit under Barnett.

Grainge said in a statement: “As we begin to invest in and revitalize EMI globally, the Capitol Music Group, including Virgin, will play a central role in our creative and commercial initiatives. And there is no one better to spearhead this than Steve. His entrepreneurial approach and intuitive ability to build, strengthen and transform artists into powerful global brands has resulted in remarkable success.”

Barnett segues to UMG from Sony Music Entertainment, where he spent 16 years in a variety of senior management roles. At Columbia, he had reported to Doug Morris, who was supplanted as UMG chairman-CEO by Grainge in 2011.

Columbia had witnessed recent success with such acts as Adele, One Direction and Foster the People.

Barnett said: “It was not an easy decision to leave such a successful company as Columbia, with its incredibly talented artists and the team of people who work so hard on their behalf. However, I know that the label is in great hands and I wish them all the best in the future as I move on to my new company home.”

Barnett joined Sony’s Epic imprint in 1996 as senior VP of international and rose to senior VP of worldwide marketing in 1997. After serving as exec VP-general manager, he was named president of Epic in 2004. The following year, he was appointed chairman-COO at Columbia. For four years, he co-chaired the label with producer Rick Rubin, who ankled the company in 2011.

More Music

  • Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike

    Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Take No. 1 Spot on Top 100 DJs Poll

    The duo of Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike top DJ Mag’s 2019 Top 100 DJs poll, returning to the list since taking the No. 1 spot in 2015 and dethroning Martin Garrix after three years of dominance. The results of the Top 100 DJs were arrived at from 1.3 million votes cast in 179 countries. [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen arrives for the New

    Bruce Springsteen Returns to NJ Hometown for Surprise 'Western Stars' Introduction

    Bruce Springsteen returned to his hometown of Freehold, New Jersey to offer a surprise introduction to the first public multiplex viewing of his concert/documentary film, “Western Stars.” Dressed simply in a brown jacket, Springsteen took a moment to say a few words at the AMC Freehold 14 movie theater on Saturday night. “We knew we [...]

  • Marc Byers

    Execs from Motown, Live Nation, Recording Academy Set to Speak at Culture Creators' Inaugural C2 Summit

    Culture Creators, the organization which recognizes minorities in film, television, music and fashion, is holding its first-ever C2 Summit on Oct. 21 in Washington D.C. Its mission: to engage, mentor, and provide recruitment opportunities to students of color attending historically black colleges and universities. Students were selected from an application process and will participate in [...]

  • Rami Dawod SESAC

    SESAC Toasts Rami Dawod as Pop Songwriter of the Year

    Camila Cabello’s “Never Be The Same” and “Electricity” by Mark Ronson and Silk City featuring Dua Lipa are just a few of the co-writing credits celebrated during an October 16 dinner at Nobu Malibu hosted by SESAC in honor of Rami Dawod. Named Pop Songwriter of the Year by the performance rights organization, Dawod is [...]

  • Luis Fonsi Erika Ender Latin Grammys

    The Second Latin Explosion: How 'Despacito' Ushered in a New Generation of Stars

    Music is an ever-evolving art, and for the Latin Recording Academy, that’s meant riding multiple waves of attention. The most recent arrived with the stratospheric success of “Despacito,” which kicked off a second Latin Explosion with full force in 2017. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit, later featuring verses by Justin Bieber, made Latin [...]

  • Ricky Martin Celia Cruz Gloria Estefan

    From Idea to Legacy: Latin Grammy Awards Mark 20 Years of Global Recognition

    The idea of creating a separate organization to honor the diversity of Latin music was a discussion that took place for years before it actually happened, but an event driven by one of pop music’s most important crossover artists solidified it. During the 41st Grammy Awards ceremony, a young Ricky Martin was scheduled to perform [...]

  • Taron Egerton Elton John Rocketman Live

    Elton John and Taron Egerton Duet at 'Rocketman' Awards Season Event at the Greek Theatre

    “Rocketman” has officially launched into awards season. Paramount hosted a screening of the film with a live-performance of the score by the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and a headlining performance by Elton John and the film’s star Taron Egerton. John and Egerton — who is in contention for best actor for his portrayal of the singer [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content