Former Sony/ATV Nashville prexy Hilley dies

One-time CEO was prominent female exec in country music

Donna Hilley, the former Sony/ATV Nashville president and CEO and a prominent female executive in country music, died on Wednesday from an extended illness, the company announced.

Hilley, from Birmingham, Ala., began her career at Nashville’s WKDA radio station. She later joined Tree Intl., a top country music publishing company, which was bought by Sony in 1989.

She became president and CEO in 1994 and was instrumental in negotiating the acquisitions of Acuff-Rose, Little Big Town, and the catalogs of Conway Twitty, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.

Troy Tomlinson, current president and CEO of Sony/ATV Nashville, said she was a trailblazer for female executives in the music business, a staunch advocate for artists and songwriters and a genuine competitor.

More Scene

  • LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 22:

    SZA Holds Nothing Back in Second Show Since Vocal Injury Scare

    Donna Hilley, the former Sony/ATV Nashville president and CEO and a prominent female executive in country music, died on Wednesday from an extended illness, the company announced. Hilley, from Birmingham, Ala., began her career at Nashville’s WKDA radio station. She later joined Tree Intl., a top country music publishing company, which was bought by Sony […]

  • 'SORRY TO BOTHER YOU'

    Why 'Sorry to Bother You' Director Boots Riley Thinks His Satirical Comedy Is 'Realistic'

    Donna Hilley, the former Sony/ATV Nashville president and CEO and a prominent female executive in country music, died on Wednesday from an extended illness, the company announced. Hilley, from Birmingham, Ala., began her career at Nashville’s WKDA radio station. She later joined Tree Intl., a top country music publishing company, which was bought by Sony […]

  • Tesse Restaurant Opens on L.A.'s Sunset

    Tesse Restaurant Takes on the Challenge of Making the Sunset Strip Hip Again

    Donna Hilley, the former Sony/ATV Nashville president and CEO and a prominent female executive in country music, died on Wednesday from an extended illness, the company announced. Hilley, from Birmingham, Ala., began her career at Nashville’s WKDA radio station. She later joined Tree Intl., a top country music publishing company, which was bought by Sony […]

  • Tiffany Haddish

    MTV Movie and TV Awards: The 10 Standout Moments

    Donna Hilley, the former Sony/ATV Nashville president and CEO and a prominent female executive in country music, died on Wednesday from an extended illness, the company announced. Hilley, from Birmingham, Ala., began her career at Nashville’s WKDA radio station. She later joined Tree Intl., a top country music publishing company, which was bought by Sony […]

  • Michael B. Jordan

    'Black Panther,' 'Stranger Things' Reign at 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards (Full List)

    Donna Hilley, the former Sony/ATV Nashville president and CEO and a prominent female executive in country music, died on Wednesday from an extended illness, the company announced. Hilley, from Birmingham, Ala., began her career at Nashville’s WKDA radio station. She later joined Tree Intl., a top country music publishing company, which was bought by Sony […]

  • Brandon Flynn, Timothy Granaderos, Alisha Boe,

    Alisha Boe Says Brock Turner Case Was Her 'Bible' for '13 Reasons Why' Season 2

    Donna Hilley, the former Sony/ATV Nashville president and CEO and a prominent female executive in country music, died on Wednesday from an extended illness, the company announced. Hilley, from Birmingham, Ala., began her career at Nashville’s WKDA radio station. She later joined Tree Intl., a top country music publishing company, which was bought by Sony […]

  • Yara ShahidiMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    Yara Shahidi, Noah Schnapp, More Talk the Dangers of Social Media at MTV Awards

    Donna Hilley, the former Sony/ATV Nashville president and CEO and a prominent female executive in country music, died on Wednesday from an extended illness, the company announced. Hilley, from Birmingham, Ala., began her career at Nashville’s WKDA radio station. She later joined Tree Intl., a top country music publishing company, which was bought by Sony […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content