The Music Business Association announced that Tower Records Founder Russ Solomon, who died on on March 4, will be inducted into the inaugural Music Business Hall of Fame at the organization’s Music Biz conference in Nashville.
The Hall of Fame ceremony will launch at a luncheon on May 17 at the Omni Nashville Hotel. Actor and director Colin Hanks, who helmed the 2015 Tower Records documentary “All Things Must Pass,” will pay tribute to Solomon. The film will also be screened at the 2018 Nashville Film Festival, with Hanks in attendance.
“Russ was indeed one of a kind, and I’m incredibly grateful that I was not only able to help tell his story with All Things Must Pass, I also learned a great deal from him,” said Hanks. “But far more importantly I got to know Russ and am lucky to have been able to call him a friend. Much like the members of the Tower Records family, I will miss Russ dearly but take comfort in seeing his legacy live on and am honored to induct him into the Music Business Hall of Fame.”
Added James Donio, President of Music Biz: “As we celebrate our 60th Anniversary, the timing was perfect to introduce the Music Business Hall of Fame, which will give us the opportunity to highlight those who have had a tremendous and lasting impact on the business, while providing an example to the next generation who will carry it forward. I had spoken with Russ to tell him he would be the first inductee, and he was humbled and excited to have been selected and planned to be in Nashville for the ceremony. While we were shocked and saddened to learn of his sudden passing, we feel this will be such a fitting tribute to a man who revolutionized music retail with Tower Records. We can think of no one better than Russ to be the first, and for all future Hall of Fame inductees to follow.”
The 2018 edition of the Music Biz Conference will also honor Cary Sherman, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) with the Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement; Scooter Braun, manager of Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Kanye West, will receive the Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award and participate in a keynote interview conducted by strategist and women’s rights advocate Hilary Rosen. Ed Sheeran will be named the Artist of the Year; And Nile Rodgers will receive the Chairman’s Award for Sustained Creative Achievement to Nile Rodgers.
Also appearing at the conference are singer and hit songwriter Julia Michaels, Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube/Google, and Wendy Goldstein, EVP of A&R at Republic Records.
Some 2,000 attendees are expected at the May 14 to 17 conference.