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The Movers and Shakers That Put the Rhythm in R&B

Here Are the Record Labels, Executives
GreEnwald: Matt Furman; rosenbeg: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; edge: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; platt: Rob Latour/Shutterstock

Following are the top music industry companies and executives that are part of the R&B resurgence:

Atlantic Records

Atlantic Records played a huge role in bringing the original rhythm and blues to the mainstream in the 1950s and ’60s, and it’s carried that tradition into the present thanks to the power trio of co-chairs Craig Kallman and Julie Greenwald, who have run the label since 2004, and head of black music Michael Kyser, who joined that same year. 

Artists: Cardi B, Bruno Mars, Janelle Monáe, Missy Elliott

Columbia Records

While the new heads of urban music, Shawn Holiday and Phylicia Fant, have barely been with the company for a month, they inherit a formidable roster and bring decades of experience: Holiday is a Sony vet who worked extensively with Solange, T.I. and the TV show “Empire”; Fant came from Warner Bros. (Prince, Andra Day, Jason Derulo, Drake’s OVO Sound label). 

Artists: Beyoncé, Leon Bridges, The Internet, John Legend, Raphael Saadiq, Solange 

Def Jam Records

While it’s perhaps the most iconic hip-hop record label in history — and last year brought in Eminem manager Paul Rosenberg as CEO  — Def Jam’s R&B offerings are potent, largely thanks to A&R senior VPs Bruce Carbone, Tuo Clark and Noah Preston. 

Artists: Jhené Aiko, Toni Braxton, Jeremih, Teyana Taylor 

RCA Records

Over Peter Edge’s eight-year tenure as CEO, RCA has become a powerhouse of both black music and urban executives, with a staff that includes urban music president Mark Pitts and executive VP of A&R Tunji Balogun. And its R&B roster is second to none. 

Artists: D’Angelo, Childish Gambino, H.E.R., Alicia Keys, Khalid, Miguel, SZA, Justin Timberlake, Usher

Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Jon Platt has held top posts at two of the world’s biggest publishing companies, and in April he’ll take the helm of the biggest: Sony/ATV. Last month, Shawn Holiday, who is co-head of urban music at Columbia Records, was also named head of urban at Sony/ATV, bolstering an already formidable team.

Songwriters: Drake, Marvin Gaye, Alicia Keys, Khalid, Kanye West, Stevie Wonder