Just one week after getting a big promotion within the Sony Music ranks, Sylvia Rhone has been tapped for a different kind of salute, with the announcement that she’ll be the honoree at this year’s City of Hope gala.
The Spirit of Life Award that Rhone will pick up this fall went to retiring Warner/Chappell veteran Jon Platt last October. The annual dinner has previously counted Quincy Jones, Clive Davis, Coran Capshaw, Irving and Shelli Azoff, Sir Lucian Grainge, Rob Light, Mo Ostin and Doug Morris among its honorees.
Rhone had been president of Epic Records since 2014 before her elevation last week to the position of chairman/CEO at the label last week.
“City of Hope is proud to honor Sylvia Rhone for her passion, her ability to inspire others, and her collaborative and inclusive leadership,” said Robert Stone, president/CEO of the cancer research and treatment center, in a statement. “A visionary leader of extraordinary character, she has blazed a trail across the music industry, and we are excited to recognize her outstanding work with our most prestigious philanthropic award.”
In the 1990s, Rhone became the first African American woman to serve as chairman of a record company, holding that title at Elektra for a decade before she moved on to positions at Universal Records and Universal Motown. She began her career at Buddah Records in 1974.
On April 5, Rhone received an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music, in recognition of a career that still has her as the only female music executive to reach the status of label head multiple times.
Rhone said that she was “proud to be included in such a distinguished group of past honorees. … City of Hope’s extraordinary commitment and unparalleled approach to cancer and diabetes research and discovery of life-changing medical breakthroughs has impacted so many lives. I’m humbled to become part of such a heartfelt, inspiring mission and personally gratified to support its groundbreaking vision.”