Rob Stringer, the UK-born and -raised chairman of Sony Music Group, has been honored by the Queen of England with a CBE ranking (for Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for his service to the music industry and philanthropic endeavors.
The Queen hands out the honor annually on New Year’s Day. It is among the highest titles bestowed on a British citizen. A CBE follows the OBE (for Officer of the Order of the British Empire) and MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire). Stringer joins fellow CBE recipient Bernie Taupin, songwriter and longtime Elton John collaborator.
Melanie Brown, of Spice Girls fame, was awarded an MBE. And actor Daniel Craig receives a CMG (Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George), which James Bond, the fictional character Craig has played since 2006, also carries in the film series.
Previous music luminaries to have received honors from the Queen include Beatle Paul McCartney, Elton John and Lucian Grainge, chairman of Universal Music Group, all of whom were knighted or carry the Sir title.
As head of Sony Music’s global business, Stringer oversees Sony Music Publishing, whose roster includes Ed Sheeran, Olivia Rodrigo and the work of Marvin Gaye, among countless copyrights, and Sony Music, parent company to labels Columbia, Epic, RCA, Sony Music Latin and distributor The Orchard, among other imprints and ancillary business. Sony currently ranks as the second-largest recorded music company in the world.
Among Stringer’s most recent accomplishments since taking over the top position in 2016, he launched an initiative called Artists Forward this year, which waives un-recouped debts for artists who signed with the company before 2000. Jon Platt, chairman of Sony Music Publishing, joined the effort on behalf of songwriters signed to the company, allowing eligible songwriters who had not recouped their advances and/or other expenses to now receive royalties that previously had gone toward paying down those expenses. The program also boasts health and wellness support for creators.
In 2020, in the wake of calls of social justice and policing reforms following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, Stringer personally saw to the launch of a $100 million Social Justice Fund, supported by Sony Corp., to aid in anti-racist initiatives globally.
Stringer grew up in Aylesbury, about an hour northwest of London, and graduated from Goldsmiths College, University of London, in 1984. He was awarded an honorary fellowship from the school in 2010.
Coming up for Stringer: he will be honored at Clive Davis’ and the Recording Academy’s Pre-Grammy Gala, which is scheduled to return to the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, the evening preceding the 64th annual Grammy Awards. There, he’ll receive the 2022 Grammy Salute to Industry Icons award.