BMG, a leading music rights company, has announced the appointment of Richard Blackstone as its Chief Creative Officer, BMG US. Blackstone will report directly to Hartwig Masuch CEO of BMG and will be based in the company's US headquarters in New York City. In this newly created role Blackstone will oversee the rosters of the recently acquired companies as well as direct the efforts to attract and sign new talent to continue to build on the extraordinary growth over the past year.
BMG covers the entire range of music rights administration and places the needs of songwriters and artists at the core of its business model. Since its founding in late 2008, it has completed a number of major acquisitions including Crosstown Songs America, Cherry Lane Music Publishing Inc, Stage Three Music and Evergreen Copyrights as well as signed a number of prominent artists and songwriters.
"Richard brings many years of experience in music publishing to BMG," Masuch said. "Knowing him and his impressive skill set for more than 15 years already, I always respected both his creativity and his integrity. He is the perfect addition to our team to help continue to grow and expand our company as we make further inroads into the US marketplace."
Blackstone has been a highly respected executive in the entertainment industry for nearly 20 years. In 2005 Blackstone was appointed to the position of Chairman and CEO of Warner/Chappell Music becoming responsible for all aspects of Warner Music Group's worldwide music-publishing division operating in over 35 countries. His leadership at WCM led to the company's first Urban Music Publisher of the Year award, along with numerous awards around the world, including the coveted Publisher of The Year Award.
In 2007 he broke from WMG and transitioned to new media particularly content driven social entertainment platforms while simultaneously working with the Zac Brown Band and specifically advancing the songwriting career of Wyatt Durette, Zac's main co-writer. This signing marks only one of a long string of successful career signings for Blackstone, having helped launch the musical careers of artists like Linkin Park, Macy Gray, Britney Spears, and many others.
Prior to joining WMG, Blackstone was President of Zomba Music Publishing. Originally a transactional attorney, Blackstone joined Zomba in 1989 as Director of Business Affairs. Recognizing his talents in both business and the arts, he was later promoted to the dual role of Head of Creative and Head of Business Affairs, a position that included oversight of Zomba's Country Music division located in Nashville. Having spent most of his career at Zomba, Blackstone helped grow the business from a handful of staff to what would become the largest independent music group of it's time. He ran one of the two primary businesses that comprised those assets, which eventually sold to BMG in 2002. Once BMG acquired Zomba Publishing, Blackstone was made President and was given the additional responsibility of overseeing Brentwood Benson Music Publishing, the leading contemporary Christian music publisher.
"This is a perfect time to be building something special, an alternative offering, for the owners and creators of music," said Blackstone. "I am thrilled to be joining Hartwig and Laurent in these early stages of the company's evolution."