Sony Music Entertainment recently announced the promotion of Sylvia Rhone to Chairman and CEO of Epic Records. In this role, Rhone will report to Rob Stringer, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment. She will lead the overall creative direction and management of Epic Records, overseeing a roster of chart-topping artists including Camila Cabello, Travis Scott, Future, 21 Savage, Meghan Trainor, DJ Khaled, and French Montana.
In making the announcement, Stringer said, “Sylvia is a trailblazing and iconic executive who has played a critical leadership role in driving Epic’s recent artist development success. Her wealth of experience and passionate support of artistic vision will help us further grow the reach of Epic’s roster around the world.”
“I am excited to continue my amazing journey at Epic Records supported by Rob Stringer’s vision and leadership,” stated Rhone. “Everything we do is a testament to our incredible artists who set the bar of the entire Epic culture, inspiring our dedicated executive team every day and enriching the legacy of this great label.”
Prior to this appointment, Rhone held the position of President of Epic Records since 2014, where she has guided the release of a number of leading hits, including: Travis Scott’s acclaimed 2018 album Astroworldwhich maintained a Top Ten position on the Billboard 200 Albums chart for 29 consecutive weeks; Camila Cabello’s debut album Camilaand the smash single “Havana,” which was recently named the biggest single of 2018 by the IFPI; a string of number one albums from Future, including 2019’s Future Hndrxx Presents: The Wizrd; and a pair of hit albums from 21 Savage including 2018’s I Am > I Was, which debuted at No. 1 in the US. She has also overseen a diverse range of developing artists.
Rhone’s career in the music industry has spanned more than four decades. Prior to Sony Music, she helped guide an award-winning roster at Universal Music Group for eight years, where she was President of Universal Motown Records and Executive Vice President at Universal Records from 2004.
From 1994-2004, Rhone was Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group’s Elektra Entertainment Group, the first African American woman to be named Chairman of a major record company, guiding the careers of a diverse repertoire of artists including Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Metallica, Staind, Third Eye Blind, Tracy Chapman, Natalie Merchant, Gerald Levert, Yolanda Adams, Phish, Jason Mraz, and others. Prior to her time at Elektra, she held various senior roles throughout WMG, ABC Records and Ariola Records. She began her career at Buddah Records in 1974.
Rhone is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She received an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music on April 5, 2019, in recognition of her career achievements as a leading female music executive who has reached the status of label head multiple times, and for her influence on the music industry through her leadership.
Included annually in entertainment industry executive power rankings from The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Entertainment Weekly, Rhone was the first woman to receive the Music Business’ Association Presidential Award for Sustained Achievement. She has also received Essence’s Black Women in Music Trailblazer Award and the 2011 Keepers of the Dream Award.