Music Industry Moguls: Power Players

These tycoons continuously demonstrate that there is no limit to the success that is possible when driven by ambition, vision, and a tireless dedication to excellence.

The Cover
Clive Davis

With Clive Davis on the cover of this issue of Haute Living New York, it is quite apropos that he would lead our list of the top impresarios in the music industry. On April 4, 2010, he turned 78 years old but certainly has not shown any signs of slowing down. In fact, his age only works in his favor, as the list of artists’ careers that he has lent his Midas touch to only grows longer (see “The Lasting Power of Clive Davis” on page 82).

With another Grammy Awards show under his belt, Davis can proudly claim that the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has officially recognized his annual pre-Grammy bash. What that means is that even though in our minds we will always think of it as Clive Davis’ Grammy party, the official name on the record books will now be “Salute to Industry Icons.” This year’s event proved to be another smashing success, despite the number of other events taking place at the same time. Performances from Harry Connick Jr., the Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Hudson, and Carrie Underwood entertained the crowd of A-listers, which included everyone from Jay-Z to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Of course, it was a gathering of the who’s who in the world of entertainment because when Clive summons, there is nothing else to do but gratefully and graciously accept your place within his elite circle of power players.

The Godfather
Quincy Jones

Like anyone who has achieved unheard of levels of success, Quincy Jones wears many hats and could never be pigeonholed into just one role. Over the course of his storied career, he has played the role of record producer, film composer, television producer, and even that of trumpeter with Dizzy Gillespie’s band and conductor with Frank Sinatra. Not impressed with those titles? Well, numbers never lie and it would be hard to not be overwhelmed with a sense of awe at the fact that Jones is a Grammy darling, earning 79 nominations, 27 awards, and one of the highest tributes—a Grammy Legend Award in 1991—meaning that he is the most-nominated artist in the history of the awards. Michael Jackson’s album Thriller, which Jones produced, has been certified by the Recording Industry Association of America as the best-selling album of all time. Jones also produced the 1985 song that stirred American audiences to help end the plight of world poverty, “We are the World,” the best-selling single of all time.

But all of that is old news. Proving that he is never one to call it quits and rest on his laurels, Jones’ latest project is an all-artist collaboration.

In early March, Quincy Jones Productions revealed some updated details about the newest album in the works, Q: Soul Bossa Nostra. As executive producer of the album, Jones explained that the project is a collection of some of his favorite performers and producers of today recreating some of his favorite songs. Headlining names who have been listed as collaborators include Snoop Dogg, Usher, Wyclef Jean, Jamie Foxx, Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J, John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, BeBe Winans, Jermaine Dupri, Robin Thicke, Ludacris, Akon, and a host of other notables. Look for this guaranteed chart-topper to hit the retail racks May or June.