Jody Gerson, chairman/CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), will receive the International Confederation of Music Publishers’ Ralph Peer II Award for outstanding contribution to global music publishing. The award will be presented following ICMP’s 2023 annual general meeting at Abbey Road Studios in London on July 10.
Gerson is the first female chairman of a global music company to receive this honor.
Created in 2013, the award pays tribute to music publishing leaders demonstrating exceptional global work. Potential awardees are shortlisted by ICMP’s global board and voted by ICMP’s worldwide membership. Previous winners include Irwin Z. Robinson, Misa Watanabe, MIDEM and Ralph Peer II.
Gerson is a member of Universal Music Group’s executive management board. She made history as the first female chairman of a global music company and the first woman to be named CEO of a major music publisher. Since she joined UMPG in 2015, the company’s annual revenue has more than doubled, climbing to $1.8 billion.
Gerson has signed and works with some of the world’s biggest music stars, including Elton John, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Kendrick Lamar, Bad Bunny, Adele, The Weeknd, Billie Eilish, SZA, Rosalía, Drake, Steve Lacy, Alicia Keys, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Ariana Grande, H.E.R. and Maren Morris. She also works with the estates of the Bee Gees (including the still-living Barry Gibb) and Prince.
She also led UMPG’s acquisitions of the catalogs of Bob Dylan, Sting and Neil Diamond, among others. A champion for women in music and an advocate for education, Gerson co-founded the global nonprofit She Is the Music and serves on boards of directors of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the National Music Publishers’ Association, among others.
“I am honored to be recognized by my peers at the ICMP,” Gerson said in a statement. “I am fortunate to be in a business I love, a company I am very proud of, and the best part of all is that we support the greatest songwriters in the world.”
“I am particularly delighted the ICMP membership have chosen Jody for this year’s award recipient,” Ralph Peer II, ICMP honorary president and Peer Music executive chair, said in a statement. “Jody has tirelessly advocated to defend songwriters’ rights and the value of music on a global scale. This award celebrates Jody’s commitment and actions to enhance the livelihoods of songwriters and music companies and to safeguard the future of music creators worldwide.”
The award ceremony will take place during dinner in Abbey Road’s legendary Studio 1. ICMP’s AGM2023 will also feature a keynote speaker and special music performance as top industry representatives from across five continents gather to discuss key industry issues.