Previously Announced Inductees Include Ray Davies, Donovan, Graham Gouldman, Mark James and Jim Weatherly
NEW YORK, NY- March 11, 2014 –Songwriters Hall of Fame Chairman Jimmy Webb announced today that Doug Morris will be the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award at the Annual Induction and Awards Dinner slated for Thursday, June 12 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
The Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award, named after one of the SHOF’s distinguished founders, is specifically tailored for an artist or “star maker” in the music industry who has been responsible for a substantial number of hit songs for an extended period, and most importantly, recognizes the genuine significance of the song and songwriter. Previous Hitmaker Award honorees have included Clive Davis, Phil Ramone, Whitney Houston, Garth Brooks, Diana Ross, Gloria Estefan and Sir Tom Jones.
“Doug Morris is a monolithic figure with the totality of his involvement in so many significant careers,” said Jimmy Webb. “He is both a creative and marketing genius and is emblematic of a new kind of super-executive in our business. His own success as a songwriter set the stage for a career as a hitmaker; he knows what a good song sounds like.”
Doug Morris is widely regarded as one of the most influential executives in the music industry. As the Chief Executive Officer of Sony Music Entertainment, he is responsible for guiding the overall global activities of the world’s second largest music company, with a current roster comprised of a broad array of both local artists and international superstars, including Adele, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, Daft Punk, Justin Timberlake, P!nk and One Direction.
Prior to joining Sony Music, Morris was Worldwide Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s largest music company. Under Morris’s direction, UMG became the music industry’s most successful music company, leading the industry in market share for 14 consecutive years, with a roster of superstars such as Lady Gaga, U2, Black Eyed Peas and Kanye West, among others.
Morris began his music career as a songwriter for music publisher Robert Mellin, Inc. His credits include the Chiffons’ 1966 hit “Sweet Talkin’ Guy” and producing such hit records as Brownsville Station’s “Smokin’ in the Boys Room.” Morris joined Laurie Records in 1965 as a writer and producer and was eventually named Vice President and General Manager. Later, he launched his own label, Big Tree Records, which was acquired by Atlantic Records in 1978. At that time, Morris was named President of ATCO Records, beginning his 17-year association with Warner Music.
In 1980, Morris was appointed President of Atlantic Records and assumed the position of Co-Chairman and Co-CEO (with Ahmet Ertegun) of the Atlantic Recording Group in 1990. At Atlantic, Morris played a vital role in transforming the label into the number one company within the Warner Music Group and the premier company within the music industry.
Throughout his career, Morris has worked in many different capacities with some of the most popular and influential artists of the past four decades, including The Rolling Stones, Phil Collins, Pete Townshend, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Nicks, Bette Midler, Tori Amos, INXS, Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder and U2, among many others.
Morris’ progressive digital strategies led him to become the first media executive to monetize online music videos, essentially helping to create the music video on demand market. As the Founder (and former Chairman) of VEVO, Morris partnered with Google Chairman Eric Schmidt to launch the new premium music video and entertainment service in late 2009. Today, VEVO continues to rank as the top music entertainment destination in the U.S. VEVO is also a major presence around the world, with its videos accessible in over 200 countries, operations in 14 countries and over 700 major brand advertising partners.
In 2013, Morris served as co-producer and lead financier of the smash Broadway musical MOTOWN: The Musical, which was nominated for four Tony Awards and was the top selling new musical of the 2012-2013 season.
Morris serves on the Board of Directors of CBS Corporation, The Robin Hood Foundation, The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and The Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. In 2003, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) awarded Morris with the President’s Merit Award, honoring his consistent creative commitment to artistic and entrepreneurial excellence and longstanding support for the music and world communities. In 2008, Morris was honored with City of Hope’s Spirit of Life award, and in 2009, he received the NARAS Icons award, as well as a star on the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Inductees at this year’s event include Ray Davies, Donovan, Graham Gouldman, Mark James and Jim Weatherly. The prestigious Johnny Mercer Award will be presented to Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff.
Tickets for the Songwriters Hall of Fame event begin at $1000 each, and are available through Buckley Hall Events, 914-579-1000. Net proceeds from the event will go toward the Songwriters Hall of Fame programs.
Rogers & Cowan
Rogers & Cowan