Music Industry Moves: New Edition Signs With CAA, ‘Don Dada’ Johnson Joins Goldenvoice

Creative Artists Agency announced that it has signed all six members of New Edition: Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill. The company will represent the group in all areas worldwide, including touring, theatre, literature, TV/film, production, composing and others. Since 1984, the group has released six studio albums and multiple solo efforts and won several Soul Train and American Music Awards and the BET Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017 BET produced a three-part 2017 biopic titled “The New Edition Story,” which aired over three consecutive nights and drew 29 million total viewers, according to the announcement. The group plans a U.S. arena tour next year, along with a residency in Las Vegas.

+ Goldenvoice announced that Marcus “Don Dada” Johnson will be joining the company as talent buyer. He joins the company after nearly two decades as an independent promoter and marketer for events in Southern California, and has worked with Goldenvoice on many events over the years. His responsibilities will include handling talent buying for the company’s various festivals and clubs, including the Novo in downtown Los Angeles. He will report to Goldenvoice President and CEO Paul Tollett.

“Marcus brings a level of musical taste and knowledge that fits perfectly with what we do here at Goldenvoice,” Tollett said. “He’s basically been part of the family, so I’m very excited that we are making it official.”

“I’m really excited to bring my skillset and expertise to such a forward-thinking company as Goldenvoice,” Johnson said. “Hip-hop and R&B play such an important part in moving the needle on popular culture, and the same can be said for Goldenvoice…the team always has a finger on the pulse. And after spending the last twelve years working closely with everyone here, this feels like a natural progression.”

+ Live Nation, in partnership with the nonprofit Music Forward Foundation, has announced the recipients of its 2021 scholarship awards. Five outstanding college students pursuing music industry careers have been awarded a total of $45,000 in scholarships.

This year’s group of recipients were selected based on academic performance, leadership skills and a passionate commitment to the live entertainment experience, according to the announcement. Recipients of this year’s awards include Holly Grace Jamili, a student at New York University, who is a Recorded Music major with a minor in Entertainment, Media, & Technology and a focus on elevating live music experiences through technological innovation; Tandrea Hawkins, a Music Business major and Hip Hop studies minor at Columbia College Chicago, a self-managed rapper who also runs a platform for underground college artists to showcase their artistry; Jalen Holloway, an Arts Leadership and Administration major and Music minor at Queens University of Charlotte, a veteran and multi-instrumentalist who has made dean’s list every semester of his college career; Kayla Erhardt, a Music Business major and Marketing minor at Berklee College of Music, who is finding recent success with her original music placed in television network shows; and Will Keebler, a Minnesota State University-Mankato junior, with a passion for live entertainment who leads outdoor live music events on campus.

“Live Nation is committed to supporting the future of live entertainment through our unique scholarship program,” said Mark Campana, chief operating officer, Live Nation Concerts. “We are dedicated to amplifying voices and providing opportunities for the next generation as we return to live and beyond.”

Tuesday, July 6

Brent Smith has left WME and joined Wasserman Music, the new company formed after Casey Wasserman acquired Paradigm’s North American music representation business, as executive vice present and managing executive, the company announced Tuesday (July 6).

“As many of you know, the senior leadership team and I have been spending time with Brent Smith, and today I am pleased to share that he is joining Wasserman Music as EVP and Managing Executive,” Casey Wasserman wrote in a note to staff. “We have come to know Brent as a smart, genuine, professional team player who always puts clients first & is ready to embrace the Wasserman value system and culture.

“Brent began his career at Ian Copeland’s FBI (Frontier Booking International). When that agency closed, he went to WMA (William Morris Agency), later WME (William Morris Endeavor), where he spent over two decades building and nurturing one of the most important rosters in the music industry.”

The message concludes, “I am really proud of our team and the discipline and insight they brought into this process. We are committed to quality, clients and teamwork and this is just one more win for Wasserman Music as we grow together.”

+ Warner Chappell Music, the global publishing arm of Warner Music Group (WMG), today announced the appointment of Jenni Pfaff to Senior Vice President, Head of Global Strategic Integration & Operations. In addition, Jesse Dang has joined as Senior Vice President of People, supporting Warner Chappell.

Reporting to WCM’s Co-Chairs, Guy Moot, CEO, and Carianne Marshall, COO, Pfaff will serve as an adviser and change agent, ensuring that the company’s global business priorities and strategic initiatives are successfully implemented, according to the announcemt. In addition, she will work closely with senior management to support cross-functional projects and help to identify ways to create efficiencies and synergies across the business.

Reporting to WMG’s EVP and Chief People Officer, Masha Osherova, Dang will focus on executing Warner Chappell’s People agenda across the company’s U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia territories, as well as provide HR counsel and support to the publisher’s leadership team.

Moot and Marshall said: “Jenni has been an incredible strategic partner over these past few years as we looked to reenergize our company’s culture and launch our new business strategy. As a trusted adviser to our team, she has very strong relationships across our global organization and this role truly couldn’t be a better fit. We’re equally as excited to welcome Jesse to our Warner Chappell family and look forward to partnering with him on our People strategy and the employee experience for our global teams.”

Pfaff joined Warner Chappell in 2019 as VP of People before being promoted to her current role as SVP of People. Prior, she founded Pfaff HR, and before that, spent 17 years working as a senior HR leader at PwC, Activision Blizzard, and Northrop Grumman.

Most recently, Dang was the Head of People Partners, Sales & Distribution / News & Sports at WarnerMedia. Prior, he worked at Warner Bros. Entertainment for ten years and focused on a number of HR initiatives, which included leading the reorganization efforts for a joint venture with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Before Warner Bros., Dang spent ten years at PwC.

+ Jaxsta Limited, the platform that’s home to a database of official music credits, has named Beth Appleton chief marketing officer. She will be based in the company’s Sydney, Australia headquarters. Appleton previously served as  general manager and senior vice president of marketing Australasia at Warner Music Australia, supervising campaigns for such artists  as Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Twenty One Pilots and Michael Bublé, among others.

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