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Motown Records’ year-long 60th Anniversary celebration unveiled, featuring definitive documentary – Hitsville: The Making of Motown – and major catalogue reissue campaign


Stellar array of superstars and rising artists reveal new music and projects, while music

industry notables – led by Universal Music Group Chairman & CEO Sir Lucian Grainge and

CMG Chairman & CEO Steve Barnett – speak to the music business’s evolution and innovation



HOLLYWOOD – August 8, 2018 – Capitol Music Group (CMG) Chairman & CEO Steve Barnett hosted what has become one of the music industry’s most-notable yearly events, the company’s 5th Annual Capitol Congress, on Wednesday, August 8 at the ArcLight Theatre in Hollywood. During the day-long gathering, CMG’s superstar and developing artists presented their forthcoming music and projects to the company’s staff, its international affiliates, entertainment industry representatives from around the world and influential consumer and trade media.


The event kicked-off with opening addresses from Universal Music Group Chairman & CEO Sir Lucian Grainge, who spoke of the music industry’s tremendous growth and CMG’s evolution since relaunching in late 2012, and Barnett, who spoke of the innovative steps CMG has taken over the past year.


A highlight of the day’s events was a surprise appearance by Paul McCartney, who received CMG’s first Capitol Icon award and was interviewed live by Marc Maron for a very special edition of his WTF Podcast. During the interview, McCartney delved into the creation of his forthcoming Egypt Station album, regaled the rapt audience with stories from his days with the Beatles, and discussed his enduring influence and relevance in a remarkable career that spans six decades. In addition, Lyft and Capitol Records teased an upcoming partnership in support of Egypt Station.

Red-hot hip-hop trio Migos also surprised attendees, joining Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “Pee” Thomas – the founders of the Atlanta-based Quality Control Music (QC) – and fellow QC artists Lil Yachty, Lil Baby and Yung Miami of City Girls for a presentation of awards and certifications by Motown Records President Ethiopia Habtemariam. Migos’ latest album, Culture II, was spotlighted for selling more than 3 million adjusted albums globally, including 4.5 billion streams. QC’s CEO Pee teased more projects coming from the label, “even before the end of the year.”


Habtemariam also unveiled footage from a forthcoming and definitive Motown documentary, Hitsville: The Making of Motown – directed by Gabe Turner and Ben Turner of Fulwell 73 – which will chronicle the label’s historic rise through new and exclusive interviews with the company’s founder, Berry Gordy, and key artists, songwriters, producers and executives who contributed to one of America’s greatest and most inspiring success stories. The film will be released next year. Habtemariam then moderated a panel, titled Culture: The New Mainstream, which included a discussion of Motown’s enduring influence. The panel featured Shawn Gee, CEO of Live Nation, Urban; Chace Johnson, manager of artists A$AP Rocky and Playboy Carti; Dion “NoID” Wilson, EVP of CMG and President of Artium; Kevn “Coach K” Lee, COO of Quality Conrol Music; Kristen Fraser, the founder of PVTL.

During previous Capitol Congresses, CMG has paid tribute to artists and albums that have tremendously impacted music and popular culture and greatly added to the company’s historic legacy. This year, rapper, entertainer and entrepreneur MC Hammer was honored for his albums Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em and Too Legit To Quit, which are largely responsible for nearly 50 million albums sold during the artist’s career. His enduring contributions were explored in an on-stage interview with journalist and Universal Music Enterprises executive Andre Torres.


A new and groundbreaking partnership between CMG and advertising leader Havas, both part of Vivendi, was announced during Capitol Congress by Paul Marobella, Chief Executive Officer, and Jason Peterson, Chief Creative Officer, of Havas Creative, North America. They revealed that The Annex – a unique cultural network powered by Havas – will launch Annex Tower Creative within CMG’s iconic Capitol Tower in Hollywood. The arrangement between the two Vivendi companies is a powerful one that will create unique opportunities for CMG and The Annex by utilizing their industry expertise and relationships within music, entertainment, art, content and fashion to create innovative brand partnerships and campaigns with the artists across CMG’s multiple labels. The first such partnership was revealed today – between rapper and singer Lil’ Yachty and Conagra Brands’ Chef Boyardee line of pasta products – that will include a music video launching soon.

Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, BBC Radio 1 remains as culturally significant and influential as at any time in its storied history. In an interview with CMG’s EVP of Global Marketing Robbie McIntosh, BBC 1’s Head of Music Chris Price and its Controller Ben Cooper discussed the pivotal role the station has played in music, entertainment and popular culture since its launch in 1967.

In honor of Bill Hearn, the beloved and longtime head of Capitol Christian Music Group who passed away in December, CMG’s Barnett and Brian Nolan, announced the formation of The Bill Hearn College Scholarship Fund to benefit students within the Compton School District’s Dominquez High School who will be attending college.

At Congress, Barnett, Nolan and Hearn’s widow, Charmion Gustke Hearn, presented the first scholarship check to Julia Vallejo, who will be attending the University of California at Irvine this fall. This scholarship fund is an extension of the CMG’s Bonus Tracks program with Dominguez High School that teaches students about jobs and responsibilities within the music industry through in-person seminars at the school with CMG executives.

Additionally joining Barnett, Grainge and the hundreds of specially-invited attendees were an array of CMG artists who presented new and forthcoming projects, including platinum singer and songwriter Troye Sivan, who premiered his new single, “Animal”; platinum rapper NF, who was honored for more than 3 million adjusted albums sold, including 3.5 billion streams; R&B vocalist and rising star Queen Naija, who was introduced by noted music producer and CMG Executive Vice President Dion “NoID” Wilson before performing her new single, “Medicine”; hugely-popular social media influencer Loren Gray, who introduced a video presentation demonstrating the reach and enthusiasm of her 20-million-strong fan network; and brand-new capitol signing, singer and songwriter Fletcher, who premiered her new single with a live performance of “Undrunk.”


The day’s attendees and artists were joined by hundreds of additional guests at a star-studded gala held that evening at CMG’s iconic Capitol Tower in Hollywood. Guests at the gala enjoyed cocktails created with Martell cognacs.

Link to photos:


The full list of artists, speakers and presenters during Capitol Music Group’s (CMG’s) 5th Annual Capitol Congress were (in order of appearance):


1.    Steve Barnett – CMG Chairman & CEO

2.    Sir Lucian Grainge –Universal Music Group (UMG) Chairman & CEO

3.    Ashley Newton – CMG President

4.    Fletcher – Artist

5.    Brian Nolan –CMG/seventeenfifty Senior Vice Present

6.    Jason Peterson – Havas Chief Creative Officer

7.    Paul Marobella – Havas Chairman & CEO

8.    Chris Price – BBC Radio 1 Head of Music

9.    Ben Cooper – BBC Radio 1 Controller

10. Robbie McIntosh -CMG EVP of Global Marketing

11. Dion “No I.D.” Wilson -CMG EVP and music producer

12. Queen Naija – Artist

13. Peter York –Capitol Christian Music Group Chairman & CEO

14. Jacqueline Saturn – Caroline GM

15. Brad O’Donnell –CCMG Chief Creative Officer

16. Hudson Plachy – CCMG Chief Marketing Officer

17. NF – Artist

18. Matt Sawin – Caroline EVP

19. Christine and the Queens (via video) – Artist

20. Michelle Jubelirer – CMG COO

21. Geoff Harris – CMG CFO

22. Ethiopia Habtemariam – Motown Records President

23. Ben Turner – Filmmaker

24. Gabe Turner – Filmmaker

25. Pierre “Pee” Thomas -Quality Control Music’s (QC’s) CEO

26. Kevin “Coach K” Lee – QC’s COO

27. Shawn Gee – CEO of Live Nation, Urban

28. Chace Johnson –manager of artists A$AP Rocky and Playboy Carti

29. Dion ”NoID” Wilson – EVP of CMG and President of Artium

30. Kevn “Coach K” Lee -COO of Quality Conrol music

31. Kristen Fraser, the founder of PVTL

32. Mitra Darab – CMG SVP of Global Marketing

33. Andre Torres – UMG VP of Urban Catalog

34. MC Hammer – Artist

35. Don Was – Blue Note President

36. Jessica Care Moore – Artist

37. Dave McMurray – Artist

38. Toby Andrews – Astralwerks GM

39. Troye Sivan – Artist

40. Bob Lefsetz – Music industry blogger

41. Greg Marella – CMG EVP of Promotion

42. Loren Gray – Artist

43. Bruce Resnikoff -Universal Music Enterprises President

44. James Corden (via video) – Entertainer

45. Paul McCartney – Artist

46. Marc Maron -Comedian and host of WTF Podcast)

# # #



Capitol Music Group (CMG) is comprised of Capitol Records, Virgin Records, Motown Records, Blue Note Records, Astralwerks, Harvest Records and Capitol Christian Music Group, as well as Capitol Studios and the company’s independent label services and distribution division, Caroline. Capitol Music Group is based in Hollywood, California in the iconic Capitol Tower.


Artists that record for CMG labels include: Ryan Adams, Erykah Badu, Banks, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Beck, Bee Gees, Jon Bellion, B.J. The Chicago Kid, Rosanne Cash, Christine and the Queens, Neil Diamond, Robert Glasper, Halsey, Don Henley, Hillsong United, Niall Horan, Illenium, Judah And The Lion, Tori Kelly, Kem, Lil Baby, Lil Yachty, Charles Lloyd, tobyMac, Paul McCartney, Vic Mensa, Migos, Ne-Yo, NF, Norah Jones, Katy Perry, Gregory Porter, Rich Homie Quan, Maggie Rogers, Calum Scott, Bob Seger, Troye Sivan and Chris Tomlin. For the U.S.: 5 Seconds Of Summer, Bastille, Disclosure, Empire Of The Sun, Glass Animals, MNEK and Sam Smith.


Capitol Music Group is a division of Universal Music Group, which is a fully owned subsidiary of Vivendi.



Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company.

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