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September 25, 2019 | Press Statements

Music Trailblazers Honored at Inaugural RIAA Honors on Capitol Hill

Country Music Superstar Miranda Lambert, Atlantic Records’ Lanre Gaba, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy honored for outstanding contributions to U.S. music community

Washington, D.C., September 25, 2019 – The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) will host its first-ever “RIAA Honors” event on Capitol Hill this evening, celebrating country music icon Miranda Lambert as Artist of the Year in an award presented by renowned singer/songwriter and long-time collaborator, Natalie Hemby. Atlantic Records’ Lanre Gaba will receive the Label Executive of the Year award and Universal Music Group will present House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy with RIAA’s Policymakers of the Year award for their longstanding support of a strong music economy and helping lead the successful effort to pass the landmark Music Modernization Act last year. 

Lambert and Hemby will perform two songs they wrote together, “Bluebird” from her upcoming album, Wildcard and the ACM and CMA awarded Song of the Year, “Automatic. Atlantic Records’ breakout star Abir will also perform at the event hosted by RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier.  “It’s an enormous honor to host and recognize these phenomenal musicians and have the chance to show Capitol Hill exactly who and what the RIAA advocates for,” Glazier said. “We’re also grateful for the chance to honor elected leaders like Steny Hoyer and Kevin McCarthy for championing smart reforms that make the music ecosystem work better for everyone in the digital age.” 

Miranda Lambert will receive the Artist of the Year Award in recognition of her bold and fearless efforts to move the industry forward while making important and positive contributions to our culture and society. Her public appearances, message of empowerment and extraordinary musical talent combine to make her an influential leader and trailblazer in the industry. She continues to push the envelope with her unique fusion of country and rock, succeeding at the highest levels of the music industry while encouraging others to lead, follow their dreams and be true to themselves. This award honors her superstar career as a solo artist and as part of her groundbreaking supergroup, Pistol Annies and looks ahead to her upcoming RCA/Vanner Records Nashville release Wildcard. “It is an honor to receive this award at such a pivotal time in the music industry. I’m incredibly thankful to make a living writing and performing music,” said Lambert.

Lanre Gaba, the General Manager/Senior Vice President of Urban A&R for Atlantic Records, will receive the Label Executive of the Year Award. Gaba has been instrumental in the development of legendary artists during her 20-year career in music, including Lizzo and Cardi B, inspiring generations of women in the process. She and current Atlantic star Abir will also participate in a fireside chat with RIAA COO Michele Ballantyne. Noting the progress women have made in the music business and her own plan to keep challenging the status quo, Gaba said: “The industry has come a long way and it’s especially great to see more young women breaking through on the business of music. But there is a lot more work to do, and I plan to use this platform to keep on fighting for equal access, representation, and opportunities.”

The Policymaker of the Year Award will be presented by Universal Music Group to House leaders Hoyer and McCarthy for their longstanding support of smart music policy, including the historic Music Modernization Act of 2018, which updated the music licensing system for the digital age.

Universal Music Group Senior Vice President Amy Isbell said, “The music community owes deep thanks to Leader Hoyer and Leader McCarthy for their roles in the Music Modernization Act’s enactment. The creation of music requires the hard work and investment of so many. Music isn’t only the soundtrack of our lives, it’s also a key part of American culture that drives innovation and fuels our economy.”

The RIAA Honors will be an annual Washington, D.C. event recognizing artists, label executives, and policymakers who impact American music, culture, and society.