Written by on December 14, 2023

Our hometown heroes continue to make waves both in the state, and nationwide!

Denver’s own Jon Platt to be honored by Grammys for contributions to music.

Although he was born in Philadelphia, Platt considers Denver his hometown; his childhood bounced him from Park Hill to Aurora before he landed firmly in Montbello, where he grew up from the time he was in the fifth grade.

The award will be presented at the Pre-Grammy Gala on Saturday, February 3, the night before the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.

Jon Platt, Sony Music Publishing chairman/CEO, is the 2024 Grammy Salute to Industry Icons honoree. The award will be presented at the pre-Grammy Gala, co-hosted by the Recording Academy and Clive Davis, on Saturday, February 3, the night before the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.

“One of the most influential figures in the industry, Jon has consistently set the bar for leadership in music,” Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement. “His ongoing commitment to equity, his dedication to quality, and his advocacy for artists across all crafts and genres have been an inspiration to music leaders everywhere. We look forward to an incredible evening dedicated to honoring his incredible impact.”

“Jon Platt is one of the music industry’s most illustrious leaders and I am thrilled that he will be this year’s Salute to Industry Icons honoree,” said Davis. “Jon’s longtime trailblazing commitment to supporting songwriters across the music spectrum as well as his staunch dedication to advocacy, diversity and equality in the music business are exemplary. Artists and the industry at large are fortunate to have his insight and passion at the helm.”

Davis originated the pre-Grammy Gala in 1976 when he was looking for a way to celebrate the success of Barry Manilow’s “Mandy,” Arista Records’ first big hit (and its first Grammy record of the year nominee).

Since Platt was appointed Sony Music Publishing’s chairman/CEO in 2019, he has worked to revitalize the company’s “Songwriters First” mission for the 21st century. During Platt’s tenure, the company has strengthened both its legacy and its future, creating partnerships with songwriting legends like Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon; working with established hitmakers like Ashley Gorley; signing the next generation of stars including Olivia Rodrigo, Jack Harlow, Latto, Anitta, Central Cee, Kane Brown and the Kid LAROI; and delivering opportunities for DIY creators through a deal with BeatStars.

Platt has been a strong advocate in the fight for fair compensation for songwriters. Sony Music Publishing (SMP) has worked to ensure that songwriters are paid quickly as their hits move around the world, eliminating long delays in the delivery of foreign royalties. The company has also expanded its presence internationally into India, Indonesia and Nigeria.

Reflecting Platt’s commitment to artist development, SMP has built out its services for songwriters and composers at every stage of their careers. Songwriters Forward — a global initiative — has seen SMP provide mental health and wellness support to its roster through the Songwriter Assistance Program. SMP’s Legacy Unrecouped Balance Program has offered new financial opportunities to legacy songwriters. SMP has also provided over $1 million in grants to working songwriters in collaboration with organizations such as the 100 Percenters, Songwriters of North America (SONA) and Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI).

Platt believes in building a music business that is as diverse as the music it represents. He has increased diversity across senior leadership teams throughout his career and supported SMP’s global Women’s Leadership Program. This commitment extends to empowering the next generation of songwriters and composers with initiatives like SMP’s Screen Scoring Diversity Scholarship at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.

In 2005, Platt launched The Big Jon Platt Scholarship Program for college-bound students based in Montbello, Colo., the Denver neighborhood where he was raised.

Platt previously served as chairman/CEO of Warner Chappell and led the company’s turnaround. He also spent 17 years at EMI Music Publishing, where he sealed his reputation for recognizing future icons by signing Jay-Z on the release of his 1996 debut studio album, Reasonable Doubt.

Platt’s career in the music business began in the mid-’80s, when, as a DJ in his hometown of Denver, he was credited with breaking records by Public Enemy and Arrested Development in the Midwest. He brought the same passion for spotting hits to his career in music publishing, signing and collaborating with prominent songwriters including BeyoncéDrakeRihannaPharrell Williams and Usher. Platt is widely credited for elevating how hip-hop and R&B artists are respected and compensated as songwriters.

Platt sits on the boards of Berklee College of Music, Songwriters Hall of Fame, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Motown Museum, Living Legends Foundation and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA).

Platt ranked No. 8 on The Billboard 2023 Power 100 List. His numerous awards include City of Hope’s prestigious Spirit of Life Award, SONA’s Warrior Award, NSAI’s President’s Keystone Award, SESAC’s Visionary Award, Variety’s Variety500 and Morehouse College’s Candle Award.

Written by Paul Grein for Billboard – 12/7/2023

(Source: Billboard & Wikipedia) (Photo credit: Jon Platt photographed on Jan. 23, 2019 at Malibu Canyon Ranch in Calabasas, Calif. Sami Drasin)

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