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Sylvia Rhone      

President, Epic Records

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 11, 1952, and raised in Harlem, Rhone has cited her early exposure to seminal R&B shows at the Apollo Theatre as pivotal to her belief in music as an inspirational force. Accepted at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Rhone graduated with a B.S. in Economics. She got a job at Bankers Trust in New York City soon after graduating college, but she pursued her passion for music by landing a job as a secretary for Buddha Records in 1974. In a succession of promotions over the next six years, she also held positions at ABC Records and Ariola Records. Rhone was previously part of the Elektra family in 1980 as northeast regional promotion manager for special markets, and she was eventually promoted to director of national black music marketing for Atlantic Records.

Credited with helping to realign Atlantic's black music business, Rhone took on broader responsibilities in A&R and marketing in 1986 with her promotion to senior vice president and general manager of Atlantic Records. At Atlantic, Rhone managed such artists as En Vogue, The System, Levert, Brandy, Yo Yo, The D.O.C., MC Lyte, Chuckii Booker, Miki Howard and Gerald Albright and The Rude Boys. It was under her watch that Billboard magazine named Atlantic the #1 Black Music Division in 1988.

Rhone's career has been highlighted by multiple firsts: In 1990 she became the first African American woman to head a major record company when she was named CEO and president of Atlantic's EastWest Records America division. A year later when the EastWest artist roster and operations were combined with those of Atco Records, Rhone was named chairwoman and CEO of Atco/EastWest and subsequently of EastWest Records America. At EastWest, she was directly involved in introducing several newcomers as well as helping established stars gain new success, including En Vogue, Gerald Levert, Pantera and Das EFX. She also played a role in furthering the careers of AC/DC and Simply Red, who eventually became EEG artists.

In October 2004, Rhone was appointed president of Motown Records and executive vice president of Universal Records. Prior to her Universal Motown role, Rhone served as chairwoman and CEO of the Elektra Entertainment Group, transforming the boutique label into one of the most eclectic rosters in the music business. Rhone's appointment in 1994 as chairwoman and CEO of EEG established her as the only African American and the first woman in the history of the recording industry to attain such a title.

As of 2012, Rhone is CEO of her self-founded label Vested in Culture which has a distribution deal with Epic Records, a label under Sony Music Entertainment.

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Sylvia Rhone Appointed President of Epic Records

Sylvia Rhone has been appointed president of Epic Records. The appointment comes a year after Rhone launched Vested in Culture (VIC), her joint venture with Epic. VIC will remain an imprint of the label ...

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