Susan Genco Honored at 2022 Leisure Legislation Initiative Luncheon – Billboard


“I don’t have to inform any of you that one of the best moments of my life have been created by artists and enhanced by music, as a result of that is true for all of you,” stated Susan Genco, co-president of The Azoff Firm, who acquired the Service Award on the twenty fourth annual Recording Academy Leisure Legislation Initiative luncheon Saturday afternoon (April 2) in Las Vegas. Her sentiments have been echoed by keynote speaker Cameron Crowe, who wrote the Oscar-winning, semi-autobiographical screenplay for the 2000 movie Nearly Well-known. 

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He informed what presumably was the actual Nearly Well-known story, a few 12-year-old boy whose mom deliberately raised him throughout the road from a regulation faculty she so desperately wished him to go to. As a substitute, his sister’s secret stash of data of their rock-music-is-banned family led him to getting extremely uncommon interviews with rock stars starting from David Bowie to the Eagles (earlier than they turned the Eagles) to Led Zeppelin for the quilt of Rolling Stone (a commerce the band hated on the time), finally turning into what Recording Academy CEO/president Harvey Mason jr. thought to be “Rolling Stone journal’s youngest-ever contributor at age 15.”

“When individuals ask who’s the band, who’re the actual individuals in Nearly Well-known, it was all of them and all of us,” Crowe, now 64, informed the room filled with music legal professionals, leisure journalists, CEOs, managers, “anyone right here who helped clear the 150 music cues in Nearly Well-known” and extra impassioned patrons of the trade on the Aria Lodge in Las Vegas, the place the sixty fourth annual Grammy Awards have been moved to this yr on account of COVID-19. “It was Irving [Azoff] and Ronnie Van Zant and Glenn, Elliot Roberts and Neal Preston and the those who impressed Susan Genco, again when she was a DJ with the identical dream of loving and being near music, the music she nonetheless loves so passionately and fights to help.”

And in her sustained battle, Genco made her plea that the collective ardour for the artists should lengthen to their safety. As one of many key figures who helped get the Music Modernization Act signed into regulation 4 years in the past, the 2018 Billboard Girls in Music govt of the yr and the Irving Azoff-led Music Artists Coalition have been main advocates for the FAIR Act, which gained its first committee vote on Wednesday. The FAIR Act would repeal a 1987 modification to California’s “Seven-12 months Statute” (in any other case generally known as California Labor Code Part 2855) that enables report labels to sue artists for damages in the event that they go away after seven years earlier than delivering the required variety of albums of their contract.

“All of us work exhausting for the artists and songwriters that we love. They provide us the present of music, so let’s make certain we give them what they want and what they deserve. Let’s make certain that they get their justifiable share, and let’s please do it collectively,” Genco stated whereas delivering her acceptance speech.

She took a web page from Crowe’s script and painted her personal love story of how she started working in music. It began at “a small membership in Buffalo with my good friend Lisa. There we have been watching this remarkably younger band from Athens. They have been that excellent mixture of artwork and nice songs. And like Penny Lane in Nearly Well-known, we fell in love with that band. Though, for the report, neither one among us each slept with Michael Stipe,” she joked. “The subsequent scene is in a darkish hallway in regulation faculty, the place my Mitch and I sat arguing about our favourite R.E.M. report. After which we went to see Nirvana, The Lemonheads, Rage Towards the Machine, Uncle Tupelo and so many extra. And I really feel deeper in love with him” — Genco recollects whereas breaking out into a brief sob — “with each word that we have been collectively.”

Within the numerous positions she’s held within the trade — together with vp of enterprise and authorized affairs at Arista Information, underneath the tutelage of Clive Davis, and govt vp of International Music Rights, which is underneath The Azoff Firm’s umbrella — Genco’s position as a mom of three has supplied her with among the most fulfilling moments of her life. “For me, there aren’t any higher musical moments than taking my youngsters to see their favourite bands. For Nicole, My Chemical Romance. Owen, Neil Younger. And my Ava, Harry Types, in fact,” Genco added.

Azoff sang her praises as somebody who champions musicians, songwriters and publishers by means of laws and preserves their legacy by way of Iconic Artists Group’s catalog purchases, together with David Crosby’s catalog; Linda Ronstadt’s recorded music belongings; and The Seaside Boys’ recordings, model, memorabilia and choose compositions — all throughout the final yr. However exterior of the trade, he additionally recommended Genco for being a “tireless advocate” for girls’s financial and social justice by means of The XX Fund, of which Genco is the founder and co-chair, in addition to the LGBTQ+ group’s visibility and rights. Laurie Soriano, ELI’s govt chair who introduced Leron Rogers of the Black Leisure and Sports activities Attorneys Affiliation with the 2021 Service Award after final yr’s digital occasion, described the UCLA Faculty of Legislation adjunct professor as “one of the best position mannequin.”

Earlier than Full Cease Administration’s chairman launched Genco, he requested her associate and associate/co-chair of Covington & Burling’s business litigation follow group Mitch Kamin, “On a Will Smith scale of 1 to 10, how bipolar are you feeling in the present day?” in reference to the actor slapping comic Chris Rock at Sunday’s 94th annual Academy Awards, which was met with blended response (largely laughter) from the viewers. He mirrored on their “practically parallel coaching” as younger bucks within the biz who wished to symbolize artists, ranging from Genco’s undergraduate training at Wellesley Faculty and Azoff’s time on the College of Illinois. “She joined the Snyder Board of Governors that put bands on her campus and I promoted and put bands on campus and made a bunch of cash for myself as a substitute of the college,” he stated whereas firing off extra wisecracks that brought on the room to erupt in laughter, including, “Then she went to a small ending faculty referred to as Harvard, and I went to the David Geffen Faculty of Music Terrorism. Subsequent, she went to Clive Davis, and David Geffen and I did all the things we might to take Clive Davis to the cleaners.”

Following his humorous speech, Azoff launched a video montage of Genco’s friends — together with Full Cease Administration associate Jeffrey Azoff, The Azoff Firm’s different co-president Beth Collins, Columbia Information co-head of city music Shawn Holliday, Full Protection Communications president/CEO Kristen Foster, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and 2019’s ELI Service Award recipient Dina LaPolt — and members of the family joined Azoff within the refrain, which included a clip of her household truly breaking out into track.

“We’re so grateful for all you probably did on the Music Modernization Act, the federal laws COVID reduction packages, and all of the work you do as a board member of the Music Artists Coalition, which incorporates the upcoming work you’re going to do on the FAIR Act, which is eliminating the report label exemption from the Seven-12 months California Statute,” LaPolt stated within the video with gusto, prompting the Black Music Motion Coalition’s co-founder/co-chair Willie “Prophet” Stiggers to applaud and the entire room to observe swimsuit as soon as she added, “That sh– has to go!”

Genco, who wiped away stray tears together with her serviette, felt nervous but extremely grateful forward of the glowing presentation devoted to her. “As a result of [the Entertainment Law Initiative is] about welcoming new individuals into the music enterprise and the following technology of authorized thinkers round these necessary points, I’m actually honored and simply humbled to be a part of it,” she informed Billboard forward of the the luncheon, whereas joking, “I hold saying to my husband, ‘Twelve years of Catholic faculty and I really feel like I’m having a bat mitzvah: There’s a video, I acquired a particular outfit. I’m not used to this.’”

The occasion began by honoring the winner of the ELI pupil writing competitors, USC’s Sona Sulakian, who gained a $10,000 scholarship, together with the runners-up, Loyola’s Chelsea Cohen and Stetson’s Michael Harrigan, who every acquired $2,500 scholarships. All three college students will get a mentor session with a number one leisure legal professional. Mason additionally celebrated the latest onboarding of the Recording Academy’s first in-house authorized counsel, Jennifer Jones.

“Be daring and be revolutionary,” Genco informed Billboard relating to the recommendation she has for these regulation college students making ready to enter the music enterprise. “For a very long time, [it] was very static. Sadly, when piracy first hit the recorded music enterprise so exhausting, it was horrible. However it required innovation, it required new pondering. Similar with the pandemic. Artists — and there are a variety of authorized points round that — acquired actually inventive. I feel a very powerful factor for the following technology is to be versatile, to be daring, to be revolutionary. At all times use the steerage that you simply acquired from regulation faculty, that means to assume analytically about issues which might be so amorphous, just like the Metaverse and NFTs. And also you’re an necessary associate to the artists, who’ve all the creativity, after which to be partnered with somebody who can assume by means of the authorized and enterprise implications is extremely necessary.”





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“I don’t have to inform any of you that one of the best moments of my life have been created by artists and enhanced by music, as a result of that is true for all of you,” stated Susan Genco, co-president of The Azoff Firm, who acquired the Service Award on the twenty fourth annual…

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