Epic Records CEO & Chairwoman Sylvia Rhone Shouts Out SZA While Accepting Billboard Women in Music 2023 Executive of the Year Award

Sylvia Rhone, the CEO and chairwoman of Epic Records, was recognized as Billboard’s 2023 Women In Music Executive of the Year on Wednesday (March 1) at the YouTube Theater in Los Angeles.


She was presented the award by Fatima Robinson, who praised Rhone for using her position to fight for hip-hop and paving a way for women in the industry. “You are magic, a force, an alchemist a savant of creative artistry and an inspiration to all women,” Robinson said. “Thank you for all the glass ceilings you have conquered.”

Rhone — who was named Epic Records’ CEO and chairwoman in April 2019, making her the first Black industry executive and woman to hold the dual title at a major record label – gave a that expressed her passion for her career, and for some of her fellow honorees of the evening, including SZA (Woman of the Year) and Rosalia (inaugural Producer of the Year).

“It’s a true privilege to be honored with these women in music – special shoutout to SZA because you changed the game for R&B music, and R&B music is where I come from, and we’re back!” Rhone said excitedly. “And Rosalia particularly because that’s a historic win to be producer of the year.”

The executive also discussed her time in the music industry. “I’m still as excited about the business today as I was over 40 years ago because it’s simply, simply my passion,” she shared, also highlighting how proud she is to run a label where more than 50 percent of senior leadership is female and people of color.

As for her promotion to Epic’s CEO and chairwoman, Rhone previously told Billboard that she had to set aside any worries that she wouldn’t succeed in the role, and found the courage to forge ahead. “I concluded that this was my chance, my time,” she said. “And that’s the takeaway I would share with whoever has that doubt: Always believe in yourself and your worth.”

This year’s event was hosted by Emmy-winning writer and actress Quinta Brunson of Abbott Elementary. The 2023 Women In Music honorees include SZA, who was recognized as Billboard’s Woman of the Year; Chartbreaker Kim Petras; American Express’ Impact Award winner Becky G; Lana Del Rey, who received the Visionary Award; Producer of the Year Latto; and K-pop group Twice for the Breakthrough Award.

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