Joe Galante

Joe Galante elevated Country Music’s visibility over nearly four decades, beginning in the 1970s when he joined RCA Nashville. In the 1980s as the head of the label, he implemented exceptional marketing campaigns, increased promotional budgets, and perhaps most importantly, signed artists who stood out. As a result, the label dominated the decade by introducing stars like Alabama, Clint Black, The Judds, K.T. Oslin and Keith Whitley. In the 90s, the label group under his leadership guided Kenny Chesney and Martina McBride to multiplatinum success. When RCA and Arista merged, the roster expanded to include Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson and Brad Paisley. Under his continued leadership, RCA Label Group evolved to Sony Music Nashville, launching the career of Carrie Underwood and furthering that of Miranda Lambert. Galante concluded his label career in 2010 as chairman of Sony Music Nashville, but has remained deeply imbedded in the music community, perhaps most notably in his many philanthropic endeavors (as chair of the CMA Foundation, in his support of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and by creating an endowment for Leadership Music, where he is a member of the Founding Council). He is receiving the ACM Icon Award for his many contributions and successes in the Country Music community.