The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has announced that Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Group (UMG), will be honoured as the 2017 Media Person of the Year at the annual Festival. Grainge is the first music executive to be recognised since the award was launched in 1999.
Media Person of the Year recognises innovators who have shaped the future of media. The award will be presented to Grainge at a ceremony onÂ Wednesday, June 21, 2017, during the festival.
During a career spanning nearly four decades in the music business, Grainge signed and worked with many global stars, including ABBA, Justin Bieber, Elton John, Jay Z, Katy Perry, Queen, Rihanna, The Rolling Stones, Sam Smith, U2 and Amy Winehouse.
Widely credited with laying the foundation that led to the music industryâs return to growth after more than a decade of decline, Grainge developed new approaches to the signing and development of global recording artists and songwriters and championed innovative business models and created partnerships with a wide range of international technology and media partners.
Philip Thomas, CEO of Ascential Events, organisers of Cannes Lions, said, âThrough creative drive, passion and outstanding leadership, Sir Lucian has made bold investments in music and technology that helped return the industry to growth, while continuing to foster an environment that puts artists first. During his tenure, Grainge transformed Universal Music Group into a world leader in music-based entertainment and weâre delighted to honour him as this yearâs Media Person of the Year.â
Grainge said, âWhile todayâs music industry is virtually unrecognisable from the business I started in, one thing that hasnât changed is that great artists and great music remain at the heart of everything we do. We are proud to demonstrate how traditional media businesses can reinvent themselves in the age of streaming, leverage new technologies and work closely with brand partners to develop exciting opportunities for artists, labels and fans. On behalf of everyone at UMG and all of our recording artists and songwriters, weâre very thankful to Cannes Lions for this honour.â
In 2011, Grainge led UMGâs successful acquisition of the recorded music assets of the legendary British music company EMI, revitalising its iconic Capitol Records, and, in the process, further strengthening UMGâs position as the global leader in music. Under his leadership, the company set numerous creative records including being the first music company to score all 10 of the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 2016, Grainge was knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the Queenâs 90th Birthday Honours list for accomplishments in the music industry and leadership through its challenging times, contributions to British business and inward investment.
Grainge serves on the boards of Lionsgate Entertainment Corp., a premier next generation global content leader, and Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.