Each year the T.J. Martell Foundation bestows the Lifetime Music Industry Achievement Award, its most prestigious honor, to a pioneering individual whose groundbreaking contributions have greatly impacted the music and entertainment landscape. Adding to the excitement, Sony Latin has also announced that chart-topping pop star, Chayanne will present longtime mentor and comrade, Afo Verde with the esteemed award during the star-studded affair.
Afo Verde is an audacious and spirited forward-thinking leader with almost 30 years of experience. He has and continues to nurture the careers of Latin music’s most luminescent entertainers, including Shakira, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Carlos Santana, Prince Royce, Pitbull, Romeo Santos, Draco, Camila, Chayanne and the late Argentinean pop-rock legend, Gustavo Cerati, of the iconic band Soda Stereo.
Verde’s induction is particularly exciting as he is the first Hispanic executive ever to take home this epic mark of distinction during the Foundation’s four-decade history. The Argentina born musical visionary joins the likes of music history-makers and past award recipients like rock icon, Sting, Motown founder, Berry Gordy, visionary composer, Quincy Jones, Def Jam founder, Russell Simmons and Chief Creative Officer at Sony Music Entertainment, Clive Davis.
Verde burst into the industry while still living in Argentina, where he worked as a renowned composer and producer, creating a foundation for his unmatchable artist relations, business mindset and creative intuition, which he would later fine tuned as a music executive. He went on to collaborate with iconic names such as Soda Stereo, Diego Torres, Fabulosos Cadillacs, Mercedes Sosa and Joaquín Sabina, to name a few. His artistry has garnered multiple accolades and international Gold and Platinum selling titles, which include Grammy™, Latin Grammy™ and Premios Gardel awards. Verde was also honored with the “Arranger and Producer of the Decade” for 1995-2005 by the Konex Foundation.
In addition to having worked with international musicians such as Julio Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, Roberto Carlos, Vicente Fernández, and Carlos Vives, Verde has been instrumental in expanding the Latin Iberia region and the careers of outstanding Sony Music US talents such as AC/DC, Adele, One Direction, Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, Tony Bennett, Beyonce, Daft Punk, Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams.
Verde’s tenure at Sony Latin has cemented the label’s position as a market leader, growing its portfolio and share exponentially via brand partnerships, sales, radio and touring, successfully ushering the record giant into the evolving digital entertainment arena. Verde helped broker a monumental deal enabling Sony Latin to produce One Love, One Rhythm -- The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Album featuring Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, Carlos Santana, Ricky Martin and more.
Prior to being appointed as Sony Latin’s CEO, Verde served as President of Sony Music SUR (Argentina and Chile) when he joined the record giant in 2005. He also held posts as Director of A&R for BMG Argentina from 1996 to 2001. Verde is a widely sought after public speaker, frequently lending his insights at large trade events such as the Latin Billboard Awards and Conference. A true international ambassador of the arts, in 2013 Verde was named Latin America Chairman of IFPI, the voice of the recording industry worldwide, which represents the interests of 1,300 record companies from across the globe.
Other honorees at this year’s T.J. Martell Foundation's 39th New York Honors Gala are John Paul DeJoria, co-Founder of Paul Mitchell Hair Products and Patron Spirits Company; Will Botwin, President and CEO of Red Light Management; and Marsha Vlasic, President of The Agency Group International and Hard Rock International. In addition to Sony Latin recording artists, legendary philanthropist and pop icon, Yoko Ono will be among the dazzling list of world-renowned celebrity award presenters.
Past honorees have included Former President George W. Bush and former President William J. Clinton, Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Anne Curry, Al Roker, Arnold Palmer, Del Bryant, Scott Borchetta, Clarence Avant, the late Gil Freisen, Irving Azoff, Monte & Avery Lipman, Bruce Lundvall, John Esposito, Joel Katz, John Sykes, Brandon Steiner, Jennifer Breithaupt, the Target Corporation and the late Frances Williams Preston and the late Ahmet Ertegun.
ABOUT SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT:
Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre, including Arista Nashville, Beach Street Records, Bystorm Entertainment, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Day 1, Descendant Records, Epic Records, Essential Records, Essential Worship, Fo Yo Soul Recordings, Kemosabe Records, Legacy Recordings, MASTERWORKS, Polo Grounds, RCA Inspiration, RCA Nashville, RCA Records, Reunion Records, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International, Syco Music, Vested in Culture and Volcano. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.
ABOUT SONY MUSIC LATIN REGION, SPAIN & PORTUGAL:
A wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment, is the leading Latin music company overseeing the label's U.S. Latin operations as well as in Latin America, Spain and Portugal, The company's roster includes Ricky Martin, Romeo Santos and Chayanne, among many others.
ABOUT THE T.J. MARTELL FOUNDATION:
The T.J. Martell Foundation is the music industry’s largest foundation that funds innovative medical research focused on finding cures for leukemia, cancer and AIDS. The Foundation, headquartered in New York, is a national 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that was founded in 1975 by music industry executive Tony Martell and his colleagues in loving memory of his son T.J., who died of leukemia. The Foundation has provided more than $260 million dollars for research that supports top hospitals in the United States. For more information log on to www.tjmartell.org, www.facebook.com/tjmartellfoundation www.twitter.com/tjmartell