Sire Records relaunched at Warner, Rani Hancock named President

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Warner Music Group is relaunching Sire Records, hiring former Arista, RCA and Island Records exec Rani Hancock as the label’s President.

Hancock will officially join Sire, part of the modern day Warner Bros Records family, in New York City on August 1.

Sire is celebrating its 50th year in existence in 2017, and the man who co-founded the company – Seymour Stein – will continue to bring his experience to the label as its Chairman.

Over the course of her two-decade career, Hancock has signed or worked with superstars such as Miley Cyrus, Kesha, Pitbull, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato.

In the last seven years, Hancock has been closely involved with six No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 singles, 15 Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 singles and three No. 1 Billboard albums.

Rani Hancock said, “I’ve always been inspired by Sire’s roster of artists and the label’s fearless, independent spirit. So many great Sire artists have pushed the boundaries of music and fashion, while having pop hits that appeal to a mainstream audience, from Madonna to the Ramones, from Talking Heads to the Pretenders.

“Whether it’s artists or executives, we’re focused on attracting and developing true talent who will pioneer the future of music. Rani is the perfect example of our approach, as her own rare qualities will, in turn, draw original, genre-defying artists to Sire.”

Max Lousada, WMG

“I hope to continue that tradition of finding and supporting culture-changing artists who make hugely popular music that withstands the test of time. I’m very thankful to be setting out on that mission with amazing support from Max, Cameron and Seymour.

“It’s such an exciting time to be joining WMG, especially with Max’s vision for evolving the concept of a modern, artist-centric music company.”

Max Lousada, who becomes CEO, Recorded Music, WMG on October 1st, said, “Whether it’s artists or executives, we’re focused on attracting and developing true talent who will pioneer the future of music. Rani is the perfect example of our approach, as her own rare qualities will, in turn, draw original, genre-defying artists to Sire.

“Seymour built the label into a home for many of the world’s most influential artists, and I believe Rani will help us reignite Sire as a beacon for the bravest and biggest stars. She’s a first-class addition to our leadership, not only in the U.S., but on the global stage.”

Cameron Strang, CEO & Chairman, Warner Bros. Records, said, “Over the past half-century, Sire has stood for quality, integrity and an intense devotion to artists. Seymour and Sire have played a central role in the story of Warner Bros. Records and helped set a new standard in the art of artist development.

“Rani is the perfect leader to grow Sire’s amazing legacy and chart a new course for this iconic label. She has great ears for discovering unique artists and outstanding instincts for making records. On behalf of everyone at Warner Bros., I welcome her to Sire and to the family.”

“Given Rani’s exceptional track record and tremendous enthusiasm, I am convinced she is the person to build both the Sire roster and brand, and help take the company into the future.”

Seymour Stein, WMG

Seymour Stein said, “This year has been marked by special anniversaries for me and for Sire Records. We are celebrating Sire’s 50th anniversary, our 40th with Warner Music, and my 60th year in the music business. It has been my dream to be joined by someone I can work together with to help strengthen and expand the label.

“Given Rani’s exceptional track record and tremendous enthusiasm, I am convinced she is the person to build both the Sire roster and brand, and help take the company into the future.”

Hancock began her career at Arista Records under the tutelage of Clive Davis.

After five years, she left to start her own management company, managing producers and songwriters, including Steve J and Ma$e’s label Harlem World. In 2000, Hancock became one of the founding employees of J Records, working with artists such as Alicia Keys, Maroon 5 and Rod Stewart. Following the mergers of J Records with RCA and Arista, and then with Jive Records, to form RCA Group, Hancock rose to EVP of A&R at RCA.

There, she signed and worked with artists such as Miley Cyrus, Kesha, Pitbull, Britney Spears, Magic!, Gavin Degraw, Mike Posner, Daughtry, and Adam Lambert, among others.

In 2015, she became EVP, Head of A&R for Island Records. While at Island, she worked with Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas, as well as signing up-and-coming talent, such as Skip Marley and Olivia O’Brien.

Hancock holds a degree in Music Production and Engineering from Berklee College of Music.

Seymour Stein and Richard Gottehrer launched Sire as a full-fledged independent label in 1967. By the mid-‘70s, the company was immersed in the emerging punk and New Wave scene with such groundbreaking signings as the Ramones and Talking Heads.

In 1976, Sire joined the Warner Music Group family, cultivating a roster that expanded to include Madonna, the Pretenders, the Smiths, Depeche Mode, the Cure, k.d. lang, the Cult, the Replacements, Ice-T, Cyndi Lauper, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Barenaked Ladies, Echo & the Bunnymen, Tom Tom Club, Aztec Camera, Soft Cell, Erasure, Yazoo, Everything But The Girl and HIM.Music Business Worldwide

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