Sony Digital Rapids Pixel Power calrec Sony

Why Sylvia Rhone Isnt Scared of Losing


Growing up in culturally rich Harlem in the 1950s, Sylvia Rhone was surrounded by music. She heard it on street corners, in churches, and at concerts at the legendary Apollo Theater. Harlem was the soundtrack to the heart and soul of the city, said Rhone during a recent Q&A at the Berklee Performance Center.

Rhone, who received an honorary doctorate on April 5 as part of Berklee's Career Jam 2019, was honored for her groundbreaking position as one of very few women to achieve her status as a label head, multiple times, and her influence on the music industry through her leadership, stated Carl Beatty, Berklee's assistant vice president of artist and music industry relations.

A graduate of the Wharton School, Rhone's career in the music industry has spanned more than four decades, beginning as a secretary at Buddha Records in 1974, to becoming vice president and general manager of black music operations at Atlantic Records in the mid-1980s, guiding them as the first major label to invest in hip-hop. In her current role as president of Epic Records, she oversees the music and careers of DJ Khaled, 21 Savage, French Montana, Future, and Camila Cabello.

Fearless Innovation In a one-on-one conversation with Danielle Queen D. Scott, assistant professor in the Ensemble Department, Rhone touched upon her trailblazing career, handling racism and sexism, her love of hip-hop, trusting her instincts, and a myriad of other topics.

She talked about being thrilled to see how far hip-hop music and culture have come, and how, under her leadership at Atlantic Records, the company invested in the genre by offering artists their own labels (Dr. Dre and Eazy E. with Ruthless Records, in one example) to help them build their careers. She believed in the music and the artists and was in it for the long run.

When she went to East West Records America, where she later became chairman, Rhone's roster of artists expanded to include a diverse pool of talent. She was open to the tests and challenges that came from the naysayers, even going so far as joining Metallica on tour for several weeks. I'm not scared of losing, said Rhone, because I know I can win. Part of Rhone's success can be attributed to being fearless and confident in herself and abilities, as well to being open to new challenges.

Rhone left the audience with this piece of advice: You will make mistakes. You will have successes and failures, but you have to be resilient. And to look at your losses, put them in perspective, learn from them, and then let them go.

Related categories:


Related Reading

Berklee to Present Honorary Doctorate to Epic Records President Sylvia Rhone The Harlem native is the first African American woman to be named chairman of a major record company.

Artists Discovered by Hitmaker Sylvia Rhone From Missy Elliott and Dream Theater to Camila Cabello and Jason Mraz, listen to some of the hits launched by the industry icon.

Rob Lewis Named Berklee Ensemble Department Artist in Residence The veteran arranger and musical director has worked with artists such as Christina Aguilera, Dr. Dre, TLC, and Boyz II Men.

More from Berklee Now

Most Popular

Missy Elliott, Alex Lacamoire, and Justin Timberlake to Receive Honorary Doctorates at Berklee Commencement Berklees commencement ceremony takes place on Saturday, May 11, at the Agganis Arena at Boston University.


Why Sylvia Rhone Isnt Scared of Losing The trailblazing president of Epic Records shared the secrets of her success at Career Jam 2019.

Career Jam Concert.jpg

Career Jam 2019: The Rundown Student blogger Alma Blum breaks down her highlights from this years Career Jam, from panels to the concluding concert.

Berklee Blogs

David Ransom Named Senior Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police Captain Ransom is also an adjunct instructor in criminal justice at Bay State College.

Read All

Subscribe The latest sounds, stories, and ideas, sent to your inbox weekly.

Berklee Blogs







See more stories from berklee

North America Stories


Emilio and Gloria Estefan Scholarship Awarded to Sergio De Miguel Jorquera

The Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation awarded the Emilio and Gloria Estefan Scholarship to 17-year-old piano student Sergio De Miguel Jorquera at a scholarship p...


Berklee Alumni Among Emmy Winners for Momentum Generation

At first glance, Berklee and sports may not be an obvious match. But several alumni and faculty members have made their musical mark on the sporting world in th...


Berklee Alumnus Brings Music to Refugees in Lebanon

Layth Sidiq B.M. '14, M.M. '16 is an acclaimed violinist who was born in Baghdad and grew up in Amman, Jordan. Trained classically under Timur Ibrahimov...


Berklees Boston Summer Music Preview

With all the festivals, club shows, and musicals around town-not to mention Berklee's massive slate of free Summer in the City concerts throughout Boston-it...


Save the Date: Don't Miss SVG College Summit 2020 (May 27-29, Atlanta)

Save the Date: Don't Miss SVG College Summit 2020 (May 27-29, Atlanta) In its 12th year, the college sports video industrys premier conference and tech exhi...


Voting is Open for AES 2019 Elections

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2019 --...


NAB Statement on FCC Order Modernizing Childrens Television Programming Rules

NAB Statement on FCC Order Modernizing Childrens Television Programming Rules WASHINGTON, D.C. - In response to yesterdays announcement by the FCC that it will...


Streaming Summit to Return to NAB Show New York

Streaming Summit to Return to NAB Show New York -- Speaker proposals are being accepted through June 28 -- WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Streaming Summit, a two-day e...


Elton John: Rocketman Used DaVinci Resolve Studio Throughout Color Pipeline: On Set, for DI, and Finish Grading

-- Blackmagic Design has today announced that its DaVinci Resolve Studio was u...


Ann Curry Live Show Chasing the Cure' Begins Aug. 8 on TNT, TBS

Chasing the Cure, a live series hosted by Ann Curry, debuts on TNT and TBS Aug. 8. The series focuses on patients who suffer from undiagnosed, misdiagnosed or u...


Grass Valley Delivers the Newsroom System of Choice for LATAM Broadcasters

Grass Valley's all-in-one media production platform, GV STRATUS, has been selected to deliver end-to-end newsroom capability by three major LATAM broadcaste...


Sony Introduces Simple Live Streaming with New Proposition For HXR-NX80 and PXW-Z90 Camcorders via Free Firmware Upgrade

Sony's announced that its palm-sized 4K HDR professional camcorders, HXR-NX8...


Harmonic Enables Guangdong Radio and Television to Deliver Premium UHD Broadcasts in China

Harmonic (NASDAQ: HLIT) today announced that Guangdong Radio and Television (GRT...


Ross Video Powers Paperlyte at E3 2019

Ottawa, Canada, June 20th 2019 - Ross Video production equipment, including the Carbonite Ultra production switcher and XPression graphics platform, powered mul...


Telemundo Snags Trump Interview

Telemundo said it has snagged President Donald Trumps first "exclusive, sit-down" interview with a Spanish-language TV network since he took office over two yea...


Primetime Ratings: NBC Wins With Consistent Talent'

(Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC) NBC won the Tuesday ratings derby, with America's Got Talent pacing the network to a 1.3 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen over...


Parkinson-Jones, Scher Join Disneys Tamron Hall

Talia Parkinson-Jones and Andrew Scher have joined Disney's new daytime talk show, Tamron Hall, said William Burton, senior VP of daytime, sports and syndic...


Showtime Orders Comedy Back to Life'

Showtime has ordered comedy Back to Life, which comes from Fleabag producers Harry and Jack Williams. Daisy Haggard created the show and stars. The network is ...


Fuse Media Expected to Emerge from Bankruptcy Soon

Latino and multicultural youth-oriented programmer Fuse Media said it is expected to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the next few weeks, after a...


Progress Report: Bull Durham The Musical

Corp VP of Special Projects George Habel shares the latest update on the stage show based on the famous movie about Durham's favorite baseball team. He re...


Kickstarter and Social Art Network Team Up to Support UK Artists

The program will mentor 10 social practice artists in the UK as they prepare to launch projects this fall. Filmmaker Ian Nesbitts Taking The Michael Kick...


Ed Hauber Is Latest Addition to Digital Nirvana Executive Team, Joining as Director of Business Development

FREMONT, Calif. - June 19, 2019 - Signaling Digital Nirvana's continued mome...


TVU Networks Partners with Largest Network of Videographers, Stringr, to Source Custom Live Video Within Existing Workflow

Access to Stringr's Network of Over 90,000 Amateur and Professional Freelanc...


CWDM and DWDM Networks Which is best for you?

Difference between CWDM and DWDM networks Wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) has become increasingly popular in fiber-optics communications as it allows tr...


June Issue of the AES Journal Available Online

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2019 --...


Grass Valley Delivers the Newsroom System of Choice for LATAM Broadcasters

Grass Valley Delivers the Newsroom System of Choice for LATAM Broadcasters MONTREAL, June 19, 2019 Grass Valleys all-in-one media production platform, GV ST...



Writers: Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis (Five Feet Apart and The Curse of La Llorona) are adapting the horror-fantasy children's book Nightbooks by J.A...



-- The critically-acclaimed sketch comedy series will return in 2020 -- We kindly ask that you link to in your...



Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to Imagine Entertainment's film adapta...


ESL UK Converges Physical Sports, Esports for Broadcast at the VR League Finals

ESL UK converges physical sports and eSports for broadcast at the VR League finals By Heather McLean, Editor Monday, June 17, 2019 - 14:25 Print This Story...


District Detroit SVP Keith Bradford To Keynote SVG Venue Summit at Little Caesars Arena

District Detroit SVP Keith Bradford To Keynote SVG Venue Summit at Little Caesar...


Journey Addresses IP-based Transmission Needs of Sports Video Clients

Journey Addresses IP-based Transmission Needs of Sports Video Clients By SVG Staff Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 10:29 am Print This Story Story Highlights ...


Univision Deportes Brings Augmented Reality to the Pitch at CONCACAF Gold Cup

Univision Deportes Brings Augmented Reality to the Pitch at CONCACAF Gold Cup Cutting-edge tech from Ncam, Vizrt takes graphics coverage to new broadcast fronts...


TechnipFMC Awarded Subsea Contracts for Anadarko's Mozambique LNG

Press release | June 18, 2019 TechnipFMC Awarded Subsea Contracts for Anadarko's Mozambique LNG LONDON & PARIS & HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- TechnipFMC (NY...


New Season of Dear White People' on Netflix Aug. 2

Courtesy of Netflix A new season of satirical comedy Dear White People rolls in Netflix Aug. 2. Netflix is calling it Volume 3. Set against the backdrop of ...


Queer Eye' Returns to Netflix July 19

Courtesy of Netflix Netflix has picked up Queer Eye for a fourth and fifth season, with season four premiering July 19. Season four has the Fab Five in Kansas ...


June 19, 2019

PTSD study identifies potential target for memory disruption June 19, 2019 JUPITER, FL Fight or flight, panic, trembling: Our brains are wired to ensure we...


Goldcrest Post's Ryan Price Creates the Sounds of Self Destruction in Her Smell

-- Sound production for Her Smell writer/director Alex Ross Perry's new f...


Hoods Inc. Productions Powers Its New Modern Media Operation With EditShare

-- EditShare , a technology leader in intelligent scale-out storage, AQC and media management solutions, announced today that Singapore-based Hoods Inc. Produ...


FOR-A Corporation of America Names Mike Buchanan to Lead Sales Effort in Western U.S.

-- FOR-A Corporation of America announces the appointment of Mike Buchanan as ...


Sony Pictures Post Production Services Delivers Out of This World Sound For Men in Black: International

-- Sound production for Columbia Pictures' new action adventure Men in Bla...


Red Giant Introduces: VFX Suite for Adobe After Effects

-- Red Giant today announced VFX Suite, an all-new suite of keying, tracking, cleanup and visual effects compositing tools, all right inside Adobe After Effe...


Qoncept Inc. uses Blackmagic DeckLink SDI Micro for Baseball Pitch Tracking System Baseboy

-- Blackmagic Design announced today that Blackmagic's DeckLink SDI Micro ...


PBS Digital Studios Debuts STELLAR Alongside PBS's Summer of Space Interactive Experience at

STELLAR, A New Six Part Miniseries from PBS Digital Studios. PBS The Six Episo...


DBAP Hosts Record Three-Game Stretch

Paid attendance totals 35,052 over weekend series The Durham Bulls hosted a record-breaking three-game series from June 14 through June 16, as the team announc...


June 18, 2019

Ambassadors from more than 35 countries visit Scripps Research on State Department tour June 18, 2019 La Jolla, CA More than 35 ambassadors representing co...


Season Four of This Is Us' Begins on NBC Sept. 24

NBCs "This Is Us" (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC) NBCs fall season begins Monday, Sept. 23, as the network unveils a pair of comedies on Thursdays and a Monday ...