The annual Grammy awards are presented by the Recording Academy, and in January of 2018 it was involved in a controversy that may wreak havoc on its leadership. President of the Recording Academy, Neil Portnow, recently made a statement calling out the women in the music industry, sayin they need to “step up”. That statement did not go over well with many artists and executives in the industry, and a group of six such women made a statement of their own. Led by Chief Operating Officer of Roc Nation, Desiree Perez, the group signed a letter that was given to the board of trustees of the Recording Academy.
The letter berated the Recording Academy for the out-of-touch comments of their President and urged their “task force” to look at what the Academy is doing wrong that would prevent women from advancing in the industry. The women did everything but call for Portnow’s resignation, but made themselves available to help solve the problem that is evident. The letter was signed by Perez and five other high-level music executives from such agencies as Sony Music and Universal. Perez has been aligned with the #MeToo movement through several of the female musicians she has signed, including Mariah Carey.
Desiree “Des” Perez is a top-level music executive, named as COO of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation in 2009. She was also named COO of the music streaming app, TIDAL, which has grown exponentially over the past year after a deal with Sprint. That is a deal the Perez herself negotiated, securing a deal that many see as advantageous to TIDAL. Before being named COO of Roc Nation, she ran Jay-Z’s SC Enterprises for over a decade.Des has over 20 years of experience in the music and entertainment business, owner and managing a number of night clubs and entertainment venues in New York for years. She is known as perhaps the toughest negotiator in the industry.