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Jody Gerson

ODY GERSON was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and began her career in the entertainment business simply by growing up around it. Her father and grandfather, Charles and Dallas Gerson, owned and operated the legendary Latin Casino Nightclub where at a young age, Gerson was introduced to the talents of stellar artists such as Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, Richard Pryor and the Temptations, among others. This experience so influenced Gerson, she chose a career that would enable her to discover and develop artists for years to come.

After graduating from Northwestern, Gerson moved to New York City to become a songplugger for Chappell Music. By joining one of the world's largest and most successful music publishing companies, at the time, she was able work closely with cutting edge writers and artists such as R.E.M., Rod Stewart and Bernie Taupin, among others. She spent six years at Chappell Music before she was hired by Martin Bandier to head up EMI Music Publishing's East Coast Creative division. It was at EMI that she immediately signed the group Nelson (the sons of Ricky Nelson), who went on to sell three million records and tour the world.

In 1991, Gerson moved to Los Angeles to run EMI's West Coast Operations. It was there that she signed and built a stable of some of the most cutting edge and innovative talent in the industry. Gerson's first signing was the multi-platinum hip-hop band Arrested Development, who went on to win the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1993.

It was around this time that Gerson sensed a new R&B sound emanating from Atlanta where she went and signed two young writer/producers named Jermaine Dupri and Dallas Austin. Signing the two exclusively to EMI Music, Gerson had created a hit factory as they each went on to write and produce songs for such multi-platinum acts as Kriss Kross, TLC, Madonna, Boyz II Men, Another Bad Creation, Monica, Usher, Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson, among others. Diverse in her musical tastes, Gerson was also interested in a number of other musical sounds and during this period (1994-1997) worked closely with the Beastie Boys' label Grand Royal and signed artists Luscious Jackson, N'Dea Davenport, Deborah Cox and Blind Melon to EMI Music Publishing.

Always a step ahead of the public's choice in music, Gerson once again sensed a new sound, this time coming from the Latin community. In 1997, she signed the Grammy Award winning recording artist Enrique Iglesias, who has gone on to record such worldwide #1 hits as Bailamos, Rhythm Divine, Hero and Escape from the 10 million selling album of the same name.

And again, known for spotting talent early and having the foresight to develop it, Gerson signed Alicia Keys in 1996 when the artist was fifteen-years-old. Her first record Songs in A Minor has been a worldwide phenomenon, winning 5 Grammy Awards in 2002, (including Best New Artist and Song Of the Year,) and selling over 10 million records worldwide.

Adding another smash to the EMI Music Publishing roster, Gerson heard the music of Norah Jones in early 2002, and signed her to the publishing company immediately. In 2003, Jones earned 5 Grammy Awards for her album Come Away With Me, proving that once again, Gerson had heard the hits ahead of the curve. Gerson's vast list of innovative and cutting-edge signings to EMI have also included Blackround Entertainment (Aaliyah), T-Boz (TLC), Rooney, Van Hunt and Lostprophets, among others. Most recently, Gerson was responsible for signing Kelly Clarkson, who earned 2 Grammy Awards this year for her 8 million selling CD, Breakaway.

Along with Gerson's music business success, she produced the successful movie Drumline along with Dallas Austin and Wendy Finerman (Forrest Gump).

Note: This profile was written in or before 2006.

Jody Gerson Facts

BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Selected Filmography

Drumline: A New Beat
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