THR Names Music's 35 Top Hitmakers
This story first appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Publishing’s creative pied piper is the beloved “Big” Jon Platt, nicknamed for his size (6-foot-8) and stature along with his teddy-bear demeanor. Encouraged to try the music business by iconic rapper Chuck D, the former Denver DJ spent 17 years at EMI Music Publishing, during which he signed Drake, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris and Jay-Z, among many others. “Empire State of Mind,” the Jay-Z and Alicia Keys 2009 hit which spent five weeks at No. 1 and went on to sell 5 million copies, would not exist without the talent-nurturing prowess of Platt, who paired the song’s two writers together.
Where publishing’s so-called “mailbox money” is concerned, Platt is widely credited for exponentially raising hip-hop’s profile and profit margin. “I'd be lying if I said I was the first person to sign hip-hop songwriters to publishing deals, but I think I was the first music publisher to care about those songwriters and treat them the same way that a country songwriter or a huge pop writer might be treated… and it built a whole business,” says Platt, who in Sept. 2012 joined Warner/Chappell as president of creative. His philosophy: “It's a service first business and that's what's gotten me to where I am.”Click here to read THR's complete Pop's Top 35 Hitmakers list.