Power Lawyers 2019: 10 Top Music Attorneys for Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, BTS and More

6:15 AM 3/28/2019

by THR staff

Meet the men and women who help the music industry's stars, including Lady Gaga, Blake Shelton and Britney Spears, navigate recording, touring and TV deals.

Ariana Grande-Beyonces-BTS-Split-Getty-H 2019
Getty Images

  • David Byrnes

    Byrnes, who reps The Voice judge Kelly Clarkson, extended the singer’s run as a coach on the NBC series and negotiated a deal for her daytime talk show that will debut this fall. Last year marked a first for Byrnes, as he negotiated agreements for Michelle Obama’s speaking tour for her book Becoming.

    Favorite place to celebrate a win: "Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida."

    If I wasn't a lawyer, I'd be ... "Less nit-picky."

  • Damien Granderson

    "Having the honor to work with brilliant artists and entrepreneurs is a real privilege," says Granderson. "Especially, when they are celebrated for the positive impact they have on culture." Among the clients he's celebrating are Cardi B (the first female solo artist to win the Grammy for best rap album), Shaggy (Grammy winner for reggae album of the year) and Quality Control Music owners Coach K and Pee, who released more than a dozen projects in the past year. His client list also includes R&B/hip-hop chart toppers Migos, J Cole and A$AP Rocky.

    Desert island must-read Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

    My theme song "Get Up, Stand Up" by Bob Marley

  • David Lande

    Lande negotiated three of the music's biggest tours: Beyoncé's On the Run 2 with Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake's Man of the Woods Tour, and Shakira's El Dorado Tour. Says Lande, "These three tours comprise more than 225 concerts, have sold almost 5 million tickets, will gross almost $600 million [and] employ more than 600 people." He also negotiated Queen Bey's deal to be the voice of Nala in the highly anticipated live-action remake of The Lion King.

    Favorite place to celebrate a win "Polo Lounge. It is old school but classy and powerful."

    If I wasn't a lawyer, I'd be … "A trek leader for adventure tours."

  • Dina LaPolt

    In addition to traditional work for clients like Britney Spears, deadmau5 and Galantis, LaPolt was a fierce advocate for the Music Modernization Act, helped free rapper 21 Savage after he was detained by ICE, and took on President Donald Trump over his unauthorized use of Aerosmith music at rallies on behalf of client Steven Tyler.

    My theme song "I’m Still Standing" by Elton John

    Favorite place to celebrate a win "Home with my wife and kids."

  • Kenny Meiselas

    Meiselas negotiated Lady Gaga's contract for A Star Is Born, which led to her Oscar win for best original song Shallow. He also inked Gaga's $100 million Las Vegas residency, which includes both her jazz shows with Tony Bennett and her pop show, Enigma. His other clients include hitmaker Bebe Rexha and Ella Mai, who scored her first Grammy win this year.

    My theme song "'We Can Work It Out' by The Beatles because I'm a dealmaker and we can work it out."

    If I wasn't a lawyer, I'd be … "A pop star — looks like a fun job!"

  • Don Passman

    Passman points to Taylor Swift’s deal with Universal Music Group as a highlight from last year, along with updating the 10th edition of his book on the music business. "It's the most extensive rewrite I’ve ever done,” says Passman, who also continues to rep Adele and Stevie Wonder.

    Most overused Hollywood buzzword “Socialize.”

    I never leave the house without my phone, keys and ... "Sunglasses."

  • Jess Rosen

    Country music powerhouse Lady Antebellum left their decade-long home at Universal Music Group's Big Machine with the help of Rosen, whose client list boasts top talent like Kenny Chesney and Florida Georgia Line. Outside of the music, Rosen negotiated Thomas Rhett’s sponsorship with Crown Royal and the extension of Brad Paisley’s with Chevy.

    My theme song “Luck Be a Lady”

    Favorite place to celebrate a win "Lo Scoglio on the Amalfi coast."

  • Aaron Rosenberg

    Rosenberg's roster includes some of the busiest names in music. He negotiated a new touring agreement for Ariana Grande's Sweetener/Thank U Next tour, secured a deal for John Legend to become a new coach on The Voice, and inked Jennifer Lopez’s Las Vegas residency. Rosenberg also continues to rep Justin Bieber and Jason Derulo, who in 2018 launched his Just for You Foundation with the Heart of Haiti Gala. 

    My theme song “Level Up” by Ciara

    Most overused Hollywood buzzword "Genius."

  • Theo Sedlmayr

    New York-based Sedlmayr quietly reps Drake, Eminem and Post Malone.

  • Debbie White

    White's client list is headlined by a worldwide sensation: K-pop supergroup BTS. She says witnessing the boy band's unprecedented American crossover (including their sold-out Citi Field show in October) has been a joy, but her favorite part of working with them is "helping them make stronger business connections" in the U.S. Her client list also includes Tencent, The Who and Regina Spektor.

    Favorite place to celebrate a win "Nobu 57 in New York, or anywhere I can have a good bottle of rosé champagne with people I love."

    If I wasn't a lawyer, I'd be … "A news anchor. I love meeting interesting people. I love listening to their stories."

    A version of this story first appeared in the March 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.