Donna Hilley, Former SONY/ATV President/CEO Passes
June 21, 2012 at 6:08 AM (PT)
Former SONY/ATV NASHVILLE Pres./CEO DONNA HILLEY, died yesterday (6/20), after an extended illness. HILLEY spent 31 years at SONY/ATV NASHVILLE. HILLEY was born in BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, and began her career in the music industry at radio station WKDA/PITTSBURGH, where she spent 8 years. In 1978, she was named EVP/COO of TREE INTERNATIONAL.
SONY purchased TREE INTERNATIONAL in 1989, and HILLEY, who negotiated the purchase, assumed the role of President and CEO in 1994. She was instrumental in negotiating more than sixty acquisitions including ACUFF-ROSE, LITTLE BIG TOWN, MAYPOP, and the catalogs of CONWAY TWITTY, and MERLE HAGGARD.
“DONNA HILLEY’s influence on MUSIC ROW’s artists and songwriters and on the broader Nashville community could never fully be expressed with words,” said President and CEO of Sony/ATV TROY TOMLINSON. “She was an icon in every sense – an inspiring trailblazer for women executives in the music business, a staunch advocate for artists and songwriters and a genuine competitor who was respected, but never underestimated, by her peers. SONY/ATV is forever better because of Donna’s leadership and immeasurable contributions. Our artists, writers and staff grieve today along with her family on the passing of a compassionate leader and great friend.”
Visitation is scheduled for FRIDAY evening, JUNE 22nd, at WOODLAWN FUNERAL HOME in NASHVILLE. The funeral service is set for SATURDAY morning (6/23) at 11a (CT), at FORREST HILLS BAPTIST CHURCH.