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Yolanda Brown named new Chair of the BPI

By | Published on Thursday 14 July 2022

Yolanda Brown

UK record industry trade body the BPI has announced that musician and broadcaster Yolanda Brown has been appointed as its new Chair.

Brown replaces former major label exec Ged Doherty, who announced plans to step down from the role in February this year, having been in the position since 2014.

“This is an exciting appointment for the BPI, and I congratulate Yolanda and wish her all the very best in the role”, comments Doherty. “It’s been an honour serving the BPI, its Council and hundreds of wonderful members, and I thank Geoff [Taylor, CEO] and his great team for their valued support as well as the members of the BPI’s Equity And Justice Advisory Group for their never-less-than passionate contributions. The last seven years have been a joy and I wish everyone well, and I look forward to seeing British music continue to thrive”.

Meanwhile, Brown herself says: “There is something special about British music – our artists across many genres and generations have been the soundtrack to people’s lives. The last few years have been challenging for our music community – we’ve had to evolve, listen more and show greater empathy, address past issues and collaborate to a much greater extent. There’s still more to do, but there are also so many exciting opportunities that lie ahead”.

“I am honoured to take on this role as Chair of the BPI”, she continues. “A big thank you to my predecessor Ged Doherty for his drive and dedication, which I will continue to build on. I am looking forward to working with the entire BPI Council and members, CEO Geoff Taylor and his team, labels of all shapes and sizes, and of course artists and the wider industry bodies as we all continue to fly the flag for British music”.

Speaking of Geoff Taylor, as both Doherty and Brown were, he has thoughts on all this too. He says: “I am delighted that someone of Yolanda’s extraordinary talent and creative energy is joining the BPI as its new Chair, and I also welcome the fresh perspective that she will bring to our work at this pivotal and exciting time for British music. Her breadth of experience drawn from across so many parts of the music community will prove invaluable as we continue to support the success of our label members and their artists globally”.

This appointment adds yet another title to Brown’s bulging CV. First and foremost a saxophonist, she has toured with the likes of The Temptations, Jools Holland’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Beverley Knight and Billy Ocean. She also composes music, currently working on children’s programmes ‘Sesame Street’, ‘Bea’s Block’ and ‘CocoMelon Lane’. And she also has her own children’s show on CBeebies, ‘Yolanda’s Band Jam’. For the grown ups, she hosts a show on Jazz FM and regularly appears on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends.

In addition to all that, she is also Chair of Youth Music, a member of the Arts Council’s national council, a trustee of the PRS Foundation, an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and London Music Fund, a champion for the children’s mental health charity Place2Be, and sits on the advisory board of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Six by Southbank for the Southbank Centre.

Yeah, I hope you feel as lazy as I do now. And I haven’t even mentioned her two masters degrees and PhD.