NASHVILLE — MTSU professor Beverly Keel, chair of the university’s Department of Recording Industry, and former MTSU student Hillary Scott of Grammy-winning music group Lady Antebellum were among honorees Monday night at The Nashville Business Journal’s inaugural Women in Music City Awards.
Scott, who attended MTSU as a recording industry student before launching a successful music career, was honored as Artist of the Year and was keynote speaker at the red carpet event, held at the Omni Nashville Hotel. Keel was among the 26 other women recognized for their contributions to Nashville’s thriving music industry.
“I’m just so thrilled to be a part of this,” Keel said. “It’s an amazing list of women, and what’s so great is that they’ve all chosen different paths.”
Also honored at the event was MTSU alumna Jill Napier (’99), director of copyright management at Music Services Inc. in Brentwood, Tennessee. Napier currently serves on MTSU National Alumni Association Board of Directors.
The Business Journal solicited nominations of women working in the music business “who are making a creative and economic impact on the industry.” A judging committee of women music professionals from Los Angeles and New York City reviewed and scored the nominees, and an NBJ committee chose the winners.
Formerly an award-winning music journalist and recording industry executive, Keel became recording industry department chair a year ago. Among projects the MTSU alumna has worked on since include efforts to establish a scholarship fund at MTSU in memory of country music legend George Jones; and creation of the Chair’s Lecture Series to bring industry leaders such as Gary Overton, Sarah Trahern, Joe Galante and others to speak to students.
Scott, a Nashville native, is lead singer of the musical trio Lady Antebellum, whose fifth album, “747,” is scheduled to be released Sept. 30. The other members of the group, which has already captured seven Grammy Awards, are Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley.
In her keynote remarks, Scott, who’s married and has a 1-year-old daughter, recalled fondly her time at MTSU and thanked Keel for being so welcoming during her time on campus. She applauded Nashville’s music industry for its support of women in the industry.
“Nashville’s emphasis on nurturing families has never been more,” Scott said. “Being in a business that’s very hectic and demands so much of your time, I’ve still never felt like I had to make a choice between having a career and being a mom.”
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said Scott “is a perfect example of what makes Nashville such a special place.”
Read the full list of winners at http://bit.ly/1kz9P5x.
— Jimmy Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org)