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Remembering Capitol Christian Music Group CEO Bill Hearn

As family, friends and colleagues gather today in Nashville to pay respects to Bill Hearn, Chairman and CEO of Capitol Christian Music Group, GOSPELflava shares memories from the Gospel music community who were impacted by his work.

Bil Carpenter, author of Uncloudy Days, The Gospel Music Encyclopedia

“Bill was a shrewd but integral businessman who was also a genius at taking what his father, Billy Ray created with Sparrow Records to stratospheric heights with the evolution of the Capitol Christian Music Group.  I haven’t been in touch with him in recent years but he was pivotal in blossoming many careers, from Steven Curtis Chapman to Cece Winans.  I would never have worked in the the Gospel music field had he not pulled me in at avery crucial time in my life when I was deciding on a career.  His support for me and how I handled his artists was the foundation that I now stand on and I’ll always be grateful for his support in those early years that led to my 20+ year career working in the Gospel music industry.”

Patrick Henderson, Songwriter, Producer, Former Minister of Music, West Angeles Church of God In Christ

“Bill was his father’s son.  I believe it was his destiny to be a businessman.  Whereas his father was both businessman  and musician with a long history of innovation and paradigm shifting music that was before its time, Bill took Sparrow from a boutique label to a powerhouse that boasted some of the biggest names in Gospel and Contemporary Christian Music.  I am grateful that we were given a chance to do the Saints in Praise series with them.  Although it is as racially divided as it ever was, the Hearns bridged gaps that at least got believers singing from the same songbook.  May father and son rest in power and be remembered for the great things they have done.”

Hearn successfully combined an unwavering vision, a commitment to excellence, and an arsenal of exceptional talent to make CCMG the leader in the Christian/Gospel music industry.  Hearn was instrumental in the formation and leadership of that company, having played a leading role in the sale and highly-successful transition of family-owned Sparrow Records – founded by his father, Billy Ray Hearn –to EMI Music in 1992. 


Through multiple acquisitions, Hearn evolved Sparrow into EMI Christian Music Group where he was appointed CEO in 1996.  The company was renamed Capitol Christian Music Group 2013.  He led the company to unprecedented success by developing and maintaining its vision to impact popular culture with quality and culturally relevant music from a biblical worldview, appealing to both faith-based and mainstream audiences. 


Over the past 20 years, Hearn grew CCMG into the world’s leading Christian Music company and market leader in recorded music and music publishing, helming a company that now operates several divisions, including CCMG Label Group (Sparrow Records, ForeFront Records, sixstepsrecords, Hillsong, Jesus Culture), Motown Gospel and CCMG Publishing (including Brentwood-Benson Music Publications).  CCMG owned labels are home to artists Chris Tomlin, Amy Grant, TobyMac, Tasha Cobbs, Jeremy Camp, Hillsong United, Matt Redman, Mandisa, Tye Tribbett, Crowder, Passion Band, Kari Jobe and many others. 


CCMG Publishing, in addition to representing most of the CCMG labels’ premier artist/writers, represents many of the other leading writers in Christian/Gospel including Ben Glover, David Garcia, Kirk Franklin, Mark Hall, Brenton Brown and many more.

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