William “Billy” H. Mann (born December 20, 1968) is an American songwriter, record producer, creative executive, music publisher, and founder/CEO of independent music publishing company Green & Bloom/Topline, as well as chairman of management firm Manncom.
Over a 20-year period, Mann has built his career from street musician to recording artist to entrepreneur and music industry executive. In the process he has written songs and/or produced records for/with an array of artists, including P!nk, John Legend, Celine Dion, Take That, Backstreet Boys, Cher, David Guetta, Kelly Rowland, Jessica Simpson, Ricky Martin, Anastacia, Art Garfunkel, Sting, Joss Stone, Robyn, Grover Washington, Jr., Chaka Khan, Boyzone, Paula Abdul, Cher Lloyd, Paul Van Dyk and Hilary Duff.
Since penning his first Top 10 hit in the UK for EMI in 1995 with “3 Is Family” by Dana Dawson, Mann has racked up several Top 40 hits around the world (including several Top 10s and number 1s), with cumulative album sales of over 110 million.
Early life and education
Born in Philadelphia, PA as the youngest of three children. Born to middle class parents, Mann lived with his mother in Philadelphia’s inner city after his parents’ divorce. From early childhood, he began experimenting with songwriting and taught himself guitar, piano, bass, harmonica, baritone horn and flute. By age 12, Mann had put together several bands with other young local musicians, including musicians such as Steven Wolf, Clayton Sears and Adam Dorn (a.k.a. Mocean Worker).
A college graduate by 20, Mann immediately began his professional career as a traveling musician. After stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and London, Mann landed in New York, where a chance encounter with producer Ric Wake, put together by songwriter/performer Gregg Wattenberg, resulted in a recording contract. Wake then introduced Mann to then A&M Records label head, Al Cafaro; Mann was ultimately signed to Wake’s imprint DV8 Records, distributed by A&M.
The deal led to two solo releases: 1996’s Billy Mann and 1998’s Earthbound. Inspired by the loss of his first wife Rema Hort Mann, to stomach cancer nine months after they were married, Earthbound was co-produced by Mann and David Kershenbaum and featured an appearance by Carole King.
Following the release of Earthbound, Mann relocated to Europe.
Mann has written songs for artists across a number of genres including pop, rock, dance, R&B, reggae, house and country. Self-publishing his own catalog, he also has publishing credits with Sony/ATV, Warner/Chappell, Verse and BMG Chrysalis. Mann’s songwriting collaborators have included artists such as Carole King, Rudy Perez, Burt Bacharach, Desmond Child, Graham Lyle and Walter Afanasieff, as well as new producer/songwriters like Christian Medice, David Spencer and Cara Onofrio. Of particular note is Mann's long-standing collaboration with P!nk, another Philadelphia native, who was introduced to Mann in 2002 by her then co-manager Craig Logan. They since have co-written such songs as “God Is A DJ,” “Stupid Girls,” “Dear Mr. President,” “Nobody Knows,” “I’m Not Dead,” “Crystal Ball,” “Glitter in the Air,” “Bridge of Light,” “The Truth About Love” and “Beam Me Up.” They have twice been nominated for Grammys, for “Stupid Girls” and “The Truth About Love.”
About.com named Mann one of the Top 10 Producers of 2006. In addition to some of the artists listed above, he has worked in a production capacity with such Grammy-winning producer legends as Peter Asher, Walter Afanasieff, David Foster and James Stroud.
Production and writing credits include
- P!nk: Try This, I'm Not Dead, Funhouse, Greatest Hits … So Far, The Truth About Love
- Cher: Closer to the truth
- Celine Dion: Let’s Talk About Love
- Josh Groban: Closer (Website Exclusive version)
- Backstreet Boys: Never Gone, Unbreakable
- Michael Bolton: Only a Woman Like You
- Teddy Geiger: Step Ladder, Underage Thinking, Snow Blankets the Night
- Ricky Martin: Life
- Martina McBride: Emotions
- Robyn: My Truth
- Kelly Rowland: Simply Deep, Ms. Kelly
- Jonas Bros: It’s About Time
- Hall & Oates: Do It for Love
- Jessica Simpson: Irresistible, In This Skin
- Joss Stone: Introducing Joss Stone
- Take That: Beautiful World
- Paul van Dyk: Out There and Back
- Amanda Marshall: Everybody’s Got a Story
- Seeed: Seeed
- Frida Gold: Liebe Ist Meine Religion
- Natalie Imbruglia: Male
In 2001, Mann founded Stealth Entertainment in New York City's garment district. The one-man office and studio grew into a team of a half dozen young executives who went on to develop multi-platinum, award-winning and chart-topping artists, songwriters, producers and mixing engineers like Andy Zulla, Christopher Rojas, Teddy Geiger, Esmee Denters and Pete Wallace, all of whom met Mann at the earliest stages in their careers.
In addition to developing talent, Stealth built successful alliances/partnerships with organizations like Seventeen Magazine, Columbia Records, SonyBMG Special Projects, Target, Levi's and other brands on behalf of the company and its roster. Stealth was acquired as part of Mann's later move to EMI.
As a consultant, Mann has worked with Zomba Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television, Warner-Chappell, Lockerz, BMG Chrysalis, Bliss Legal and BMG International. He has also been featured as a guest music commentator on The Today Show
In November 2007, Mann joined EMI Music as creative advisor and a member of the operating board. Soon after, he was appointed chief creative officer; in 2008, he was made president of new music a&r international and president of global artist management, overseeing content on all continents.
During his years with the company, Mann helmed the development of some of EMI’s most successful international artists and partnerships, including David Guetta, Pablo Alboran, Helene Fischer, Bebe, Juan Luis Guerra, Tiziano Ferro, Robyn, Panda, Paty Cantu, Belinda, Wind Up and Movic, among others. Additionally, he helped develop artist management initiatives in several countries (including Spain, Germany, Italy and the United States) in order to expand the way EMI developed talent. Throughout his EMI tenure, Mann also acted as the non-executive chairman for Stealth Entertainment, which in its latter years focused primarily on songwriter/producer management.
During EMI’s most turbulent period, Mann worked under four CEOs in a mere three years, and carried on through each regime change. EMI’s final CEO Roger Faxon announced Mann’s departure from the company in a glowing letter that reflected the impact on the organization.
In January 2011, Mann was named president of creative, BMG North America, overseeing the creative staff in New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville in managing the roster integration of recently acquired companies, and leading efforts to attract, develop, and sign new content.
At the end of 2011, Mann founded Manncom Creative Partners, a boutique management/services company alongside a publishing venture with BMG Chrysalis, Green & Bloom/Topline. The latter seeks to create an independent songwriter community to provide songwriters with a more hands-on publishing experience and strategic partner to navigate the inner workings of the music industry. During its first year, Green & Bloom/Topline achieved multiple Top 10 album debuts around the world, as well as several Top 10 singles. In 2013, BMG extended its investment in Green & Bloom.
Manncom Creative Partner's roster is focused on driving developing and established talent towards the digital marketplace while embracing artist-owned rights: Alex Aiono, Aja9, Supah Mario, Natasha Bedingfield, Devin Goode, Christian Medice, RVNES, among others. In 2016, Manncom joined forces with the Los Angeles-based creative services and production house, The Shindig Studios to form The Colors You Like.
Philanthropy and family
Mann’s philanthropic involvement includes the development of The Hit Life dedicated to the proposition that the pursuit of a hit life is richer than the pursuit of a hit song alone. He has also spoken at numerous public events. During his tenure at EMI, when devastating earthquakes took place in Haiti and Chile, Mann led more than 50 EMI artists from around the world in an initiative he named "Answer The Call."
As the father of a son with autism, Mann is also a board member of Autism Speaks, member of the Government Policy Committee and co-founder of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation. He and his wife Gena, long-time friends and supporters of President Obama, watched their son receive the first pen from the President in September 2011, when he signed the Combatting Autism Reauthorization Act in the Oval Office.
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