Lee Dannay is an A&R and artist development executive, with a long and successful history of senior roles within Sony Music, working across the Columbia, Epic, Syco and Masterworks labels, as well as a creative role in music publishing as the VP of A&R at Warner Chappell Music. Lee’s passion for both music and service has been her north star throughout her career.
During her tenure at Sony, Lee played a key role in the signing and development of artists including John Mayer, Shawn Mullins, Five for Fighting, Train, Anna Nalick and General Public, generating sales over 25 million units and multiple Grammy nominations and wins. She contributed to soundtracks, created compilations for Legacy Recordings and Sony Wonder and was instrumental in the creation and release of several significant charitable album projects, including the Artists Against Aids project “What’s Going On” produced by Bono and Jermaine Dupri, and double live CD recording of the VH1 broadcast “The Concert for New York City”, organized by Paul McCartney in response to the 911 attacks.
At Warner Chappell Music, Lee’s exceptional artist roster included Brandi Carlile, Iron and Wine (Sam Beam), The Jayhawks, Gavin DeGraw, Oscar winners Glen Hansard and Mar Irglova (The Swell Season, Once), along with numerous award-winning pop and rock songwriters and producers including Claude Kelly and Priscilla Renea (Muni Long). She spearheaded the company’s first series of cross-genre global writing camps, pairing Warner/Chappell’s top songwriters with the brightest emerging writers and producers in each major territory, leading to multiple cuts, sync placements and performance rights and publisher accolades.
A steadfast advocate for the voice and vision of the artist, Lee’s dedication to her craft of artist and songwriter development, and her deep-rooted belief in the role of A&R being one of service to artists, led her to her current role as head of A&R for Thirty Tigers, an entertainment company that provides marketing, promotion, and creative services for independent artists, with distribution through The Orchard. Lee has signed and provides A&R support for a richly diverse and prolific roster that includes Corinne Bailey Rae, Amos Lee, Bruce Hornsby, Tennis, The Jayhawks, Béla Fleck, Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem, Darlingside, Joy Williams, Lo Moon, The Mavericks, Cimafunk and The Hold Steady among many others.
A graduate of Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences, Lee holds a BA in English Literature. She joined NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music as an adjunct professor in 2015 and has been a guest lecturer at numerous universities including Berklee College of Music, American University, University of Michigan and Northeastern. Gravitating towards opportunities that reinforce her belief in both the power of music as an educational tool, as well as music’s ability to heal, Lee volunteers as a guide for Musicians on Call, sits on the Connecticut advisory board of Music Will, the Board of Directors of the Cornell Media Guild and is on the faculty of The Songwriting Academy. She is a voting member of The Recording Academy, The Academy of Country Music, The Country Music Association, and The Americana Music Association, and a member of The Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, Women in Music, The Association for Independent Music Publishers, and The Guild of Music Supervisors. Currently serving on the board as a Governor for the NY Chapter of The Recording Academy, Lee co-chairs the Music, Education, Mentorship & Philanthropy Committee, and actively volunteers as a mentor for both Grammy U and She Is the Music.