Tom Silverman, the founder of Tommy Boy Records, will be given the Lifetime Achievement Award at The American Association of Independent Music's award ceremony The Libera Awards, known as the LIBBYs.
Silverman started Tommy Boy Records in 1981 out of his apartment with $5,000 he borrowed from his parents. The label specialized in dance and hip-hop and signed artists such as De La Soul, Digital Underground, Naughty By Nature, House of Pain, and Queen Latifah. Warner Bros. bought 50% of the label in 1985, and then the rest in 1990, but they allowed Silverman to operate Tommy Boy independently. Half of it was bought back by Silverman in 1995, and then fully in 2002.
Silverman recently wrote an article for Billboard on how to increase music revenues in a time when they aren't doing as well as they would like to be. Rather than stick to the tried-and-true system of selling physical CDs, Silverman encourages people to look at rising subscription numbers, increasing use of mobile devices, and advertising, among other things. To read the full article, go to Billboard.
The LIBBYs were started by The American Association of Independent Music to recognize achievements by independent record labels. This year's ceremony will by on June 20 in New York City.