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Rob Dickins CBE (commander of the order of the British Empire), a highly regarded music business executive, was presented with Berklee’s Master of Global Entertainment Award at an event held on March 11.
With a career that spans more than four decades, the respected industry veteran worked as a music director for Warner Bros. Music Publishing and as music director and chairman of Warner Music UK before starting his own independent record label, Instant Karma, and an independent music publishing company, Dharma Music. He is known for his work in publishing with Vangelis, Prince, the Sex Pistols, Whitesnake, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young. He executive produced Cher’s 1998 album, Believe, and also worked on records by Enya, Simply Red, the Smiths, the Pogues, and Rod Stewart, among others.
María Martínez Iturriaga, Berklee’s senior vice president of international learning environments and executive director of Berklee Valencia, thanked Dickins for helping students understand the intricacies and key elements of a successful career in the entertainment industries every year. “Today we are honoring a true leader in the music industry and a very dear person to Berklee,'' she said. “This ceremony is dedicated to you and to your many accomplishments; to your generosity and your impactful career and life as a professional, and as a human being.”
“I love teaching young people and, for me, it is very special to see the impact that my lectures have had on Berklee students as professionals of the industry,”said Dickins. “Thank you to the team for allowing me to teach here all these years, and thank you for this recognition. My heart is here” he finished.
At the award ceremony, held on the Valencia campus, Berklee students and alumni paid tribute to the executive’s achievements by sharing testimonials and anecdotes. Then, at a Q&A session, Dickins delved into his 40-year career, talking about the importance of ethics and creativity, the evolution of music, and how powerful curiosity, research, and hard work are to succeed in the music industry.
“It’s all about hard work, dedication, and love,” he said. “When you get to this part of your life, just look back and see these moments that you lived and just think who you were by the time you did it. In my case, I just wanted to win, and winning means quite a lot of work.”
Dickins has shown a deep commitment to the Valencia campus by taking part in several seminars and workshops, and sharing his invaluable insights on the world of A&R, the story of rock ’n’ roll, and the African roots of contemporary music with generations of students since he first visited the campus in 2014.
In addition to his work in the music industry, Dickins is a highly experienced leader and strategist who works with creative businesses, galleries, and museums. A passionate advocate for arts education, he has presented lectures to students at various universities and institutions, and holds honorary doctorates from the University of the Arts London and the London Metropolitan University. He is also a founding trustee of Youth Music, a nonprofit organization in the U.K. designed to help young people make, learn, and earn a living in music, especially those who experience challenging circumstances.
Berklee’s Master of Global Entertainment Award recognizes industry leaders who have dedicated their life and career to music and entertainment on a global scale by promoting multicultural diversity while developing opportunities for individuals from underserved communities to make their way into the industry. The first award was presented to PR executive Yvette Noel-Schure, known for her work with Beyoncé, Prince, John Legend, and others, in 2019.
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