Neil Portnow

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Neil R. Portnow (born 1948, New York City) is the current president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). Portnow was formerly the vice-president of the West Coast division of Jive Records.

Early career

Portnow grew up in Great Neck, New York and graduated from The George Washington University in 1971. He started out as a record producer and music supervisor. He worked with RCA Records, Arista & EMI. He started working with Jive Records in 1989. He oversaw the expansion of their West Coast operation, making Jive a groundbreaking, successful label. Jive thrived under his leadership as Vice-President of the West Coast division and spearheaded the careers of some of the biggest acts of the late 1990s and early 2000s. He worked alongside Jive's president Clive Calder who ran Jive's parent company, the Zomba Label Group.

Portnow worked as music supervisor on three films: Permanent Record (1988), The Dream Child (1989), and Wired (1989), in which he also appeared briefly as a bandleader.

Presidency of NARAS

In November 2002, Portnow became the President of NARAS (aka The Recording Academy) -- replacing the controversial C. Michael Greene who served as President since 1988. At the Grammy Awards of 2003, he made his first Grammy night address as president. He is considered more diplomatic, analytical, and strategic than his predecessor. The president is also noted...
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