The Powerful Woman Behind Jay Z’s Roc Nation

Desiree Perez has been a strong force inside of Roc Nation for years. But this past year may have been her best one yet.

Perez, who has been a close friend of Roc Nation founder Jay Z for 20 years, became Chief Operating Officer of the company in 2009. Since then, she has had a hand in some of Roc Nation’s biggest contracts. In 2015, she helped negotiate Samsung and Rihanna’s $25 million sponsorship deal for the singer’s Anti album and tour. The following year, she also negotiated BeyoncĂ©’s Formation Tour.

Perez and Roc Nation continued to shine in 2017, as well. Clients Big Sean and DJ Khaled each had albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Rapper Rapsody, who is signed to the Roc Nation label, also received two Grammy nominations.

Of course, Perez’s work with Jay Z really drove Roc Nation forward in 2017. He earned eight Grammy nominations last year, more than any other artist. That included an Album of the Year nod for his acclaimed 4:44. It became his 14th Billboard No. 1 album, breaking his own record for the most No. 1 albums by a solo artist.

Jay Z’s upcoming 4:44 Tour is set to be a major smash, as well. Its average gross revenue is up 21 percent from his last tour in 2013. Jay Z also just signed a new 10-year deal with Live Nation worth $200 million.

It is no wonder Billboard recently named Desiree Perez one of the most powerful female executives in the music industry.

Under Perez’s leadership, Roc Nation is also expanding beyond hip-hop. The company recently launched Home Team Publishing with country star Thomas Rhett and his father, songwriter Rhett Atkins. This move has set Roc Nation up for even more success in 2018.