The Christian music world was shaken when word came that Bill Hearn passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 58 years old and has left an indelible mark on Christian music as Chairman of Capitol Christian Music Group (CCMG).
Bill Hearn grew CCMG into the world’s leading Christian Music company and market leader in recorded music and music publishing, with divisions that include CCMG Label Group (Sparrow Records, ForeFront Records, sixstepsrecords, Hillsong, Jesus Culture), Motown Gospel and CCMG Publishing (including Brentwood-Benson Music Publications). The labels include artists such as Chris Tomlin, Amy Grant, TobyMac, Tasha Cobbs, Jeremy Camp, Hillsong United, Matt Redman, Mandisa and others, while CCMG Publishing includes many of the labels’ artists as well as Ben Glover, David Garcia, Kirk Franklin, Mark Hall, Brenton Brown and more.
Expressions of sympathy poured out on social media:
I’m so saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Hearn of Capitol Records – an icon in the music industry. Bill was so committed to Hillsong Music, was loved by us all, and will be missed greatly. Heaven’s gain.
— Brian Houston (@BrianCHouston) December 11, 2017
Man I hate to have gotten the news about the passing of Bill Hearn.… https://t.co/2oXT1H0WHK
— Cedric Thompson (@therealcedtee) December 12, 2017
Really sad today.
Just want to honour the life of Bill Hearn.
The mastermind behind so much… https://t.co/aflU66owjV
— Martin Smith (@MartinSmithTV) December 11, 2017
Sending all our love to @CapitolCMG & the family of Bill Hearn. The dedicated love & service he gave to our industry is unmatched. Our hearts are broken, but the legacy of Bill's leadership & friendship live on.
— Centricity Music (@Centricity) December 11, 2017
Bill Hearn, was involved in the Hearn Family Charitable Foundation,The Hearn Family Charitable Foundation actively supported the Nashville Symphony, Music Health Alliance, Nashville Food Project, Nashville Rep Theatre, Thistle Farms/Magdalene, Compassion International and Healing Waters. Hearn was a past National Chairman, National Board and Executive Committee Member of the T.J. Martell Foundation. He served as President of the Gospel Music Trust Fund, was a past National Trustee, Nashville chapter Vice President and board member of The Recording Academy.
Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy released the following statement:
We are deeply saddened by the passing of music business veteran and former Recording Academy™ Trustee, Bill Hearn. Following in the footsteps of his late father Billy Ray, Hearn played an essential role in the formation of the renowned Christian music company—Capitol Christian Music Group. His producing efforts earned him two GRAMMYs® during his career, first for 1995 for his contributions to Amazing Grace—A Country Salute To Gospel and again for 2009 for his work on the collection Oh Happy Day. Hearn will not only be remembered for his impressive list of achievements, but for his philanthropic efforts, kind spirit, and commitment to his craft. Our thoughts go out to Bill’s family, friends, and colleagues as they look to find comfort during this difficult time.
Among his numerous accomplishments, Hearn received the TJ Martell Foundation’s Frances Preston Lifetime Music Industry Achievement Award in 2015 for his contribution to the music industry. He was honored with The Recording Academy’s President’s Merit Award in 2006. Artists with whom Hearn has been associated with in his company-leading roles have earned more than 200 Gold, Platinum and Multi-platinum album and video certifications, as well as 40 Grammy Awards, 40 Stellar Awards and 235 Dove Awards (sponsored by the Gospel Music Association).
Bill Hearn is survived by his wife Charmion Gustke Hearn, two sisters, a niece and nephew. Visitation will be Wednesday, December 13, 2018 from 4 -7 pm at The Village Chapel church (2021 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN) and services on Thursday, December 14, 2018 at 2 pm at Brentwood Baptist Church in Hudson Hall, [7777 Concord Road, Brentwood, TN 37027 (Connection Center entrance)].
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Thistle Farms via Thistle Farms.org.