NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Longtime American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers executive, Connie Bradley, may not have been a household name among all fans of country music, but she certainly was among the country music artists who are household names. The ASCAP music executive died Wednesday at age 75.
"Nashville wouldn’t have been the same without her, and I know that Garth and Reba and other folks she worked with would tell you the same thing, said Larry Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers.
Bradley was with the music performance copyright group for more than 30 years.
"As head of ASCAP's Nashville office for more than three decades, Connie Bradley was a mentor to so many of country music's greatest songwriters and an indelible part of ASCAP's history," said Paul Williams, ASCAP chairman and president. "She was a maverick leader in country music with an enormous heart who passionately advocated for the songwriters she loved so much. ASCAP and country music lost an iconic leader today. Our hearts go out to her family and the large community of songwriters who loved her."
Bradley rose through the ASCAP ranks from a Membership Representative to Senior Vice President and Nashville Head.
She was described as a fierce advocate for music creators. Under her leadership, ASCAP signed and supported the careers of Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Rodney Crowell, Billy Currington, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts, John Rich, George Strait, Sugarland, Wynonna and Chris Young, among many others.
Country music journalist Robert Oermann remembers Bradley as someone who kept things in perspective.
"We are dealing with entertainment here, we are not curing cancer, you know," Oermann said. "Connie was great at maintaining that joy -- the joy of being in this industry."