Each year Billboard names its most powerful women in music. The list is made up both celebrities and those behind the scenes. It includes everyone from influencers to dealmakers. There are 100 women named. Desiree Perez, the chief operating officer of Roc Nation, came in at number 47.
Desiree Perez prefers to stay out of the limelight so that she can retain her privacy. She is known, though, as someone that is one of the toughest negotiators in the music industry. She negotiated the deal that resulted in Sprint making a $200 million investment in Roc Nation’s Tidal, for example. Five months after the ink dried Jay-Z dropped his latest number one album, 4:44. The deal with Sprint resulted in one million people being able to download this album for free.
Another deal that Desiree Perez handled was the one between Roc Nation and Live Nation. In April 2017 a deal was signed between the two parties that is worth $200 million. It covers the Jay-Z touring partnership between Roc Nation and Live Nation and Desiree Perez handled all of the details on Roc Nation’s behalf.
For over twenty years Desiree Perez has had a close business partnership with Jay-Z. At Roc Nation she is involved in all facets of running the company. This includes not just negotiating details with other companies but also labeling operations and publishing. Along with her husband, Desiree Perez is a member of what’s known as the Hova Circle of Influence. This group has a great deal of influence in the music industry. She has been referred to by Jay-Z as his secret weapon. When he needs a deal done right he turns to Desiree Perez to bring her negotiating ability to the table.