2022 Impact 50: Jay Williams

Partner & Co-Head of WME’s Nashville office


Jay Williams has guided the careers of country superstars like Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Ashley McBryde and many others. But he also puts as much care into nurturing newer, emerging talent like Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, whose recent album release party at The Station Inn in Nashville he cites as reigniting his passion for live music in the post-pandemic reopening.

As Partner and Co-Head of WME’s Nashville office, he’s also a point man between the agency and the Music City community and, as such, is keenly attuned to the agency’s role as a civic partner.

Williams serves on multiple boards in the community, including Music Health Alliance, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Habitat for Humanity, ACM’s Lifting Lives, the Country Music Association, Riser Foundation, and the CMA Foundation.

“We have been very involved with Habitat for Humanity for the last four years, from building our own houses to joining forces last year with the Music Row Build,” Williams says. “Like most cities, Nashville is facing a serious affordable housing crisis and I look forward to WME’s continued partnership with such an impactful organization.”

But for all the community service, Williams’ business of creating opportunities and building careers for his talented charges is job one. The present concert environment, with calendar gridlock, staff shortages and inflation, is one in which Williams tackles head on.

“Our biggest challenge right now is competition – not only with the volume of shows,” Williams stresses. “So many people are traveling again, sporting events are at full capacity, and there are multitudes of festivals this summer. I think we all just want to get through 2022, hoping that consumer confidence will continue to improve into 2023.

“I’m optimistic that we are all learning how to better announce, go on sale with, and market shows for success.”