2023 Impact 50: Alana Balden

Fullstop Management


With all of Lizzo’s recent milestones – from her first arena tour to becoming the first Black woman to win Record of the Year (for “About Damn Time” from Special) in almost 30 years – it’s no wonder manager Alana Balden says it’s hard to choose one answer for her most impactful business success. Lizzo also launched her YITTY clothing brand; created, produced and starred in her Emmy-winning Amazon show “Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls;” released an HBO documentary and an HBO concert special. On a personal note, Balden won an Emmy for Outstanding Competition Program as a co-executive producer for “Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls” – which she calls a career highlight.

The first leg of Lizzo’s “The Special Tour” kicked off Sept. 23 at the FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida, and wrapped Nov. 18-19 with two nights at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California. The trek ranked No. 46 on Pollstar’s 2022 North American Top Tours chart with a gross of $35.4 million.

“The Special Tour” also represents a big win for inclusivity. Balden says: “I’ve seen a considerable shift of inclusivity not only with my colleagues and peers, but with our own Lizzo tour where the bulk of our touring team is female. Lizzo’s tour is the perfect example that inclusivity can exist when given the opportunity and space to do so.”

Following the European leg of “The Special Tour,” Lizzo returned to North American arenas in late April. Her upcoming schedule includes festival appearances at New York’s Governors Ball, England’s Glastonbury, Australia’s Splendour In The Grass and Japan’s Fuji Rock.

Balden names her Fullstop colleague Kevin Beisler as her mentor who has taught her everything she knows about the music business and management. She says: “He’s taught me the importance of protecting an artist’s ability to remain authentic and true to themself. Kevin has mentored so many people in his life. He’s always made it a point to include everyone as a vital part of the team, which cultivates a space to learn and grow. This is something I’ve picked up on and want to continue to pass on myself.” –