Impact 50: Joey Lee


Photography by: Jake Harsh

WME Nashville co-head Joey Lee always believed in dynamics and (artist) development. Having led his Little League team to the World Series, teamwork, strategy and commitment to long term goals define him.

It’s what drives Lee, who uses challenges to inspire himself and those he works with at WME’s multi-platform company that boasts a roster including CMA and ACM Entertainers of the Year Miranda Lambert, Luke Combs, Garth Brooks and Thomas Rhett.

He sees the industry’s biggest challenge as creating meaningful headliners: “Since COVID, our world is different. The megaticket created a model people are trying to keep up, but is it going to create our next real hard ticketsellers?”

Having advised a teenage Lambert before signing the Texas songwriter to Buddy Lee, her rise to ACM Entertainer of the Year, restaurateur and NY Times best seller was the crowning moment of his year

He points to the significance of the opening weekend of Lambert’s Vegas residency, saying “From 17 to that moment right there, it was everything. She’d built to a pinnacle moment, beyond the awards, the touring and creativity, everything she’d achieved defines her Vegas show.”

Lee finds inspiration across the business, too: “To see what Morgan Wallen went through – with the town, radio, the awards shows, even touring – and how he’s come through it with all the music he’s made? He didn’t bitch or complain, but went to work on his music and what mattered. His focus and commitment’s inspiring.

Lee also shouts out fellow WME agent Kevin Meads. He says, “And then to watch Kevin Meads’ struggle, going through cancer with two little kids and a job that’s more lifestyle than representation? He’s my hero, period. It’s incredible. That all happened during COVID, just as Kevin was coming into his own as an agent. There were so many factors, but at 42, with everything ahead of you? That seems completely overwhelming, but Kevin just kept coming. I called and checked in weekly, which inspired me every time.”