“You should change who you are every 10 years. Evolution is important.”

Joel Katz

A member at Buckhead Club, Atlanta, since 1999

BY PAULA FELPS / PHOTO BY PATRICK HEAGNEY — Spring 2018

Who he is: Billboard named this global entertainment attorney 2017 Lawyer of the Year and ranked him No. 32 on its Power 100 list.

Client list: He signed James Brown as his first A-list client in the 1970s, and others have followed, including Jimmy Buffett, Willie Nelson, Justin Timberlake, and the Michael Jackson estate.

Best advice: “Learn to listen instead of doing all the talking. If you hear what’s on the client’s mind, you can come up with solutions.”

Giving back: Katz chairs the T.J. Martell Foundation, which raises money for cancer research. He also helps create scholarships for students at multiple universities. “I was a scholarship kid and had a lot of people help me out. If you get that much help and it helps you build a career, you should give back.”

What’s next: Helping the Gabonese government in collaboration with the Berklee College of Music open the African Music Institute in Gabon, Africa. “There is so much talent in the world, and so many different cultures to explore. Music is about more than just the U.S.”

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