Desiree Perez is the CEO of the formidable talent label, Roc Nation. Roc Nation is owned by award-winning rapper/songwriter and philanthropist Shawn “Jay Z” Carter. An expansive Talent label, managing talent in music and sports, Roc Nation has grown to dizzying heights from its origins as Roc A Fella record label. Roc Nation is well-revered in the entertainment industry, boasting a roster of some of the biggest media icons of the postmodern era. Taking on the formidable responsibility in her position as CEO, Desiree Perez has been recognized and rewarded for her prolific gift at steering Roc Nation to new levels of progress in a post-Covid era. Thus, she is heralded as Billboard’s Change Agent of 2021.
Billboard acknowledges that 2020 was a tumultuous year in which many were heavy-laden with sorrows stemming from the ravages of Covid19, the horrors of police brutality, and political upheaval. Sensitive to the humbling burdens weighing on the consciences of many during a year of devastation, Billboard decided to side-step the celebration of music’s champions in favor of championing those who could inspire. Compiling a list of change agents, Billboard sought to include those who were inspirations– not by talent and grandeur, but by social and community impact. Thus, the Change Agents category was included as an evolution of their annual Power Players list.
Awarding Desiree Perez as Change Agent of 2021 meant highlighting her efforts in advocacy and activism to address and combat racial injustice and socioeconomic disparity. Empowering victims of apparently racially motivated police brutality, Perez, along with Jay Brown and the aforementioned Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, endorsed, supported, and funded the legal representatives of those victims, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. This, among her many social improvement efforts, validates Perez having been named Billboard’s Change Agent of 2021.