Deborah Mannis-Gardner — the “Queen of Sample Clearance” according to Forbes, Billboard, Okayplayer, Midem, and more — is the go-to expert for global music rights clearances, whether for samples for recordings; song usage in movies, television, and video games; or innovative applications such as the history of hip-hop Google Doodle. After working for Diamond Time and RCA Records in the early 1990s, Deborah started DMG Clearances, Inc. in 1996. Her sample clearance skills quickly became legendary, and she has cleared releases for artists including Drake, Tyler the Creator, DJ Khaled, Eminem, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Frank Ocean, Jay-Z, Macklemore, John Legend, Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, The Notorious B.I.G., Mariah Carey, and Beyoncé. She also handled Grands Rights clearance for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway sensation “Hamilton” and film music clearances for Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator”; Curtis Hanson’s “8 Mile,” “In Her Shoes,” and “Lucky You”; The Coen Brothers’ “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”; and Richard Linklater’s “School of Rock.” Deborah was the overall music supervisor for Allen Hughes’ HBO documentary about Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, “The Defiant Ones,” for which she won the 2018 Best Music Supervision in a Docuseries or Reality Television award from the Guild of Music Supervisors. She is currently serving as music supervisor for the Neil Bogart and Casablanca Records biopic “Spinning Gold.” Deborah has also worked closely with Rockstar Games to clear music usages for the video games “GTA Online: After Hours,” “Grand Theft Auto V,” “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas,” “The Warriors,” “Red Dead Redemption,” “L.A. Noire,” and “Max Payne.” She has spoken at SXSW, Midem, Music Biz, the A3C Conference, CMJ, the Nashville Film Festival, and SyncSummit Nashville, as well as at Temple University and Widener College.
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