MS JOHNNIE WALKER
Living Legends Honoree, R&B Hall of Fame Inductee,
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, music executive & consultant
Ms Johnnie Walker… an all-encompassing executive, oversees multiple organizations and entertainment
ventures. She is the innovative Founder and CEO of NABFEME, the National Association of Black Female
Executives in Music & Entertainment, Inc. A professional nonprofit organization comprised of 20 networks
established in the USA, Canada and Africa, NABFEME is dedicated to the support
and empowerment of women in music, media, sports, film, television, fashion and
related disciplines. Ms Walker is the Creator and Executive Director of Women
Who Jam … a syndicated all-female themed radio show and live music showcase
series; she also manages the NABFEME Foundation and Memphis Music Matters
a local outreach organization that supports the Memphis Music culture.
Ms Walker has served as Head of Black Music for DreamWorks Records and holds
the distinction of being named the first female Sr. Vice President of Promotion for
legendary Def Jam Recordings.
The recipient of countless radio, records and music awards… Johnnie Walker has
been honored by Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rainbow/PUSH as a “Woman of
Conscience”; she received the Delta Sigma Theta Osceola Award, their highest honor given to professionals
in the arts; Women’s eNews named Ms Walker one of New York’s “21 Leaders of the 21st Century.” News
Journal, The Tri-State Defender of Memphis honored Ms Walker as a “Woman of Excellence,” she received
the International Career of Excellence in Entertainment Honor from the Memphis Stone Awards and most
recently, Ms Walker was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame, honored as a Living Legend by
the Living Legends Foundation receiving the 2022 Michael Bernardo Female Music Executive Award,
Atlanta’s Radio & Records Group paid homage to Ms Walker’s career with the 2023 Lifetime Achievement
Award and Houston’s ZBT Honors saluted Ms Walker with the 2023 Living Legend Humanitarian Award.
Affectionately known as “J-Dub,” Johnnie Walker began her career as a Country music radio personality in
Grenada, MS. She later segued to Black Radio in Memphis as an announcer and Program Director. In 1989
Walker joined Def Jam Recordings as a regional marketing rep and within one year was promoted to National
Director of Promotion. For the preeminent Ms Walker, that position was short lived as she was promptly
promoted to Sr. National Director, positioning Walker to be instrumental in launching the careers of R&B/hip
hop greats Redman, Method Man, Onyx, Montell Jordan, Ashanti, Sisqo, Case and Foxy Brown!
At the direction of hip-hop mogul and philanthropist Russell Simmons, Johnnie Walker relocated to New
York City in 1997 and was named Vice President of Promotion for Def Jam. A year later, after restructuring
the company’s promotions department and its field staff, Ms Walker was named Sr. Vice President. During
her tenure, her team successfully marketed Def Comedy Jam, Phat Farm clothing, Russell Simmons’ co-
produced movies, The Nutty Professor, The Klumps, Jackie Chan’s Rush Hour 1 and 2, in addition to several
#1 Gold and Platinum albums from Jay-Z, LL Cool J, DMX, Alyson Williams, Ashanti, Kelly Price, Public
Enemy, 3rd Bass, Beastie Boys, Ja Rule, Sisqo, Musiq Soulchild, Dru Hill and many others.
After a 15-year tenure at Def Jam, Ms. Walker moved to Los Angeles and assumed the position of Head of
Black Music for DreamWorks Records. Following a subsequent sale of the label, Walker headed South to
Memphis to take the helm of the Memphis Music Commission where she spearheaded a wealth of culturally
diverse music programs and creative initiatives.
Increasing the awareness of women in music and entertainment, Walker created and continues to present the
NABFEME International Women’s Leadership Summit… a 3-day gathering that features riveting panel
discussions and highly attractive signature events like the Celebration of The Celebrity Mom and The Stiletto
Awards. Featured participants have read like a who’s who amongst the entertainment industry and corporate
elite. Powerful names like Shonda Rhimes, Patti Labelle, Nicki Giovanni, Dionne Warwick, Suzanne
DePasse, Valerie Simpson, Judge Glenda Hatchett, Sylvia Rhone, Marc Morial, Dr. Johnetta B. Cole, Ruby
Dee, Nona Hendryx, Paula Madison, Cissy Houston, Usher, Kanye West, Angela Winbush, Sarah Dash,
Yolanda Adams, L.A. Reid, Cissy Houston and more have been featured.
Continuing her empowerment philosophy, Ms Walker is a motivational speaker and serves on the Advisory
Board of the Music Industry Relations Collective of the National Museum of African American Music.
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