William Ray (Bill) Hearn

September 28, 1959 - December 10, 2017

William Ray (Bill) Hearn, born September 28, 1959 in Atlanta, Ga, to Joan Bowles and Billy Ray Hearn, died December 10, 2017 in Nashville, TN after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was Chief Executive Officer of Capitol Christian Music Group in Brentwood, TN, a division of Universal Music Group.

He is survived by his wife, Charmion Gustke Hearn; two sisters Vicki Horne (Rick), Holly Whaley (Mark); niece Ashley Herring (Hunter), nephew Trevor Redding (Lane); and two great nephews Huck Redding and Benjamin Redding.

Bill began his career in the Christian music industry while still in high school in Los Angeles, CA. working in the warehouse for Sparrow Records, the company his father founded in 1976. After college, Bill worked in every facet of the company and eventually became President of the Sparrow record label (a division of Capitol Christian Music Group). After several acquisitions, Christian Music Group was formed comprising recorded music labels, music publishing, and retail sales and distribution. Bill was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 1996. The company’s roster features top names in the Christian and Gospel music communities, among them TobyMac, Amy Grant, Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, Jeremy Camp, NF, Tye Tribbett, Crowder, Tasha Cobbs, Mandisa, and Jesus Culture.

Under his leadership, the company has grown to be a market leader and achieved unparalleled successes through the vision to impact popular culture with culturally relevant music that appeals to both faith-based and mainstream audiences.

His professional activities included President of the Gospel Music Trust Fund, member of The Recording Academy, two time Grammy winner and recipient of the Recording Academy President’s Merit Award.

Bill was a member of The Village Chapel church in Nashville. He was an avid golfer and a member of The Golf Club of Tennessee for over 25 years.

Bill’s generosity and heart for humanity were notable through his charitable work with the Nashville Chapter of T.J. Martell Foundation (benefiting Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center), the Hearn Charitable Foundation supporting the Nashville Symphony, Nashville Wine Auction, Music Health Alliance, Nashville Food Project, Thistle Farms/Magdalene, Compassion International and Healing Waters.


Wednesday, December 13th
4-7 PM

The Village Chapel
2021 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN


Thursday, December 14th
2 PM

Brentwood Baptist Church (Hudson Hall)
7777 Concord Road
Brentwood, TN 37027
(Connection Center entrance)

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Thistle Farms via Thistle Farms.org.
Arrangements under the direction of Marshall Donnelly Combs Funeral Home, Nashville, Tennessee. (615) 327-1111.

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