Ethiopian Queen Shatters Glass Ceiling

Black will never crack. No matter how many times they try to shoot the nose off the Sphinx. No matter how many Black Wall Streets they burn down. No matter how many history books get acid stained and whitewashed. Black will always be beautiful. 

Black man inhabited the Earth and began civilization as we know it. While Yacub (Jacob in the Bible) took 60K black people to the Caucus Mts to begin his grafting method of breeding – black people still flourished. They built thriving civilizations unconcerned with greed while white man was still hunched over in a cave.


Enter Ethiopia Habtemariam. An absolute powerhouse black woman thriving in the highest echelon of the music industry. Growing up in Tuskegee, Alabama (home of Lionel Ritchie & The Commodores) she did not see many people that looked like her. 

Representation is immensely important because it is a consistent physical and visual reminder to persevere. When Ethiopia and her family moved to Atlanta in middle school, she began to experience the self-affirmation representation factor on the daily.

Some people just know their destiny based upon who they cross paths with at a young age. Befriending Kriss Kross and aspiring to be a music mogul were some of her early endeavors. 

NEW YORK, NY – NOV. 16: Keri Hilson, Meagan Good and Ethiopia Habtemariam attend 2016 WEEN Awards at Espace in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images)

Another way EH exercised her unATLienable rights was through fanzines and skating rinks.

When a woman by the name of Shanti Das from LaFace Records presented in front of her Freshman class she soaked up infinite wisdom. 

Ethiopia spoke with Shanti – forged a connection and proved her networking prowess. From there, she shadowed @LaFace for a day and did such an excellent job covering for an absent assistant that she continued to receive invitations to work. 

The Route Less Travelled

Foregoing college for the internship route, she put her work ethic on the frontlines day in and day out. She got a “bug” for behind-the-scenes work and put her head down to continue climbing the ladder through the publishing, promotion and event planning route.

As a first generation child of Ethiopian immigrants, she has taken so many significant steps to ensure that her name will outlast her physical presence.

Ethiopia & Coach K (QC Records)

Ethiopia worked at UMG for quite some time in an Urban Creative Publishing role. After taking on a grueling dual role, she would go on to become the Senior VP at Motown Records. Today she is the CEO of Motown Records and has ushered in a new standard of brilliance.

A major way that she got Motown Records back where it rightfully belongs was through intentional brand partnerships. Namely, Quality Control Records and Love Records. She thrives on helping others, transcends with the times and magnifies a limitless vision for black culture and the arts associated with black culture.


Did you know Ethiopia is currently in the year 2014? Since they operate according to a 13 month calendar it was 2012 in Ethiopia while the majority of the globe was in 2020.

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