Without a performing artist, the rest of us could just stay home. The artist is truly at the center of it all. If the music industry were a wheel, the artist would be the hub and the rest of us are spokes.
In the never-ending jockeying for power among music industry types, one thing ultimately matters – what the artist wants to do. One could argue that no-name artists have no power, and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree. But artists with any clout at all, and remember there are endless niches of which to exert authority, have the final say. The rest of us are along for the ride.
Sometimes a successful artist will be with the same booking agent, publicist, manager, record label (etc.) for its entire career. Sometimes no one is safe in the equation.
If you’re not an artist, and you work (or want to work) in the music industry, one of the most important things you must do is gain the respect and trust of the artists you have the privilege to come in contact with.