Frances Williams Preston, longtime president/CEO of BMI, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and a pioneering executive in the music industry, died this morning in Nashville from congestive heart failure, according to a release from a representative for her family. She was 83.
Preston spent nearly all of her six-decade-long career with BMI, first running the company's Nashville office and, from 1986-2004, as its president. She was the first female executive on Nashville's fledgling Music Row, joining BMI shortly before her friend, Jo Walker-Meador, was named to lead the Country Music Association. Preston retired from BMI in 2004 and returned to Nashville full-time in 2007.
Visitation and funeral arrangements will be announced shortly. TweetMySong will have more on her life and career shortly.