Seymour Stein, record exec who signed up Madonna, dead at 80

new york –

The sassy, ​​visionary and hugely successful founder of Sire Records, who helped launch the careers of Madonna, Talking Heads and many others, Seymour Stein died Sunday at the age of 80. I got

Stein, who helped found the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, died in Los Angeles of cancer, according to family statements.

Born in 1942 in New York City, Stein spent summers working for Cincinnati-based King Records (James Brown’s label) in his teens, and by his mid-twenties he was working for Sire Productions (later to become Sire Records). co-founded.

Obsessed with Billboard’s music charts since childhood, he was known for his deep knowledge and appreciation of music, and proved to be a keen judge of talent during the New Wave era of the 1970s. Ramones and Pretenders.

“Seymour’s musical tastes are always years ahead of anyone else,” Talking Heads manager Gary Carfirst told Rock Hall around Stein’s inauguration.

His most lucrative discovery came in the early 1980s when he heard a demo tape of Madonna, a little-known singer and dancer in the downtown New York club scene.

“I loved Madonna’s voice, I loved the feel, I loved the name Madonna. I loved it all and played it again,” he said in a 2018 publication, the same year he retired. In his memoir, Siren Song, Stein wrote: When he first found out about Madonna, Stein was hospitalized with a heart infection, but wanted to see her, so he brought her to his room. rice field.

“She was all in cheap punky gear and kind of like a club kid looking ridiculously out of place in a cardiology ward,” he wrote. She wasn’t even interested in hearing me explain how much I loved .”All I have to do now is sign a record deal,” she said.

Sire artists include Ice T, the Smiths, Depeche Mode, the Replacements, Echo and the Bunnymen, as well as the more established Lou Reed and Brian Wilson, who recorded with Sire later in their careers. I was.

Stein was briefly married to record promoter and real estate executive Linda Adler, with whom he has two children. filmmaker Mandy Stein and his Jacobs, Samantha Lee, who died of brain cancer in 2013. Sidney Stein and his wife divorced in his 1970s, and he came out as gay a few years later.

In a statement on Sunday, Mandy Stein said, “I am grateful to my family for every minute spent with him and the positive impact that the music he brought to the world has made so many people’s lives.

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