Legendary Sire Records Executive Seymour Stein Dies Aged 80

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Legendary executive Seymour Stein who helped to launch the careers of Madonna, The Pretenders, Talking Heads, The Ramones among others, has died aged 80.

Having been involved in the music industry from 15 years old, Seymour Stein worked at an internship at King Records in Cincinnati in 1957, before being offered a permanent role at the label four years later, having previously worked as a clerk for Billboard.

By 1966, Seymour Stein co founded Sire Records alongside producer Richard Gotteher, and the label were firmly on the prog rock map by the mid 1970s, having signed The Ramones and Talking Heads by 1975.

Sire Records continued to go from strength to strength with further major acqusitions, after signing The Pretenders and Madonna by the 1980s.

“always about the music”

Remaining president of the company, Seymour Stein was also vice president of Warner Bros, before retiring in 2018.

2018 also saw Stein release his autobiography Siren Song: My Life In Music. A year earlier, Stein had come out as gay.

His death had been confirmed by his daughter Mandy, who told The New York Times that her father had passed away on Sunday (April 2). She said he passed away in his Los Angeles Home, after battling cancer.

Following his death, tributes have also been paid to Symour.

“RIP Seymour Stein. I’ll always be grateful to Seymour for signing me (a then-47 year old trans woman) to a demo deal at one of my fave labels ever. For him it was always all about the music. Eternal thanks to @mdnathan for making that miracle happen”, singer/songwriter Cait Brennan wrote.

See more tributes below.

Last week, tributes were also paid to the late comedian and presenter Paul O’Grady, who passed away aged 67.

O’Grady was a popular and award winning TV and radio presenter, having won awards for his Channel Four hit The Paul O’Grady Show, along with presenting his Sunday Afternoon show on BBC Radio.

More on this from Nova here.