Adam Kidron

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Adam Kidron is a British-born ex-music producer, serial entrepreneur, and the ex-Chief Executive Officer of Urban Box Office (UBO), a reggaeton and urban Latino record label based in New York City. He is currently a managing partner of 4food, a fast-healthy food concept launched in New York in 2009. 4food's mission is to bring fast, fresh, nutritious and delicious food (from local farms and producers) to as many people, of as many different age groups, lifestyles, income-levels, and ethnicities as possible. Adam is also the President of 4FOOD4LIFE Inc. – a non-profit organization committed to the promotion and sustainability of community growth and revitalization through nutrition and wellness education, vocational training, and economical development. Adam is currently under the public eye within various tech blogs over the failure of Beyond Oblivion and the Boinc platform.


Adam Kidron began his working life as a steward at the Roundhouse in London in 1978. In 2006, Kidron, together with Eduardo Reyes, produced "Nuestro Himno" — the controversial Spanish-language version of "The Star-Spangled Banner". It was dubbed by the media as "The Spanish Star-Spangled Banner". The recording was closely based on the U.S. Government's own, sanctioned translation in 1919 of a famous poem by Francis Scott Key, that would twelve years later become the National Anthem of the United States. It was recorded to give recent Spanish-language immigrants that have not yet learned English an equal opportunity to understand "The Star-Spangled Banner" and ideals of freedom that the U.S. flag represents.[citation needed]

The controversy surrounding the recording received blanket media coverage around the globe, including a strongly supportive editorial in The Washington Post. It even provoked a rare public disagreement between President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:

The Star Spangled Banner does not have the same American "value" sung in Spanish as English... and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English. And they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English.
— President George W. Bush, Rose Garden press conference.[citation needed]
I've heard the National Anthem done in rap versions, country versions, classical versions. The individualization of the American national anthem is quite under way.
— Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, CBS's Face the Nation.[citation needed]

Nuestro Himno was released by Urban Box Office, Inc., also known as "UBO", the successor company to Urban Box Office Network, Inc. Adam Kidron was its CEO. UBO also released the #1 Billboard hits "Reggaeton Latino", by Don Omar; "Atrevete", by Wisin & Yandel, "Que Ironia" by Andy Andy, as well as the multi-platinum DVD documentary and soundtrack "The Chosen Few - El Documental." Later pressings of The Chosen Few included the controversial music video for Reggaeton Latino, which featured library footage of Che and Fidel Castro.[citation needed]

Adam Kidron's father, Michael Kidron, was a Marxist economist, best known for his book Western Capitalism Since the War—a fact that has been noted as significant by conservative blogs.[1][2]. Adam Kidron is the brother of Beeban Kidron, director of mainstream Hollywood movies like Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.

Beyond Oblivion's bankruptcy[edit]

Adam Kidron has been under public scrutiny and debate over his failed leadership as CEO of Beyond Oblivion and its imminent crash. [3] costing lost totals in excess of 30 million.

Record producer (1980-1996)[edit]

Having started out as a "tea boy" for Matrix Studios in London, UK, Adam Kidron went on to produce many of the most important releases of the early 1980s,[4] including:

In 1983, Adam Kidron and his then-girlfriend, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, made a long journey through Africa, starting in Ethiopia and ending in South Africa, where, inspired by all they had experienced, they recorded the album Gazelles, with a band made up of leading Sowetan musicians. The title track was a surprise hit in France, and in 1984, Mercier Descloux won the prestigious Bus d'Acier award for Gazelles.[citation needed]

In 1984, while recording Nina Hagen In Ekstasy (1985)—an album that generated big club hits like Universal Radio and Spirit In The Sky but failed commercially—Kidron had a near-fatal motorbike accident. He went on to produce Mercier Descloux's masterpiece One for the Soul — a collaboration with legendary jazz trumpeter Chet Baker, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1985.[citation needed]

In 1994 Kidron co-executive produced the movie soundtrack "Jason's Lyric" with George Jackson, Doug McHenry and Sam Sapp. Jayson's Lyric peaked at number one on the Billboard R&B charts, and reached number 17 on the Billboard 200. The soundtrack contained three charted singles; "U Will Know," (A 20 year old D'Angelo wrote and produced the song) featuring vocals from D'Angelo, Tevin Campbell, R. Kelly, Gerald Levert, Tony! Toni! Toné!, El DeBarge, Portrait, Christopher Williams, After 7, Intro, Joe, Brian McKnight, H-Town, Keith Sweat, DRS, Usher, Damion Hall, and Al B. Sure!, "If You Think You're Lonely Now", (a Bobby Womack cover) performed by a (solo) K-Ci Hailey, and Brian McKnight's cover version of the Van Morrison classic "Crazy Love".[citation needed]

In 1995 Kidron co-executive produced the soundtrack for Mario Van Peebles, "Panther" - A dramatized account of the story of The Black Panthers, which featured the all-star, all-female hot single "Freedom" performed by: Aaliyah, Felicia Adams, May May Ali, MC Lyte, Amel Larrieux, Az-Iz, Blackgirl, Mary J. Blige, Tanya Blount, Brownstone, Casserine, Changing Faces, Tyler Collins, N'Dea Davenport, Da 5 Footaz, E.V.E., Emage, En Vogue, Eshe & Laurena of Arrested Development, Female, For Real, Penny Ford, Lalah Hathaway, Jade, Jamecia, Jazzyfatnastees, Billy Lawrence, Joi, Brigette McWilliams, Milira, Miss Jones, Cindy Mizelle, Monica, Me’Shell NdegéOcello, Natasha, Nefertiti, Patra, Pebbles, Pure Soul, Raja-Nee, Brenda Russell, SWV, Chantay Savage, Sonja Marie, Tracie Spencer, Sweet Sable, TLC, Terri & Monica, Vybe, Crystal Waters, Caron Wheeler, Karyn White, Vanessa L. Williams, Xscape, Y?N-Vee, Zhané.[citation needed]

In 1996 Kidron, along with Sam Sapp, Kenneth Edmonds ["Babyface"], and Antonio Reid ["LA"] executive produced "The Rhythm of The Games", the official soundtrack of the Atlanta Olympic Games.[citation needed]

TV producer/Catwalk (1986-1997)[edit]

In the mid-1980s Adam Kidron became partner in Crossbow Films Ltd., a groundbreaking UK-based independent producer of syndicated television. At Crossbow, Kidron developed innovative television formats with Henry Winkler and Ben Elton, George Jackson and Doug McHenry, Clarence Avant and Quincy Jones. In 1990 Kidron left Crossbow to form his own production company, Marvellous Pictures, Inc.

In 1991, Kidron and partners Steve Waterman and Jeff Franklin, begun production of Catwalk in Toronto, Canada. Catwalk was a syndicated television series based around the struggles of an urban band trying to hit the big time. The series is best known for launching the career of Neve Campbell (Daisy), discovered by Kidron while she was a performer in the Canadian production of The Phantom of the Opera. Catwalk also featured Lisa Butler (Sierra), Christopher Lee Clements (Atlas), Paul Popowich (Jesse), Kelli Taylor (Mary), and Keram Malicki-Sánchez (Johnny). The show was based on a six-minute mini-movie Adam had produced in London's docklands, which had featured Kate Moss.[citation needed]

The first series of Catwalk was widely syndicated and the show’s second season aired on MTV. In 1992, a few weeks before principal production of the series was scheduled to commence, Kidron was wrongfully excluded by his partners Franklin and Waterman from further involvement in the series. In 1993, Kidron sued Franklin, Waterman, Sony Pictures Entertainment and others, alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and related joint intentional wrongful conduct. After lengthy pre-trial and trial proceedings, Kidron was awarded over $53 million in compensatory and punitive damages against Franklin, Waterman, Sony Pictures Entertainment and various other defendants (Case No. LASC BC066993).

On August 21, 1997, the judgment was reversed by the California Court of Appeal as to various of the defendants and upheld in certain respects as to others, including Franklin and Waterman (the decision of the California Court of Appeal was not published, but was based on an earlier decision - (1995), 40 Cal.App.4th 1571)[4]. After pursuing Franklin and Waterman through bankruptcy, Kidron ultimately procured a significant recovery. In a unique aspect of the case's final resolution, Kidron also recovered "ownership and control of the produced episodes and all related materials."[citation needed]

Urban Box Office Network, Inc. (1999-2001)[edit]

The urban Internet portal UBO, the predecessor of the current Urban Box Office, Inc., was co-founded by Adam Kidron, along with the late film director/producer George Jackson (producer of New Jack City, Jason's Lyric and other urban-themed movies) and Frank Cooper (a Harvard-trained lawyer who headed business affairs for Def Jam Records and founded the contemporary gospel label Tommy Boy Gospel), in a parking garage in New York City in 1999. The company's business model was to aggregate a diverse urban audience around websites targeting common lifestyle interests rather than race, color, or class, such as IndiePlanet, Latinflava (an urban-latin music label headed by Ney Pimentel[1] and distributed by UBO[2]), and celebrity-based sites featuring high-profile talents such as tennis-playing Williams sisters.[citation needed] UBO's acquirement of these companies helped bring a once-niche market to the forefront of mainstream lifestyle interests. Latinflava, a company which began as the web's first Spanglish e-magazine, by 1999, had become UBO's own in-house label, Latinflava/Clavo Music, working with notable Latin artists such as Sergio Vargas, Fernandito Villalona, Brian McKnight, and Elephant Man.[3]

The business model was developed by Kidron after a failed attempt to establish Urban Box Office Networks, Inc., as a basic cable channel. In less than two years, Kidron, Jackson and Cooper raised and spent over $40 million of venture capital on Urban Box Office Networks, Inc. Kidron, who became the CEO of Urban Box Office Networks, Inc., is blamed by many for the company's demise after Jackson died in 2000.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Pimentel, Ney. "Ney Pimentel Graphic Designer". Ney Pimentel. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Cobo, Leila (November 20, 2004). "Recap: Notable Latin Chart Bows". Billboard: 59. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Cobo, Leila (February 26, 2005). "Chayanne Gets Romantic". Billboard: 33. Retrieved 21 July 2014.