Irving Azoff

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Irving Azoff (born December 12, 1947) is an American personal manager, representing recording artists in the music industry such as Christina Aguilera, the Eagles, Van Halen, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Steely Dan, Chelsea Handler and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac as Chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment.

In September 2013, Irving Azoff unveiled Azoff MSG Entertainment, a new venture with The Madison Square Garden Company. In addition to his role as Chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment, Azoff will consult to MSG in connection with the management of its live event venues, including the The Forum (Inglewood) in CA and other MSG-managed buildings.[1]

Previously, he served as chairman and CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment and was Executive Chairman of Live Nation Entertainment and CEO of Front Line Management until his resignation on December 31, 2012.

In 2012, he topped Billboard's Power 100 and was named the most powerful person in the music industry.[2] Mr. Azoff serves on the board of Clear Channel Communications,[3] Starz Inc., and IMG (company).[4]


He began promoting and booking bands during his high school years (Shades of Blue) at Danville High school and then in college at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He moved to Los Angeles in 1970 with his first client, Dan Fogelberg. He worked for Geffen Roberts management where he began working with the Eagles, a relationship that has since lasted for more than 40 years. During his career he has worked as an agent, personal manager, concert promoter, movie producer, independent record label owner, merchandiser, music publisher, and CEO of a record company.

From 1983 to 1989, Azoff was chairman of MCA Records and is credited for turning around the fortunes of the label.[5]

According to Thomas R. King's book, The Operator, Geffen manipulated Azoff into leaving MCA and going to Warner Music Group where Azoff started Giant Records. King writes that Geffen wanted Azoff out at MCA to clear the way for MCA to buy Geffen Records.[6] So Geffen convinced Mo Ostin at Warner Music to offer Irving Azoff a "dream" label deal. Giant Records operated for much of the 1990s until Azoff decided to return to concentrating on artist management.

Azoff co-produced the movies Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Urban Cowboy, Jack Frost (1998 film), Above The Rim and The Inkwell, and was executive producer of The Hurricane (1999 film)[7] and has been named "Manager of the Year" by two touring industry's trade publications. In 2012, Azoff appeared in Artifact, a documentary film about the modern music business focused on the legal battle between Thirty Seconds to Mars and record label EMI.

Business developments[edit]

In October 2008, ticketing and marketing company Ticketmaster announced that they would acquire Azoff's management company, Front Line Management Group Inc. As part of the deal, Irving Azoff, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Front Line, became Chief Executive Officer of Ticketmaster and was named Chairman of Live Nation in February 2011.[8]

Ticketmaster issued restricted stock awards to Mr. Azoff representing approximately 4.5% of Ticketmaster's stock. The deal includes $35 million of restricted Ticketmaster preferred stock that is convertible at Azoff's election into 1.75 million shares of Ticketmaster common stock, and 1 million shares of restricted Ticketmaster common stock.

Ticketmaster also agreed to grant Azoff options to purchase 2 million shares of Ticketmaster common stock at an exercise price of $20 per share.

In September 2013, Azoff Music Management unveiled a new venture with the Madison Square Garden Co. to form the newly created Azoff MSG Entertainment (AMSGE), encompassing Azoff’s current management business; publishing, digital media and television production.[9]

AMSGE will commence business with four integrated units - Azoff Music Management; Global Music Rights; Television Production and Live Event Branding; and Digital Brand Architects (DBA). [10]

"Short People"[edit]

Author Barney Hoskyns, in his book of Hotel California about the late 1960s and 1970s Southern California rock scene, wrote that singer-songwriter Randy Newman's song "Short People" was directed at Azoff, who stands 5'3",[11] had aggressively pursued Newman for Azoff's Front Line management company,[12] and was known in the music industry as the "Poison Dwarf."[11]


  1. ^ "Irving Azoff to Serve as Chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment LLC", GlobeNewswire, Sept. 4, 2013
  2. ^ "Billboard Reveals the 2012 Power 100", Billboard, Jan. 27, 2012
  3. ^ Peter Lattman, "Live Nation’s Azoff Joins Clear Channel’s Board", New York Times, Oct. 1, 2010
  4. ^ Andy Fixmer, "Live Nation Chairman Azoff Said to Exit Concert Company", Bloomberg, Dec. 31, 2012
  5. ^ E. Scott Reckard, "AZOFF QUITS AS CHAIRMAN OF MCA'S MUSIC UNIT", AP News Archive, Sep. 5, 1989
  6. ^ See generally Tom King, The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood, p. 449-450, Broadway Books (New York 2001).
  7. ^ "Moviefone Filmography"
  8. ^ Andy Fixmer, "Live Nation Chairman Azoff Said to Exit Concert Company", Bloomberg, Dec. 31, 2012
  9. ^ Todd Martens, "Madison Square Garden invests $125 million in Irving Azoff firm", Los Angeles Times, Sep. 4, 2013
  10. ^ "Madison Square Garden invests $125 million in Irving Azoff firm, GlobeNewswire, Sep. 4, 2013
  11. ^ a b Jim DeRogatis, "The manager behind Billy Corgan: Meet the "Poison Dwarf"", Chicago Sun-Times, March 12, 2009
  12. ^ Hoskyns, Barney (2010). Hotel California: The True-Life Adventures of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Mitchell, Taylor, Browne, Ronstadt, Geffen, the Eagles, and Their Many Friends. John Wiley & Sons. p. 254. 

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