Miles Copeland III
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Miles Axe Copeland III (born May 2, 1944) is an American entertainment executive, best known for founding I.R.S. Records. His brother, Stewart Copeland, was part of the pop-rock trio The Police, which Miles managed. Another brother, Ian Copeland, was a successful booking agent who described much of the New Wave adventures of Miles, Stewart and himself in his book, Wild Thing.
Miles was born in London, UK, to Miles Axe Copeland, Jr., a CIA officer from Birmingham, Alabama, United States, and Scottish Lorraine Adie, who was in British intelligence. Due to Miles Jr.'s profession, the family moved throughout the Middle East, in particular Syria, Egypt and Lebanon. As a result, Miles and his brothers became fluent in Arabic.
Miles began attending college at Birmingham-Southern College in 1962. He graduated with a B.A. degree in 1966 and attended the American University of Beirut, where he earned his M.A. in Economics by 1969. By then, he had already promoted his first concert. Moving back to England, Miles became involved in the music industry, focusing on promotion and management of several bands. His first major success was with Wishbone Ash.
In 1974, he founded the management agency and record label BTM (for British Talent Management), and signed a number of progressive rock acts such as Renaissance and Curved Air. In the summer of 1975, he organised a multi-band tour of European music festivals, Star-Trucking, which featured several BTM bands as well as Soft Machine, the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Lou Reed. But Reed's failure to appear at any of the shows and a litany of logistical issues resulted in significant losses. In 1976, BTM closed down.
The failure of BTM coincided with the beginnings of the Punk/New Wave movement in the UK, and led him to help start Illegal Records, Deptford Fun City Records, New Bristol Records and sign The Cortinas to Step Forward Records in 1977.
In 1978, he became manager of his brother Stewart Copeland's band, The Police, and shepherded them to become one of the biggest bands of the 1980s. The success of The Police and the novel methods used to break them enabled Miles to found I.R.S. Records (through a deal with A&M Records). In the next few years, the company had hits with The Buzzcocks, The English Beat, The Cramps, Fine Young Cannibals, Wall of Voodoo, Timbuk 3, R.E.M., The Alarm and a number one album with the all-girl group, The Go-Go's. He continued to manage Sting (solo) through seven blockbuster albums and introduced Sting to Algerian Rai singer, Cheb Mami, in 1999. Their collaboration bloomed with "Desert Rose" whose worldwide success was attributed to Miles' innovative corporate deal with Jaguar. In all, Miles has been involved in the sale of over 150 million albums.
Miles currently owns and operates CIA – Copeland International Arts, the artist roster of which includes Bellydance Superstars, Celtic Crossroads, Otros Aires, Zohar, Beats Antique, and many more internationally recognized acts. Much of the CIA label focus was initially aimed at the most creative genres in the world of dance including an extensive catalog of Middle Eastern, East/West fusion music, and a growing catalog of Irish, Tango, Flamenco and Polynesian styles, but the label has since progressed to signing artists that appeal greatly to the general public.
Miles married Adriana Corajoria, an artist and model from Argentina, in 1989. Together, they had three children: Miles Axe IV, Aeson Armstrong and Axton Emerson.