David Massey (music executive)

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David Massey is a British-born, American record executive and former artist manager. Massey currently serves as President and CEO of Arista Records in the US.[1]

Massey previously served as president of Universal Music Group's Mercury Records from 2007 until 2013, when he was named president/CEO of Universal's Island Records. Massey stepped down from Island in June 2018.

Personal life[edit]

Massey was born in London to Gerald Massey and Marion Massey. Marion was the manager of iconic British pop star Lulu from the singer's discovery in 1963 until the end of the 1980s, and she is known as one of the first female artist managers in the music industry.

Massey's early schooling was at the Lycée Francais de Londres, followed by a master's degree in Law at Christ's College Cambridge University, where he was also president of the Law Society.

He married Gaby Gryn in 1987 and they have two children, Adam and Clio. The family moved to New York City in January 1992, where they continue to reside.


Massey began his career in the music industry in 1982 as an artist manager, firstly representing the British new wave group, Wang Chung – who signed with Geffen and enjoyed five US Top 40 singles. His client roster also included Tom Robinson, Hollywood Beyond, Siedah Garrett, and also prolific British songwriter/producers Tony Swain and Steve Jolley.[2] In addition to artist representation, Massey also ran a small independent label and music publishing company called Big World Records.[2]

In 1991 Massey left management following the acceptance of an offer from Tommy Mottola and Michele Anthony to join Sony Entertainment as Vice-President of A&R at Epic Records,[2] rising to Executive Vice President/General Manager of the label in 1997.

During this time, he worked with Oasis, Silverchair, Shakira, Des'ree, Franz Ferdinand, among others. Massey became Executive Vice President of A&R for Sony Music in 1999, focusing on Global A&R. He also founded and became President of Daylight Records, a Sony imprint and home to such artists as Anastacia, Delta Goodrem, Good Charlotte, The Jonas Brothers, Phantom Planet and Cyndi Lauper.

Massey left Sony in April 2007 to join the Universal Music Group as president of Mercury Records. The label had been dormant in the United States since 1996 and was revived under his leadership.[3] During his time at Mercury Records, the label released albums by Neon Trees, The Wanted, The Gaslight Anthem, Duffy, Portishead, Parachute, Jessie James, and Taio Cruz. Massey also oversaw releases by Island Records artists The Killers and Fall Out Boy.

In February 2013, Massey was appointed to the dual position of President and CEO of Island Records.[4][5] Recent additions to the Island roster include Avicii, American Authors, Bishop Briggs, Nick Jonas, Tove Lo, Shawn Mendes, Elton John, Mike Posner, and Keke Palmer among others. During Massey's tenure at Island, the label has relaunched the 4th & Broadway imprint to focus on dance music, which includes signings Kiesza, Sam Feldt, and Ansolo.[6][7]

Since 2013, Massey has served as a trustee for the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and was named as one of 2016's Billboard Power 100 music executives.[8]

In 2018, Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer announced Massey would lead the relaunch of Arista Records. [9]


  1. ^ https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8464366/david-massey-arista-records-relaunch-sony-music-entertainment
  2. ^ a b c "Interview With David Massey". HitQuarters. 30 Oct 2001. Retrieved 26 Oct 2011.
  3. ^ "Mercury Records Re-launched as New Division of Island Def Jam Music Group, David Massey Named President of Mercury Records". Universal Music Group. 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
  4. ^ "David Massey Named President of Island Records". Billboard. February 8, 2013.
  5. ^ "No. 56: David Massey | Power 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  6. ^ "Corner Office: Island Records President David Massey on His Hot Streak of Hits, Betting on Shawn Mendes". Billboard. September 22, 2014.
  7. ^ "Billboard Year in Music 2014: Nick Jonas, Kiesza, and Tove Lo Help Start a New Chapter for Island Records". Billboard. December 12, 2014.
  8. ^ "No. 56: David Massey | Power 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  9. ^ https://variety.com/2018/biz/news/sony-music-relaunches-arista-records-under-david-massey-1202868348/

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