Irving Azoff

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Irving Azoff
Azoff at the Hollywood State of the Entertainment Industry convention in 2018
Born (1947-12-12) December 12, 1947 (age 75)
OccupationEntertainment executive
Years active1971-present
Known forChairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment
Shelli Azoff
(m. 1978)

Irving Azoff (/ˈzɒf/; born December 12, 1947) is an American entertainment executive and chairman of Full Stop Management, which represents recording artists.

Since September 2013, he has been chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment, a venture with The Madison Square Garden Company. Prior to this he served as chairman and CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment and was executive chairman of Live Nation Entertainment and CEO of Front Line Management. He is also on the board of Starz Inc. and IMG.[1]

In 2012, he topped Billboard's Power 100.[2]


Raised in a Jewish family[3] in Danville, Illinois, Azoff began promoting and booking bands while a student at Danville High School and then in college at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. His first management client was Champaign-based REO Speedwagon; his second was Dan Fogelberg.[4] In 1972, Azoff headed to Los Angeles with Fogelberg. He worked for Geffen-Roberts Management and there began working with the Eagles, a relationship that has lasted more than forty 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.[5]

Azoff in 1976

From 1983 to 1989, Azoff was chairman of MCA Music Entertainment Group and is credited for turning around that label's fortunes.[6]

According to Thomas R. King's book The Operator (2001), David 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.[7] 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.[8]

Azoff co-produced the movies Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Urban Cowboy, Jack Frost, Above The Rim, and The Inkwell, and was executive producer of The Hurricane.[9] He has been named "Manager of the Year" by two touring industry 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.[citation needed]

In 2013, Azoff founded the performance rights organisation Global Music Rights. The company administered publishing for artists including Metallica, Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon and George Harrison, Pearl Jam, and Bruno Mars.[10]

In 2015, Azoff played a thinly veiled version of himself in the Documentary Now! parody of History of the Eagles.[11]

In October 2008, Ticketmaster announced it would acquire the management company Front Line Management Group, Inc. As part of the deal, Azoff, who was founder and chief executive officer of Front Line, became chief executive officer of Ticketmaster and was named chairman of Live Nation in February 2011.[1]

In September 2013, Azoff unveiled Azoff MSG Entertainment, a venture with The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG).[12] In addition to his role as chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment, Azoff would serve as a consultant to MSG in connection with the management of its live event venues, including the Forum in Inglewood, CA and other MSG-managed buildings.[13]

In 2012, he was #1 on the Billboard Power 100.[14] Azoff serves on the boards of iHeartCommunications, Inc. and Starz LLC.

In 2015, Azoff co-founded Oak View Group along with Tim Leiweke. The company is building the Belmont Park Arena as well as a new arena in Milan, Italy.[15]

In 2018, Azoff and Oliver Chastan co-founded Iconic Artists Group, an entertainment rights management company. In 2021, Iconic Artists Group acquired the catalogue of David Crosby and a majority stake in The Beach Boys' intellectual property.[16]

In 2019, Azoff and his wife Shelli purchased The Apple Pan, one of Los Angeles' oldest continuing operating restaurants. They also purchased Nate n'Al's, founded in 1945, with a consortium of Los Angeles-based investors.[17][18]

In January 2020, Azoff was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an Ahmet Ertegun Award winner.[19]


Monopolization claims[edit]

In 2018, Radio Music License Committee made antitrust claims against Azoff's Global Music Rights, LLC, a performance rights organization.[20][21] A settlement was reached in 2022.[22]

Clippers Arena proposal[edit]

Controversy was generated when Azoff MSG Entertainment took part in a lawsuit against the city of Inglewood in an attempt to stop the construction of a new arena for the Los Angeles Clippers in Inglewood, alongside residents of the local neighborhood .[23] During the summer of 2019, it was reported that Azoff was working with James L. Dolan of the Madison Square Garden Company to prevent the competing arena from being built similar to the tactics used to stop the construction of the proposed West Side Stadium in New York City in 2005.[24] In March 2019, leaked emails revealed that Azoff attempted to lure the Los Angeles Lakers back to The Forum after their lease at the Staples Center was up.[25]

Nicki Minaj[edit]

In 2018, Nicki Minaj accused Azoff of orchestrating a smear campaign against her upcoming tour.[26] He later became her manager.[27] Additionally, his performance rights organization Global Music Rights manages most of her songwriting credits, in this role replacing BMI.

Labels founded by Azoff[edit]


  1. ^ a b Andy Fixmer, "Live Nation Chairman Azoff Said to Exit Concert Company", Bloomberg, December 31, 2012.
  2. ^ "Billboard Reveals the 2012 Power 100" Archived February 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Billboard, January 27, 2012.
  3. ^ Gensler, Andy and Halperin, Shirley "Houses of the Holy: Where the Music Biz Celebrates the Jewish High Holidays" Billboard. September 23, 2014.
  4. ^ "A TASTE OF RAINMAKERS:IRVING AZOFF". Retrieved November 23, 2019.
  5. ^ "The New Pioneers: Irving Azoff on His Plan to Deal With the 'StubHub Factor' -- 'You Have Lots of People Escaping With Lots of Money'". Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  6. ^ E. Scott Reckard, "AZOFF QUITS AS CHAIRMAN OF MCA'S MUSIC UNIT", AP News Archive, September 5, 1989.
  7. ^ See generally Tom King, The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood, p. 449-450, Broadway Books (New York 2001).
  8. ^ Stein, Seymour; Murphy, Gareth (2018). Siren Song: My Life in Music. St. Martin’s Publishing. p. 273. ISBN 978-1-250-08101-8.
  9. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Sisario, Ben (October 29, 2014). "New Venture Seeks Higher Royalties for Songwriters". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Penrose, Nerisha (September 14, 2016). "Fred Armisen & Bill Hader Explain How 'Documentary Now!' Cast Irving Azoff & His Son in Eagles Spoof". Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  12. ^ Ray Waddell, Nashville and Andrew Flanagan, New York, "Irving Azoff and Madison Square Garden Co. Announce $300 Million Joint Venture", Billboard, September 4, 2013.
  13. ^ "Irving Azoff to Serve as Chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment LLC", GlobeNewswire, September 4, 2013.
  14. ^ "Billboard Power 100: Irving Azoff", Billboard, January 26, 2012.
  15. ^ "Oak View Group Taps Milan for First Arena Outside U.S". Billboard.
  16. ^ "David Crosby sells catalog to Irving Azoff's Iconic Artists Group, including recorded music and publishing rights". March 3, 2021.
  17. ^ Kang, Matthew (February 11, 2019). "The Apple Pan has new owners for the first time in decades". Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  18. ^ "Nate 'n Al's, beloved delicatessen of Beverly Hills, to close for now". Los Angeles Times. March 29, 2020. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  19. ^ France, Lisa Respers. "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2020 inductees are..." CNN. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  20. ^ Gardner, Eriq (July 12, 2019). "Hollywood Docket: Music Industry Antitrust; Video Game Humvees; Paul Haggis DNA". Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  21. ^ Sanchez, Daniel (August 16, 2018). "Irving Azoff's GMR Faces a Serious Setback Against U.S. Radio Stations". Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  22. ^ Cho, Winston (January 8, 2022). "Irving Azoff Group Strikes Deal With Radio Stations to End Legal Battle Over Performance Rights". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
  23. ^ "Inglewood Mayor Butts Slams Azoff MSG Entertainment Lawsuit". Billboard. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  24. ^ "James Dolan and MSG are waging a war on Inglewood over new Clippers arena project". New York Daily News. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  25. ^ "Must Reads: Lakers explored leaving Staples Center for return to Forum, emails reveal". Los Angeles Times. March 14, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  26. ^ Aswad, Jem (August 24, 2018). "Nicki Minaj Accuses Travis Scott Manager Irving Azoff of 'Smear Campaign' Against Her Tour". Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  27. ^ "Irving Azoff Assures Nicki Minaj That Travis Scott Doesn't Hate Her: 'It's All Show Biz'". June 24, 2019.

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