John Reid (music manager)

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John Reid
Born (1949-09-09) September 9, 1949 (age 68)
Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Occupation(s) Music manager
Years active 1970–present

John Reid (born September 9, 1949) is a former music manager.

Early life[edit]

Reid was born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, the son of John Reid, a welder, and Betty, a supermarket worker. Apart from three years in New Zealand, he was brought up in Gallowhill. He attended St Mirin's Academy, where he was a fellow pupil of singers Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan. He then attended Stow College in Glasgow, where he studied marine propulsion, but dropped out in 1969.[1]


Reid began his music management career in 1967 at the age of 18 as a promoter for EMI. At the age of 19, he became the Tamla Motown label manager for the UK. In 1971, Reid set up his own company with a few hundred pounds in savings and a £5,000 loan. He had met Elton John, then known as Reg Dwight, at a Motown Christmas party. They moved in with each other, became lovers, and John became Reid's first client.[1]

In 1974, in New Zealand, Reid got into a fight with a journalist at a nightclub over the lack of whisky at a press launch and was sentenced to a month in prison.[1]

Between 1975 and 1978, Reid was the manager of British rock group Queen.[2]

In 1994, he was the manager for Irish dancer Michael Flatley. After Flately left Riverdance and ended his relationship with Reid, Flately paid Reid approximately £1 million to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit.[3]

Between 1970 and 1998, he was Elton John's manager. During the first five years, Reid was also John's lover. Their professional relationship ended over a leaked letter from John's accountants detailing Reid's spending, which was found by Benjamin Pell and published in the Daily Mirror.[4] The ending of their business relationship in 1998[5] led to a legal action in 2000.[6] Reid settled out of court by paying Elton £3.4 million.[7][2] Reid's company earned more than £73 million from representing John between 1980 and 1998.[2]

Reid quit management in 1999.[2]

In 2005, Reid was a judge on the Australian version of The X Factor alongside Mark Holden and Kate Ceberano.

Personal life[edit]

In 1998, Reid sold his art collection, estimated to have been worth £2 million.[8]

Reid currently lives in Australia.