Seymour Stein

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Seymour Stein
Born (1942-04-18) April 18, 1942 (age 75)
Brooklyn, New York
Occupation Entrepreneur
Music executive
Spouse(s) Linda S. Stein (divorced)
Children 2
Awards Member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Seymour Stein (born 18 April 1942[1]) is an entrepreneur in the music industry. His first job was a clerk for Billboard magazine in 1958. Stein is a Vice President of Warner Bros. Records and a co-founder of Sire Records.[2][3]

Music career[edit]

As a high school student, Stein interned a couple summers (1957–58) at King Records in Cincinnati. In 1961, he worked 2 years for King Records.[4]

In 1966, Stein and record producer Richard Gottehrer founded Sire Productions, which led to the formation of Sire Records, the label under which he signed pioneer artists such as the Ramones and Talking Heads in 1975, the Pretenders in 1980 and Madonna in 1982. Other acts signed by Sire include The Replacements (band), Depeche Mode, The Smiths, The Cure, Ice-T, The Undertones and Echo & the Bunnymen.

Such was Stein's influence in signing and promoting the new wave genre of music that he is sometimes credited with coming up with the name as an alternative to the term punk, which he found derogative. The term had previously been used to refer to the French New Wave film movement of the 1960s.

Stein remains the President of Sire Records and is also Vice President of Warner Bros. Records with which he has had a marketing and distribution deal from 1976 to 1994 and again since April 2003. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 14, 2005, under the lifetime-achievement category.


Stein is the subject of an eponymous song by the Scottish musical group Belle and Sebastian. He was the winner of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Dance Music Awards in 2010. Ice-T wrote about Stein in his autobiography, stating: "He's cut from that cloth of the old-time music executives like Clive Davis, but he's way more eccentric... Just a little more bizarre, a bit more avant-garde, more of an edgy cat."[5] He wrote that Seymour Stein would never edit Ice-T's musical output but would sometimes express concerns (e.g. he was against homophobia in rap).[5]

Personal life[edit]

Stein was formerly married to the late music promoter and real estate executive Linda Stein; together, the couple had two daughters before they divorced, on amicable terms, in the late 1970s.[6] Stein has never remarried. One of his children is Mandy Stein.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Billboard Staff (5 August 2013). "CBGB Fest Announces Seymour Stein as Icon Award Winner, Van Toffler To Give Keynote (Exclusive)". Billboard. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Kessler, Dana (25 July 2013). "The Legendary Seymour Stein: Seymour Stein, Record Company Man Who Signed The Ramones and Madonna". Tablet. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Bronson, Fred (21 January 2012). "Seymour Stein: A Chronology". Billboard. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Marrow, Tracy; Century, Douglas (2011). "Six in the Mornin'". Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption—from South Central to Hollywood. Random House. pp. 99–105. ISBN 978-0-345-52328-0. 
  6. ^ Lambert, Bruce (1 November 2007). "Real Estate Agent Found Slain in 5th Ave. Home". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 

External links[edit]