||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2014)|
|Born||Thomas Daniel Mottola, Jr.
July 1, 1948
The Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Lisa Clark (m. 1971; div. 1990)
Mariah Carey (m. 1993; div. 1998)
Thalía (m. 2000)
Thomas Daniel "Tommy" Mottola (born July 1, 1948) is an American music executive. He is the co-owner of Casablanca Records in a joint venture with the Universal Music Group. He headed Sony Music Entertainment, parent of the Columbia label, for nearly 15 years.
Tommy Mottola entered in the music scene in the mid-1960s as a recording artist for CBS Records under the name "T.D. Valentine". After his attempt to become a recording star himself failed, Mottola started working for publishing powerhouse Chappell Publishing and started his own management company, Champion Entertainment Organization. His role at Chappell put him in touch with many artists, and soon he signed his first successful management clients, Hall & Oates.
Mottola helped Hall and Oates land a record deal and several high-profile endorsements. He was also recognized for successfully using new mediums for promotion, like music videos and corporate sponsorship for music tours.
Apart from Hall and Oates, Mottola is known as a mentor and former talent manager. His most famous protégés were Carly Simon, John Mellencamp, Diana Ross, and Taylor Dayne in the 1980s, Mariah Carey (whom he married) in the 1990s, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, Anastacia and Jennifer Lopez in the early 2000s. He is married to Mexican telenovela actress and singer Thalía.
Mottola was born in the New York City and grew up in a middle-class Italian-American family in The Bronx. He attended military school for a time, and then high school. After dropping out of Hofstra University on Long Island, he pursued a music career as a guitarist and singer with The Exotics, an R&B cover band.
In 1988, Mottola was hired by Sony Music (then known as CBS Records) by Walter Yetnikoff (who had been at the company from 1975 to 1990) to run its U.S. operations (it had recently been acquired by the Japan-based Sony corporation). In 1990, he replaced Yetnikoff as Chairman CEO of the newly named Sony Music. During his tenure, he transformed Sony into one of the most successful global music companies, expanding its businesses into over 60 countries, while creating one of the strongest management teams in the industry. He revitalized Sony Music's publishing division by making such acquisitions as the Beatles catalogue and enabled Sony to become the first major music company to make available commercial digital downloads. Additionally, Mottola was the architect for some of Sony's biggest global brands such as Celine Dion and Mariah Carey. During his 15-year tenure, Mottola built Sony up from a company with revenues of $800 million a year to one with over $6 billion of annual revenue by the year 2000.
He is widely well known for signing, developing, and nurturing the careers of Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Destiny's Child, Shakira, the Dixie Chicks, etc., and for releasing digitally remastered compact discs of the older recordings made by Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Andy Williams, among others. He also is credited with creating the Latin Explosion in popular music by championing such Sony artists as Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and Ricky Martin. He also worked with Michael Jackson from the time he began recording his "Dangerous" (1991) album. Jackson would later state that his relationship with Mottola dissolved based on corruption in Mottola's working practices, and once charged him with being a "racist who exploited black talent". Jackson has stated later on that, "The recording companies really, really do conspire against the artists."
Tommy Mottola was the head of Sony Music Entertainment until January 2003. Since leaving his post as chief of Sony Music, Mottola has been building a new entertainment company, complete with recorded music, television production, theater, and fashion, alongside a branding and management company that had recently launched. He was instrumental in re-launching the various careers of such artists as Grammy winner and Latin pop star Marc Anthony, and teen sensation Lindsay Lohan. Later signings included Cassie Ventura in 2006, and Mika who in 2007 had a #1 single in the UK.
A collaboration with former Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein has them teamed on two current projects for live theater, namely producers of Pink Floyd's The Wall. Mottola's TV production arm is currently producing and developing many shows for cable and network television.
Mottola has been married three times. He married his first wife, Lisa Clark, daughter of ABC Records head Sam Clark in 1971, converting to Judaism to do so. The couple divorced in 1990, after having two children. On June 5, 1993, Mottola married his second wife, Mariah Carey; they announced their separation on May 30, 1997  and later divorced. He married his third wife, Mexican telenovela star and recording artist Thalía, on December 2, 2000. The couple has two children, daughter Sabrina Sakaë, born in October 2007, and son Matthew Alejandro, born in June 2011
Hall and Oates' song "Gino (The Manager)" from the duo's 1975 album Daryl Hall & John Oates was written about Mottola. The record jacket insert reads "And introducing Tommy Mottola as 'Little Gino.' "
Mentioned in "No Show" Season 4, Episode 2 of the series The Sopranos. Tony says in sarcasm to his sister, Janice, "That Tommy Mottola, he's one slow motherfucker. What's it been, about a year now?" He intends to say that she does not actually have any connection to a music executive of Mr. Mottola's caliber.
Mentioned in the TV series Smash (2012), Season 1 Episode 6: "Chemistry". Ensemble dancer Jessica explains to Karen who Bobby Raskin was: "He's big. He's like... umm... Tommy Mottola. And don't say 'Who's Tommy Mottola?'"
Mentioned by Lana Del Rey in the song Live or Die
Mentioned by Eminem during a promotional freestyle for Relapse on BET's Rap City in 2009: "I'm Tommy Mottola, Mariah, don't stop me I'm on a roll". Eminem references Tommy's relationship with R&B singer Mariah Carey, as he did with her, in an attempt to diss her.
- "Tommy Mottola Biography: Business Leader (1948–)". Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks). Archived from the original on March 20, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
- "Sony picks NBC president to replace Tommy Mottola". USA Today. Associated Press. January 10, 2003. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- Downey, Ryan J. (January 9, 2003). "Sony Chairman Tommy Mottola Steps Down". MTV News. Archived from the original on June 24, 2015. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (8 July 2002). "Michael Jackson Shocks Al Sharpton By Calling Tommy Mottola A Racist". VH1. Archived from the original on December 24, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
- "Lohan to testify in mother's case.". ContactMusic.come. WENN. August 4, 2006. Archived from the original on June 24, 2015. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
- Doughterty, Steve (June 16, 1997). "Swan Song". People. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
- "Thalía is pregnant!". People en Español. June 12, 2007.
The couple was married on Dec. 2, 2000 in New York.The article appears in English. NOTE: The U.S. edition of People gives the wedding date as October 11, 1997: Silverman, Stephen M. (October 13, 1997). "Music Mogul Marries". People. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
- "Thalía and Tommy Mottola welcome daughter Sabrina Sakaë". People. October 8, 2007. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
- "Thalía Welcomes Son Matthew Alejandro". People. June 25, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
- "Hall & Oates Albums". starpulse.com.
- "Mottola and Music". latimes.com.
- "Yacht Rock". "Yacht Rock". Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- "Youtube Video - Michael Jackson Speech About Sony and Tommy Mottola".
- "Youtube Video - Michael Jackson's speech against Tommy Mottola".
- "Youtube Video - Michael Jackson Attacks Mottola-interv backstage".
- Mottola, Tommy with Cal Fussman, Hitmaker: The Man and His Music (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2013).
- Tosches, Nick., Dangerous Dances: The Authorized Biography (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984).