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Seymour Stein

Business | 2018

Legendary music executive Seymour Stein was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1942. He began his career in music as a high school student, interning in the summers of 1957 and 1958 at King Records in Cincinnati. He took on a clerk position for Billboard magazine in 1958 and, starting in 1961, worked for two years at King. 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, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, The Cure, Ice-T, The Undertones and Echo & the Bunnymen. Stein was such an influential figure during this time in signing and promoting this “new wave” style of music that he is sometimes credited with coming up with the name of the genre. Stein, who was honored with the Richmond Hitmaker Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2016, remained president of Sire Records and also vice president of Warner Bros. Records until his retirement in 2018.

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