Irving Azoff

Last updated

Irving Azoff
Irving Azoff at State of the Entertainment Industry 2018.jpg
Azoff at the Hollywood State of the Entertainment Industry convention in 2018
Born (1947-12-12) December 12, 1947 (age 73)
Danville, IL
OccupationEntertainment executive
Known forChairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment
Shelli Azoff
(m. 1978)
ChildrenJaye Azoff
Allison Statter
Jeffrey Azoff
Cameron Azoff

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 and was named the most powerful person in the music industry. [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.[ citation needed ]

From 1983 to 1989, Azoff was chairman of MCA Music Entertainment Group and is credited for turning around that label's fortunes. [5]

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. [6] 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.[ citation needed ]

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 . [7] 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 administers publishing for artists including Metallica, Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon and George Harrison, Pearl Jam, and Bruno Mars. [8]

In 2015, Azoff played a thinly veiled version of himself in the Documentary Now! parody of History of the Eagles . [9]

In October 2008, ticketing and marketing company Ticketmaster announced they 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). [10] 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. [11]

In 2012, he topped Billboard Magazine's Power 100, being named the most powerful person in the music industry. [12] Azoff serves on the boards of iHeartCommunications, Inc. and Starz LLC.

In 2015, Azoff co-founded Oak View Group along with Tim Leiweke. [13] The company is building the Belmont Park Arena as well as a new arena in Milan, Italy. [14]

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. [15]

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. [16] [17]

In January 2020, Azoff was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an Ahmet Ertegun Award winner. [18]


Monopolization claims

In 2018, Radio Music License Committee made monopolization claims in a California court against Azoff's Global Music Rights, LLC, a performance rights organization. [19] [20]

Clippers Arena proposal

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 neighbourhood. [21] 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. [22] 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. [23]

Nicki Minaj

In 2018, Nicki Minaj accused Azoff of orchestrating a smear campaign against her upcoming tour. [24] He later became her manager. [25] Additionally, his performance rights organization Global Music Rights manages most of her songwriting credits, in this role replacing BMI.

Labels founded by Azoff

Related Research Articles

MCA Inc. was an American media conglomerate founded in 1924. Originally a talent agency with artists in the music business as clients, the company became a major force in the film industry, and later expanded into television production. MCA published music, booked acts, ran a record company, represented film, television, and radio stars, and eventually produced and sold television programs to the three major television networks, but had an especially good relationship with NBC.

MCA Records US record label

MCA Records was an American record label owned by MCA Inc., which later gave way to the larger Universal Music Group.

Interscope Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group through its Interscope Geffen A&M imprint. Founded in late 1990 by Jimmy Iovine and Ted Field as a $20 million joint venture with Atlantic Records of Warner Music Group, it differed from most record companies by letting A&R staff control decisions and allowing artists and producers full creative control. Its first hit records arrived in under a year, and it achieved profitability in 1993. Chair and CEO until May 2014, Iovine was succeeded by John Janick.

Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc. is an American ticket sales and distribution company based in Beverly Hills, California with operations in many countries around the world. In 2010 it merged with Live Nation under the name Live Nation Entertainment. The company's ticket sales are fulfilled digitally or at its two main fulfillment centers located in Charleston, West Virginia, and Pharr, Texas for both primary and secondary markets. Ticketmaster's clients include venues, artists and promoters. Clients control their events and set ticket prices, and Ticketmaster sells tickets that the clients make available to them.

The Forum (Inglewood, California) Arena in California, United States

The Forum is a multi-purpose indoor arena in Inglewood, California, United States, adjacent to Los Angeles. Located between West Manchester Boulevard, across Pincay Drive and Kareem Court, it is north of SoFi Stadium and the Hollywood Park Casino. It is about 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Opening on December 30, 1967, the Forum was an unusual and groundbreaking structure. Architect Charles Luckman's vision was brought to life by engineers Carl Johnson and Svend Nielsen, who were able to engineer the structure so that it had no major support pillars. This had previously been unheard of in an indoor arena the size of the Forum.

James Lawrence Dolan is an American businessman who serves as executive chairman and CEO of Madison Square Garden Sports and Madison Square Garden Entertainment and executive chairman of MSG Networks. As the companies' chairman, Dolan oversees all operations within the company and also supervises day-to-day operations of its professional sports teams, the New York Knicks and New York Rangers as well as their regional sports networks, which include MSG Network and MSG Plus. Dolan previously served as CEO of Cablevision until its sale in June 2016.

Interscope Geffen A&M Records American umbrella label owned by Universal Music Group

Interscope Geffen A&M Records (IGA), also known as A&M Records Group, is an American umbrella label owned by Universal Music Group, consisting of record labels Interscope Records, Geffen Records, and A&M Records.

Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. is an American sports holding company based in New York City.

Live Nation Entertainment is an American global entertainment company, founded in 2010, following the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster. The company promotes, operates, and manages ticket sales for live entertainment in the United States and internationally. It also owns and operates entertainment venues, and manages the careers of music artists.

Richard Palmese American music industry executive (born 1947)

Richard Palmese is an American music industry executive.

Pacific Presentations was a Los Angeles based concert company started in 1970 by Sepp Donahower, Gary Perkins, and Robert Bogdanovich. It grew out of the ashes of LA's early progressive concert company, Pinnacle Dance Concerts, which was founded in 1967 by Sepp Donahower, Marc Chase and John Van Hamersveld. Pinnacle promoted the early shows of the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Traffic, Cream, The Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart and Pink Floyd. The Single Wing Turquoise Bird Light Show did many of the multimedia light shows at the Pinnacle Concerts.

Timothy J. Leiweke is an American sports executive who is the chief executive officer of the Oak View Group. Leiweke was the former president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) and former President and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). Leiweke held roughly a 4% stake in AEG as of 2012, and is well known for his relationship with notoriously reclusive AEG founder and Denver-based billionaire Philip Anschutz, whom he has known since the early 1990s. Since November 2015, Leiweke has served as the CEO of the Oak View Group, "a global advisory, development and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries".

Pollstar is a trade publication for the concert industry. It gets its information primarily from the agents, managers and promoters who produce concerts. The publication was purchased by Oak View Group, a venue consultancy founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff, in July 2017.

Jordan Schur American music executive

Jordan Schur is Co-Chairman and CEO of the film production company Mimran Schur Pictures. He is also the former President of Geffen Records & MCA Records, the founder of Flip Records and Suretone Records as well as the Chairman and CEO of the music, television, and film production company Suretone Entertainment.

Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center Proposed NBA Arena

The Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center (IBEC) is a proposed 18,000-seat arena to be located in Inglewood, California for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association. The arena would be located just south of SoFi Stadium, the home of the NFL's Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, and the Hollywood Park development.

Jeremy Geffen American entertainment executive, founder of Creative Rights Group

Jeremy Nathaniel Geffen was an American entrepreneur, third generation entertainment executive, and the president and CEO of Creative Rights Group, which he founded in 2014 in Los Angeles. He was also the founder and president of Geffen Management Group, which manages music artists, actors, and celebrity estates.

Oak View Group

OVG Oak View Group, LLC is an American Global Advisory, Development and Investment Company for Sports and Live Entertainment industries. Based in Los Angeles, it was formed on November 16, 2015 by Tim Leiweke & his business partner, Irving Azoff. Leiweke is the company's chief executive officer.

Create Music Group is an independent American music distribution and publishing company founded in 2015 by Jonathan Strauss and Alexandre Williams. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. The company primarily specializes in music distribution, rights management and music publishing.

Randy Phillips is an American music producer, former president of Anschutz Entertainment Group, and current president and CEO of LiveStyle.

Michael Rapino is a Canadian-American business executive and the Chief Executive Officer and President of Live Nation Entertainment, Inc, which was formed in 2010 following the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster.


  1. 1 2 Andy Fixmer, "Live Nation Chairman Azoff Said to Exit Concert Company", Bloomberg, December 31, 2012.
  2. "Billboard Reveals the 2012 Power 100", 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. E. Scott Reckard, "AZOFF QUITS AS CHAIRMAN OF MCA'S MUSIC UNIT", AP News Archive, September 5, 1989.
  6. See generally Tom King, The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood, p. 449-450, Broadway Books (New York 2001).
  7. "Moviefone Filmography" [ permanent dead link ].
  8. Sisario, Ben (October 29, 2014). "New Venture Seeks Higher Royalties for Songwriters". The New York Times.
  9. Nerisha Penrose, , Billboard, September 14, 2016,
  10. Ray Waddell, Nashville and Andrew Flanagan, New York, "Irving Azoff and Madison Square Garden Co. Announce $300 Million Joint Venture", Billboard, September 4, 2013.
  11. "Irving Azoff to Serve as Chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment LLC", GlobeNewswire, September 4, 2013.
  12. "Billboard Power 100: Irving Azoff", Billboard, January 26, 2012.
  13. "Tim Leiweke and Azoff MSG Entertainment Join Forces to Launch the Oak View Group (OVG)". Globe Newswire. November 16, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  14. "Oak View Group Taps Milan for First Arena Outside U.S".
  16. "The Apple Pan Has New Owners for the First Time in Decades"
  17. "Nate 'n Al's, beloved delicatessen of Beverly Hills, to close for now". Los Angeles Times. March 29, 2020. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  18. France, Lisa Respers. "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2020 inductees are..." CNN. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  19. Hollywood Docket: Music Industry Antitrust; Video Game Humvees; Paul Haggis DNA
  20. Irving Azoff’s GMR Faces a Serious Legal Setback Against U.S. Radio Stations
  21. "Inglewood Mayor Butts Slams Azoff MSG Entertainment Lawsuit". Billboard. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  22. James Dolan and MSG are waging a war on Inglewood over new Clippers arena project
  23. Lakers explored leaving Staples Center for return to Forum, emails reveal
  24. Nicki Minaj Accuses Travis Scott Manager Irving Azoff of ‘Smear Campaign’ Against Her Tour