Ron Fair

Last updated
Ron Fair
Genres Rock, pop, R&B
Occupation(s)Record executive, A&R, string arranger, conductor, recording engineer
Years active1970-present [1]
Labels Virgin, Capitol, Geffen, Universal, Interscope
Associated acts Wild Orchid, Christina Aguilera, Keyshia Cole, The Pussycat Dolls, Vanessa Carlton

Ronald Fair is an American veteran A&R, record executive, musical arranger, recording engineer and conductor. In a career that has spanned over 30 years at major record labels he has produced and arranged hits for several artists, but he is best known as a "guru/mentor", guiding the careers of unknown artists and turning them into superstars. Among the artists he has mentored are Christina Aguilera, Vanessa Carlton, Keyshia Cole, The Black Eyed Peas and Fergie, and the Pussycat Dolls. [2] [3]

Conducting directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures

Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance, such as an orchestral or choral concert. It has been defined as "the art of directing the simultaneous performance of several players or singers by the use of gesture." The primary duties of the conductor are to interpret the score in a way which reflects the specific indications in that score, set the tempo, ensure correct entries by ensemble members, and "shape" the phrasing where appropriate. Conductors communicate with their musicians primarily through hand gestures, usually with the aid of a baton, and may use other gestures or signals such as eye contact. A conductor usually supplements their direction with verbal instructions to their musicians in rehearsal.

Christina Aguilera American singer, songwriter, actress, and television personality

Christina María Aguilera is an American singer, songwriter, actress and television personality. Her work has earned her five Grammy Awards, one Latin Grammy Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, making her one of the world's best-selling music artists. In 2009, she ranked at number 58 on Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, thereby becoming the youngest and the only artist under 30 to be named. Billboard recognized her as the 20th most successful artist of the 2000s, and in 2013, Time included Aguilera on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Vanessa Carlton American singer-songwriter

Vanessa Lee Carlton is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. Upon completion of her education at the School of American Ballet, Carlton chose to pursue singing instead, performing in New York City bars and clubs while attending college. Three months after recording a demo with producer Peter Zizzo, she signed with A&M Records. She began recording her album, which was initially unsuccessful until Ron Fair took over.



Early career

Fair was born in Los Angeles. [4] Fair's childhood played an important role in his eventual career direction, saying in an interview with HitQuarters, "My grandfather was a broadcaster who had built a remote facility for the purpose of producing a daily radio broadcast. Ever since I was two years old I was around microphones and consoles." [5] During his childhood Fair was actively encouraged to pursue this career path, receiving various music tuition and being encouraged to take on the job training in multi-track recording. [5] By the time he was 17 years old he was, in his words, "Very skilled with microphone technique and able to make a pretty convincing sounding recording." [5] Fair's first job in the music industry was a short stint in the mailroom of Far Out Productions, in September 1979. Far Out Productions was the production company headed by Jerry Goldstein and Steve Gold, and produced albums by, most notably, War and Tanya Tucker.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.


HitQuarters is an international music industry publication and contact database founded in 1999. It is noted for its in-depth interviews with industry figures, as well as its A&R and manager contact directory, free artist promo pages and song sale facility, demo reviews and A&R chart, and is the sister site to the songwriting tip sheet SongQuarters. The site has been sporadically active since May 2017, and no posts have been made on its Twitter and Facebook accounts since March and May 2015 respectively.

Gerald Goldstein is an American producer, singer-songwriter, talent manager, music executive, musician and entrepreneur. He was one of the members of The Strangeloves, the co-writer of "My Boyfriend's Back" and "Come on Down to My Boat", the producer and songwriter of War, and the former manager of Sly and the Family Stone. Goldstein produced a single with teenage singer, Nancy Baron in 1963 for the Diamond Record label. Goldstein was part of a three-person production team which wrote and produced numerous records which are referred to as "FGG"-Feldman, Goldstein and Gottehrer. The numerous artists and their work in collaboration with FGG are listed in a Discography included in the references below.

Fair taught "recording production" at the University of Sound Arts [6] in Hollywood while at the same time developing a reputation as a motion picture musical soundtrack coordinator, with the multi-platinum successes of Pretty Woman and Reality Bites . [7] In addition, during the early 1980s Fair worked as a recording engineer on such projects as the Slayer album Hell Awaits . [8]

<i>Pretty Woman</i> 1990 romantic movie directed by Garry Marshall

Pretty Woman is a 1990 American romantic comedy film directed by Garry Marshall, from a screenplay by J. F. Lawton. The film stars Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and features Hector Elizondo, Ralph Bellamy, Laura San Giacomo, and Jason Alexander in supporting roles. The film's story centers on down-on-her-luck Hollywood sex worker Vivian Ward, who is hired by Edward Lewis, a wealthy businessman, to be his escort for several business and social functions, and their developing relationship over the course of her week-long stay with him.

<i>Reality Bites</i> 1994 film by Ben Stiller

Reality Bites is a 1994 American romantic comedy-drama film written by Helen Childress and directed by Ben Stiller. It stars Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke and Stiller, with supporting roles by Janeane Garofalo and Steve Zahn. The plot follows Lelaina (Ryder), an aspiring videographer working on a documentary called Reality Bites about the disenfranchised lives of her friends and roommates. Their challenges exemplify some of the career and lifestyle choices faced by Generation X.

Slayer American thrash metal band

Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by vocalist and bassist Tom Araya and guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer's current lineup comprises King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Hanneman and drummers Dave Lombardo and Jon Dette are former members of the band.

A&R career

During his career, Fair has produced multiple number one singles on the pop and R&B charts, including “Lady Marmalade” (Christina, Pink, Mýa, Lil' Kim), “Be Without You” (Mary J. Blige), “One” (Mary J. Blige & U2), “Big Yellow Taxi” (Counting Crows), “A Thousand Miles” (Vanessa Carlton), and “Where Is the Love?” (Black Eyed Peas). He was also the executive producer of “Beautiful” (Christina Aguilera), “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (Fergie), “Let’s Get It Started” (Black Eyed Peas), and many other hits. He was nominated for 6 Grammy awards and his recordings have won several Grammy awards, including those of Christina Aguilera, The Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige and Queen Latifah. [2] [3] [9] [10] [11]

Lady Marmalade song by Labelle, covered by several other artists

"Lady Marmalade" is a song written by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan. The song is famous for its sexually suggestive chorus of "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ?", which translates into English as "Do you want to sleep with me (tonight)?". The song first became a popular hit when it was recorded in 1974 by the American girl group Labelle. Labelle held the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week, and also topped the Canadian RPM national singles chart.

Big Yellow Taxi song written, composed, and originally recorded by Joni Mitchell

"Big Yellow Taxi" is a song written, composed, and originally recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell in 1970, and originally released on her album Ladies of the Canyon. It was a hit in her native Canada as well as Australia and the UK. It only reached No. 67 in the US in 1970, but was later a bigger hit there for her in a live version released in 1974, which peaked at No. 24. Charting versions have also been recorded by The Neighborhood, Maire Brennan, Amy Grant and Counting Crows.

A Thousand Miles Vanessa Carlton song

"A Thousand Miles" is the debut single written and recorded by American pop singer Vanessa Carlton. Produced by Curtis Schweitzer and Ron Fair, the song was released as the lead single for Carlton's album Be Not Nobody (2002). Her signature song, it became Carlton's breakthrough hit and one of the most popular songs of the year. To date, it remains Carlton's biggest hit in the United States, and her only single to reach the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100.

In 2009, Fair engineered Lady Gaga's single “Speechless,” from her platinum album The Fame Monster . [12] That year he also collaborated with Indian film composer A.R. Rahman to produce an English version of "Jai Ho", the hit song from the film Slumdog Millionaire . [13] Currently, Fair is set to produce UK artist Matt Goss’ new album. [14]

Lady Gaga American singer, songwriter, and actress

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She is known for her unconventionality, provocative work, and visual experimentation. She began performing as a teenager, singing at open mic nights and acting in school plays. She studied at Collaborative Arts Project 21, through New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, before dropping out to pursue a music career. When Def Jam Recordings canceled her contract, she worked as a songwriter for Sony/ATV Music Publishing, where Akon helped her sign a joint deal with Interscope Records and his own label KonLive Distribution in 2007. She rose to prominence the following year with her debut album, the electropop record The Fame, and its chart-topping singles "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". A follow-up EP, The Fame Monster (2009), featuring the singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone" and "Alejandro", was also successful.

"Speechless" is a song written and performed by American singer Lady Gaga, from her third EP, The Fame Monster. The song was written by Gaga to convince her father, Joseph Germanotta, to undergo open-heart surgery, in order to repair his malfunctioning aortic valve, and as a reminder for her younger fans to appreciate their parents. "Speechless" is described as Gaga's "Fear of Death Monster".

<i>The Fame Monster</i> 2009 studio album (reissue) / EP by Lady Gaga

The Fame Monster is a reissue of American singer Lady Gaga's debut studio album, The Fame (2008), and was released on November 18, 2009, through Interscope Records. Initially planned solely as a deluxe edition reissue of The Fame, Interscope later decided to release the eight new songs as a standalone EP in some territories. The decision was also because Gaga believed the re-release was too expensive and that the albums were conceptually different, describing them as yin and yang. The deluxe edition is a double album featuring the eight new songs on the first disc and The Fame on the second disc. A super deluxe edition with additional merchandise, including a lock from Gaga's wig, was released on December 15, 2009.

Fair held the position of Chairman at Geffen Records until joining Virgin Records. [2] Prior to running Geffen Records, Fair was President of A&M Records for five years, and held senior A & R positions at RCA Records, Chrysalis Records, EMI Records, and Island Records-London. [3]

Geffen Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group through its Interscope Geffen A&M Records imprint.

Virgin Records UK record company

Virgin Records Ltd. is a British record label founded by entrepreneurs Richard Branson, Simon Draper, Nik Powell, and musician Tom Newman in 1972. It grew to be a worldwide phenomenon over time, with the success of platinum performers such as George Michael, Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Roy Orbison, Devo, Tangerine Dream, Genesis, Keith Richards, the Human League, Culture Club, Simple Minds, Lenny Kravitz, dc Talk, the Smashing Pumpkins, Mike Oldfield, Gorillaz, and Spice Girls, among others.

A&M Records American historical record label

A&M Records was an American record label founded as an independent company by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss in 1962. Due to the success of the discography A&M released, the label garnered interest and was acquired by PolyGram in 1989 and began distributing releases from Polydor Ltd. from the UK. Throughout its operations, A&M housed well-known acts such as Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Captain & Tennille, Sting, Sergio Mendes, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Supertramp, Bryan Adams, Burt Bacharach, Liza Minnelli, The Carpenters, Paul Williams, Janet Jackson, Cat Stevens, Peter Frampton, Elkie Brooks, Carole King, Styx, Extreme, Amy Grant, Joan Baez, the Human League, The Police, CeCe Peniston, Blues Traveler, Soundgarden, Duffy and Sheryl Crow.

In 2013, Fair was named the new Chief Creative Officer and Executive Vice President of Virgin Records. In his current position, he is in charge of rebuilding the recently struggling label. [15] [16] After a year with the company, he left Virgin Records in October 2014. [17]

Fair is a celebrity judge on the Canadian television talent program Cover Me Canada. [18]

On January 30, 2015, it was announced that Fair had signed on to Executive Produce TLC's fifth and final studio album. [19]

Personal life

Ron Fair married singer-songwriter Stefanie Ridel, a member of the teen girl group Wild Orchid, on September 4, 2001. [20] They have four children together. Fair enjoys gardening and has notably climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. [3] Ron was previously married to Andrea Fair [21] .


Notable Productions [22]


Film and television

YearFilm [22] RoleNotes
2004 Star Search: The Next GenerationHimselfTV Series
2005UK Music Hall of Fame: Biggest Selling Artists of the 21st CenturyHimselfTV Documentary
2007 Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll JudgeTV Series
2007The Pussycat Dolls: Live from Manchester Evening News ArenaExecutive ProducerVideo
2008 Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious Judge and Executive Producer(6 episodes)TV Series
2008 E! True Hollywood Story HimselfTV Series Documentary Ep: Pussycat Dolls
2008 Fox Reality Really Awards HimselfTV Series Documentary
2010 American Idol HimselfTV Series - Episode: "Idol Gives Back/Top Seven Results"
2011Inside: El DeBargeExecutive ProducerTV Movie
2011Living in La La Land [2] JudgeTV Series
2011 Cover Me Canada [2] JudgeTV Series

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  13. Smith, Ethan (February 27, 2009). "'Slumdog' Remix: The Oscar-winning song 'Jai Ho' is reworked with help from a Pussycat Doll". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved 2009-03-01.
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