Home Music Seymour Stein, the CEO who signed Madonna and Talking Heads, dies at 80

Seymour Stein, the CEO who signed Madonna and Talking Heads, dies at 80

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Seymour Stein, the respected music executive who co-founded Sire Records and played a pivotal role in signing legendary artists including Madonna and Talking Heads, as well as many others, has died at the age of 80.

according to diverseStein died on Sunday, April 2, after a long battle with cancer.

Stein grew up in Brooklyn, New York and during his teenage years he got his start in the music industry working for King Records and painting magazine.

In 1966, at the age of 24, Stein co-founded Sire Records with Richard Gottehrer. Initially, the label focused on signing and promoting British acts, such as Climax Blues Band, Renaissance and Fleetwood Mac, but would soon expand its horizons to include artists of various genres.


In the mid-1970s, Stein observed the emerging punk rock scene in New York City. At the forefront of this movement were bands like The Ramones, The Talking Heads, and The Dead Boys, all of whom were signed to Sire Records.

In the 1980s Sire championed new and alternative rock acts including The Pretenders, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, The Cure and The Replacements.

However, his defining breakthrough came in 1983 when he signed with Madonna after hearing a demo of “Everybody”. Mora released Madonna’s first six albums, including her 1983 self-titled debut, 1984. like a Virgin1986 true blueand 1989 Like praying.


Sire has served as President of Sire Records and Vice President of Warner Bros. Records. Records until his retirement in 2018. For his efforts, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

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