Seymour Stein, the legendary music executive who discovered Madonna, dies at the age of 80

Seymour Stein, the renowned music executive who played a pivotal role in shaping the music industry and launching the careers of numerous artists, including Madonna, died at 80. Stein, the co-founder of Sire Records, passed away on March 31, 2023, after a long illness, leaving behind a legacy that will be remembered for generations.

Who was Seymour Stein?

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1942, Stein grew up in a musical family and developed a passion for music from an early age. He began his career in the music industry in the 1960s, working at Billboard Magazine, where he developed a deep knowledge of the music business. Stein worked at several record labels, including London Records and Polygram, before co-founding Sire Records in 1966.

Seymour Stein
Images Source:

The discovery of Madonna and other notable signings

Stein’s talent for spotting emerging talent was legendary, and he was responsible for discovering some of the most iconic artists of the past few decades. His most significant discovery was Madonna, whom he signed to Sire Records in 1982. Stein recognized Madonna’s potential early on, and his support was crucial in launching her career.

In addition to Madonna, Stein signed many artists to Sire Records, including Talking Heads, Ramones, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, and Ice-T. Stein’s ability to identify artists ahead of their time made him one of the most influential figures in the music industry.

Stein’s impact on the music industry

Stein’s contributions to the music industry went far beyond his work as a record executive. He was an early advocate for using music videos as a promotional tool, and he helped shape the way music was marketed and consumed. Stein was also a champion of independent music and played a significant role in developing alternative music.

In recognition of his contributions to the music industry, Stein was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. His legacy as a pioneer in the music industry will continue to inspire generations of musicians and fans.

Tributes pour in for Seymour Stein.

Following the news of Seymour Stein’s death, tributes began to pour in from across the music industry. Madonna, who maintained a close relationship with Stein throughout his life, posted a heartfelt tribute on Instagram, describing him as a “father figure” and “beloved friend.”

Other artists, including Debbie Harry, The B-52s, and Morrissey, also paid tribute to Stein, describing him as a visionary and an inspiration—many in the music industry credit Stein with launching their careers and changing the course of music history.

In conclusion, Seymour Stein was a true music industry icon whose contributions to the field will be remembered for generations. His discovery of Madonna and other legendary artists and his impact on the way music was marketed and consumed changed the face of music forever. Stein’s passing is a significant loss to the music world, and his legacy will continue to inspire generations of musicians and music fans.

Read Also: The Story of Vladlen Tatarsky: From Bank Robber to Military Blogger and His Mysterious Demise