US music compilation album guru Bob Mercer dies of cancer in Los Angeles

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

US music compilation album guru Bob Mercer dies

LOS ANGELES — Music industry executive Bob Mercer, who signed the Sex Pistols while at EMI Music in the 1970s and most recently successfully marketed hit-single compilation albums, has died. He was 65.

Mercer died of lung cancer May 5 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his wife of 31 years Margie said.

While at EMI, Mercer signed Queen, the Sex Pistols, Olivia Newton-John, Kate Bush and Marc Bolan. In 1980, he moved to EMI Films before becoming manager for artists such as Roger Waters.

He moved to Nashville in the early 1990s to help launch and run Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Records.

He later became chief executive of the Now That’s What I Call Music! album compilation venture that sold 77 million albums in the United States since its 1998 debut. The compilation series originated in Britain 15 years earlier.

Now That’s What I Call Music! was launched in the United States as a joint venture between EMI and Polygram. It is now a joint venture between EMI Music, Sony Music and Universal Music Group.

Mercer was working on a “Now” TV show that is being developed with “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller.

Besides his wife, Mercer is survived by son Jackson and a brother, Mick.

Information from: Los Angeles Times,

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