Seymour Stein – The Music Industry Pioneer That Changed Everything

todayApril 6, 2023 201 2

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By – Jason Hamric

The music world lost a giant this week.  Seymour Stein, was a music industry veteran who shaped the sounds and careers of some of the biggest and some of my favorite artists of the last century. From the Ramones to Madonna, his influence can be felt in all corners of the music world.  As the founder of Sire Records, Stein played a huge role in finding and promoting acts that spanned all genres, from punk and new wave to rock and hip-hop. He discovered some of the most influential and important artist and bands of my lifetime, including The Talking Heads, Ministry, The Cure, The Smiths, The Replacements as well as solo artists like Madonna and Ice-T.  

He understood the importance and value of taking risks and pushing boundaries. He was not afraid to put his name on the line for artists he believed in, and the success of his discoveries is proof of his intuitive ability to find and foster talent. He knew the importance of using radio and video to promote his artists and helped pioneer music videos as a mainstream tool for artist.  He was also one of the earliest advocates of digital music, seeing its potential early on while most of the industry lagged behind, and continued to stay ahead of industry trends throughout his whole career.  – OH! Did I mention he coined the term New Wave!


Today’s music industry is constantly changing, and not always in a discernible direction but Seymour Stein’s contributions should be a roadmap to future A&R people out there. He left his very unique mark on the history of music, and his innovative approach and tenacity should serve as an inspiration to all those who strive to look into the future to bring us what’s next. He was a legend, a pioneer and the music world is all the better for his contributions.  He and his vision will be missed.


Written by: jamric

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