Music business mourns the loss of ‘true original’ David Enthoven

The global music business continues to pay its respects to ie:music co-founder David Enthoven, who died yesterday (August 11) following a short illness.

Tributes have flooded in for Enthoven from all corners of the industry, led by artists such as Robbie Williams and Enthoven’s friend and long-time business partner at ie:music, Tim Clark.

Clark said that Enthoven “pricked the pompous, had a nickname for everyone but was so generous and kind too”, commenting that “his artists and so many in the music business loved him”.

Others to salute Enthoven’s personality and contribution to the music business include former EMI Chairman Tony Wadsworth, Universal Music UK boss David Joseph, Sony Music UK boss Jason Iley and Vector Management’s Peter Rudge.

Wadsworth, who helped ie:music build Robbie Williams’ record-breaking career at EMI, said of Enthoven: “He was a giant in the industry then, and it’s as a giant that he leaves us now.”

Prior to ie:music, Enthoven founded management company and independent label E.G. Records in ’69 with business partner John Gaydon.

The duo launched the careers of artists including King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Roxy Music and T. Rex.

In the early ’90s, Enthoven teamed up with ex-Island Records chief Clark to launch ie:music.

Alongside Williams, other artists on its roster include Lily Allen, Will Young, Passenger, Lemar and Ladyhawke.

Clark and Enthoven have helped broker artist-friendly all-rights deals for Williams and previous management client Sia, where, akin to label services agreements, the label puts cash into the artist’s company which hires a number of services while retaining the copyrights.

Enthoven has recently supported the campaign calling for better mental health care in the music industry, after drawing on his experience of drug addiction in the ’70s to help artists conquer their own issues.

Tim Clark

“David Enthoven represented great artists so successfully because he always put their interests first. His tenacity in fighting for artists’ rights is the stuff of legend.

“He pricked the pompous, had a nickname for everyone but was so generous and kind too. No wonder his artists and so many in the music business loved him.

“So many in the music business loved him.”

“His legacy to the music industry is not in doubt. Just look at the stellar list of artists he represented over the years.

“What is much less well known is the unstinting help he gave to those who had taken a self destructive path, for whatever reason – just as he had done all those years ago. He has been utterly selfless in that respect.

“He was my partner, my ally and my dearest friend.”

Tim Clark, Co-Founder, ie:music

Tony Wadsworth

“It was only after working with Robbie Williams for several years that I realised that almost all the artists I followed when I was in my late teens were managed by David Enthoven.

“He was a giant in the industry then, and it’s as a giant that he leaves us now.

“He was a giant in the industry then, and it’s as a giant that he leaves us now.”

“His and Tim’s unshakeable belief in Robbie Williams, combined with their experience, ambition and passion, made Rob’s domination of the world of pop almost inevitable.

“And although their style of management was deadly serious, a sense of almost childlike fun was never far away. I will always remember his big heart and his big posh laugh.”

Tony Wadsworth, music biz veteran and former CEO & Chairman of EMI

David Joseph

“This news is difficult to process. David had immeasurable warmth, generosity and laughter. More stories, anecdotes and wisdom than can possibly define a single life.

“A true honour to have known him.”

“A true honour to have known him. To say he’ll be greatly missed is nothing short of a vast understatement.”

David Joseph, CEO & Chairman, Universal Music UK


“A gentleman to the end – he should be an inspiration to so many.

“To turn his life around in such a magnificent manner, and have the career he had was a staggering achievement.

“We lose another of the true originals – he will be so missed, especially by those of us who grew up with him.”

Peter Rudge, Vector Management

Murray Chalmers

“David Enthoven was a visionary manager and the loveliest man. I completely adored him.

“He fought for what he believed in, he was hugely loyal to those around him, and his wonderful smile and his big, booming voice filled the room with energy.

“David was a visionary manager and the loveliest man.”

“I remember catching sight of him tying Robbie William’s tie as Rob got ready for his wedding and that very private moment between them both was hugely poignant to witness.

“David was very special.”

Murray Chalmers, Founder, MCPR

Jason Iley

“So many great memories, so many amazing stories and so much fun.

“So many great memories and so much fun.”

“How we laughed and laughed and laughed! I will miss you David.”

Jason Iley, Chairman and CEO, Sony Music UK

“My Friend, Mentor and Hero passed away today. David Enthoven I love you RIP.”

Robbie Williams

“My manager and dear friend David Enthoven has been a true guiding light to me over the years. I’ll miss you David.”


“RIP David Enthoven. One of the industry greats and a real inspiration to me throughout my career in talent management.”

Andy Varley, Founder and CEO of Insanity

“David was a great friend, an inspirational colleague – incredibly generous, giving, passionate and funny. He was a force of nature.

“David was a force of nature, incredibly generous, giving, passionate and funny.”

“The music industry has lost one of its all time great artist managers, a hall of famer. Gone but never forgotten.”

Andy Saunders, Velocity Communications

Alexi Cory-Smith

“One of the best managers in the business, and a gentleman.

“He also wore the best clothes and he told the filthiest jokes.

“I will miss him.”

Alexi Cory-Smith, EVP BMG UK

IAN pic

“David was a Herculean figure; a maverick and innovator; always full of laughter and mischief.

“David was a Herculean figure; a maverick and innovator.”

“Together with Tim he formed one of the most revered and enduring partnerships in the business.

“He will be hugely missed by all those who enjoyed the privilege of working with him. A great manager and a true gentleman.”

Ian McAndrew, CEO and Founder of Wildlife Entertainment


“David was a passionate and honest man. If you shook hands on a deal you knew it was as good as gold.

“I will miss his humour and amazing stories.”

Terry McBride, CEO, Nettwerk Music Group

“David will be remembered as a true friend, an exemplary colleague, a helpful mentor and a truly exceptional human being.

“Our thoughts are with all the artists and team he worked with at ie:music and of course his family. Big hugs David. We will miss you.”

Music Managers ForumMusic Business Worldwide

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