Mo Ostin, longtime music executive, dead at 95 – WSB-TV Channel 2


Mo Ostin, longtime music executive, dies at age 95 AfterWarner Bros. purchased Reprise in 1963, Ostin signed several iconic acts, including The Kinks, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. (NCD)

LOS ANGELES — Longtime record producer Mo Ostin has died at age 95, multiple news outlets are reporting.

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According to The New York Times, the music executive, best known for his decades at the helm of Warner Bros.-Reprise Records, died Sunday while sleeping in his Los Angeles home.

“Mo was one of the greatest record men of all time, and a prime architect of the modern music business,” Warner Records COO Tom Corson and CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck said in a statement Monday. “For Mo, it was always first and foremost about helping artists realize their vision. One of the pivotal figures in the evolution of Warner Music Group, in the 1960s Mo ushered Warner/Reprise Records into a golden era of revolutionary, culture-shifting artistry. Over his next three decades at the label, he remained a tireless champion of creative freedom, both for the talent he nurtured and the people who worked for him. Mo lived an extraordinary life doing what he loved, and he will be deeply missed throughout the industry he helped create, and by the countless artists and colleagues whom he inspired to be their best selves. On behalf of everyone at Warner, we want to thank Mo for everything he did, and for his inspiring belief in our bright future. Our condolences go out to his family at this difficult time.”

The Brooklyn-born Ostin started out at Verve Records before he was named executive vice president of Frank Sinatra’s Reprise Records in 1960, the Times reported. AfterWarner Bros. purchased Reprise in 1963, Ostin signed several iconic acts, including The Kinks, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, according to Billboard. Ostin, who became president of Warner-Reprise in 1970 and was promoted to CEO and chairman two years later, also inked deals with Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Prince, REM and Green Day, Deadline reported.

Ostin eventually left the company in 1994 and joined DreamWorks Records the following year, according to Variety. In 2003, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Ostin was preceded in death by a wife, Evelyn, and two sons, according to Billboard. He leaves behind one son, Michael, the entertainment outlet reported.

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