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Chris Blackwell
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (June 22, 1937- )
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Founded Island Records (1959)
    Artists he signed to Island include Bob Marley and the Wailers, Toots and the Maytals, The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Steve Winwood, Fairport Convention, Free, Nick Drake, Tom Waits, Cat Stevens, Roxy Music, Robert Palmer, Grace Jones, and U2
    Built Compass Studios in Nassau in the Bahamas (1977)
    Founded Island Outpost, a collection of elite resorts in Jamaica and Miami
    Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2001)
    Received the Order of Jamaica for philanthropy and services to entertainment (2004)
    He consulted a psychic to determine if he should go into music or films.
    He started Island with £10,000 borrowed from his parents, and survived the label’s early lean period with a £2,000 per year allowance from his mother.
    He turned down Elton John for Island Records, thinking he was too shy to be a successful performer.
    He used the money generated by U2’s ‘Joshua Tree’ album to fund several films, then was unable to pay the band $5 million owed in royalties after the movies flopped.
    He became interested in Jamaican music and culture when Rastafarian fishermen rescued him after he ran his sailboat aground on a coral reef (1958).
    He served as a location scout and production assistant on the James Bond film ‘Dr. No.’
    He advanced Bob Marley and the Wailers the money to record their first album before they had signed a contract with Island.
    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame called him ‘the single person most responsible for turning the world on to reggae music.’
    He gave U2 ownership of 10% of Island in exchange for their unpaid royalties.
    He sold Island to PolyGram for £180 million ($300 million) (1989).
    He bought Goldeneye, James Bond author Ian Fleming’s Jamaican estate.
    ’Music Week’ magazine named him the most influential figure in the previous fifty years of British music (2009).

Credit: C. Fishel

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