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Record exec Seymour Stein, who launched the careers of Madonna, Talking Heads & more, dies at 80

Vivien Killilea/WireImage

Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein, who was responsible for launching the careers of such artists as MadonnaThe Talking Heads, and more, passed away Sunday at the age of 80 after a long battle with cancer.


Stein co-founded Sire Productions with record producer Richard Gottehrer in 1966, which later became Sire Records. In addition to Madonna and Talking Heads, Stein is known for signing such future stars as the Ramones, the PretendersIce-T and more, along with a slew of new wave acts like Depeche ModeThe SmithsThe CureEcho & The Bunnyman, and others. 

Stein was also vice president of Warner Bros. Records until his retirement in July, 2018. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March of 2005, and was honored by the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2016 with the Richmond Hitmaker Award.

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