Dave Kirby, founder and chairman of The Kirby Organization, died Sept. 18 in Manhattan Beach, Calif., after a long battle with prostate cancer, the agency announced Monday. He died “in his own home, in his own bed, with dignity, and surrounded by love,” at age 56.
Diagnosed in 2009 with terminal and inoperable cancer, Kirby had spent the last several months with his family, having restructured TKO last year in order that the company would continue to thrive.
TKO was a perennial nominee for boutique agency of the year at Pollstar’s Concert Industry Awards after its founding in 2005. Kirby was a passionate and forceful champion of his artists.
“Although we are very sad to lose a mentor, friend and family member, Dave made it very clear to us upon his diagnosis that he wanted TKO to thrive in his absence,” said CEO Mike Monterulo in a statement. “The company will not only thrive, but also to grow, expanding its reach and continuing to further define our place as one of the music industry’s most respected boutique agencies.”
With more than 100 clients, TKO’s clients include Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Motorhead, Anthrax, Mudvayne, The Cult, Ray Manzarek & Robbie Krieger, and Hank III.
“The one thing that Dave Kirby always instilled in us was to believe in the bands we work with, respect their music, and encourage their development,” said TKO President Andrew Goodfriend. “That is the foundation that this company is built on, and that is the foundation that this company will continue to build upon in the years to come.”
The family requests that donations be made to the Prostate Cancer Foundation in Dave Kirby’s name. A guestbook for anecdotes and memories has been set up at DaveKirby.1000memories.com. A memorial is being planned for late October, with details to be announced soon.