Irving Azoff has released a short but moving statement about the passing of his former partner, Howard Kaufman.
Howard was a giant among men. He never sought the spotlight, but was the best in the business.
We worked together for more than 45 years. He was a great influence on me and taught me a lot.
Despite his major health issues, he always wanted to work till the end and I’m glad he got his wish.
It’s a tragic loss for our industry. He will be missed by me as well as scores of others he touched.
Pollstar confirmed Thursday that Kaufman had passed away. No further details were available at press time.
Kaufman was one of the most powerful managers in the industry despite keeping a low profile. At the time of his death his company, H.K. Management, shepherded acts like Stevie Nicks, Aerosmith, Jimmy Buffett, Jeff Lynne’s ELO, Lenny Kravitz, Chicago, and Def Leppard, along with co-managing Fleetwood Mac.
Kaufman and Irving Azoff ran Front Line Management from 1974 to the early '80s until Azoff was named prexy of MCA Records. The two merged their companies in 2005 and resurrected the moniker.
Kaufman became a special adviser to Azoff when Ticketmaster bought the company in 2008 and Azoff was named CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment. He is also credited, during his days at IFA, with encouraging Fred Bohlander and Dan Weiner to step out on their own and form Monterey Peninsula Artists.