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LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) – Phil Quartararo, the legendary record executive with a five-decade career, passed away Wednesday (November 22) in Los Angeles. Billboard reports that his cause of death was pancreatic cancer. He was 67.

The man lovingly called “Phil Q” was born in Brooklyn, NY and a graduate of Syracuse University. He began his career in the radio promotion department of A&M Records in 1977. Over the next decade, he worked his way up and had stints at Artist, Island and RCA Records before moving to Virgin’s US division in the mid-80s. He remained there until 1997 – eventually elevating himself to CEO/President. Virgin Records’ founder Richard Branson recruited him to the label in 1986, and according to The New York Times, “Phil Q” helped “turn Virgin into EMI’s crown jewel.”

According to Variety, Quartararo was named President of Warner Bros. Records after leaving Virgin and held that position until 2002, when he moved to EMI after being named President of the label’s distribution division. He was also the President of Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation Records from 2016 to 2019 and then joined The Hello Group entertainment company as President and Chairman – where he was at the time of his death. Quartararo also held spots on the Board for Gibson, Fender, the Grammy Foundation, Cedar Sinai, the RIAA and others.

Quartararo was also honored for his philanthropic contributions with awards, including City of Hope’s Spirit of Life Award, the Russell Simmons Award for Diversity and Equality, the Vincent Testaverde Award for Spinal Injury and Syracuse University’s 40 at 40 Award. He is also the recipient of Billboard magazine’s Music Executive of the Year (2021) and the NARAS Governors Award.

“Phil approached everything with a kind heart and a light spirit and sense of humor, “Taylor Jones, co-owner of The Hello Group, said to Billboard. “He was incredibly stress-resistant. His values have been instilled in the very core and ethos of our company.”

Quartararo is credited with breaking the Irish band U2 on US radio and has worked over the years with Coldplay, The Smashing Pumpkins, Faith Hill, Madonna, Green Day, Paula Abdul and Linkin Park, among others.

Evan Lamberg, President of Universal Music Publishing North America: “Phil Q was arguably the “Mayor of Goodwill’ in our industry for decades. There is no one that he touched that was not better for having known him.”

After his death, many in the industry took to social media in tribute.

Paula Abdul: “Phil believed in me like no other. His ceaseless support for me during my time at Virgin was unparalleled. I will miss him.”

Diane Warren:RIP Phil Quartararo”

Les Paul:We have very heavy hearts today on the passing Phil Quartararo or Phil “Q”. In time, we will honor him as he deserves. But for now, our hearts are shattered. Phil knew Les, and they both loved each other. We loved you, Phil.”

Ted Fujimoto: “Rest in peace, my friend. Phil Quartararo was a legend, a friend of music artists and a defender of their rights. He was CEO at Virgin Records, Warner Bros. Records, and EMI and was involved in the careers of recording artists ranging from Linkin Park to Josh Groban to the Spice Girls. On a personal note, he always operated from principle and heart—a rarity in the entertainment business. We will miss you and hope the music in the sky will be as legendary as you were here on earth.”

RIP.

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