Ahmet Ertegun Award
Jimmy Iovine has donned many hats as he’s crafted one of the more unique success stories in the business of rock & roll. He has marched to his own beat and found success as engineer, producer, label founder, entrepreneur, and digital music innovator. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Iovine was barely out of his teens when he joined the staff at legendary New York City studio the Record Plant. As an engineer, he had a front-row seat and hands-on experience with rock & roll luminaries, such as Bruce Springsteen and John Lennon, experiences that helped him develop a “magic ear” for production. By the end of the 1970s, Iovine began to flex his producer muscles, serving up breakout albums for Patti Smith (Easter), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Damn the Torpedoes), Stevie Nicks (Bella Donna), and U2 (Rattle and Hum). In 1985, he produced the acclaimed holiday compilation A Very Special Christmas, a series that has since raised millions of dollars to benefit the Special Olympics.
HALL OF FAME ESSAY
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has inducted numerous music-industry personnel, but seldom has one person excelled at so many aspects of the business as Jimmy Iovine. He could’ve been inducted for the work he did at any one of several points in his lengthy career: as a producer of some of the most popular and ambitious rock acts of the 1970s and 1980s; as cofounder of Interscope Records, a wildly successful startup label that captured the edgy vibe of the 1990s; and as cofounder (with Dr. Dre) of the Beats franchise, which has steered the intersection of technology and culture in the twenty-first century.
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