Charles Koppelman, former music executive and president of Martha Stewart, died on Friday. He was 82 years old. The cause of death was not given at the time.
His son, presenter Brian Koppelman, announced the loss on his social media, saying: “I will write more about my father, Charles Koppelman, when I can. But the only thing that matters is how much I love him. And how much he taught me about each important thing.
The Billion The co-author continued, “He lived exactly the life he wanted to live. And he spent his last days surrounded by the people he loved the most. Pop, thank you.
Koppelman began his career in entertainment as a member of the musical trio The Ivy Three, a trio that reached the 1960s Top 10 hit “Yogi.” Soon after, the singer and his bandmate, Don Rubin, joined Aldon Music’s songwriting team along with Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil.
From there, they went on to found Koppelman and Rubin Associates, an entertainment company signed to The Lovin Spoonful the same year it opened. When Commonwealth United acquired the company in 1968, the two business partners continued to run the company, before Koppelman moved on to CBS Records, where he held various positions. While there, Koppelman signed with artists such as Billy Joel, Dave Mason, Janis Ian, Journey and Phoebe Snow.
In 1975, he was ready for another change, founding the Entertainment Company with Martin Bandier and Bandier’s father-in-law, New York real estate developer Samuel LeFrak. Together, they curate and promote a catalog of songs, as well as produce iconic artists such as Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross and Cher. A few years later, his son, Brian, discovered Tracy Chapman in college and introduced her to his father, who later offered her a record deal.
Koppelman, Bandier and Stephen C. Swid took things to the next level in 1986 when they founded SBK Entertainment World, Inc. and bought 250,000 CBS-owned songs for $125 million. The company eventually became one of the largest independent music publishers, playing major roles in the careers of Michael Bolton, Robbie Robertson, New Kids on the Block, Grayson Hugh, Icehouse, etc.
In 1989, Koppelman and Bandier partnered with EMI Music Worldwide and founded their own label, SBK Records. A year later, they achieved their first platinum album with Technotronic’s. Increase jam. They went on to sign the likes of Jesus Jones, Wilson Phillips, Waterfront and Vanilla Ice, etc.
Koppelman continued in the music business for several years before becoming chairman of Steve Madden in 2000, leading the company while the founder was jailed for securities fraud. In 2005, Koppelman transferred to Marth Stewart Living Omnimedia, where he also served as president.
He is survived by his son Brian, daughter Jenny Koppelman Hutt and his wife, Gerri Kyhill Koppelman.