Amy Winehouse: Who’s the daddy?
They say success has many fathers, and nowhere is that ever more evident than in the music business, where aging executives still argue over who first spotted the rasping rick-rolling talent that is Rick ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ Astley in a smoky London bar.
One talent everyone loves talking about, though not much about her music recently, is Amy Winehouse. In fact, two separate executives who’ve taken the top job at different companies both claimed to have signed the five-time Grammy Award-winning bad girl, according to press releases that landed in our inboxes this morning.
Nick Gatfield is joining EMI Music as president of A&R Labels, North America and UK. According to EMI’s release he joined from Universal Music where he had been president of Universal Island Records Group since 2001:
“As well as signing five times Grammy Award winner Amy Winehouse, who has sold close to nine million copies of her ‘Back to Black’ album, Gatfield has also overseen the recording careers of Keane, Mika, The Fratellis, McFly, Busted, Sugababes, The Feeling and new artists Robyn and Sam Sparro.”
The next email in our inbox was a press release from Universal Music Group announcing the promotion of Darcus Beese and Ted Cockle as co-presidents of Island Records Group. Again the press release:
“Darcus Beese steps up after 15 years with Island, latterly as one of the industry’s most respected Directors of A&R. In 2003 he signed Amy Winehouse, now widely acknowledged as one of the world’s most talented artists. A year earlier, he signed Sugababes and strategised their reinvention, to make them one of Britain’s most successful and enduring girl groups.”
So who signed Winehouse? To be honest it doesn’t matter much to Universal Music Group International’s top boss Lucian Grange. He’s more concerned about Amy ending up ‘otherwise engaged’ one time too many according to reports.