Irving Azoff’s career has spanned many years, many artists, and many changes in the entertainment industry; last night he was given an incredible award honoring all that he’s done and continues to do to enhance the lives and careers of his clients.
Irving has worked with some of the biggest talent in the industry. Artists like The Eagles, 30 Seconds to Mars, Christina Aguilera, Bon Jovi, and Chelsea Handler are all under his care and have had great success in their time with Irving. He takes his job as a manager seriously but he also strives to make changes in the music industry altogether to benefit everyone.
Irving remains outspoken in interviews about what needs to change and how to make it happen. He’s not one to shy away from a battle – if you’ve read anything about 30 Seconds to Mars you know that well, but they’re not the first clients Irving has gone to battle for, and they certainly won’t be the last. Irving is quick and extremely knowledgable so it’s easy for him to come out victorious no matter what stands in his way. In an interview with Rolling Stone – a day in the life of Irving is highlighted and we were blown away.
One of our favorite excerpts from that specific feature is a comment he makes towards the beginning that sums up how he’s always worked, and how he continues to run business now.
“Sure I lie, but it’s more like . . . tinting. I’ve inherited a lot of dummies’ deals. When that happens, you gotta make it right. It’s all just negotiating theatrics.”
It comes as no surprise that Irving was honored with such an important award and made history in doing so – in his world it’s go big or go home, and he doesn’t lose.
During Irving’s acceptance speech on February 14th, gala goers said he switched from comedic to serious as he spoke a bit about his own career and the things he helps his clients with.
“I agreed to accept this award because it was the first time that I know it was presented to a manager. I like being a manager and the Recording Academy is recognizing the role that managers play. Now more than ever a shrewd manager is essential. Someone has to advise you on dry cleaners, restaurants, chartered jets and divorce attorneys.”
Irving got emotional speaking of the late Glenn Frey saying their time together was “beyond anything they could have imagined”. He then went on to talk about the importance focusing on the artists as far as careers in the industry go and less on selfish interests that differ from company to company.
“It begins and ends period with artists. Traditionally, we’ve been a fractured business with different companies and rights holders prioritizing only their own interests. There’s opportunity and obligation now for the music industry to come together and protect people’s rights. We need to put aside differences and focus on industry solutions where everyone is taken care of.”
It seems that Irving really is looking out for the good of the industry as a whole, and that’s part of what makes him such an unstoppable force. He concluded it all, before introducing Earth, Wind & Fire with a comment that the crowd said drew a loud round of applause. His message was simple, but strong.
“Stop chasing different agendas and protect creative people’s rights”.
The industry would do well to fall into step with Irving’s suggestions, he’s had enough success this far. Congratulations Irving, on being the first manager to receive the President’s Merit Award – it was well deserved.