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“We are heartbroken”: Elliot Roberts passes, aged 76

Former clients and friends have been paying their respects to iconic music manager Elliot Roberts, who died on Friday (21 June) in Los Angeles.

Over his career, Roberts (born Elliot Rabinowitz) worked with musical stars including Joni Mitchell, Stephen Stills, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, the Eagles and Tracy Chapman. Roberts is best known for his five-decade association with Neil Young.

A pivotal figure in the Californian singer-songwriter scene in the 1960s and 1970s, Roberts formed the Geffen-Roberts Company along with music mogul David Geffen, signing clients including Mitchell and Crosby Stills Nash & Young.

Roberts later formed his own company, Lookout Management, most recently representing acts including Spiritualized, Mazzy Star and Devendra Banhart.

Young, a longtime friend of Roberts, has described him as “the greatest manager of all time”.

“We are all heartbroken, but want to share what a great human being Elliot has been,” writes Young, who was managed by Roberts until his death.

“When it came to our business, Elliot guided me through every move. He was there for me and protected my music with a fierceness. He loved music and managed over the years many greats.”

“[Roberts’] natural empathy was perfectly suited for his emergence as an enormously impactful personal manager

Stephen Stills, another longtime client, praises Roberts’ “unique ability to recognise a great artist when he saw one.”

“His natural empathy was perfectly suited for his emergence as an enormously impactful personal manager to a collection of the most legendary artists of our time,” says Stills, who was represented by Roberts as a solo artist, as well as with Crosby, Stills & Nash.

A representative of Lookout Management announced Roberts’ death on Friday.

“It is with heavy heart that we can confirm the passing of Elliot Roberts,” reads the statement.

“Roberts, among the most respected and beloved music industry figures of all time, leaves an indelible footprint as a pioneer and leader in the business of artist representation.

“His uncanny intellect, unmatched, sharp wit, larger-than-life charisma along with his keen understanding of the music industry will remain unparalleled. Truly one of a kind, he will be missed always and by many.”

No cause of death has been stated.


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