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Allen Kovac celebrated at AIM Independent Music awards

Rock impresario Allen Kovac was presented with the prestigious innovator award at the AIM Awards at the Roundhouse in Camden, London, tonight (3 September).

Kovac, the founder and CEO of Eleven Seven Music Group (Mötley Crüe, Papa Roach, Five Finger Death Punch), has also worked with artists including Duran Duran, Meat Loaf, the Bee Gees, En Vogue, Luther Vandross, Nelly Furtado, the Cranberries and Blondie over five decades in the business.

He was presented with the award by Helen Smith, executive chair of the Independent Music Companies Association (Impala), while Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson sent a personal message.

“I’ve known Allen since the early 90s,” said Branson. “Allen was managing Meat Loaf, whom Virgin Records had signed and Allen was pushing myself and the Virgin team to allow Meat Loaf to upload one of the first songs to the fledgling internet. As innovators, we would do anything for music, and of course, we did just that.

“From humble beginnings as a promoter, Allen went on to be a manager of the Bee Gees, Blondie, Mötley Crüe, Duran Duran and the Cranberries, and then started Eleven Seven Music which is now, 12 years later, one of the top rock labels in the world.”

“This could not be more well deserved”

Kovac (pictured) “has been an entrepreneur, pioneer and innovator in music all his life”, says AIM, working first as a promoter, then a manager and finally establishing a record label, publishing company, management company and strategic music marketing/research company.

Hs other achievements include pushing for Meat Loaf’s ‘I’d Do Anything For Love’ to be one of the first songs on the internet; hosting, with Duran Duran, what is believed to be the first music press conference online; supporting Spotify and music streaming in its early days, and encouraging the business away from one-time album sales; and producing The Dirt, the Netflix movie based on the Mötley Crüe book.

“Allen has innovated and tested the limits of marketing, social media, ticketing, streaming and sales reporting, which must make him feel as old as I am,” continued Branson. “He has worked towards benefitting the independent community and levelling the playing field between independents and the majors, as well as encouraging the fair valuation of music by tech giants. Whether it was Steve Jobs with the iPod and iTunes, Daniel Ek with Spotify or Amazon with smart speakers and in-car technology with Alexa, Allen has been ahead of the curve, collaborating, consulting and promoting new tech to the industry…”

“His next major project, with Nikki Sixx, is the Heroin Diaries musical,” Branson’s message concluded. “I hope that the Heroin Diaries will destigmatise addiction and do for the opioid crisis what Rent did for HIV and aids. I would like you all to join with me in congratulating Allen Kovac for his AIM innovator award. This could not be more well deserved.”

Kovac joins previous innovator award winners including artist Sophie and grime label/collective Boy Better Know. The AIM Independent Music Awards were established by the Association of Independent Music (AIM), a trade body for independent record labels, in 2011.


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