Sir Lucian Grainge, the chairman and CEO of the Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, received a star Thursday on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in front of the Capitol Records building.
“I Googled this morning how far it is as the crow flies from the (London) suburb of Finchley, where I grew up, to Vine Street here in Hollywood,” Grainge told the crowd gathered for the ceremony. “It says it’s 5,471 miles. If you told me when I was growing up in that small house in Parkside that one day I’d find myself here looking out at all of you, I would have set you’re nuts.
“But looking back, I see how my boyhood passion for music, which I inherited, set me on my path,” he said. “For as long as I can remember, I just loved music. I just loved music.”
American singer-songwriter Lionel Richie and Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes were among those who joined Grainge at the ceremony in the shadow of the iconic Capitol Records building. The Capitol Music Group is part of the Universal Music Group, a subsidiary of the French media conglomerate Vivendi.
Grainge’s star is the 2,685th since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the first 1,558 stars.
Grainge has signed and worked with such artists as The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Jay Z, Katy Perry, Queen, Rihanna, Sam Smith, U2, Amy Winehouse and ABBA.
Grainge was appointed CEO of the Universal Music Group in 2010 and promoted to chairman and CEO in 2011.
Grainge led UMG’s acquisition of the recorded music assets of the legendary British music company EMI in 2011, revitalizing Capitol Records and further strengthening UMG’s position as the global leader in music.
Under Grainge’s leadership, Universal Music Group set numerous creative records, including being the first music company with nine of the top 10 songs on Billboard’s digital songs chart and the first music company to have all of the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100.
Grainge topped Billboard’s “Power 100” as the most powerful executive in the music business in 2013, 2015 and 2016, the only person to hold that distinction three times and for consecutive years.
Grainge was bestowed a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 2016 for accomplishments in the music industry and leadership through its challenging times, contributions to British business and inward investment, as well as his development of innovative business models, technology and media partnerships that have expanded UMG’s global presence.
Grainge joined Universal Music in 1986 to launch PolyGram Music Publishing UK, which within five years became one of the top three publishing companies in the United Kingdom.
Grainge joined UMG’s Polydor in 1993 as general manager of artists and repertoire and business affairs, rising to managing director of the British record label in 1997. He was appointed deputy chairman of Universal Music UK and chairman and CEO in 2001.
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