Lucian Grainge

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Lucian Grainge
OccupationsChairman & Chief Executive Officer, Universal Music Group
Years active1982-present
LabelsUniversal Music Group
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Lucian Grainge
OccupationsChairman & Chief Executive Officer, Universal Music Group
Years active1982-present
LabelsUniversal Music Group

Lucian Grainge, CBE, is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Group. Over the course of his career, he has been instrumental in the careers of artists such as Amy Winehouse, ABBA, Eurythmics, Mika, Duffy, Take That, Psychedelic Furs, Sting, Jamie Cullum and Andrea Bocelli. Grainge has worked in the music business for his entire career. [1]


Life & Career

Lucian Grainge grew up in northern London. Grainge worked his way up in the London music scene after leaving school at the age of 18, when he began working as a runner at a talent scout company called MPC. [1] After calling several record label heads from the Music Week directory, he got through to Maurice Oberstein, the chairman of CBS Records, who hired him for publishing company April Music’s A&R department. His first signing was the Psychedelic Furs. In 1982 he became the director of RCA Music Publishing. Two years later he became an A&R director for MCA Records. He set up PolyGram Music Publishing in 1986 and joined Polydor as GM of A&R and business affairs in 1993. He was promoted to managing director of Polydor in 1997, and had success with acts including Boyzone and the Lighthouse Family.[2]

Universal Music Group

Grainge became the chairman of the UK division of the Universal Music Group and later became chairman of Universal Music Group International in 2005. He served in this position until 2010. On January 1, 2011 he became CEO of the Universal Music Group and later became chairman on March 9, 2011. He succeeded Doug Morris who served as Chairman and CEO since 1995.[3]

Grainge has been influential in Universal Music Group's international digital expansion by pioneering distribution models with a wide range of technology partners, including Apple, Spotify, BSkyB, Rdio, Virgin Media, Vodafone and 19 Entertainment. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

He recently established the licensed music service, One-Stop China, with Baidu, as well as a deal with B’IN to break Taiwanese acts on the mainland.[11] There is also an agreement in place with Reliance to start India’s first mobile music service.[12]

Grainge also helped arrange the partnership between Bravado, Universal Music’s entertainment merchandising division, and Tommy Hilfiger[13] and oversaw expansion for flagship classical labels Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Classics. He also put together the global strategic partnership with entertainment company Live Nation.[14]

Within his first year as Chairman & CEO of Universal, he led the company in acquiring EMI's record labels. [15]

Industry Honors and Other Achievements

In 2008, Grainge was honored with the prestigious Music Industry Trusts’ Award, which recognizes the world’s most influential and successful executives in music. Members of U2 presented him with the award, and other acts he was associated with, like Take That, performed.

Grainge serves on the Vivendi Management Board, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Activision Blizzard. In Britain’s New Year Honours for 2010, Grainge was awarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in recognition of his services to the creative industries.[16]


External links

Preceded by
Doug Morris
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Group
January 1, 2011 to Present
Succeeded by