"Look, There's Randy!"
As coverage of Michael Jackson's 2009 death deluged TVs across the world, most were thinking, "I can't believe Jackson died." No doubt many in the music biz were thinking, "Look, there's Randy Phillips." What they said next surely varied widely, but one thing about Phillips is that everyone who knows him has a take. The fact that AEG--mostly due to Phillips' efforts--was even able to put a deal together for 50 Jackson shows at London's O2 Arena speaks volumes about Phillips' real power. While the the success of specific tours is executed by the pros on the ground and the direction of top executives like John Meglen and Paul Gongaware, co-presidents of AEG Live touring division Concerts West, the results prove that Phillips has been "making the right bets" on which tours to invest in, and the fact remains that, under Phillips' leadership, the company has been able to assemble not only star artist clients but also star executive talent. Phillips, a former label executive and manager, took the position in 2002, and he remains atop a company that reported nearly $1 billion in grosses to Billboard Boxscore last year. Polarizing, endlessly quotable and quite possibly bulletproof, Phillips is still on top.
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