Frank DiLeo (right) with Michael Jackson at Heathrow Airport on July 11, 1988 during the Bad World Tour (Photo: Dave Hogan/Stringer/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Frank DiLeo, who helped guide Michael Jackson career path to become the King Of Pop, died today due to complications from heart surgery in March. He was 63.
DiLeo, who began his affiliation with Jackson when he joined Epic Records as the VP of national promotion in 1979, helped make "Thriller" one of the best selling albums ever.
In 1968, DiLeo began his music industry career as a sales rep and promotion executive with CBS Records, and then during the 1970's he worked in promotion for Monument Records and RCA Records, until joining Epic.
While at Epic, DiLeo played a key role in the success experienced by such artists as Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne, REO Speedwagon, Survivor, Gloria Estefan, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Heart, and Luther Vandross, according to Larry Stessel, who worked alongside him at Epic.
After the success of "Thriller," DiLeo became Jackson's manager, responsible for all aspects of his career. His affiliation with Jackson lasted through the 1980's, but then abruptly ended.
In the early 1990's, Frank Dileo Management handled the careers of Taylor Dayne, Laurga Branigan, and Jodeci. Concurrently with running his management company, DiLeo also served as co-president of Savage Records from 1991-1993.
Since then, DLleo remained active in the music industry, even co-managing the Jacksons for a time in the mid 1990's.
In recent years, he had been heading up his own firm Dileo Entertainment Group based in Nashville.
He is survived by his wife Linda, daughter Belinda, son Dominic and grandson Frank Michael.