Art Collins was 52.

Arthur J. Collins III, a music industry veteran and loving husband and father, died unexpectedly July 27 at his home in Pine Bush, N.Y. He was 52. Cause of death was not revealed, pending the outcome of an autopsy.

Known to his family and friends as "Art," he was the son of the late Arthur J. Collins Jr. and Mary R. Collins. He was born June 3, 1953 in West Hartford, C.T.

Founder of Art Collins Management, Collins had served as manager for rock 'n' roll icon Iggy Pop since 1985. First gaining experience in the music business with Atlantic Records' promotion department from 1975 to 1978, he moved on to become vice president and later president of Rolling Stones Records. In 1982 he left the label to form his own management company; over the years his roster included highly regarded artists such as Joe Jackson, Marianne Faithfull and Marshall Crenshaw.

In a statement released today, Iggy Pop commented: "Art was a big sweetheart. He was a marshmallow. This very down-to-earth guy was a kind of tonic for everyone he met, and he really loved rock and roll. He was immensely proud of his tenure with Atlantic Records, his work with the Rolling Stones, and I hope with me as well. He was my best friend."

In a statement issued by the family, Art was extolled as "a caring and beloved companion, father, brother, son and friend. His ebullient personality and engaging sense of humor touched those fortunate enough to have been a part of his life. The endless generosity he demonstrated
on a daily basis is felt all the more in his death. He will be deeply missed and never forgotten."

"There was no one in the world that I was closer to than Art, perennially young, vibrant, spirited, ready to go, go, go," said Arthur Levy, Art's best friend from their days together at Atlantic. "When he got into the management business, he kept his sense of humor and perspective intact There are so many stories that we will never get to hear."

Survivors include his wife, Nikki Collins, his stepsons Travis McGee and Kieran McGee and Kieran's fiancee Amanda Altmann; his brother Danny Collins and wife Robin; his sister Mary C. Wilson and husband Jack and nieces Megan Wilson, Ann W. McWaters and Gabrielle Collin.

Visitation will be held from 2-4 and 7-9 PM on Friday, July 29 at the William M. Gagan Funeral Home, 1525 Burlingham Road, Pine Bush, N.Y.

Funeral services will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, July 30 at the New Prospect Church, 2964 State Route 52, Walker Valley, N.Y.

Memorial contributions in his name may be made to Pine Bush Ecumenical Food Pantry, PO Box 148, Pine Bush, NY 12566.

Arrangements were made by the William M. Gagan Funeral Home.