Columbia Records president Ashley Newton remembers colleague Stephen Ferrera

Longtime label executive Stephen Ferrera died Jan. 27 at his home in New York after a prolonged battle with lung cancer. The A&R veteran -- who was also an accomplished musician, songwriter and producer -- spent his early years at Chrysalis Group U.K. He went on to senior VP stints at RCA Music Group, working with Leona Lewis, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Ne-Yo and Rod Stewart, among others, and was a key player in securing the "American Idol" contract; Island Def Jam; and Columbia, where he spent the last years of his career.

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