Chairman of Global Music
CEO of Global Touring
POWER MOVE: Along with a new five-year deal with Live Nation, he’s got five of the 10 highest-grossing tours in history and a client base that runs from Neil Young to Rihanna.
THE RUNDOWN: The reigning monarch of global mega-tours, Fogel re-upped with Live Nation right before the Dec. 31 resignation of former chairman Irving Azoff, locking him in for another five years of what the company hopes will be a continued box-office boom.
With his tours grossing more than $2.5 billion during the past seven years, Fogel helped mount five of the 10 highest-grossing tours in history, according to Billboard Boxscore. Low-key and rarely interviewed, he seems the antithesis of the grandiose, hyperbolic promoter of popular perception, a stereotype that he acknowledges with a laugh. Perhaps this plays in his favor, as long-term clients Sting, Neil Young, Rush and David Bowie -- in addition to U2 and Madonna (both in the midst of long-term multirights deals with Live Nation) -- continue using Fogel as their tour producer, as do newer stars Lady Gaga and Rihanna.
The heightened importance of Fogel’s career signals a major change in the music business, with its power dynamic moving from recorded product to the performance sphere. “The live business has become the engine for the entire music industry, which is very different from when I first started,” Fogel says. “As a result, companies in the live zone set up as global businesses are perfectly positioned for the financial shift.”