Irving Azoff Signs Gwen Stefani & No Doubt

It was a big week for mega-manager Irving Azoff.

On June 11, Billboard broke the news that Azoff Music Management had signed Gwen Stefani and No Doubt. The previous day, it was announced that Azoff MSG Entertainment (AMSGE) - the joint venture between Azoff Music Management and the Madison Square Garden Company - had acquired a 50 percent stake in Levity Entertainment Group, a multifaceted firm that includes live comedy venues, TV production, talent management and online digital services.

According to sources, Stefani, 44, and No Doubt, the band she fronts, were being courted by multiple managers before signing with Azoff. The singer and No Doubt recently parted ways with Jim Guerinot's Rebel Waltz Management, which had handled them since 1998. Azoff's other clients include the Eagles, Christina Aguilera, Steely Dan, Van Halen and Chelsea Handler, in addition to the many comics signed with LEG. Stefani will replace Aguilera on the seventh season of NBC's popular singing competition series The Voice in the fall.

Stefani has sold a combined 22 million albums with No Doubt and as a solo artist in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Both No Doubt and Stefani have toured successfully. Stefani's last solo tour in 2007 sold 672,289 tickets to 57 shows (mostly in North America), and in 2009, No Doubt reported nearly 500,000 in attendance from 36 shows in North America, according to Billboard Boxscore.

Stefani also has made her mark on fashion with L.A.M.B.; Harajuku Lovers, a ready-to-wear line launched in February; and Gx, an accessories line started in March.

LEG is one of the largest buyers of live comedy in the United States, servicing tours, festivals, cruise lines and its own network of comedy clubs. The company represents approximately 70 artists, including Jeff Dunham, Jenny McCarthy and Aaron McGruder, and has produced over 1,000 hours of TV programming. LEG's digital group, which provides social media services, also owns Sideshow Network, a comedy and lifestyle podcast aggregator.

Azoff's consolidation of companies created the largest management firm in the world in Front Line, leading to an acquisition by Ticketmaster that in turn led to the Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger. After Azoff left Live Nation in 2012, Front Line became Artist Nation. It has since signed U2, Madonna and Lady Gaga.


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