Padell, who died at age 84 Sunday, was immortalized by Biggie's rap on ‘Only You’: 'Room 112, where the players dwell, and stash more cash than Bert Padell'
Bert Padell, the legendary music industry giant nicknamed "accountant to the stars," passed away Sunday, January 21st at the age of 84. Bert was truly one of a kind. He was renowned amongst his clients for his unparalleled wisdom, helping to transform the lives of thousands of rising artists. He held the role of business manager, accountant, lawyer, and most importantly to him, friend. His clientele included almost every big name in the music industry -- Madonna, the Talking Heads, De La Soul, the Kinks, Britney Spears, Biggie Smalls, Run DMC, Faith Evans, Missy Elliott, Rakim, Pink Floyd, Luther Vandross, Diddy and Mary J. Blige, among countless others.
Born and raised in the Bronx, he landed a gig as a batboy for the New York Yankees at only 14 years old after writing persistent letters to the manager and refusing to take no for an answer. During this time, he befriended Joe DiMaggio (who later became a client), Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra and everyone in and around the clubhouse from 1949 to 1950. It was then that he began collecting -- baseballs, bats, contracts and signatures that would one day be a part of his famed office collection.
Anyone who ever visited 1775 Broadway or West 56th Street could attest to the fact that there were no more than a few inches of empty space on the walls. From baseball memorabilia to gold records earned by his clients, photos, and letters, there was no shortage of history around, and no piece that didn’t go along with a story of Bert’s to tell. His desk was covered by a large piece of blotter paper listing hundreds of phone numbers, his version of a rolodex. He was almost always on the phone and when he wasn’t cursing he was greeting most with a "hey babes," one of his many favorite sayings.