David Enthoven at the Music Managers Forum Roll of Honour Awards

David Enthoven at the Music Managers Forum Roll of Honour Awards in London on Sept. 15, 2004.

Judy Totton/REX/Shutterstock

Tributes have paid from across the music industry to artist manager David Enthoven, who has died aged 72.

The veteran executive and co-founder of London-based management company ie:music started out his career managing King Crimson and T. Rex in the late '60s, but it was his long-standing association with British singer Robbie Williams that Enthoven was best known for, representing the pop star throughout his 20-year solo career.

"My friend, mentor and hero passed away today. David Enthoven, I love you. RIP," tweeted Williams, who has sold 70 million albums globally, including 11 U.K. number ones and holds the world record for the most concert tickets sold in a single day (1.6 million) for his 2006 World Tour.

 

 

New Zealand singer-songwriter Ladyhawke, also represented by ie:music, called Enthoven a “dear friend” who “has been a true guiding light to me over the years.”

 

 

Those sentiments were echoed throughout the industry with Blur drummer Dave Rowntree remembering him as a “lovely man” who was “passionate about supporting musicians,” while labels trade body BPI said he had “made a huge contribution to British music.”

Enthoven’s began his career in the late 60s, co-founding management company and label imprint EG Records with John Gaydon. The pair scored early success with English rock band King Crimson and went on to represent T. Rex, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Roxy Music. Enthoven mortgaged his house to finance the recording of the now-legendary In The Court Of The Crimson King

Famously, it was Harrow educated Enthoven who advised Marc Bolan to shorten his band’s name to T. Rex because he couldn’t spell Tyrannosaurus. He is also credited with encouraging Bolan to stand up when performing rather that sit on the stage cross-legged, as he had done in the group’s earliest incarnation.

Having led many of his clients to fame and fortune on both sides of the Atlantic throughout the '70s, the next decade saw Enthoven’s life take a downward turn as he battled drink and drug addiction before making a successful return to the industry.

In 1992 he formed ie:music alongside former Island Records executive Tim Clark, with the pair soon growing the business into one of the U.K.’s most successful management companies. Williams was always its star client, but the pair also helped guide the careers of Sia and Bryan Ferry, with its current roster including Lily Allen, Lamar, Passenger and Will Young.

“David will be remembered as a true friend, an exemplary colleague, a helpful mentor and a truly exceptional human being,” said The Music Managers Forum (MMF) in a statement.  

"His tenacity in fighting for artists' rights is the stuff of legend," Clark told The Mirror

"He pricked the pompous, had a nickname for everyone but was so generous and kind too. What is much less well known is the unstinting help he gave to those who had taken a self-destructive path, for whatever reason. He has been utterly selfless in that respect.