Stephen Ferrera, senior VP of A&R at Columbia Records, passed away at his home in New York on Monday after a battle with lung cancer.
An accomplished musician, songwriter and producer, Ferrera graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music and the Julliard School where he studied percussion.
He started his career as head of A&R/producer at the Chrysalis Group’s U.K. record company The Echo Label. He went on to serve as senior VP of A&R at RCA Music Group, as executive VP A&R at Island Def Jam, and most recently as senior VP A&R at Sony’s Columbia Records, where he spent the last three years of his career.
During his time in the record biz, Ferrera played a big part in the successes of Leona Lewis, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Heather Headley, Ne-Yo, Rod Stewart and Bon Jovi, and was instrumental in bringing the “American Idol” franchise to BMG’s RCA Music Group.
“Steve fully embraced life and loved spending time with his family, enjoyed good food and all things Italian, and truly respected and appreciated the people he worked with,” a message from Columbia Records reads. “He will be fondly remembered by all who knew him and had the opportunity to make music with him.”
Ferrera is survived by his wife Camilla, his 14-year-old daughter Grace, and 10-year-old son, Guy. A memorial service will be held 4:00pm on Feb. 3 at the Riverside Memorial Chapel (180 West 76th Street at Amsterdam Avenue, New York).
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Lung Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center or at mskcc.org.