“All of us at CMG are incredibly shocked and saddened to learn of the untimely passing of our colleague and friend, Joe Rainey,” Greg Marella, executive vice president of promotion for Capitol Music Group, said in a statement sent to Billboard. “He will be greatly missed. We offer our most heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones at this extremely difficult time.”
In a 2007 interview with All Access, Rainey said he began working at age 16, with a gig at Tower Records in Los Angeles. His love of music led him to get involved with college radio and booking and promoting live shows at UC Santa Barbara. Before embarking on his career with Capitol, his first job in radio promotion was as an assistant at Universal.
Rainey spoke with Billboard in a Chart Beat Podcast in 2017, discussing the singles from several Capitol artists he was working with at the time, including Katy Perry, Niall Horan and Jon Bellion. Of Perry’s “Chained to the Rhythm,” he said, “This country is divided. One of out of two people you could potentially offend. I’ve known [Perry] a long time. She’s not someone to keep her thoughts to herself, and I admire that.” He added that the single was, “oddly enough, a very inclusive song. If you can combine something real to say with a beat and a hook and fun, man, all the more power to you.”
Rainey is survived by his wife and two children.
A memorial service for Rainey will take place on Wednesday Oct. 17, at Cecere Family Funeral Home in Baldwin, N.Y. from 5-9pm.