Bruce Kapp, who spent nearly 40 years working in the concert industry, died yesterday (April 21) of a suspected heart attack at his home in Los Angeles. He was 57.
Prior to his death, Kapp, who is credited for helping develop the concept of national touring, served as senior VP of touring at Live Nation. He most recently helped oversee tours by such artists as Aerosmith, Jimmy Buffett, Def Leppard, the Jonas Brothers and Van Halen, among others.
“Bruce was not only one of the brightest stars in the Live Nation family, his passion and spirit inspired everyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting him,” Live Nation president/CEO Michael Rapino said in a statement. “He was one of the most genuine and warm people in the music business and he will be very much missed.”
Born in Chicago, Kapp got his first taste of the live music business in high school while booking bands around his hometown. After receiving a marketing degree from Evanston, Ill.’s Northwestern University, Kapp launched his own talent agency and booked artists throughout the Midwest.
In the early ’70s, Kapp formed concert promotion company Celebration Concerts, which laid the foundation for working with numerous acts across multiple genres. Over the span of his nearly four-decade career, Kapp worked with such touring acts as the Who, Emerson Lake & Palmer, REO Speedwagon, Fleetwood Mac, Rush, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks and N.W.A.
In the mid-1980s, Kapp joined PACE Concerts, where he was instrumental in developing R&B group New Edition as a touring entity. After nearly a decade at PACE, Kapp joined tour producer Magicworks, where he booked tours for New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, *Nsync and Britney Spears. SFX Entertainment later acquired Magicworks in 1998.
In the early ’90s, Kapp also contributed to the success of such national touring properties as Fresh Fest and Budweiser Superfest.
Kapp is survived by his wife, Jean, and daughter, Kelly. A service for will be held on Thursday, April 24 at 2 p.m. at Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive in Los Angeles. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Bruce Kapp Memorial Animal Fund.