It was Blair who noticed the probable of Latin music in the mainstream current market, extended before any other key label executive in the English-speaking entire world did. As govt vp advertising for Columbia Documents in 1999, he insisted to then-Columbia main Tommy Mottola that he seriously devote in Martin, then a young Puerto Rican star.
“I read about Jerry from multiple persons. He was functioning in Boston and I called him for an job interview and I employed him on the spot,” Mottola tells Billboard. “He was the complete superstar best at his game and he wrote the blueprint for marketing and qualified and taught the absolute finest advertising employees in the complete new music small business. Palms down. No one was much better. He had terrific audio to function with, but they could even choose a mediocre history and make it a strike.”
Blair worked major hits by every single solitary act on the label, like superstars Carey, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett and, of training course, Martin.
“He is the male who single-handedly pushed me into generating the whole Ricky Martin thing transpire,” suggests Mottola. “He was such a Ricky Martin lover, and he was so obsessed with Ricky Martin […] that’s when I went [in 1999] to the Grammys and I said, ‘If you will not put Ricky Martin on, we are not in the Grammys.’ Jerry Blair is the man who started Ricky Martin’s hearth.”
Luana Pagani, who at the time ran marketing for Sony Audio Latin, agrees.
“I am extremely unhappy to hear about Jerry’s passing,” Pagani claims. “He was a driving pressure and the to start with at Columbia Documents to guidance and consider in Ricky Martin. Here’s to you, Jerry!”
Blair started his occupation in tunes as a faculty rep for CBS Data and later joined Chrysalis Documents in the late 1980s as director of West Coastline functions, according to All Obtain. He turned a fabled figure when he began doing work in promotions at Columbia, where by he served as senior vp from 1988 to 1997 and, eventually, govt vp until finally 2000.
These many years coincided with the results of celebrity functions like Carey and the Fugees, but also with the so-named “Latin explosion,” with Blair supporting steer hits by the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Martin and Elvis Crespo.
Blair later went to Arista as executive vp and ongoing to do the job in Latin songs, at some point founding, with Rich Isaacson, Fuerte Team, where he managed and promoted Latin expertise from 2003 to 2009. Blair then released his business International Amusement Administration/Perspeciva Music, exactly where he ongoing to operate with equally Latin and mainstream acts, in addition to serving as vp strategic partnerships for Goldleaf Confined LLC, a purchaser wellness organization concentrated on products and solutions to enable give up smoking.
Blair remained dedicated to Latin music throughout his job.
“You look at what could have mass enchantment, and then you discuss to your fellas in those marketplaces, all the places where you know you could consider this things and make it more substantial,” Blair said two several years in the past when I interviewed him for my ebook, Decoding Despacito. “To this working day, what shocks me is that the labels nonetheless search at [crossing into other markets] like froth over the cappuccino, but they are not definitely concentrated on it. They continue to have not figured out how to do it to increase the chance.”
Blair is survived by his wife Karen, son Joshua, 26, and daughter Suzette, 9.