Ronnie Lippin, who was president of the Lippin Group public relations firm after years as a leading publicist in the music industry, died Monday in Los Angeles from a rare form of breast cancer after a long battle with the disease. She was 59.
Lippin had also developed a career in management and was instrumental in the recent comebacks of Brian Wilson and Prince. Over the course of more than three decades, Lippin has been public relations representative for Prince, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Steven Stills, Peter Frampton, Michael McDonald, Olivia Newton-John, the Captain & Tennille and Cliff Richard. Other major artists she worked with over the years included the Bee Gees, Elton John, Neil Sedaka, the Who, Dianne Reeves and James Taylor.
She also represented the music division of Hallmark Cards, the Martin Guitar Company, the international music products org NAMM, the Musicians’ Assistance Program and the battle of the corporate bands sponsored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Lippin grew up in Brooklyn, attended Sarah Lawrence College and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. She worked as a junior film critic at Parents magazine before starting in the PR business in New York at Solters and Roskin, working on film and stage projects.
Following her marriage to Dick Lippin, the chairman and chief executive of the Lippin Group, the couple came to California, where she was hired to head up publicity at MCA Records. From there, she joined Elton John’s startup Rocket Records and then became head of publicity for RSO records, working on campaigns for artists including John, the Who and the Bee Gees.
At RSO, she also supervised publicity for the company’s films including “Saturday Night Fever,” “Grease” and “Evita.”
Dick Lippin founded the Lippin Group in 1986, and in 1989 Ronnie Lippin joined the company to lead the firm’s expanding operations in music artists and tours. In addition, she oversaw clients in music variety programming, music associations and musical instrument manufacturing.
She served on the board of Free Arts for Abused Children, and with her husband, endowed ethics programs at Penn State U. and Brandeis U.
She is survived by her husband and a daughter, Alexandra, a senior account executive at the Lippin Group.
A cancer foundation in her name is being established; email firstname.lastname@example.org for donation information.