×

SFX turns up urban beat

Pickup in tune with R&B boost

Concert industry titan SFX Entertainment has jumped into the urban music marketplace, acquiring 50% of A.H. Enterprises, a leading promoter of concerts in the genre. Run by Al Haymon, the L.A.-based outfit has shepherded some of the industry’s top tours.

SFX’s multimillion-dollar pickup comes as many major players are taking steps to raise the genre’s profile as there have been few well-organized R&B tours of late. Recently, Creative Artists Agency expanded its contemporary music division to include an R&B arm.

In addition to guiding roadshows by such acts as Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson and Boyz II Men, Haymon has been ahead of the industry curve in inking corporate support for the genre.

His pact with Budweiser 15 years ago for the potent Superfest roadshow is his most notable deal. Recently, Haymon linked with General Mills to present a series of tours.

“Al Haymon is a name synonymous with success in the field of pop- urban music,” said Mike Ferrel, CEO of Gotham-based SFX. “As a partner, he will bring to our numerous venues a wonderful variety of talented performers, a number of whom have not previously played on many of our stages.”

Ferrel called the move “an important extension of our product line. I am sure his contributions to SFX will be felt immediately.”

While the industry views the genre’s audiences as style setters, these auds fly under the radar for much of corporate America.

“By pooling our resources with Al, we hope to leverage his tremendous roster of talented stars into our own national footprint … and to expand his already substantial base of sponsors,” Ferrel said.

Calling Haymon one of the country’s top three promoters, SFX Music Group chairman Jack Boyle noted, “We can learn much from the expertise he has developed over a brilliant career spanning the last 20 years.”

SFX Entertainment, the world’s largest promoter, producer and venue operator for live entertainment events, has been snapping up the nation’s top concert promoters over the past two years, spending $1 billion to acquire promoters and venues as part of an unprecedented buying spree.

SFX owns, wholly or in part, or operates 82 sites used principally for music concerts and other live entertainment events, such as auto races and Broadway shows — the largest such network in the nation.

SFX recently realigned its operation into four distinct units: music, theatrical, family entertainment and sports.

More Music

  • Duffy Singer Duffy arrives for the

    British Singer Duffy Says She Was 'Raped, Drugged and Held Captive'

    “Whatever happened to Duffy?” is a question that’s been asked by pop music fans for the better part of a decade — especially in the singer’s native England, where, in the late 2000s, she seemed poised for the kind of massive neo-soul career that Adele has enjoyed in her wake. Occasional stories over the years attempted [...]

  • What — and Who — Is

    What — and Who — Is Next for Def Jam Records?

    Friday afternoon’s announcement that Paul Rosenberg will be stepping down as CEO of Def Jam Records caught nearly everyone by surprise — including, briefly, the label’s parent company Universal Music Group, sources say. But the company pivoted quickly, appointing well-respected UMG chief counsel Jeff Harleston as interim chief while the suddenly public search for a [...]

  • Harry Styles performs at the Greek

    Harry Styles Is Appearing on 'The Howard Stern Show' Next Week

    Harry Styles is making an appearance on “The Howard Stern Show” next Monday, the program’s Captain Janks announced on Twitter on Tuesday. Stern is known to be a fan of Styles ever since the musician released his self-titled solo album back in 2017, expressing his “disturbing” enjoyment of the tracks despite some preconceived notions of [...]

  • Yola Carter Yola in concert at

    Concert Review: Yola Goes from a Dusty Whisper to a Tina-esque Scream

    Tom Hanks and Austin Butler, the stars of Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming Elvis Presley/Colonel Parker film, might want to watch out. Yola has been cast in the presumably small role of gospel/guitar great Sister Rosetta Tharpe, but once she’s on set, Luhrmann might decide to turn tail and just turn the whole thing into a Tharpe [...]

  • BTS carpool

    BTS Takes Over Late-Night With 'Tonight Show,' 'Carpool Karaoke' Appearances (Watch)

    In its most unique U.S. guest appearance to date, BTS performed on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” Monday night in an episode that focused on the band members’ sense of humor, which doesn’t need much interpretation. The South Korean septet played games with Fallon on the subway, made pastrami sandwiches at New York City’s [...]

  • Julia Lewis

    Atlas Music, Quincy Jones Productions Sign Bay Area Jazz Talent Julia Lewis (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jazz artist Julia Lewis (stylized JULiA LEWiS) is the first signing to the Atlas Music and Quincy Jones Productions joint venture. Lewis, whose real name is Benjamin Falik, arrives from the Bay Area where he built a following as a local producer, DJ and independent artist. Said Richard Stumpf, who founded the digital market-minded publisher Atlas [...]

  • Lady Gaga

    Lady Gaga's New Single, 'Stupid Love,' Is Dropping Friday

    Lady Gaga has announced that her next single, “Stupid Love,” the first new material she has released since the “Star Is Born” soundtrack, is dropping Friday at midnight ET. The singer posted the news on her social media accounts; there is also a billboard in Hollywood. “STUPID LOVE”THE NEW SINGLE BY LADY GAGA OUT FRIDAY [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content