×

Universal Music Group Executive Among Paris Attack Victims

A Universal Music Group employee was among the victims of the terrorist attack at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris Friday night where UMG artist Eagles of Death Metal were headlining a sold-out performance.

Universal Music Group chairman-CEO Lucian Grainge confirmed the death of Mercury Records executive Thomas Ayad in what he called an “unspeakably appalling tragedy.” According to a report on Mashable, an Eagles of Death Metal crew member who worked on merchandising, Nick Alexander, 36, of Britain, was also killed at the Bataclan.

French authorities say as many as 80 people were killed after gunmen burst into the venue with automatic weapons and grenades and took hostages in the middle of the show. Witnesses have given chilling accounts of the gunmen methodically shooting hostages one by one before police moved in on the theater.

Ayad was an international product manager for UMG’s Mercury Records unit. Eagles of Death Metal just released their first album in seven years, “Zipper Down,” on UMG’s T-Boy imprint last month. The band members, according to multiple reports, escaped the venue in the initial chaos after the attack began. Grainge indicated that other UMG staffers were in the crowd at the Bataclan.

Universal Music Group is owned by French media and content group Vivendi.

Here is Grainge’s memo:

Dear Colleagues:

Today, I’m writing to you with a heavy heart.

We, like so many around the world, are struggling with last night’s horrific tragedy in France.

Paris is in our thoughts and prayers.  We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims as well as our fervent wishes for healing for all of those affected by this senseless violence.

This is especially painful and personal for all of us.  As many of you know, the band Eagles of Death Metal is part of the UMe and Mercury France family.  The band and its crew as well as our own teams from Mercury and other UMG staffs were present at the Bataclan theater for last night’s show.

At this point, we have confirmed that Thomas Ayad, an international product manager for Mercury Records lost his life in the attack on the theater.  This is an unspeakably appalling tragedy.  I cannot even begin to express the depth of my sorrow.  On behalf of everyone here at UMG, we extend our most profound sympathies to his parents and all of his friends and family.

We will update you further as information permits.  In the meantime, please send all healing thoughts and prayers for those affected by this heinous act.

Today is a dark day.  We are a family. Let’s support one another as we grapple with the weight of this darkness.

Sincerely,

Lucian

More Music

  • Terry Wakefield Exits Sony/ATV to Head

    Terry Wakefield Exits Sony/ATV to Head Up A&R at UMPG Nashville

    After a decades-long tenure at Sony/ATV Nashville, Terry Wakefield has followed another alumnus, Troy Tomlinson, across town to take a top position at Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville. Wakefield is senior VP of A&R at UMPG after having been senior VP of creative in his previous post. Personal loyalty to Tomlinson, UMPG Nashville’s recently named chairman/CEO, [...]

  • Sally Williams at PBS Country Music

    Sally Williams to Leave Longtime Opry Home for Top Post at Live Nation in Nashville

    Nashville executive Sally Williams is leaving Opry Entertainment, where she rose to the top over a two-decade tenure there, to join Live Nation’s regional office as the president of Nashville music and business strategy, the company announced Monday. Live Nation said Williams will not only lead programming and marketing for their concerts in the area, [...]

  • 'Welcome to New York The Empire

    Woodstock 50's Permit Denial Heap Keeps Growing

    In what’s become a broken record for music journalists everywhere, Woodstock 50 was once again denied a permit to hold its event, slated for Aug. 16 to 18, as a daytime festival at Vernon Downs in upstate New York. Previous attempts to convince the town of Vernon, on June 18 and July 3, were rejected [...]

  • London's CODA Agency Formally Becomes a

    Paradigm Agency Formally Absorbs London's CODA Into the Fold

    After five years of working together, London’s CODA Agency has formally become a part of Paradigm and will continue under its U.S. partner’s banner. The London office of what is now a fully integrated Paradigm will continue to be led by Alex Hardee, Tom Schroeder, James Whitting and Dave Hallybone. In a statement otherwise laden [...]

  • Mariah Carey

    Mariah Carey Signs With CAA

    Mariah Carey has returned to CAA for representation worldwide after moving to UTA in 2015. Throughout her 30-year career, the five-time Grammy winner has released some of the best-selling albums of all time, including “Music Box,” which racked up more than 28 million in sales, and “Daydream,” which sold 20 million copies. Her other albums, [...]

  • Art Neville of The Meters performs

    Art Neville of the Meters and the Neville Brothers Dies at 81

    Art Neville, one of the key figures of New Orleans music as a member of the Meters and later the Neville Brothers, died Monday. He was 81. Neville’s manager, Kent Sorrell, confirmed the death. “It was peaceful,” Sorrell told Nola.com. “He passed away at home with his adoring wife Lorraine by his side. He toured [...]

  • Roddy Rich

    Roddy Ricch Signs Wide-Ranging Deal With Kobalt

    Kobalt has signed Roddy Ricch to a wide-ranging exclusive worldwide deal in which the company will have full administration of the rapper, singer, songwriter and producer’s catalog, as well as publishing, creative services and synch for his future works. Ricch is a relative newcomer, first emerging onto the music scene in 2017 with the release [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content