×

Shelley Lazar, Founder of SLO Ticketing, Dies at 69

UPDATED: Shelley Lazar, founder of SLO Ticketing and a pioneer of premium ticketing and VIP programs for artists including the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and The Who, died Sunday morning after a battle with cancer, a rep for her company confirmed. She was 69.

Affectionately known as “The Ticket Queen” — or “MFTQ,” as she was dubbed by none other than Keith Richards — Vanity Fair called Lazar “the mastermind behind rock royalty’s all-access passes.” She worked her way through the ranks with New York concert promoter Ron Delsener, Madison Square Garden and Bill Graham Presents before striking out on her own in 2002 with the San-Francisco based SLO VIP Ticket Services. Her company was acquired by Ticketmaster in 2008, with Lazar remaining as chief executive.

Social media, particularly her Facebook page, is filled with loving tributes, including ones from Elton John and Paul McCartney. “Shelley Lazar was like no other,” Jimmy Fallon tweeted. “Really gonna miss her.”

In 2014, at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, McCartney performed “San Francisco Bay Blues,” an early hit for the Weavers, and dedicated it to her. He speaks about her at length in the video included in the tweet below, saying “You want tickets for anything? Shelley’s the go-to,” then apologizes, realizing what he’d set her up for. She can be seen smiling and waving at the end of that video, and this one of McCartney performing the song.

“She was a one of a kind character and a tough as nails businesswoman,” reads a tweet from Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation. “Her passion, tenacity and love of music will be remembered by all of us.”

According to her biography, other artists and events for which Lazar managed VIP ticketing include Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Madonna, Pink, Celine Dion, Paul Simon, the MTV Video Music Awards, the People’s Choice Awards, Barbra Streisand’s 2017 television special and even two Popes. She was also co-executive producer of the award-winning documentary, “Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars.”

Lazar began working part-time in the music industry in the early 1970s, while still a public school teacher in New York City — future comedy and film star Chris Rock was one of her students. Early in her career she worked in several areas of the music business, starting with catering and moving up to booking, marketing and ultimately ticketing, managing the ticket office at Madison Square Garden and earning a reputation as “The Keeper of the List” at the Pier in New York for shows promoted by Ron Delsener.

She was active in several non-profit organizations, including the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation, Human Rights Watch and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. She also melded her teaching and music-business backgrounds as a member of the Board of Directors of Little Kids Rock, a charity based in Verona, New Jersey charity encouraging children to play popular music by providing free music instructions and instruments to school districts across the country.

While no details were immediately available, a public tribute to Lazar is expected in the coming weeks.

More Biz

  • Baby Yoda - The Child Animatronic

    Hasbro's Adorable Baby Yoda Animatronic Toy Is Already Sold Out on Disney's Online Store

    The Force remains strong for toys based on Baby Yoda, the breakout star of Disney Plus original series “The Mandalorian.” Less than a day after becoming available for pre-order, Hasbro’s new $59.99 Baby Yoda animatronic toy is no longer available to order on Disney’s official online store: As of Friday morning, Shop Disney listed the [...]

  • BTS Leads Spotify’s New Music Friday

    BTS Leads Spotify’s New Music Friday Playlist Rebrand

    Spotify has launched a global rebrand of its popular New Music Friday playlist, which this week features BTS, The Weeknd, Noah Cyrus, Trippie Redd, Kenny Chesney, Rei Ami and others. The revamped playlist, which has 43 versions worldwide, has more than 3.5 million followers in the US and eight million globally. New elements include a [...]

  • Donna Rotunno Gloria Allred

    Donna Rotunno Complains to Judge About Gloria Allred Attacking Her in the Media

    Harvey Weinstein’s lead attorney Donna Rotunno asked the judge to silence Gloria Allred, the high-powered attorney who is representing three women who’ve testified in the New York rape trial. Before the jury entered the courtroom on Friday morning, the fourth day of deliberations, Rotunno made a complaint on the record to the judge regarding Allred’s [...]

  • Revelries Sign With Edgeout Label via

    Revelries Sign With Edgeout Label via Universal’s Catalog Division

    Louisiana band the Revelries has signed a development deal with Edgeout, a label that will release music via Universal’s catalog division UMe. The band is managed by Red Light. “Edgeout Records is committed to discovering the next generation of rock artists,” said label chief Tony Guanci, who signed an exclusive global deal to release bands [...]

  • MadeFor Productions

    Endemol Shine Sets Up German Scripted Label Ahead of Banijay Acquisition (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Black Mirror” and “Peaky Blinders” producer Endemol Shine Group has set up a new scripted label in Germany, Variety can reveal. Based in Berlin and led by joint CEOs Nanni Erben and Gunnar Juncken, MadeFor Film will focus on both high-end TV series and feature films for the domestic and international markets, as well as [...]

  • Deborah Dugan

    Recording Academy in Mediation with Ousted CEO Deborah Dugan

    The Recording Academy and its ousted president and CEO Deborah Dugan have officially entered mediation, just over a month after their dispute broke into the open, sources confirm to Variety. While a report in Billboard states that mediation began today, a source tells Variety that the two parties have been in communication for at least [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein deliberation

    Weinstein Jury Ends Day With Request for Annabella Sciorra's Testimony, No Verdict

    The jurors in the Harvey Weinstein trial ended their third day of deliberations on Thursday with a request to hear the testimony of Annabella Sciorra. The jury has now been deliberating for more than 14 hours, and will return for further deliberations on Friday morning. In a note to the judge late Thursday afternoon, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content