Hollywood publicist Joyce Sevilla died on Wednesday night at her home in West Hollywood, Calif., Variety has confirmed. Her cause of death isn’t immediately known; foul play is not suspected. She was 47.
Sevilla was at the forefront of event marketing, connecting brands and live events in partnerships. Starting at Jive records at the dawn of Britney Spears and NSYNC, Sevilla established herself in New York City as an early innovator in the entertainment realm. She then went on to spend a decade as the head of U.S. public relations at Entertainment Fusion Group, where she worked with SBE Hospitality, TAO Group and MGM Grand Las Vegas Hotel before launching her own firm. In January of 2018, Sevilla founded Sevilla Strategic Communications, an entertainment marketing and publicity organization. Her first clients were The Sayers Club, 1iota Productions and Beem Networks. Sevilla was a trendsetter at connecting brands with live, national events.
News of her death was met with waves of sadness from coast to coast. Friends and neighbors gathered flowers and candles, setting up a small vigil outside Sevilla’s L.A. apartment. A quote Sevilla had put in the bio of her Instagram account from William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” now hangs on her door: “And though she be but little, she is fierce.”
Publicist Tyler Burrow posted an image of Sevilla and the words “heartbroken” on social media. Digital media strategist Wynter Mitchell penned a remembrance of the first time she met Sevilla. “Joyce had your back,” Mitchell wrote. “She was going to step up for you. … She was going to give to those who went without. She had soul and a soul. This town chips away at it and you need a community. She was part of my community, one that embraces true character and the wild at heart.”
Sevilla is survived by her mother and step-father, two sisters, brother-in-law and niece.