Quinn Coleman, a DJ and A&R executive and son of former BET chief Debra Lee and Randy Coleman, died suddenly on Sunday, August 16 at the age of 31, according to a statement from his family. The cause of death was not given.
According to a statement from a rep for Lee: “Quinn was a loving son, brother, cousin and friend, a passionate DJ and A&R executive with a bright future ahead of him. Debra and her family are devastated by Quinn’s passing and ask for privacy and respect as they grieve together.”
Coleman worked as a DJ under the name Spiccoli (presumably from the character in “Fast Time at Ridgmont High”) and, since May 2018, as an A&R executive at Capitol Records where he signed the group Brasstracks, among other acts. Prior to his senior director position at Capitol, he spent four years at Warner Bros. Records as an A&R manager and a marketing coordinator. Coleman started his career in music at Sirius XM where he interned before rising to music programming coordinator working across such channels as BPM, Tiesto’s Club Life, The Heat and Backspin.
“Quinn’s positivity and passion was infectious, he made everyone around him feel good and always felt more than a friend than A&R,” the group Brasstracks wrote on social media, adding that they’re dedicating their debut album, out August 21, to Coleman. “He truly believed in us and worked so hard on this project with us. We were the first act he signed to Capitol and we were so proud to work with him. Quinn was family.”
Capitol Records president Jeff Vaughn said: “We are all devastated to learn of the untimely passing of our colleague and friend, Quinn Coleman. He will be greatly missed. We offer our deepest condolences to Quinn’s family and loved ones at this extremely difficult time.”
RIP Quinn Coleman. We’ll miss you. We dedicate this album to you. You worked so so hard on it. pic.twitter.com/Y9uxwk3A2M
— brasstracks (@brasstracks) August 17, 2020
Tributes from across the industry poured in as news broke on Monday morning. See some of those posts below:
RIP QUINN COLEMAN pic.twitter.com/23PFOmv98L
— kennybeats (@kennybeats) August 18, 2020
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#QuinnColeman , the son of former BET CEO #DebraLee , senior director of A&R at #CapitolRecords & successful DJ (“ #djspicoli “) has reportedly passed away. 🙏🏽 Cause of death has not been disclosed at this time. Prayers up to Debra Lee and family & be sure to check on your friends everyday. #2020 #bet #blackentertainment #quinn #restinpower
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Man, this one hurts! Since we started @livenationurban, I have been blessed to meet and connect with so many super smart young creatives and business leaders. Amazing young minds that I lean on and have learned so much from and Quinn was part of that circle. Such a bright, positive, smart dude. I appreciate the times we spent together. Rest well young king! Your voice was heard and your impact was felt! @trillectro #Quinncoleman
R.I.P. to my dawg Quinn “Spicoli” Coleman 😔 pic.twitter.com/r5lTH3jieb
— Bizness Boi (@BiznessBoi) August 17, 2020