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Producer, label executive Tommy LiPuma dies
Tommy LiPuma, a five-time GRAMMY-winning record producer, trained musician and influential label executive, has died from an undisclosed illness. He was 80 years old.
Born in 1936 in Cleveland, Ohio, LiPuma started his career in the music industry packing records in a shipping warehouse before moving to Los Angeles to become a radio promoter for Liberty Records. From there he transitioned into music publishing, before starting his own label, Blue Thumb Records, having been inspired by the cultural and musical shifts of the late 1960s. LiPuma subsequently held positions at major labels such as Warner Bros. Records, Columbia Records and Elektra Records.
As a producer, LiPuma collaborated with artists such as Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, George Benson, Anita Baker, Natalie Cole, Randy Newman, Diana Krall, Dave Mason, the Yellowjackets, Joe Sample, and Dr. John. He won his first GRAMMY for Record Of The Year for his production work on Benson's "This Masquerade" for 1976. He earned the coveted Album Of The Year award for 1991 as the producer for Cole's Unforgettable With Love. LiPuma also earned GRAMMYs for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Krall's Live In Paris (2002) and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for McCartney's Kisses On The Bottom (2012). His most recent GRAMMY win was for Best Surround Sound Album for 2013 for another McCartney project, Live Kisses.
In 2015 LiPuma participated in Inside The World The World Of A&R: Lenny Waronker And Tony LiPuma, a panel discussion at the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live. LiPuma's final production effort, Krall's Turn Up The Quiet, will be released posthumously on May 5.