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Popovich Passes

STEVE POPOVICH, 68, a music industry veteran who helped launch the career of Meat Loaf, then had to sue to recover more than $12 million in royalties and damages due him from 14 million U.S. sales of Bat Out of Hell, died yesterday from an apparent heart attack in his apartment in Murfreesboro, TN. For many years, Popovich was with Columbia, then Epic Records, working closely with Ron Alexenburg, first as a promotion executive, then in A&R, playing a major role in the careers of the Jacksons, Boston, Cheap Trick, Ted Nugent and perennial Grammy-winning polka star Frank Yankovic, among many others. In 1977, he founded Cleveland International Records, putting out records by Ronnie Spector, Brave Combo and Ian Hunter. In 1986, he became SVP at PolyGram Nashville, returning as President of Cleveland International in 1995. Most recently, he had been working with bands in a management and production capacity. His surviving family members  include son Steve Popovich Jr., daughter Pamela and sister Barb Lemmo. Popovich will be buried in Western Reserve Memorial Gardens in Chesterland, OH. (6/9a)

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