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BEST WISHES TO THE LEADER OF THE PACK

It’s been about 10 days since UMG boss Sir Lucian Grainge was diagnosed with COVID-19 and moved to the ICU at UCLA Medical Center. This was just as the country was beginning to go into lockdown, as people hunkered down and sheltered from the oncoming storm of this global pandemic.

The entire business was rocked into reality by Lucian’s early diagnosis, which helped crystallize the need to practice social distancing—and observe other recommended health protocols—while working from home if possible.

It often seems that the man isn’t just the leader of his company, but the global leader of the pack in the music biz—he has been instrumental in blazing the trail for the recovery of our industry.

Everyone who knows Lucian is naturally concerned. But the people who only know him from his periodic companywide letters or press statements are just as eager to know how he’s doing. During nearly every conversation we’ve had over the last 10 days, we’ve been asked about his condition: Is he getting better? It’s truly a rare phenomenon to see so many people so concerned about the recovery of someone they don’t know—not to mention the well-being of his family.

Lucian is known as a strong and extremely competitive leader, an aggressive dealmaker who sees opportunity in complex ways and who has been the undisputed leader of the movement to restore value to the beleaguered music sector during the new millennium. His friends and those who work closely with him, however, know that under that tough, highly shrewd exterior is a strongly compassionate person—a good friend, a great-hearted family man and a true mensch. Word is he was doing better yesterday (3/24), as the company he built into the most dominant music rights holder of the modern era marches forward—and his team holds its collective breath out of concern for their unequivocal leader.

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