April 26, 2014 8:00am PT by THR Staff
David Bowie Toasts Columbia Records' Rob Stringer: 'You're a Star'
Columbia Records chairman Rob Stringer was among the music industry players to be recognized at the Music Week Awards on April 24. His tribute came by way of an unexpected post on David Bowie’s Facebook page, which was also read aloud at the event hosted by the 50-year-old British trade magazine and held at the Brewery in London.
Recalling his first meeting at Sony Music’s New York City headquarters, Bowie wrote of Stringer opening the door to his office wearing a Daft Punk robot helmet. Having signed the influential French DJ duo was impressive enough, but, noted fellow Brit Bowie, the enthusiastic welcome -- “sadly missing in the recording industry” -- was undeniable. Added Bowie of Stringer: He’s “the man who with his own hands pulled my album to number one throughout the world.”
Other music business figures, venues and companies awarded at the annual event included the Black Heart in Camden, which won for best live music venue; Atlantic Records, whose promotion department and PR campaign for Rudimental took top honors; Bella Union, which won best independent label; and Domino Records (home to Arctic Monkeys, Animal Collective and Blood Orange), which received the A&R Award.
Sony also took home Music Week’s trophy Strat for its sales team and for publishing mega-unit Sony/ATV.
Read Bowie&’s homage to Stringer in its entirety below:
When I first knocked on the door of his office at Sony, New York, you can imagine my surprise when a member of Daft Punk opened it. In silence he brought me in and indicated that I should take a seat on the comfy armchair to the right of the chairman’s desk, around which he moved and took his place in the chairman’s chair.
He removed the shiny helmet.
It was Rob.
‘This,’ he said ‘is how far I will go for my artists.’ I found out that during the course of that day Rob had not only guested as an executive third Daft Punk member at a lunchtime gig at a club in Manhattan, but had also led a Dylanology symposium at Barneys clothing store, sung falsetto on a new London Grammar track and choreographed a touching interpretive dance number to One Direction’s ‘They Don't Know About Us’ for the cast of Glee.
Knowing him for the man he is, it came as no surprise that he had won tonight’s most prestigious award, The Strat.
If you become the object of his enthusiasm an artist will find a genuine long-term support that is sadly missing in the recording industry.
When he asked me if I minded if he took a few Saturdays off from his duties as percussionist on my new album this year in order to catch the Luton Town football club fixtures, how could I refuse? It’s the least I could offer to the man who with his own hands pulled my album to number one throughout the world.
Congrats for The Strat, Rob. You’re a star.