Music industry exec Bob Mercer dies

Signed the Sex Pistols in 1970s; oversaw "Now" compilations

Music industry executive Bob Mercer, who signed the Sex Pistols while at EMI Music in the 1970s, has died. He was 65.

His wife Margie says Mercer died of lung cancer on May 5 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

He later became chief executive of the "Now That's What I Call Music!" album compilation venture that sold 77 million albums in the United States since its 1998 debut. The compilation series originated in Britain 15 years earlier.

"Now That's What I Call Music!" was launched in the United States as a joint venture between EMI and Polygram. It is now a joint venture between EMI Music, Sony Music and Universal Music Group.
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