Stephen Ferrera, Columbia Records A&R Executive, Dies

Stephen Ferrera headshot P

A key player in bringing the "American Idol" franchise to RCA, Ferrera's credits included multi-platinum successes Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Leona Lewis.

Stephen Ferrera, senior vice president of A&R at Columbia Records, died on Monday, Jan. 27, in New York. The cause of death was lung cancer, according to a statement by the Sony Music label.

A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School, where he studied percussion, his career as a record executive was preceded by years spent as an accomplished musician, songwriter and producer.

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Ferrera's work in A&R began at Chrysalis Group UK's The Echo Label. He then went on to hold senior A&R positions at RCA Music Group, where he was a key player in bringing in the American Idol franchise, Island Def Jam, and Columbia, where he spent the last years of his career.

Among his credits are multi-platinum successes by Leona Lewis, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Ne-YoRod Stewart and Bon Jovi.

"Steve fully embraced life and loved spending time with his family, enjoyed good food and all things Italian, and truly respected and appreciated the people he worked with," read Columbia's statement. "He will be fondly remembered by all who knew him and had the opportunity to make music with him."

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Ferrera is survived by his wife, Camilla, his 14-year-old daughter, Grace, and his 10-year-old son, Guy.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Lung Cancer Research Department at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 300 E. 66th St., New York, NY 10065 or at

A memorial service will be held on Monday, Feb. 3, at 4:00 p.m. at the Riverside Memorial Chapel in New York City.