Nicknamed the "poison dwarf," a comment on both his size and demeanor, former artist manager and label head Irving Azoff rose to the top of the music industry in the '80s, becoming head of MCA records and rescuing the company from bankruptcy in the process. A one time protege of David Geffen, Azoff began his career by setting up Front Line Management in the mid '70s. Drawn to Azoff because he had the reputation of being a tyrant when dealing with record companies, Front Line eventually became the most powerful management firm in rock history counting Steely Dan, Boz Skaggs, Stevie Nicks, Heart, Jackson Browne and the Eagles (bequeathed to Azoff by Geffen) as among its clients. In 1983 Azoff followed Geffen's lead by becoming head of a major label, in this case the floundering MCA label. Within a year the crafty exec had turned the label into a money maker through deals such as the acquisition of the distribution rights for Motown and the signing of multi-platinum teen star Tiffany. Azoff resigned from MCA in 1989 to form his own label, Giant, which had early success with Color Me Bad and the New Jack City soundtrack. In 1994 Azoff orchestrated the wildly successful Eagles reunion album and subsequent tour, proving he still has the instincts to keep him on top.
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