Madonna pays tribute to Seymour Stein, record executive who discovered her, who has died aged 80

The founder of Sire Records discovered and signed Madonna - the pop superstar said Stein "changed and shaped" her world.

Madonna has paid tribute to Seymour Stein, the record executive who signed her to her first record deal, who has died aged 80. 

Stein was the co-founder of Sire Records and was the first executive to believe in Madonna's vision - signing her to Sire in 1983 for her debut single Everybody and her first, self-titled album. 

The rest, as they say, was pop history.

On Instagram, Madonna paid tribute to the man who "changed and shaped" her world, recounting the story of when she first met Stein, as he was recovering from a heart ailment in the hospital, where she turned up with a boombox and played him Everybody. He signed her to Sire on the spot.

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"This moment changed the course of my life forever," Madonna wrote, "and was the beginning of my journey as a musical artist. Not only did Seymour hear me but he saw me and my potential! For this I will be eternally grateful!"

She continued: "I am weeping as I write this down. Words cannot describe how I felt at this moment after years of grinding and being broke and getting every door slammed in my face.

"Anyone who knew Seymour knew about his passion for music and his impeccable taste. He had an ear like no other! He was intense; wickedly funny, a little bit funny and deeply intuitive. 

"Dearest Seymour, you will never be forgotten!! Thank You! Thank you! Thank you!"

While Everybody didn't get an official release in UK (instead, Holiday was Madonna's debut single here, peaking at Number 6), it was issued in the US. It didn't chart on the main Billboard Hot 100, but was a hit on the club circuit, and lead to Madonna's true commericisl breakthrough with the likes of Burning Up, Holiday and Lucky Star. 

The Queen of Pop is currently in the midst of preparing for her coming Celebration Tour - her first ever show where she'll play her greatest hits throughout her four decade career. The tour will only have one stop in the UK - the O2 Arena in London, where Madonna will play six sold out shows.

And it doesn't stop there. Seemingly not content with just celebrating her pop legacy, Madonna has been in the studio with Max Martin recording new material, which should make everyone excited. 

Article Image: SIPA/Shutterstock

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Smith Smyth


She never forgets where she came from. I love that about her. RIP Seymour. Thanks for bringing us the most amazing female popstar of all time.