13 July 2020

Ed Sheeran's label boss backs down

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Ben Cook, who gave Ed Sheeran his first record deal, has shocked the music industry by stepping down as president of Atlantic Records.

It comes after the executive admitted causing offence by dressing up as a member of Run DMC at a birthday party.

"While my intention was to honour a musical hero, I recognise my appearance was offensive and I made a terrible mistake," he said in a statement.

As well as Sheeran, Cook worked with Jess Glynne and Anne-Marie at Atlantic.

Last year, he helped bring Stormzy to the label, entering a joint venture with the star's own Merky Records, following the success of his independently-released album Gang Signs and Prayer.

Cook announced he was stepping down after seven years "with great sadness", as stories about his Run DMC costume circulated in the industry.

"Seven years ago, at a birthday party where guests were asked to come dressed as their favourite musical icon, I came as a member of Run DMC," he said in a statement.

2019.10.16 / 17:38
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