Thursday, August 25, 2011


Frank Michael DiLeo (October 23, 1947 - August 24, 2011)

"CBS screamed `You're crazy. This will kill Billie Jean,'"
Jackson recalled. "But Frank told them not to worry,
that both songs would be No. 1 and both would be in the
Top 10 at the same time. They were."


Music industry executive Frank Dileo, who managed
Michael Jackson's career in the 1980s and returned as
his manager in the superstar's final days, died Wednesday.
He was 63.

Publicist Karen Sundell said Dileo died in the morning.
The cause of death was not immediately available,
but he had recently experienced complications
following heart surgery.

The short, portly Dileo was a colorful figure in the
entertainment industry and had movie roles as an actor,
notably portraying a gangster in Martin Scorsese's

A native of Pittsburgh, Dileo began his career in
the music industry working as a promoter for CBS
subsidiary Epic Records. He signed so many stars
that he was credited with catapulting the small
company to the No. 2 label in the country.

Jackson was at CBS Records at the time and together
they worked on the phenomenally successful "Thriller"
album.In his book "Moonwalk," Jackson credited Dileo
as one of the people "responsible for turning my dream
for `Thriller' into a reality."

Jackson wrote that Dileo's "brilliant understanding
of the recording industry proved invaluable" and
described how Dileo decided to release "Beat It"
as a single while "Billie Jean" was still the No. 1
song in the country.

"CBS screamed `You're crazy. This will kill Billie Jean,'
" Jackson recalled. "But Frank told them not to worry,
that both songs would be No. 1 and both would be in the
Top 10 at the same time. They were."

In 1984, with "Thriller" soaring, Jackson recruited
Dileo toleave Epic and manage his career. Dileo accepted
and presided over one of the most productive periods
for Jackson.

He executive-produced the full-length Jackson movie,
"Moonwalker." He also wrote, produced and negotiated
a series of lucrative Pepsi commercials for Jackson.

And he managed two of Jackson's concert tours --
the Victory Tour with other members of the Jackson
family and the Bad World Tour, Jackson's first solo
excursion which became the largest grossing concert
tour of all time.

After five years together, Dileo and Jackson abruptly
ended their business relationship without explanation.
He founded Dileo Entertainment Group in Nashville, Tenn.,
a company focused on launching the careers of young

In 2005, when Jackson stood trial on child molestation
charges, Dileo returned to his side. He later described
their emotional reunion. After Jackson's acquittal, they
remained in touch and in the summer of 2009, as Jackson
prepared to launch his This is It tour, the singer
asked Dileo to manage him again.

They were working together when Jackson died on June 25, 2009


But starting tomorrow, the show must go on —
especially since that's what he would have wanted. ...

"Our dear friend Frank Dileo will be greatly missed"

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