ABOUT MICHAEL RAPINO
Michael Rapino is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Live Nation Entertainment, a sitting member on the SiriusXM board of directors, and a 30-year veteran of the live music, marketing and promotions industry. During his tenure with Live Nation, Rapino has become known as the innovative leader of the most powerful live entertainment company in the world.
“See Michael at a show and it’s clear what drives him. You think every gig is his first.” – Bono
As touring has become the majority of an artist’s income, Rapino has led the concert promoter to record-setting earnings. Under his leadership, Live Nation serves more than 93 million fans around the world; that is more than the NFL, NHL, and NBA combined. A native of the small town Thunder Bay, Ontario, Rapino continues to think “big business” while keeping that small town mentality at heart.
Michael Rapino started his career in live music the old fashioned way—by booking gigs. After graduating from Lakehead University in 1989, Rapino began a career in sales for Labatt’s Breweries of Canada. Eager to learn marketing and promotions from the best, Rapino worked hard over his ten years with Labatt’s— ultimately becoming the Senior Executive of Marketing and Entertainment.
“At a very young age in Canada, I had mapped out that my mission and passion in life was live events. That passion guided my career path and all the choices I made along the way.”
In 1990, Rapino founded Core Audience Entertainment, a concert promotion company. Within one year of founding the company, Core Audience Entertainment was acquired by Clear Channel Communications. Rapino held several roles during his time at Clear Channel, including serving as head of its International and European music divisions. In 2005, Clear Channel announced the spin-off of its entertainment business, Live Nation. Michael Rapino was named CEO and President of Live Nation. With his passion for music and innovative approach, Rapino sought to return to a more traditional way of connecting artists and fans and grow a global live entertainment company.
When Michael Rapino stepped into the role of CEO and President of Live Nation in 2005, his primary strategy was to develop and nurture partnerships. The success of these partnerships has led to owning and partnering with over 100 festivals, leading venue operation with over 220 clubs, theaters and amphitheaters globally, and developing branding and sponsorships with over 1,000 partners. Rapino’s leadership has helped transform Live Nation into the top live entertainment brand in the world, with operations in 40+ countries.
“It’s what I love doing, from [working with legendary Canadian promoter] Michael Cohl originally [to now], this is what I wanted to do in life – putting artists on stage and helping them achieve their mission is what we do.”
Rapino’s innovative thinking led to the expansion of Live Nation to include artist recording and management. Live Nation, now the largest management company in the world, represents over 500 artists. Between 2007 and 2016, Michael Rapino developed and announced deals with renowned artists such as U2, Jay-Z, Madonna, Taylor Swift, and Lady Gaga. Live Nation is known for producing sold-out shows, from Bruce Springsten to Beyonce. In 2010, Michael Rapino orchestrated the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster to create what’s now known as Live Nation Entertainment. Rapino’s vision for the company and knowledge of the global promoter business led him to decentralize the industry. This move fostered the success of regional and local promoters, allowing for a more personalized and successful fan and artist experience across the globe. Live Nation Entertainment is unparalleled; under the leadership of Michael Rapino, Live Nation has dominated the industry for over a decade.
In 2016, Rapino helped launch Live Nation Productions, a film and television company dedicated to telling music-driven stories to audiences worldwide. With Rapino as Executive Producer, the production company’s first foray into film was the Justin Timberlake documentary, Justin Timberlake + Tennesse Kids. Rapino’s established relationships with the world’s top artists cultivated the opportunity to successfully navigate a parallel industry with the artists he was already collaborating with.
Rapino went on to executive produce many more successful documentaries including Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story, Gaga: Five Foot Two, and Believer. Michael Rapino and Live Nation Productions also played a large role in the success of the Oscar-nominated film A Star is Born. The scripted film, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, was a commercial success, grossing over $434 million worldwide and receiving critical acclaim including eight Academy Award nominations.
In 2018, Live Nation Productions released their second scripted film, The After Party, on Netflix. With Michael Rapino at the helm, the studio only continues to grow, producing original scripted and non-scripted content, always dedicated to telling compelling music-centric stories.
Michael Rapino is also widely recognized for contributing to philanthropic initiatives that are close to his heart. He is an avid supporter of Live Nation’s Taking Care of Our Own initiative, which provides financial support and resources to employees facing personal struggles. He and his wife, Jolene Blalock, also founded The Rapino Foundation, an international development and relief organization with a focus on the world’s most vulnerable populations, such as women and children in under-resourced areas of the world.
“I am so grateful for Michael Rapino’s support and commitment to our cause. No one is more deserving of the first Diamond Honors Award than him.” – Rhianna
In 2015, Rapino received the Inaugural Diamond Honors Award, an award given to an individual who demonstrates “true leadership in the fields of philanthropy and entertainment.” Rapino was chosen as the award’s recipient because of his commitment to supporting a number of Live Nation artists’ personal philanthropic efforts. These efforts included From One Hand To Another, The Barefoot Foundation, The Shawn Carter Foundation, and Rhianna’s Clara Lionel Foundation.
In addition to the Diamond Honors Award, Rapino has also received recognition for his unwavering leadership and business acumen from the industry’s leading publications and organizations. In 2018, he was named No. 1 on the Billboard Power 100 and listed on the Los Angeles Business Journal’s LA 500.
“Those two hours when you’re watching the production backstage or watching the audience come to life [are magic].”
In 2017, Rapino was a Forbes Global Game Changer and made the Variety500 list of the top business leaders in the entertainment industry. For Rapino, it’s still all about the live experience.