|Born||Thomas Daniel Mottola, Jr.
July 14 1949
The Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Lisa Clark (m. 1971–1990)
Mariah Carey (m. 1993–1998)
Thalía (m. 2000–present)
Thomas Daniel "Tommy" Mottola (born July 14, 1949) is an American music executive, co-owner of Casablanca Records in a joint venture with the Universal Music Group. He headed Sony Music Entertainment, parent of the Columbia label, for nearly 15 years.
Tommy Mottola entered in the music scene in the mid 60s as a recording artist for CBS Records under the name "T.D. Valentine". After his attempt to become a recording star himself failed, Mottola started working for publishing powerhouse Chappell Publishing and started his own management company, Champion Entertainment Organization. His role at Chappell put him in touch with many artists, and soon he signed his first successful management clients, Hall & Oates.
Mottola helped Hall and Oates land a record deal and several high-profile endorsements. He was also recognized for successfully using new mediums for promotion, like music videos and corporate sponsorship for music tours.
Apart from Hall and Oates, Mottola is known as a mentor and former talent manager. His most famous protégés were Carly Simon, John Mellencamp, Diana Ross, and Taylor Dayne in the 1980s, Mariah Carey in the 1990s, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, Anastacia and Jennifer Lopez in the early 2000s. He is married to Mexican telenovela actress and singer Thalía.
Mottola was hired by Sony Music (then known as CBS Records) by its controversial President Walter Yetnikoff to run its U.S. operations. In 1990, he replaced Yentlkoff as Chairman CEO of the newly named Sony Music. During his tenure, he transformed Sony into one of the most successful global music companies, expanding its businesses into over 60 countries, while creating one of the strongest management teams in the industry. He revitalized Sony Music's publishing division by making such acquisitions as the Beatles catalogue and enabled Sony to become the first major music company to make available commercial digital downloads. Additionally, Mottola was the architect for some of Sony's biggest global brands such as Celine Dion and Mariah Carey. During his 15 year tenure, Mottola built Sony up from a company with revenues of $800 million a year to one with over $6 billion of annual revenue by the year 2000.
He is widely well known for signing, developing, and nurturing the careers of Celine Dion, Destiny's Child, Shakira, Gloria Estefan, the Dixie Chicks, Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, the older recordings of Andy Williams, among others. He also is credited with creating the Latin Explosion in popular music by championing such Sony artists as Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and Ricky Martin. He also worked with Michael Jackson from the time he began recording his "Dangerous" (1991) album. Jackson would later state that his relationship with Mottola dissolved based on corruption in Mottola's working practices. "The recording companies really, really do conspire against the artists", Jackson said.
In June 2010, he decided to sell his ranch in Colorado, for $27.5 million, as he was not spending time in it anymore and wanted to be closer to his family.
Tommy Mottola was the head of Sony Music Entertainment until January 2003. Since leaving his post as chief of Sony Music, Mottola has been building a new entertainment company, complete with recorded music, television production, theater, and fashion, alongside a branding and management company launching. He was instrumental in re-launching the various careers of such artists as Grammy winner and Latin pop star Marc Anthony, and teen sensation Lindsay Lohan. Later signings included Cassie Ventura in 2006, and Mika who in 2007 had a #1 single in the UK.
A collaboration with former Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein has them teamed on two current projects for live theater, namely producers of Pink Floyd's The Wall. Mottola's TV production arm is currently producing and developing many shows for cable and network television.
Mottola bought out the rights to Casablanca Records (a then-diminished imprint of Polygram), and resurrected it, signing actress Lindsay Lohan, and Mika.
Mottola has been married three times. He was married to his first wife Lisa Clark from 1971 to 1990; they had a son and a daughter. On June 5, 1993 Mottola married his second wife (Mariah Carey) in an infamous Princes Diana-inspired wedding. The couple divorced on March 5, 1998. He went on to date other stars before dating Mexican telenovela star and recording artist Thalía. They were married on December 2, 2000 at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. They have two children: a daughter and a son.
Known also for his many philanthropic activities, Mottola has served on the Board of Directors of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Police Athletic League of New York City, T.J. Martell Foundation for Cancer, Leukemia and AIDS Research, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation and Museum, and the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation.
The character of Gene Balboa in the Channel 101 Internet TV Series Yacht Rock is loosely based on Mottola, in particular his time as manager of Hall and Oates.
Mottola is the protagonist of the first verse of the 1976 song "Cherchez La Femme" by Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band.
The Australian band Regurgitator include the song I Love Tommy Mottola on their 1999 album ...art.
Mentioned in the Lil Wayne song Spitter off the mixtape Dedication 2 "I got that Tommy Mottola..."
Mentioned in the opening chorus of Ghostface Killah's song Cherchez LaGhost off of the Supreme Clientele album, released in 2000.
Mentioned by Wyclef Jean in the Fugees song "How Many Mics" from their 1996 Grammy award winning album The Score, "...One day I have a label and make deals with Tommy Mottola."
Mentioned in "No Show" Season 4, Episode 2 of the series The Sopranos. Tony says in sarcasm to his sister, Janice, "That Tommy Mottola, he's one slow motherfucker. What's it been, about a year now?" He intends to say that she does not actually have any connection to a music executive of Mr. Mottola's caliber.
Mentioned in the TV series Smash (2012), Season 1 Episode 6: "Chemistry". Ensemble dancer Jessica explains to Karen who Bobby Raskin was: "He's big. He's like... umm... Tommy Mottola. And don't say 'Who's Tommy Mottola?'"
Mentioned by 50 Cent in the song "Fuck You" from his 2002 album Guess Who's Back?, "...Tommy Mottola ain't shootin' out in the 'hood with me."
Mentioned by Will Smith in the song "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" (So So Def Remix): "Tommy Motolla and Spielberg tear me checks".
Mentioned by Lana Del Rey in the song Live or Die
Mentioned by Eminem during a promotional freestyle for Relapse on BET's Rap City in 2009: "I'm Tommy Mottola, Mariah, don't stop me I'm on a roll". Eminem references Tommy's relationship with R&B singer Mariah Carey, as he did with her, in an attempt to diss her.
Mentioned by Michael Jackson during a controversial speech in London, Jackson Saying "Tommy Motolla is a Devil".
- Sony picks NBC president to replace Tommy Mottola, USA Today, January 10, 2003. URL accessed on May 25, 2010.
- "Sony Chairman Tommy Mottola Steps Down."mtv.com
- Jennifer Vineyard (8 July 2002). Michael Jackson Shocks Al Sharpton By Calling Tommy Mottola A Racist. VH1. Retrieved on 10 August 2011.
- "Lohan to testify in mother's case." contactmusic
- ''It's a Girl for Singer Thalía and Tommy Mottola''. People (October 8, 2007). Retrieved on March 23, 2011.
- Yacht Rock. "Yacht Rock". Retrieved on March 23, 2011.
- Mottola, Tommy with Cal Fussman, Hitmaker: The Man and His Music (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2013).
- Tosches, Nick., Dangerous Dances: The Authorized Biography (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984).