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Tommy Mottola

Tommy MottolaAKA Thomas Daniel Mottola, Jr.

Born: 14-Jul-1949
Birthplace: Bronx, NY

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Former head of Sony Music

Born into a music-oriented, middle class Italian family, Tommy Mottola developed a particular skill on the trumpet as a child -- a talent that eventually earned him a scholarship for a private education. His academic dedication proved far less remarkable, however, and his exasperated parents later delivered their son into the tender care of military school. Mottola enjoyed the environment so much that he frequently ran away, just to experience the thrill of being sent back as many times as he could. After convincing his family that he'd keep out of trouble if they let him return home, he returned home and got into trouble constantly.

Mottola's first few attempts at establishing a career were on the performing side of the entertainment industry. A handful of small parts in unknown films quickly prompted a switch from acting to singing, and a handful of unknown singles for Epic Records almost as quickly prompted a switch from the spotlight to the dark underbelly of the business world -- a move aided to some extent by his marriage to the daughter of ABC Records founder Sam Clark, to which end he made a conversion from Catholicism to Judaism. While working for a major publishing company, he discovered the singing duo Hall and Oates, whereupon he initiated a highly successful new career fleecing musicians: Hall and Oates quickly became one of the leading acts of the 1970s, and just as quickly amassed a sizable debt, a significant share of their money having ended up in the pockets of their helpful new manager.

In 1975 Mottola founded Don Tommy Enterprises, which later (and with equal modesty) would be re-named Champion Entertainment. Through this company he expanded his operations to 'help' other major performers of the time such as Carly Simon and John Cougar Mellencamp (at that time just "Cougar"). A production arrangement between Champion and CBS Records was made in 1977 -- unbeknownst to RCA Records, the label of many of his artists, allowing Mottola a good opportunity to excercise his back-pedaling skills. By 1987 he had insinuated himself as president of the CBS affiliate Columbia Records, and the following year CBS Music was bought out by Sony, resulting in Mottola's advancement to the head of the company's U.S. operations. From his new perch, he became the dark shadow looming over everyone from Michael Jackson to Bob Dylan.

With all this money and power, what possibly could be lacking in a ambitious executive's life? Well, love of course (as if you didn't know) -- and love would arrive in 1988, when Mottola intercepted a demo cassette by five-octave vocal gymnast Mariah Carey. The industry mogul subsequently tracked Carey down and arranged a lucrative deal with Columbia, resulting in the singer's multi-platinum 1991 debut release. Never one to pass up an opportunity for advancement, Mottola divored his old, boring wife and hitched himself to his sexy, young superstar in a $5 million ceremony. However -- as most of you have no doubt discovered for yourselves -- sexy, young superstars are not all they're cracked up to be, and the somewhat unstable Carey proved to be a less-than enjoyable playmate. A separation was announced in 1997, followed by divorce in 1998.

Despite the turmoil in his personal life, Mottola's professional fortunes were constantly escalating: by the late 90s he had advanced to President and Chief Operating Officer of Sony, and by the year of his second divorce he was Chairman and CEO. With his mighty hand at the helm, Sony went on to exploit the talents of many of the leading names of the 90s and 00s: Jessica Simpson, Dixie Chicks and Destiny's Child being just a tiny sample. A marriage to a second sexy, young superstar (this time Mexican singer Thalia) took place in 2000.

In the new millennium, however, the gold began to tarnish a little. 2002 witnessed a severe setback for the executive, with pop superstar Michael Jackson publically revealing Mottola's true identity as The Devil. Accusations of racism were also levied, but would anyone really expect The Devil to be an egalitarian? Hardly. The real difficulty would emerge the following year, when the countless slings of Internet file-sharers began to raise welts on the forehead of Sony's Goliath; Mottola resigned from Sony to launch his own Casablanca Records label that same year. He also increased his public visibility serving as a judge for the Born to Diva talent search series.

Father: Thomas Mottola, Sr.
Wife: Lisa Clark (Jewish, m. 1971, div. 1992, Mottola converted to Judaism to marry her)
Wife: Mariah Carey (m. 5-Jun-1993, div. 30-May-1997)
Girlfriend: Jennifer Lopez
Wife: Thalia (m. 2-Dec-2000)

    University: Hofstra University (dropped out)

    Sony 1990-2003
    Bush-Cheney '04
    Ran Away From Home
    Converted to Judaism formerly Catholic
    Issued Concealed Carry Permit New York City
    Wedding: Howard Stern and Beth Ostrosky (2008)
    Italian Ancestry

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