Longtime WME music agent and board member Peter Grosslight died today at age 68 after losing his battle with pancreatic cancer. He passed at home in Bel Air this morning surrounded by his family. Having served at the agency for over two decades, Grosslight was most recently global head of music at the talent agency. His clients included Joan Baez, Charlotte Church, the Eagles, Whitney Houston, Journey, Luis Miguel, Tom Petty, Brian Setzer, and Carly Simon, to name a few. He specialized in contemporary music and international booking and played a significant role in building The William Morris Agency’s international presence pre-merger.
“Peter was a true gentleman, whose generosity and unique sense of humor will be deeply missed,” said WME’s co-heads Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell in a joint statement. “He was a pioneer in our industry and represented some of the greatest performers of our time. In addition to being a tremendous agent, he served as a valuable mentor to many of us. It was a privilege to work with him. “
Grosslight was well-known in the music world. He oversaw the American rights for such overseas specials as the Prince’s Trust Concerts and the Mandela birthday show. Grosslight was also involved in the agency’s business ventures, leading the investment in Lollapalooza and helping to expand the festival into other countries.
He also founded Regency Artists in 1974, which later became Triad Artists, and joined the William Morris Agency when Triad was acquired in 1992. According to WME, during his tenure at Triad, Grosslight was involved in putting together contemporary music programs for television. He was a driving force behind numerous broadcast network specials, including those starring Tina Turner, Roy Orbison, Steve Winwood, and Bruce Willis.
Even after being diagnosed with cancer, Grosslight organized A Night At The Forum, a charity event that raised nearly $13 million benefiting The Lustgarten Foundation. The event was held in January and featured performances by clients the Eagles, Joan Baez, JD & The Straight Shot.
Grosslight was also an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed golfing, fishing and shooting. A true California native, he was born and raised in Los Angeles, attended UC Berkeley, and earned a law degree from UCLA. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and their two children, Samantha and Charlie.
In lieu of flowers, his family has asked that those interested in contributing make a donation in his memory to The Lustgarten Foundation.