Irving Azoff (/ˈeɪzɑːf/; born December 12, 1947) is an American entertainment executive and personal manager, representing recording artists such as Harry Styles, Christina Aguilera, Journey, Eagles, Dan Fogelberg, Joe Walsh, Van Halen, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Steely Dan, Maroon 5, No Doubt, Gwen Stefani, Triumph, Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, Jon Bon Jovi, Bon Jovi, and entertainer Chelsea Handler.
Since September 2013, he has been chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment, a venture with The Madison Square Garden Company. Prior to this he served as chairman and CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment and was executive chairman of Live Nation Entertainment and CEO of Front Line Management. He is also on the board of Clear Channel Communications, Starz Inc., and IMG.
Raised in a Jewish family in Danville, Illinois, Azoff began promoting and booking bands while a student at Danville High School and then in college at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He moved to Los Angeles in 1970 with his first client, Dan Fogelberg. He worked for Geffen-Roberts Management and there began working with the Eagles, a relationship that has lasted more than forty years. During his career he has worked as an agent, personal manager, concert promoter, movie producer, independent record label owner, merchandiser, music publisher, and CEO of a record company.
According to Thomas R. King's book The Operator (2001), David Geffen manipulated Azoff into leaving MCA and going to Warner Music Group, where Azoff started Giant Records. King writes that Geffen wanted Azoff out at MCA to clear the way for MCA to buy Geffen Records. Geffen convinced Mo Ostin at Warner Music to offer Irving Azoff a "dream" label deal. Giant Records operated for much of the 1990s until Azoff decided to return to concentrating on artist management.
Azoff co-produced the movies Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Urban Cowboy, Jack Frost (1998 film), Above The Rim, and The Inkwell, and was executive producer of The Hurricane. He has been named "Manager of the Year" by two touring industry trade publications. In 2012, Azoff appeared in Artifact, a documentary film about the modern music business focused on the legal battle between Thirty Seconds to Mars and record label EMI. In 2015, he played a thinly veiled version of himself in the Documentary Now! parody of History of the Eagles.
In October 2008, ticketing and marketing company Ticketmaster announced they would acquire the management company Front Line Management Group, Inc. As part of the deal, Azoff, who was founder and chief executive officer of Front Line, became chief executive officer of Ticketmaster and was named chairman of Live Nation in February 2011.
In September 2013, Azoff unveiled Azoff MSG Entertainment, a venture with The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG). In addition to his role as chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment, Azoff would serve as a consultant to MSG in connection with the management of its live event venues, including the Forum in Inglewood, CA and other MSG-managed buildings.