Sunday, September 13, 2009

Canadian producer Pierre Cossette, father of Grammy Awards, dies at 85

Google/AP News
Pierre Cossette, the Canadian father of the modern Grammy Awards show, has died at a Montreal hospital. He was 85.

His death was announced in Santa Monica, Calif., late Friday by the Recording Academy. Academy president and CEO Neil Portnow paid glowing tribute to Cossette.

"It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our dear friend and father of the Grammy Awards, Pierre Cossette," he said.

The Valleyfield, Que., native was an accomplished television and theatre producer who also managed some of American pop music's most influential early bands.

But he's best known as the visionary who guided the Grammy Awards from its early days as a stuffy, unsuccessful production to the widescreen industry institution it's become.

In its early years, the Grammy show was an hour-long compilation of recorded performances, and it was not a commercial success.

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