The industry mourns the passing of a music industry executive. justin fountain
Justin Fontaine, RIP
ALL ACCESS is very saddened to announce the premature death of JUSTIN FONTAINE (3/30). FONTAINE has left HOLLYWOOD RECORDS (NET NEWS 11/28/12) after a highly successful 13-year run as that label’s SVP/Promotion.
JUSTIN, like many of us, started his career by accident. In 1980 a young man walked into a DETROIT record store and asked if they had “I Got You” by SPILLED ENZ. They were so impressed by his musical curiosity that they gave him work on the spot. It was the start of a record-breaking career that spanned decades.
Over the years, he would become the KANSAS CITY local for CAPITOL, a GEFFEN local in DETROIT, a CHICAGO local, and many more stops before becoming VP/Capitol Promotion, and eventually SVP for Hollywood Records.
JUSTIN has never met a stranger, personally or professionally. His friends in the industry, whether on radio or on records, became a family he would hold firmly in his heart for the rest of his life. After his retirement, he continued to pursue his dreams, riding motorcycles around the country and in EUROPE.
He was an accomplished drummer (and a big fan of NEIL PEART, who was also a motorcyclist and drummer) building his dream home in MONTANA and improving his golf game.
Her legacy includes launching the musical careers of DEMI LOAVATO, THE JONAS BROTHERS, SELENA GOMEZ and MILEY CYRUS, to name a few. All at a time when these artists were considered “work records”.
KELLY EDWARD FONTAINE said: “JUSTIN was my husband for 11 years and the love of my life for 14 years. We pursued his dreams throughout his retirement and there was nothing better than seeing him truly happy and thriving. JUSTIN had the prettiest smile, the dumbest sense of humor, a sensitive heart and a passion for living life to the fullest. I am so grateful for the years we spent together, and he will be missed for the rest of my days.
HOLLYWOOD RECORDS VP/Promotion TONY SMITH fondly recalled JUSTIN, “JUSTIN and I became fast friends in DETROIT in the early 80’s when we both worked for CAPITOL RECORDS. I had the chance to work with him later at MERCURY RECORDS then HOLLYWOOD RECORDS where he hired me. What I remember most about JUSTIN is his tenacity in everything he did and the best times we had were always on the golf course.
“My family loved JUSTIN and especially my sons who got to really know him (the hockey conversation was common with RED WINGS vs. DEVILS). He was a very generous and caring person and had a quick wit. I will miss him greatly and will always remember the good times we had together.
Veteran radio programmer MARK TODD told ALL ACCESS: “I considered JUSTIN one of my best friends. But that was no anomaly among those of us he interacted with on the radio. Interestingly, while he kept in touch with his record label peers, many of his “post-retirement friends” were actually from radio. I think that says a lot about the person and how he performed personally and professionally.
Former DISNEY/HOLLYWOOD RECORDS CEO BOB CAVALLO said, “JUSTIN has been a significant contributor to DISNEY MUSIC GROUP‘s great turnaround. He developed a very effective promotional team at a very difficult time in the market. I liked working with him. We have become great friends.
WBBM (B96) PD & AUDACY / CHICAGO VP / Programming TODD CAVANAH told ALL ACCESS: “Like many of us who knew JUSTIN, we were introduced by music, whether on radio or on record. JUSTIN and I became great friends over the years as he stayed with me at my vacation home on FLATHEAD LAKE in MONTANA. A few years later, he built his retirement home there and we became neighbors.
JUSTIN was happiest golfing, boating, riding jet skis, motorcycle trips, and driving his CORVETTE around the lake. This is the JUSTIN I will always remember. It is a very sad day for all of us. I miss you buddy.
P1 MEDIA GROUP Partner/Co-Founder KEN BENSON recalls: “I met JUSTIN when I became Program Director of WRQN in 1990. He was then the local representative for GEFFEN DETROIT. I was immediately impressed by his passion for music, his integrity and his sensible style. Our business relationship quickly grew into a friendship that lasted over 30 years.
BEASELY/DETROIT Director/Programming SCOTT JAMESON noted: “JUSTIN was a very dear friend. We met in 1986 when I was in KANSAS CITY. We both shared our love of golf and often played together. In 1997 he witnessed my wedding and later he often visited us and spent time with our family. My young son LEO called him ‘UNCLE JUSTIN.’ Last CHRISTMAS we vacationed at SCOTTSDALE and had planned to get together, but he was traveling when we were there. I am saddened beyond words.”
No word yet on services.
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