Feargal Sharkey - CEO, UK Music

Feargal was born in Derry, Northern Ireland, in August 1958, the second youngest of seven children.

Twenty years later he combined a promising career delivering televisions for Radio Rentals with fronting local punk rockers, The Undertones. However, his day job was rudely interrupted by a BBC request that the band to perform their first single, “Teenage Kicks”, live on “Top of the Pops”. Never one to shirk difficult decisions Feargal informed his superiors that he was just popping out for lunch; they still keenly await his return.

There followed a hectic period of some twelve years, world tours, hit albums, late nights and bad food in transport cafes spanning most of the UK’s motorway network. Activity that culminated in a successful solo career and the release of “A Good Heart”, a world-wide number one.

The early Nineties brought a new beginning and a post-match transfer to the business side of the industry, initially as A&R Manager for Polydor Records – more late nights in transport cafes – and then as Managing  Director of EXP Ltd.

Feargal subsequently served as a Member of the Radio Authority and, in 2004, was appointed Chair of the Live Music Forum, an advisory committee established by Government to monitor and evaluate the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on the performance of live music.

In February 2008, Feargal was appointed Chief Executive of British Music Rights, an umbrella organisation representing the interests of composers, songwriters, music publishers and their collecting societies.

In September 2008, this role was subsequently expanded with the creation of UK Music, a new organisation representing the collective interest of the UK’s commercial music industry, from artists, musicians, composers and songwriters to major and independent record labels, managers, music publishers, and collecting societies.