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Paul Conroy – Former President, Virgin Records – MusicTank

Paul Conroy - Former President, Virgin Records

Paul Conroy started his career as a booker in the early seventies when he organised tours for the Foundations, Lindisfarne, Van Der Graaf Generator, Caravan and Genesis.

In 1983 he became the general manager of the newly formed Stiff Records –Britain’s biggest successful independent label at the time with major hit records from Elvis Costello, The Damned, Wreckless Eric, Jona Lewie, Dave Stewart, Ian Dury and Tenpole Tudor and the biggest selling single act of the 80’s – Madness.

After leaving Stiff, Paul became Marketing Director and later Managing Director of the US division at WEA Records. He was responsible for waking up the “Sleeping Giant” that was WEA and working with artists like Madonna, ZZ Top, Paul Simon, George Benson, AC/DC, Robert Plant, Randy Newman, Matt Bianco, Sister Sledge and many others.

In 1989 Paul moved over to Chrysalis Records as President when EMI bought 50% of the company and Chris Wright (CEO) needed someone to take on the new role. During his time at Chrysalis, he revamped the company and brought it together to work with EMI and its management. Paul worked with numerous artists, such as Sinead O’Connor, Debbie Harry, Go West, Chesney Hawkes, Living in a Box, Billy Idol, World Party and Huey Lewis.

From 1992 until 2002 Paul was presiding in Virgin Records. It was at that time that Virgin became the most successful and profitable label of all time. Major creative successes include The Spice Girls (38 million records worldwide) the biggest selling act of the 90’s. Virgin became the no 1 label for the UK, breaking more artistes than any other label. Other major successes included The Verve, Massive Attack, Placebo, Chemical Brothers, Meatloaf. Later he started the Innocent Label with Hugh Goldsmith – one of the most successful set up labels ever, and broke Blue, Billie Piper, Martine McCutcheon and Atomic Kitten.

In 2002 Paul founded Adventures in Music Management and new label company (Michael Andrews featuring Gary Jules “Mad World” – No1 Christmas single for 2003). They also won an Ivor Novello Award – Song of the Year for the label, May 2004.

A Brit Awards Chairman for 3 years, – (1998, 1999, 2000). He was also Chairman of the PR Committee for the BPI from 2000 to 2002.