Robert Sillerman may be most known for his bankrupted company, SFX Entertainment, but he will be remembered as an entertainment entrepreneur who helped shape the modern live concert industry. According to Billboard, Sillerman has died of a respiratory illness at age 71. The news was later confirmed by Sillerman’s lawyer, Sanford Phillips Rosen.
Among his many business accomplishments, Sillerman is best known for selling SFX to Clear Channel Communications in 2000 for a reported $4.4 billion. The buyout created what became known as Live Nation, which merged with Ticketmaster in 2010, and is today valued at nearly $15 billion.
Sillerman remained acting CEO of SFX until becoming embroiled in financial woes in late 2015/early 2016, which led to the failures of SFX’s biggest global festival brands, including MysteryLand USA and TomorrowWorld. In 2016, SFX declared bankruptcy. The company was then rebranded to LiveStyle and Sillerman was ousted by shareholders. Earlier this year, Sillerman was ordered to pay $179,000 in a stock fraud settlement.
The newly-formed LiveStyle brought in former president of AEG, Randy Phillips, to fill the president/CEO role, along with Gary Richards (aka Destructo), formerly of Live Nation/HARD Events, serving as president of the North American operation. Currently, LiveStyle is behind nationwide events like New York City’s Electric Zoo and Spring Awakening in Chicago.
Fourteen years ago, Forbes listed Sillerman as one of the 400 richest individuals at No. 375 with a net worth of $975 million.