Neil Diamond, Billy Joel and Neil Sedaka have led the tributes to music mogul DON KIRSHNER, who died on Monday (17Jan11).
The 76-year-old producer, promoter and music publisher passed away at a Florida hospital after suffering heart failure, and the stars he helped throughout his career have come out to pay their respects.
Diamond worked closely with Kirshner throughout the 1960s and the singer/songwriter credits his late pal with pairing his songs with successful pop act The Monkees.
He tells the Associated Press, "I'm saddened to learn of the loss of Don Kirshner... There never was a better song plugger. I'll always be grateful to him for pairing I'm A Believer and other songs of mine with the Monkees. The music business never had a better supporter."
Joel adds, "Don Kirshner gave new, young musicians the opportunity to showcase their performances for a huge audience during the 'golden age' of the popular music business. At the time, his 'hands-off' approach to how rock and roll music was presented made television a viable medium for many now-iconic recording artists."
Meanwhile, Sedaka has paid an emotional tribute to Kirshner, who he describes as a father figure: "He was a great friend, a pioneer and a father figure for many of us young songwriters. He propelled my music career.”
Singer Connie Francis, adds, “He was boyishly enthusiastic. His favourite curse phrase was ‘I’ve got aggravation,’ but he always did everything at full speed. He knew instantly when something was a hit."