He worked with classic songwriters, including Smokey Robinson and The Isley Brothers, to help recapture and monetize their rights and ensure their legacies.
Music agent and manager Jeremy Geffen was found dead on Wednesday in Beverly Hills, California. His family tells Billboard the cause death is still being determined. He was 40.
Geffen — who was not related to music exec David Geffen — was president and CEO Creative Rights Group (CRG), which he founded in 2014 to help classic songwriters recapture and monetize their rights and ensure their legacies. CRG clients include Smokey Robinson, The Isley Brothers, Alphonso Mizell (The Jackson 5), members the Commodores, the Baker Knight estate (Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson), the Willie Mitchell estate and others. According to a recent bio, CRG has sold over $150 million in assets to date.
"I love what I do," said Geffen in the bio. "It is a rarity that you can do well while doing good and it is most fulfilling that I can get copyrights back to their rightful owners and put the money they deserve back in their pockets, all the while assuring their places in musical history."
Geffen's career began at Shankman, De Blasio, Melina, Inc. before assisting on Janet Jackson's Velvet Rope Tour in 1998 and going on to become general manger at Creative Management Group, where he handled day-to-day responsibilities for Sisqo, Teddy Riley, Christina Milian and others. From there, he was asked to partner with Wright Entertainment Group, where he worked managing the careers Dream, Blaque and Robin Gibb.
In 2003, Geffen formed his own management firm, Jeremy Geffen Management, where his clients included D12, Bone Thugs 'n Harmony, Three 6 Mafia and production team Trackboyz, whose Trackboyz Entertainment's label he also created and ran. The label's first release, J-Kwon's "Tipsy," hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 1 on the Hot Rap Songs chart.
Geffen sold his firm to Sanctuary Group, but eventually sought to regain ownership and renamed the company Geffen Management Group, representing musicians, performers, actors and celebrity estates. His clients included musician and actor Jacob Latimore and the Marvin Gaye estate.
Geffen is survived his mother, press and marketing veteran Jo-Ann Geffen JAG Entertainment PR, as well as cousins and many friends and colleagues.
"Our family wants to thank all Jeremy's amazing friends and colleagues for being such strong support at this time," Jo-Ann Geffen said in a statement to Billboard.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Additional reporting by Gail Mitchell.