American music industry executive and entrepreneur Lyor Cohen was born on October 3, 1959. Cohen has worked in hip hop for over 30 years, and at multiple record labels. First he oversaw the affairs of rap artists at Rush Productions, and later he became the head of Def Jam.
Following his time at Def Jam, Cohen assumed executive responsibilities at Warner Music. Cohen left Warner in September 2012 to launch his own record label, 300 Entertainment. Cohen was officially appointed Global Head of Music for YouTube on September 28th, 2016.
Lyor Cohen’s Net Worth
Lyor Cohen is an executive in the American music industry and is worth an estimated $150 million. Before taking over Def Jam in the 1990s, Cohen spent time in the 1980s managing rappers at Rush Productions.
After leaving Def Jam to become Warner Music Group’s chairman and chief executive in 2004, Lyor went on to found the independent label 300 Entertainment the following year.
After announcing his departure from 300 Entertainment in the same month that he was named YouTube’s Global Head of Music, he joined YouTube in September 2016.
Lyor Cohen entered the world on October 3, 1959, in the Big Apple. Cohen’s parents immigrated from Israel, and he spent his formative years in California. After graduating from Marshall High in 1977, he enrolled at the University of Miami, where he studied international business and finance and received a degree in 1981.
He worked at the Beverly Hills branch of Bank Leumi after graduating from college. The bassist Daniel Shulman is Lyor’s brother.
Lyor Cohen relocated to New York to take a job with Rush Artist Management, a major American entertainment agency, as the band Run-road DMC’s manager.
Cohen worked tirelessly and soon took on additional responsibilities, representing a roster of artists that included Kurtis Blow, Whodini, Run-DMC, LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys, and Public Enemy.
Cohen quickly rose to the top of the rap industry’s management ranks. As of 1998, he has served as president of the Island Def Jam record label.
In 2006, he oversaw the negotiation of a deal between YouTube and Warner Music Group that would see the latter’s artists’ videos appearing on the former’s site in exchange for a cut of YouTube’s ad revenue.
The founder of 300 Entertainment
Following his departure from Warner, Cohen launched 300 Entertainment, a record label. He was promoted to global head of music for YouTube in 2016.
By 2022, Lyor Cohen will have amassed a net worth of roughly $150 million.
He first gained notoriety in the mid-1980s as a hip-hop promoter thanks to his booking of the rap group Run DMC. Soon he was sharing a hotel room with MC Darryl McDaniels (aka DMC) and serving as the group’s “highway manager.”
At the beginning of 1985, he started working in New York for Def Jam’s co-founder, Russell Simmons. Cohen, meanwhile, spent every day of their tours working with Run DMC.
It was at this time that Cohen secured a cover spot for Run DMC in the pages of Rolling Stone, the most influential music publication in the world.
After that, the band quickly rose to the top ten of the country’s pop charts. Cohen negotiated an endorsement deal between Run DMC and Adidas in 1986. The agreement marked a positive development in the acceptance of rap music across the United States.
Meeting on the set of the Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)” video, Lyor married model E.K. Smith on April 1, 1988.
Cohen remarried in 1990, to Amy, and the couple had two children, Az (born 6/13/1994) and Bea (born 9/2/2001), before divorcing in 2006. In 2016, while witnessing N.W.A.’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, Lyor suffered a pulmonary embolism, and Az helped save his life.
Cohen married Xin Li, the deputy chairman of Christie’s Asia and a former model and basketball player, in August 2016. Before becoming the interim executive director of Boys & Girls Harbor in New York City, Lyor was a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s board of directors.
Cohen bought a townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in 2000 for $9.175 million; in 2010, he listed it for $28 million.
A search of public records reveals that he reportedly sold the property in late 2012 for close to $25 million. Lyor paid $11.4 million for a 4,440 square foot NYC townhouse in 2014, significantly less than the asking price of $14.5 million.
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