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Honoring the Music Industry Players We Lost in 2023

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Each year, the music industry inevitably loses some of its most influential behind-the-scenes players — corporate executives, agents, managers, songwriters, producers, engineers, lawyers, promoters, visionaries and more who shaped the business in a multitude of ways. So far in 2023, the industry has lost people like the trailblazing music agent Charles “Chip” Rachlin, Spanish-language radio personality Polito Vega, record label co-founders Seymour Stein and Jerry Moss, the “Godfather of Black Music” Clarence Avant., and pioneering KROQ DJ Dusty Street.

To commemorate those who have passed on, Billboard is highlighting these enterprising, often-unsung individuals, who left a lasting impression across every aspect of the business. In addition to being mourned by their friends and loved ones, all of the people listed below left behind peers, colleagues, artists, mentees and more who were changed in some way by their having been involved in the industry.

Here are the behind-the-scenes players we’ve lost in 2023:

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