Entertainment & Arts

Michael Jackson manager Frank Dileo dies aged 63

Frank Dileo (2009)
Image caption Dileo also appeared in several films including Goodfellas and Wayne's World

Frank Dileo, who managed the late Michael Jackson's career during the 1980s, has died in Ohio aged 63.

Publicist Karen Sundell said the music executive died of complications from heart surgery he had six months ago.

Dileo worked with Jackson on his hit Thriller album, with the star crediting him as being "responsible for turning my dream into a reality".

He went on to manage other musicians including Taylor Dayne, Jodeci and Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora.

Dileo's wife Linda and his business associates said in a statement they were "deeply saddened by the loss of the legendary, iconic and highly respected music industry figure".

Beginning his music career in 1968 with CBS Records, Dileo was vice-president of promotions at Epic Records when he became Jackson's manager in 1984.

In his book Moonwalk, Jackson wrote that Dileo's "brilliant understanding of the recording industry proved invaluable" as he helped drive sales of Thriller past 29 million copies.

'Great veteran'

Dileo managed Jackson's Bad tour and executive-produced the singer's 1988 movie, Moonwalker.

But after five years together the pair abruptly ended their business relationship without explanation.

However, they reunited in 2009 after Jackson asked Dileo to manage him again while launching his ill-fated This Is It tour.

Dileo was his manager when Jackson died on 25 June that year.

Dileo also had a role in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas as gangster Tuddy Cicero and also appeared in Wayne's World and its sequel as a flashy music executive.

"He was not only one of the great veterans of the music business, he was a beloved friend to me and all who were lucky enough to have had him in their lives," said John Branca, co-executor of Jackson's estate.

"He was one of a kind. He was a character. He was an original."

Dileo is survived by Linda and his two children, Belinda and Dominic.