Tommy Mottola apologizes to Mariah in 'Hitmaker'
FILE - This Sept. 18, 2011 file photo shows music mogul Tommy Mottola at Tony Bennett's 85th birthday gala in New York. A decade after leaving Sony Music Entertainment, Tommy Mottola tells his story in a new book, "Hitmaker: The Man and His Music." (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, file)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Behind Mariah, Michael and the constellation of stars at arguably the most successful record label in history stood a man who didn't often talk to the media or explain his motivations.
Now, a decade after leaving Sony Music Entertainment, Tommy Mottola tells his story in a new book, "Hitmaker: The Man and His Music." He apologizes for the fallout from his marriage to Mariah Carey. He explains the label's behind-the-scenes support for Michael Jackson as the singer's life and career took one strange turn after another. And he traces the arc of the music business as it evolved over the course of his lifetime — from Elvis to the iPod.
As a label executive, Mottola made it a point to stay out of reporters' notebooks. But as an author, he didn't shy from the topics longtime industry watchers are interested in — though he threw away two versions of the book he hated before finding a groove he was comfortable with.
"I always try to take a backseat, even with this book," Mottola said in a phone interview last week. "And my thoughts were always, 'Do the work, try to do good work and the results will speak for itself.' That was always my philosophy, though I went against my own philosophy and decided to write this book. So there you go, so much for that."
Mottola, a Bronx native, is a former singer and song pitcher who went on to manage Hall & Oates through superstardom before joining future Sony acquisition CBS Records. He helped guide Sony into the record business and eventually took over the worldwide chairmanship of the company, which sold eight billion records and earned $65 billion in his 15 years as the head of the company.
FILE - This May 9, 2009 file photo shows music mogul Tommy Mottola, left, and his wife, singer Thalia, at the 2009 White House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington. A decade after leaving Sony Music Entertainment, Tommy Mottola tells his story in a new book, "Hitmaker: The Man and His Music." (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, file)
Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey are just the beginning of the list. The roster also included Bruce Springsteen, Destiny's Child, Celine Dion, The Dixie Chicks, Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel ... and don't forget The Latin Explosion with Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony and Shakira.
His fingerprints remain all over the record business.
"I think he was a genius and ... I don't think we'll be able to see what Tommy Mottola did again because it's definitely a different business out there," said Emilio Estefan, who described Mottola as his brother in a Wednesday phone interview. "He definitely wrote a chapter in the music business that I don't think will be done again."