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Michael Jackson’s Former Manager Frank DiLeo Dead at 63

Frank DiLeo
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Former manager to Michael Jackson and music exec Frank DiLeo passed away today, Aug. 24, 2011 at the age 63. According to Nashville Scene, the cause of his death hasn’t been specifically confirmed as of yet, but he was said to be suffering from a long-term illness.

In addition to managing Jackson’s career during the singer’s prime, primarily from 1984-1989, DiLeo was also a huge player in the music industry. DiLeo’s story is truly a rags-to-riches tale, with his tireless work ethic allowing him to move up the ranks in the music business. He started out promoting albums, but quickly moved up the ranks at Epic Records, helping advance the careers of artists like the Clash and Cyndi Lauper while simultaneously making millions for the label.

In 1984, Michael Jackson asked DiLeo to be his manager, and DiLeo guided the ‘Bad’ singer through what is arguable the heydey of his career. DiLeo was the executive producer of Jackson’s ‘Moonwalker’ film and had a hand in writing and producing Pepsi commercials and music videos for the star, including the clip for ‘Leave Me Alone.’ Also, DiLeo managed Jackson’s Bad World Tour, which was one of the highest grossing tours of all time. DiLeo began managing for Jackson again in the months close to the pop singer’s death.

DiLeo, who was almost always photographed with a cigar in his mouth, also had his own brush with the spotlight — he played Tuddy Cicero in Martin Scorsese’s classic gangster flick ‘Goodfellas.’ Rest in peace, Frank DiLeo.

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