CaribbeanFever / FeverEyes / CaribFever

Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more

Atlantic Records boss Ben Cook quits after dressing up as member of hip-hop group Run DMC at a birthday party seven years ago

Atlantic Records UK boss Ben Cook who discovered Ed Sheeran quits

  • Music boss Ben Cook is credited with giving Ed Sheeran his first record deal
  • He dressed up as a member of Run DMC at a birthday party seven years ago 
  • He admitted 'terrible mistake' and said allegations re-emerged, prompting exit
  • But he's defended by MC Wiley, who worked with him on Wearing My Rolex

Atlantic Records president Ben Cook, who gave Ed Sheeran his first record deal, has resigned following controversy over his decision to dress up as member of Run DMC at a birthday party.

The British music boss admitted he had made the 'terrible mistake' seven years ago at a party when guests were asked to come dressed as their favourite musical icon.

Mr Cook said the label previously reprimanded him for dressing as a member of the US hip-hop group, but allegations about it had re-emerged which prompted his exit.

Ben Cook (centre right) gave Ed Sheeran (right) his first record deal. They are pictured in 2017 with Atlantic Records artist director Alec Boateng (left) and rapper Cardi B (second left)

But he was defended by grime MC Wiley, who worked with him on the 2008 hit Wearing My Rolex and tweeted: 'Ben Cook is not racist. Give that man back his job.' 

Photos have never emerged from the party of Mr Cook - widely regarded as one of British music's most powerful figures - and it is unknown whether he blacked up.

It is believed that his exit followed allegations about his costume circulating in the music industry, although the nature of these claims is not yet clear. 

Mr Cook, who had been at Atlantic for 12 years, said: 'It is with great sadness that today I announce I am stepping down as president of Atlantic Records, UK.

'Seven years ago, at a birthday party where guests were asked to come dressed as their favourite musical icon, I came as a member of Run DMC.

Run DMC were Jammaster Jay (Jason Mizell), Run (Joseph Simons) and DMC (Darryl McDaniels)
Mr Cook was defended today by grime MC Wiley, who worked with him on the 2008 hit Wearing My Rolex and tweeted: 'Ben Cook is not racist. Give that man back his job please'

Mr Cook was defended today by grime MC Wiley, who worked with him on the 2008 hit Wearing My Rolex and tweeted: 'Ben Cook is not racist. Give that man back his job please'

'Late last year rumours began to circulate about my appearance at that event, many of which are simply untrue.

Mr Cook, with Charli XCX at a Warner Music Group party in London in July 2016

Mr Cook, with Charli XCX at a Warner Music Group party in London in July 2016

'While my intention was to honour a musical hero, I recognise my appearance was offensive and I made a terrible mistake.

'As a consequence of this, I readily agreed to disciplinary actions by my employer last year. Since then however, allegations surrounding the party have continued to be made against me.

'Moreover, they have been used against a wonderful company and the label I love. I have therefore come to the conclusion that I should make this statement and step down, with immediate effect.'

Mr Cook grew up in North London near Camden Town and learned to play the violin as a child.

He began his career at Ministry of Sound where he was behind the success of hits such as Call On Me by Eric Prydz and Benny Benassi's Satisfaction.

He was at Atlantic for 12 years, first working at the label's sister company Asylum Records, where he discovered Sheeran and, along with colleague Ed Howard, gave him his first record deal.

They signed Sheeran in 2011 after noting how his No. 5 Collaborations Project EP got to number two in the iTunes charts despite being an independent release. 

Mr Cook also worked with Wiley, taking Wearing My Rolex to number two, and was an instrumental force in the careers of Rudimental, Charli XCX and Anne-Marie.

Cook discovered the talent of Sheeran (pictured in January) while working at Asylum Records

Cook discovered the talent of Sheeran (pictured in January) while working at Asylum Records

During his time as president of Atlantic, the label's share of the album UK market grew to nearly 8 per cent, which was also helped by the likes of Bruno Mars and Clean Bandit. 

Mr Cook helped to bring grime star Stormzy (pictured at Transmt in Scotland in July) to the label last year as part of a joint venture with the rapper's own Merky Records outfit

Mr Cook helped to bring grime star Stormzy (pictured at Transmt in Scotland in July) to the label last year as part of a joint venture with the rapper's own Merky Records outfit

Mr Cook added: 'I am devastated that this mistake has caused upset and has called into question my commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion, values which I have championed throughout my career.

'I have learned a great deal from this event and will resolutely continue to champion these values moving forward.'

Mr Cook said that it has been 'an incredible privilege to have worked with the immensely talented artists, managers and team at Atlantic and the wider Warner family'.

He added: 'I unreservedly apologise to anyone who has been hurt.'

Mr Cook was promoted to Atlantic's president in 2014. He also helped to bring grime star Stormzy to the label last year as part of a joint venture with the rapper's own Merky Records outfit.

A statement from Warner Music, the parent company of Atlantic, said: 'Ben Cook is leaving Atlantic UK and this will be his last week in the office.'

Parlophone co-president Mark Mitchell will step into the leadership role on an interim basis following Cook's departure. 

Views: 705

Comment

You need to be a member of CaribbeanFever / FeverEyes / CaribFever to add comments!

Join CaribbeanFever / FeverEyes / CaribFever

Comment by E Peters on October 18, 2019 at 3:08am
Jeez Louise it was seven years ago. Nobody complained at the party obviously. Someone must have a photo of this guy and is blackmailing him to resign. The world is going crazy!!
Comment by Lu on October 17, 2019 at 10:08am

Next...

Comment by S. Young on October 16, 2019 at 11:23pm
Was he in blackface?? Whats the problem now?
Comment by vaughn mitchell on October 16, 2019 at 6:27pm
Please people tripping over everything.

Celebrate your BIRTHDAY with CaribbeanFever on 107.5 WBLS, NY

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

FOR ALL YOUR DANCEHALL AND REGGAE NEWS CLICK PIC BELOWreggae dancehall queen 4

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{

PUMP IT! or DUMP IT! SAT & SUN NIGHT on Caribbean Fever 107.5 WBLS NY (GET YOUR NEW MUSIC PLAYED) SONG{S} BEING VOTED ON ARE {------ ) and {----- }

|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

CARIBBEAN NEWS

Caribbean Fever with the best Caribbean News online!

 

SOME TOP BLOGS

Groups

© 2020   Created by Caribbean Fever.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service