Pioneering DJ and producer Mark Kamins, who was instrumental in facilitating the signing of Madonna to Sire Records in 1982, has died.
According to BlackBook, on Feb. 14, he suffered “a massive coronary” in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he has been teaching. A family source has confirmed Kamins’ death to Billboard.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Madonna writes…
I’m very sorry to hear about Marks death. I haven’t seen him for years but if it weren’t for him, I might not have had a singing career. He was the first DJ to play my demos before I had a record deal. He believed in me before anyone else did. I owe him a lot. May he Rest in Peace.
Kamins, noted for always living his life in the grandest of fashions, had apparently been struggling with heart problems for some months previous.
Legend has it that he took the budding superstar and clubland habitué Madonna Ciccone under his wing, passing her demo on to Sire Records honcho Seymour Stein, who quickly signed her — the rest, of course, is pop history. Kamins, who also produced her nascent single “Everybody”, would be the first in a line of high-profile Madonna beaus, to be eventually usurped by the likes of Jellybean Benitez and, of course, many others. A significant talent in his own right, he went on to work with radical performance artist Karen Finley, as well as 80’s musical giants such as David Byrne, the Beastie Boys and Sinead O’Connor.