Former Mushroom Group managing director Warren Costello has died

The late executive has been remembered as "the other beating heart of Mushroom Group"

Warren Costello, the longtime managing director of Australian music and entertainment company Mushroom Group, has passed away following a years-long bout with an undisclosed illness.

Following his passing on Monday (May 30), a statement from Mushroom Group remembered Costello – who worked with the company for nearly 30 years cumulatively – as “an essential fabric of life” at Mushroom. “He was a true music man, a beloved friend to our artists and integral to the success of our business over the past three decades,” it read.

“Warren was renowned for his positive energy, integrity and family values, all of which are now etched into the DNA of Mushroom forever.”

View the full tribute post below:

Costello’s passing is the second major loss to the company in as many years, following the passing of founder Michael Gudinski in March 2021. Costello was initially brought into Mushroom Records in 1990, and stayed with the company until its purchase in 1999.

A year later, he was rehired to head-up Mushroom’s new Liberation label alongside Gudinski. He remained with the company until September last year, where he retired to focus on his health and family.

Costello has been memorialised by several Australian artists who worked with him at the company. Jimmy Barnes, who was signed to either Mushroom or Liberation for most of his solo career, remembered Costello as “the other beating heart of Mushroom Group” alongside Gudinski.

“Together, we’ve worked on records that changed my life,” he wrote. “He was by [my] side through thick and thin. I love you, my friend.” Barnes’ daughter Mahalia also paid tribute to Costello, calling him “the kindest there was”.

Kate Ceberano described Costello as “a champion” of Australian music. “A lovely, lovely man,” she wrote. “My deepest condolences to [his] family and all that loved him.” Former Leonardo’s Bride vocalist Abby Dobson, too, recalled Costello as “a sweet, kind man”.

“You always think life is going to give you endless opportunities to reunite with the great people who’ve walked some of your path with you… but it just doesn’t,” she wrote.