Bob Mercer, EMI exec who signed Sex Pistols, dies

Mercer succumbs to lung cancer in Los Angeles hospital

Bob Mercer, the legendary music industry figure who signed bands including the Sex Pistols, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 65 of lung cancer.

Mercer was managing director of EMI during the 1970s, and signed the punk band to the label as well as Queen, Kate Bush and Marc Bolan.

He briefly managed Paul McCartney and Roger Waters in the 1980s, and in 1990 Preston-born Mercer moved to Nashville top run Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Records.

Mercer became the chief executive of the American wing of the ‘Now That’s What I Call Music!’ compilation album series when it launched there in 1998. Just before his death he was developing a US television show with Simon Fuller, reports the LA Times.