Bob Mercer Dies

Bob Mercer, 65, who ran EMI Music in Britain and most recently was CEO of the “Now That’s What I Call Music!” venture, died of lung cancer in Los Angeles May 5.

Mercer, who worked as a product manager for General Foods before being lured to EMI to become its marketing director, eventually signed Queen, The Sex Pistols, Olivia Newton-John, Kate Bush and Marc Bolan, according to the Los Angeles Times.

He is also a former manager for Roger Waters and Paul McCartney, and helped launch Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Records.

The “Now That’s What I Call Music” venture has reportedly sold 77 million albums in the U.S.

Before his death, Mercer was working with Simon Fuller to launch a “now” television show, the Times said.