Legendary APA Head of Music Troy Blakely Dead At 68

Troy Blakely, managing partner and Head of Music at Agency for the Performing Arts, has died.  Blakely joined APA in 1994, was named Head of Music in 1998, made Partner in 2002, and elevated to Managing Partner in 2005.  During the course of a legendary 50-year career that established him as one of the preeminent rock music agents in the industry, Blakely’s clients included some of the most successful and recognized performing artists in the world.

Troy Blakely (L)
– Troy Blakely (L)
at Pollstar Live! in 2011.

Born the son of a steel worker just outside Detroit, Mich., Blakely was raised and schooled in Southgate, Mich., where as a teen he performed and played guitar with numerous local bands.  In 1969, one year after entering college, he would leave to become the tour manager for Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels — then managed by Creem magazine owner Barry Kramer.

A year later, Blakely moved to New York City to work as assistant tour manager for legendary musician-singer-songwriter Johnny Winter under Teddy Slatus — at that time one of the best tour managers in the industry. After helping put together Edgar Winter’s White Trash, he returned to Michigan to work as the tour manager for Detroit Featuring Mitch Ryder, who had just released their album Detroit on Paramount Records.

Troy Blakely
– Troy Blakely
photo provided

In late 1972, he became an agent at DMA (Diversified Management Agency), where his clients included Ted Nugent, Iggy and the Stooges, MC5, Nazareth, Golden Earring, Canned Heat, Birtha, Lighthouse, The Raspberries, and Blackfoot. Blakely would go on to sign Tim Buckley, Sammy Hagar, and Triumph

After joining Magna Artists of Los Angeles in 1981, Blakely booked Ozzy Osbourne‘s first solo tour, Blizzard of Oz, but would soon move to ICM (with Sammy Hagar and Triumph in tow) where he signed Red Hot Chili Peppers and Poison. Relocating to ICM’s New York office in 1986, Blakely expanded his roster to include Boston, Faith No More, Alice In Chains, Kings X, and served as responsible agent for Rush, Ozzy Osbourne, and Iron Maiden

In 1994, Blakely left ICM and joined APA in their New York office. Four years later, he moved to the agency’s Los Angeles headquarters to serve as Head of Music. Blakely’s innumerable and unparalleled contributions to the agency, its artists, and the industry at-large saw him promoted to Partner in 2002, then Managing Partner in 2005.  During his tenure at APA, Blakely served as responsible agent for such leading artists as Fleetwood MacRobert PlantJudas PriestBostonPoisonBret MichaelsThe Black CrowesSammy HagarHeartThe Go-Go’sLenny KravitzWhitesnakeSebastian BachRoyal MachinesDee SniderZakk WyldeBlack Label SocietyRattCinderellaDokken, and Lita Ford.  Known for always going above and beyond the call of duty for his artists and their fans, Blakely was most proud of his trip with Bret Michaels throughout Iraq, producing multiple concerts for our Troops.  He also served as an integral member of The Grammy Core Selection Committee for over 25 years.

“All of us at APA are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague, Troy Blakely,” said Jim Gosnell, President and CEO of APA.   “We will be forever grateful for the numerous contributions he made to the success of our company over past 25 years.  He will be dearly missed.”

Troy Blakely
– Troy Blakely

Troy Blakely is survived by his beloved wife Kelly Blakely, parents Grace and Albert Blakely, sister Bonnie and Mike Bellanger, brother Tim and Josie Blakely, son Troy Jr., grandson Sam, and his dog, Rocko.  Funeral services will be private, with a memorial planned for a later date.