117th AES CONVENTION BIOGRAPHY OF RON FAIR
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Biography of Ron Fair
President of A & M Records
Ron Fair the veteran record man and six-time Grammy nominee has spent more than the last two decades at major labels. As a successful hitmaker, he is a rare combination of executive, A&R man, producer, arranger, musician, and recording engineer. Working his way up from self-taught pianist-to wedding singer-to fledgling jingle writer-to producing demo sessions for United Artists Music Publishing, he studied piano and orchestration with mentor Bill Conti. In 1979, working alongside Conti, he recorded the number one single: Gonna Fly Now, the theme from Rocky. In 1980, working as an independent recording engineer, he recorded and mixed the seminal metal album Hell Awaits by Slayer.
In 1981, Fair broke into major labels at RCA Records as Manager of A&R. In 1983 he became Senior Director of A&R for Chrysalis Records where he found the #1 hit We Belong for Pat Benatar, worked with Billy Idol, Huey Lewis and signed platinum award-winning international duo Go West. In 1988, Fair relocated to London, becoming Head of International A&R for Island Records UK, where he produced the top-ten hit Give a Little Love by reggae group Aswad, Julian Copes My Nation Underground yielding the alternative number one hit Charlotte Anne, and top-ten Five Oclock World.
In 1990 he returned to the US, as the New York based Senior Vice-President of A&R for EMI Records, where he was responsible for the 8-times platinum soundtrack Pretty Woman, the gold album Emotionally Yours by the OJays, the platinum album and number one hit by EMF (Unbelievable;), number one singles by Roxette, (It Must Have Been Love, Joyride) and Go West (King of Wishful Thinking, Faithful, What You Wont Do For Love).
In 1993, Fair rejoined RCA Records as Senior Vice-President of A&R. He was executive producer of the 5-times platinum soundtrack album Reality Bites which included the number one hit Stay by Lisa Loeb, and produced and arranged the worldwide number one hit Baby I Love Your Way by Big Mountain. He was executive producer of the gold soundtrack album Dumb & Dumber. At RCA, he was responsible for number one records with country act Restless Heart, (Tell Me What You Dream;) smooth Jazz artist Warren Hill (Devotion;) and Rick Astley (Hopelessly).
He discovered and signed 5 time Grammy award winner Christina Aguilera who has sold over 30 million records. Together, Aguilera and Fair share ten number one records. He produced Christinas number one single Come On Over Baby, and her platinum album My Kind Of Christmas. He was executive producer of her number one debut album; her Spanish album Mi Reflejo, (winner of the 2001 Latin Grammy -which held the number one place on the Billboard Latin LP chart for 22 weeks.) As musical director, conductor and pianist, he has conducted, arranged and performed with Christina Aguilera on 3 Grammy telecasts, her CBS Network Special My Reflection; the Hollywood Bowl, NBCs Saturday Night Live; and for President Bill Clinton at the White House for Christmas in Washington. Fair served again as Executive Producer for Aguileras ten-times-platinum album Stripped which includes the worldwide number one Grammy winning Beautiful.
Fair signed platinum rock group Lit, who held number one at modern rock radio for 3 consecutive months with their hit My Own Worst Enemy. He signed new rock act The Calling, whose hit Wherever You Will Go remained at number one for a record 26 weeks at modern adult radio, garnering them over 2 million sales and a best new artist-MTV award in Europe.
In 2001 Fair became President of A & M Records, a division of Interscope Records. He has produced a winning streak of five successive number one records including the Grammy winning single Lady Marmalade (Christina Aguilera, Pink, Mya, Lil Kim- from the quadruple platinum soundtrack Moulin Rouge- co-produced with Missy Elliott), A Thousand Miles by double-platinum and triple Grammy nominee Vanessa Carlton; Big Yellow Taxi by Counting Crows; Red Light the triple-A number one by Jonny Lang, and the Grammy nominated worldwide smash Where is the Love? by the six-times-platinum Black Eyed Peas. (Co-produced with Will.i.am.) Fair produced the Compared to What? campaign for Coca Cola for A&M artist Mya, and her gold album Moodring.
Ron Fair has been President of A&M Records for over four years, where he oversees an artist roster that includes Sting, Sheryl Crow, The Black Eyed Peas, Vanessa Carlton, Jonny Lang, Snow Patrol, Mya and many new artists. He is a 25 year member of NARAS, and has served as National Trustee and member of the Board of Governors, and remains an active committee member.
Currently he is in the studio producing Christina Aguilera for the Dreamworks motion picture Sharks Tale, he is producing tracks for Queen Latifahs upcoming jazz and blues album. He is producing (along with Kanye West) A&Ms newcomer Keyshia Cole; the debut album by The Pussycat Dolls; and UK newcomer Vanessa Brown. He maintains an aggressive schedule of writing commitments specializing in string arrangements. Recently he scored the orchestra for Vanessa Carltons upcoming album Harmonium; John Mayers Daughters for Columbia Records; and new tracks for UK superstar Daniel Bedingfield, and breaking artist Butterfly Boucher.
He has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa. He runs uphill daily and enjoys gardening.