Music industry

WE REMEMBER: Black music industry giant Sidney Miller Jr. has died | VIDEO

Sidney Miller Jr.

*Sidney Miller Jr., a music industry giant has passed away. Miller founded and directed BRE (Black Radio Exclusive) magazine for over 40 years culminating in an annual conference and other events. He was 89 years old. At the time of this publication, we do not have specific details on the cause of death.

By establishing one of the first trades in the black music industry, Sidney Miller, Jr. earned his place as a pioneer in black music. His publication, Black Radio Exclusive (BRE), was founded on a dream, developed with perseverance and culminated in excellence. Under Miller’s leadership, BRE has been instrumental in advancing the cause and importance of black radio, promoting the significant impact that black music artists and black music have had in the world of contemporary music.

Miller had been a pioneer in marketing concepts before starting BRE. A graduate of FAMU, Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, the Pensacola native had become familiar with the club circuit along the East Coast while still in college. Himself a musician, a bad trumpeter, he was a medical student but had to earn a living. The Adderley brothers, Cannonball and Nat were among his college peers, and he spent most of his weekends booking them and others he gathered into groups along the coast. Continuing to combine his artistic talent with good business acumen, he entered the military as an officer where he continued his side business of performing and booking bands and entertainment for the military.

MORE NEWS ON EURWEB Networks set to battle Gayle King when her CBS contract ends

Capitol Records was his first record company where he ran the Fame label imprint and worked in A&R under Artie Mogull with bands as diverse as Helen Reddy, Joe South, The Fortunes and Cannonball Adderley. He moved from the Capitol branch in Atlanta to the Los Angeles tower at a rapid pace, eventually leading the entire promotions division, which included country & western, pop and R&B.

He believed so much in the potential and the importance of a publication aimed at this market that he sold his house, his car and invested his savings in the launch of BRE, and the first issue of the publication in 1976. He introduced at the NATRA convention in Antigua, and quickly became the first major magazine dedicated to black music.

In addition to the magazine, Miller instituted the annual BRE Conference, a prestigious gathering of national and international music personalities. Superstars who have performed have included Prince, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Mariah Carey, Sade, LL Cool J, Hammer and many more. Naughty By Nature was discovered at BRE. Hammer begged to be allowed on stage at a conference in Los Angeles, then took off. Stevie Wonder has composed a special song for BRE.

BRE Mag - Roxanne Shanté
BRE Mag – Roxanne Shanté

Miller also launched “Hollywood Live”, the first syndicated live broadcast via satellite radio of its kind to feature 800 call-in numbers and active engagement with the music consumer. Frankie Crocker of WBLS fame was his host.

He has served on the board of directors of the NARAS MusiCares Foundation, the Evander Holyfield Foundation, the National Black Programmers Coalition, the New Orleans Music Commission, the Atlanta Music Commission, and the Washington, DC Music Commission. Its walls are lined with numerous awards, honors and commissions, including the NAACP Image Award.

Currently, Sidney Miller Jr. is working on his new book “BackStage with Black Music in America,” due out in 2020. A BRE Reunion conference is also in the works; He also opened the Adderley School of Music with FAMU. The tireless innovator is always at work.

Development …