Mentoring Plays a Role in Contemporary Music: Part II

MENTORS Peer Resources LogoVirtually anyone can benefit from having a mentor. And most well-known, accomplished and successful people can identify people in their lives who acted as mentors. The mentor pairing that is described in this article was identified from a variety of sources including autobiographies, biographies, newspaper articles, personal interviews, and diligent historical research. An extensive list of additional well-known mentor pairings, including those from TV, motion pictures and fiction, can be found on the Peer Resources website at

In addition to the list of mentor pairs from the world of entertainment, business, creative arts, sports, politics, history, and science available in the Peer Resources listings, a few historical facts or humorous references to the term mentor are also included.

On many occasions, we have featured the mentoring relationships of various well-known musicians, singers and songwriters. But behind almost every successful artist there is a producer or music business specialist who has played a significant role in identifying and developing the artist’s musical talent.

Even these music business specialists attribute their own success in business to someone who took the time to mentor them. UK citizen Don Grierson, legendary Vice President of A&R at Epic, Capitol, and EMI, is directly responsible for signing and/or working with some of the world’s most noted artists including Celine Dion, Heart, Iron Maiden, Sheena Easton, Joe Cocker, Wasp, Bad English, Little River Band, George Clinton, J. Geils Band, Kate Bush, Gloria Estefan, The Jacksons, Duran Duran, Tina Turner, Queen, Indigo Girls, Spin Doctors, Alice Cooper, and many, many more.

Awbrey Madison, a Los Angeles-based independent artist, said that “Don has been a great mentor and I am currently working on my second project with him. He is a professional who knows every facet of the music business, goes the extra mile to find the best musical fit, and is great at finding the right people to work with. Above all, he is a great guy who’s honest and supports the artist’s vision. I count myself very lucky to have someone like Don Grierson guiding my career!”

Don attributes much of his success to his mentor Jerry Moss, an American recording executive, best known for being the co-founder of A&M Records (he is the “M” in A&M Records). Don says that he owes his success, in part, to “Jerry saying to me ‘I believe in you.’ That support led me to work hard, and now I work hard to help others have their dreams. My advice to anyone who wants to be successful in the music business is to believe in yourself, hone your craft, fight for yourself, and educate yourself.”

“In my experience, a mentor doesn’t necessarily tell you what to do, but more importantly, tells you what they did or might do, then trusts you to draw your own conclusions and act accordingly. If you succeed, they’ll take one step back, and if you screw up, they’ll take one step closer. What it is they teach you…pass it on.”

~ Michael J. Fox ~

Canadian actor and father

Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

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