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Irving Azoff Calls Phil Anschutz “The Dark Prince” At Billboard Live Music Summit

Irving Azoff. Courtesy Image.
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LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment and industry legend Irving Azoff took AEG founder Phil Anschutz to task during a panel at this year’s Billboard Live Music Summit.

Characteristically, Azoff was candid during the “Unmanageable: A Conversation with Industry Legend Irving Azoff” Q&A session, which saw Azoff interviewed by his son and business partner Jeffrey Azoff, who is a principal in Full Stop Management.

During the discussion, Azoff shared his views about his rivals at AEG, noting that while there are some “wonderful people who work at AEG, some great friends” he also viewed the company as a top-down operation, with company founder Phil Anschutz cast as the “Dark Prince of Colorado.”

According to Azoff, Anschutz, “for the betterment of the industry, needs to learn that not every deal and every event is a Super Bowl or a hockey championship game and no one person has to bleed.”

Azoff also went on to say note that there appears to be tension between Anschutz and Tim Leiweke, formerly the President and CEO of AEG Entertainment who exited the company in 2013 and went on to launch the Oak View Group, a joint entertainment venture with Azoff.

According to Azoff, Anschutz told the CEO of Liberty Media that he (Azoff) should be committed to a mental institute for partnering with Leiweke, Billboard reported.

Azoff also touched on the ‘venue wars’ between AEG and MSG, which saw the two companies attempt to steer bookings to their own venues via contractual clauses, and noted that at least as far as ‘fun’ goes, Sharon Osbourne was the clear winner of the dispute.

“Sharon Osbourne won by a wide margin for the most fun,” Azoff said, per Billboard. What a character is and has been her entire career.”

Azoff also opined on why, at the age of 71, he hadn’t retired, telling Jeffrey that it was fun and he had “promised Don Henley I wouldn’t quit before he did.”

If you missed the full discussion, it will be broadcast in its entirety on Azoff’s SiriusXM radio show Unmanageable.

The Billboard Live Music Summit took place this year on Nov. 13 & 14 in Beverly Hills.

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