(CelebrityAccess) — Marsha Zazula, the pioneering label exec who co-founded the heavy metal label Megaforce Records, died on January 10th. She was 68.
According to a statement from her publicist, Zazula died after a battle with cancer.
As co-founder of Megaforce Records, Zazula made a name for herself in the typically male-dominated world of heavy metal music. The label served as an important outlet for some of the most recognized names in the genre, releasing early albums by bands such as Metallica, Anthrax, Ministry, Black Crowes, Kings X, and Testament, among others.
Zazula launched Megaforce in 1982 and quickly signed Metallica ahead of the launch of their first album “Kill ‘Em All” and following it up a year later with “Ride The Lightning.”
“Marsha Z is the Metal Matriarch of the East Coast. She was our mother when I had none. She made great sacrifices for Metallica to grow. Thank you Marsha. Love and positive energy to the Zazula family,” said Metallica’s James Hetfield.
The Zazulas and Megaforce played a similar role for Anthrax, releasing the band’s first album “Fistful Of Metal” in 1984.
Marsha and her husband Jon also founded Crazed Management in 1982 and managed bands such as Anthrax, Metallica, and Ministry during the early stages of their careers.
Zazula is survived by her husband Jon and daughters Danielle, Rikki and Blaire, and five grandchildren.
“She was a mother and mentor to many, and a role model as a woman breaking the glass ceiling in an industry run by men. She had balls, beauty, brains and vision,” her husband Jon Zazula told Variety.