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Joel Whitburn
Joel Whitburn

Records Research Founder Joel Whitburn Dead At 82

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(CelebrityAccess) — Music historian and Records Research founder Joel Whitburn died on Tuesday, June 14th. He was 82.

Whitburn’s passing was shared via social media by his friend and colleague Paul Haney who said that he died peacefully in his sleep.

Haney said that Whitburn had recently faced health challenges but did not provide any additional insight into a cause of death.

A former label exec, Whitburn founded Record Research Inc. in 1970, assembling a team of researchers do deep dives on Billboard’s historical charts. Whitburn eventually was recognized as the authoritative historian on charted music in the world.

Since launch, Records Research has published hundreds of reference books based on chart data from the various pop charts, dating back to the birth of the recorded music in 1890 during the Gramaphone era.

Whitburn is also the author of a series of Billboard books published by Watson-Guptill Publications, including “Top 40 Hits,” “Top 40 Albums,” and “Top 40 Country Hits.”

As well, Whitburn partnered with Rhino Records to release almost 200 hit-based compilations.

Along with his work as a historian, Whitburn was a voracious collector of music as well, owning more than 200,000 45 RPM singles and what he billed as the largest picture sleeve collection in the world, clocking in at about 18,000 records.

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