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Canadian Music Pioneer Gerry Lacoursiere Passes

WINDSOR, Ontario (CelebrityAccess) — Legendary Canadian music executive Germain (Gerry) Lacoursiere, who played an instrumental role in the careers of Canadian artists such as Bryan Adams and Rita MacNeil passed away on May 9. He was 80.

“He was the smartest man I’ve ever met,” CelebrityAccess's Larry LeBlanc, told the Windsor Star. “Gerry was one of the pioneers of the Canadian music industry.”

“The big one that he signed was Bryan Adams. Bryan was signed for four songs for a publishing contract in 1978… Gerry came up in an era where it was about hits. He had a real ear for finding things,” LeBlanc added.

Lacoursiere was perhaps best known for his long tenure a the helm of A&M Records Canada, which he founded in 1970. While initially intended as a means to distribute U.S. releases in Canada, the label also helped to launch the careers of numerous homegrown artists, such as Bryan Adams, popular children's singer Raffi, Canadian rock group Chilliwack, and new wave group The Arrows.

A native of Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, Lacoursiere got his start in the label business working in the stockroom at Decca Records in Detroit, where he rose through the ranks until he was hired by A&M's Jerry Moss and Herb Alpert to oversee the launch of the label's Canadian offices in 1970.

After A&M's sale to Polygram in 1990, Lacoursiere served as Chairman of PolyGram Music Group Canada, overseeing the amalgamation of Polygram, A&M, and Island Records until he retired in 1998.

After retiring from the label industry, Lacoursiere served as a Director of digital media distribution service Yangaroo until 2007.

Lacoursiere is a member of the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame and was presented with the Billboard International Business Achievement Award by that publication. – Staff Writers