Tributes to Ray Cooper

Peter Gabriel - Artist
"So sad to learn of Ray Cooper's death. He was a passionate music man who would stick by what he believed through thick and thin. His unique and wry sense of humour was never far away, which would and could charm all those around him. In a world full of illusion, fire and thunder - Ray would only see the human. I am happy to have had the chance to work with him and get to know him. We will miss you Ray."
Victoria Beckham - The Spice Girls
"I am saddened to hear of the passing of Ray Cooper. Ray's guidance, support, creative and marketing ideas from the very beginning were invaluable to the success of The Spice Girls. It was obvious to all who spent time with Ray that he was not only a favourite to his team, but also a favourite to artists and their managers. Ray had passion for life and his work and it showed in his many successes. I will be forever grateful to Ray Cooper. Ray - Rest In Peace."
Richard Branson - Founder of Virgin Records
"An extraordinary delightful individual and an incredible talent. Virgin Records would never have grown into the music force it became without him. Much, much love to his family."
Chris Blackwell - Founder of Island Records
"Ray Cooper was a larger-than-life character who enjoyed and lived life to the max. He was a man who put his heart and soul into everything he did... an incredibly hard worker - he really inspired his team to go out and do their best. He was a true team leader, people were very loyal to him, he was loved by folks who worked for him and everyone else in the company. He was Head of Sales and Marketing at Island Records during an exciting period in the 80s and when you walked through the "War Room" at the office in London you were sure to hear Ray energizing all the troops... What a very sad loss."
Paul McGuinness - Manager U2 (1978-2013)
"When U2 were signed to Island Records in 1980 every label but Island had passed. It was hard to get attention for U2 at first but we had some staunch supporters at Island - including Ray Cooper in Sales and then Marketing. The first two U2 albums "Boy" and "October" didn't have much success but "War" went to No 1 in 1983 which became the norm for U2 from then on. Ray was a delight to work with, ingenious and energetic. His subsequent career with his buddy Ashley Newton at their own label Circa and then Virgin was always interesting to observe. Sorry to lose such a smart music man."
Ashley Newton - President of Capitol Music Group
(Friend & longtime business partner)

"I had the wild good fortune to be both a close friend and business ally with this vibrant, fearless, talented and kind man. Together, across several decades and labels, Ray & I were blessed to be consistently in the orbit of immensely important music - but like everyone around him, I was forever surrendering to his ridiculously sharp and eccentric sense of humor. We literally laughed through the ages and I will miss him more than words can express."
Paul Conroy - Former President Virgin Records UK
(Longtime friend & professional colleague)

"Ray and I had been friends for many years before we had the opportunity to work together at Virgin. He was a larger-than-life character who lit up a room. He had a passion for music and the artistes he worked with. The years we worked together were very special and I miss him already. "
Martin Lewis - Co-Creator/Producer the "Secret Policeman's Ball" series
(Longtime friend & professional colleague)

"Ray and I first met in 1973 when we worked together at Transatlantic Records. We were babes in the music industry woods. He knew nothing about the business. And I knew even less! We immediately bonded as blood brothers and stayed close over the next 45 years. Over the decades, I watched with pride as he grew in skill, smarts, insight, creativity and perseverance until he towered like a benevolent marketing Colossus. And although he reached the very summit of the music world he still retained his cheeky, cheerful, caring, loving, punning, laughing soul. He was - and will always be - a Ray of eternal sunshine in our lives..."

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