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Century Media Co-Owner Oliver Withöft Dies at 49

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Century-Media-cofounder-Oliver-Withoft

Billboard is reporting that Century Media co-owner Oliver Withöft died earlier today at the age of only 49 years old.

Robert Kampf founded Century Media in 1988, and Withöft joined him roughly a year and a half later — to say that Withöft has been instrumental in the company’s history would be a gross understatement. He was with the label until his death, although he withdrew from daily operations last year due to an unspecified heart condition. Details about the nature of the illness were kept hush-hush even amongst the label staff.

Withöft took a certain, um… shall we say “liking”… to MetalSucks. He was the unnamed “suit” behind my public battle with Century Media a couple of years ago over the label’s refusal to participate in Spotify. Though that war of words got pretty heated, Oliver was a great sport about it behind the scenes and willingly played up his position for effect (as did I). Not to say that we didn’t both hold our convictions — we did — but once the battle became a “thing,” so to speak, and moved into the public eye, we both rolled with it. I met Oliver in person many months later when he was in New York City on business and we had a great evening talking geo-politics, world economics, peak energy and more over the course of several hours and a few too many drinks. I don’t think the subject of Spotify even came up.

Billboard has some quotes about Withöft from musicians on Century Media’s roster and some former label employees. I’m sure we’ll see more of those in the coming hours and days.

R.I.P., Oliver, on behalf of everyone at MetalSucks. Our thoughts go out to his wife and daughters.

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