Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Co-Founder Allen Grubman Becomes First Practicing Attorney Inducted

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Co-Founder Allen Grubman Becomes First Practicing Attorney Inducted

As one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame‘s for co-founders, attorney Allen Grubman watched over the years as his cohorts — Ahmet Ertegun, Seymour Stein and Jann Wenner — along with many of his clients were inducted. But he rarely considered when, or if, his time would come.

“I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t think about it, but it wasn’t something that was on my mind,” Grubman, who will be one of three recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award on Nov. 5 at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, tells Billboard. He’ll also become the first practicing attorney to be inducted. “I’m very proud of that. It feels wonderful. It feels satisfying. It reconfirms to me that there’s been some meaningful purpose in my life, and that’s very important to me. So I feel absolutely great.”

Grubman, who was then “a young lawyer” just five or so years into his own practice, was recruited by the late Ertegun to help start the Rock Hall during the early 80s. “He wanted to have one of the four of us be a lawyer, ’cause he knew that when this was built out, there would be a need,” says Grubman, who remains the secretary-treasurer on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundations’ board of directors. “I just watched it grow and grow and grown. I don’t think any of the four founders could have ever dreamt that it would have the importance and the significance and the historical significance that it has. It’s unbelievable.”

A Brooklyn native, Grubman worked in the messenger room at the William Morris Agency and was a page for The Ed Sullivan Show before graduating from Brooklyn Law School in 1967. He became an associate with Walter Hofer in 1969 and set up his own firm during the mid-’70s — “with a bridge table, a bridge chair and a phone” — working with TK Records and with KC & the Sunshine Band, Kool & the Gang, the Village People and a number of other disco acts. During the ’80s he diversified, signing clients such as Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, U2, Rod Stewart, Elton John, John Mellencamp, and later,  Diddy, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, The Weeknd and many more.

Currently the Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks has nearly 50 attorneys, and in addition to performers, also represents corporate concerns such as Spotify, Facebook and record labels. Grubman has been called “the most powerful lawyer in the music business” by Business Week and “perhaps the music industry’s wealthiest and most powerful attorney” by Newsweek, and he’s regularly been featured on Billboard‘s list of Top Music Lawyers.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve built here,” Grubman says. “It’s a very stable law firm, and we have the greatest clients in the world and the most prestigious clients in the world. I have the luxury now of me, personally, picking and choosing what projects I want to work on because there are so many lawyers here. So I enjoy it more now than I did in the past. I love coming to work, and I don’t intend to go anywhere in the very immediate future. I’m gonna do this as long as I can, ’cause I just love it.”

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Co-Founder Allen Grubman Becomes First Practicing Attorney Inducted As one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame‘s for co-founders, attorney Allen Grubman watched over the years as his cohorts — Ahmet Ertegun, Seymour Stein and Jann Wenner — along with many of his clients were inducted. But he rarely…