Allen Grubman
May 04 2022

2022 Inductee - Ahmet Ertegun Award



Allen Grubman, a founder of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, changed the music business. He has represented rock & roll’s biggest stars, including Bruce Springsteen, U2, Sting, John Mellencamp, Madonna, Lionel Richie, Elton John, Lady Gaga, and many more. Grubman is recognized for negotiating ground-breaking long-term agreements for his clients that allow them to maintain creative control of their work. “What challenges me is being able to do something unique,” Grubman has said. “I love structuring deals that are innovative, that are truly different from anything that has been done before.” 

Grubman entered the business in the messenger room at the William Morris Agency and worked as a page for The Ed Sullivan Show before earning his first job as an entertainment lawyer in 1969, working alongside Walter Hofer, the man who helped break the Beatles in America several years earlier. By the mid-1970s, Grubman opened his own firm, and soon had three big breaks representing disco artists the Village People, KC and the Sunshine Band, and Kool & the Gang. In the early 1980s, he began representing Bruce Springsteen, just as “the Boss” was becoming one of the biggest stars in the history of popular music. Since then, Grubman's law firm and client roster have grown exponentially, becoming a veritable who’s-who of rock’s finest. 

Grubman’s direct, candid approach has cemented his reputation as one of the industry’s most trusted and hard-working executives. Beyond his work with individual artists, Grubman also has represented major record companies and music publishing companies, as well as iHeartMedia, MTV, and Live Nation. With his endeavors expanding into all aspects of the entertainment industry, today his firm is one of the largest entertainment law practices in the country. Over the last 40 years, Allen Grubman has played a pivotal role in structuring and negotiating the most profitable business arrangements in the history of entertainment. He is rock & roll’s master dealmaker.