Jerry Heller, Former N.W.A Manager, Has Died

Jerry Heller, known as the original manager of hip-hop legends N.W.A., has died. He was 75 years old.

Heller reportedly suffered a heart attack while driving, which in turn caused a car accident. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he passed away.

Heller’s influence on the US music industry was deep. While he is best known for managing N.W.A and founding Ruthless Records with Eazy-E, he had previously been a major tour promoter, including bringing bands like Pink Floyd and Elton John to the US for their first North American tours. Through setting up the Heller-Fischel Agency in 1970, he oversaw management of some of the world’s biggest artists, including Black Sabbath, The Who, Marvin Gaye, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Otis Redding throughout much of the 1970s.

Heller later focused his sights on gangsta rap, still an emerging genre at the time.  He began working with World Class Wreckin’ Cru and C.I.A, from which came N.W.A’s Ice Cube, DJ Yella and Dr Dre. The rest, as they say, is history.

After a controversial and somewhat negative portrayal in the 2015 biopic Straight Outta Compton, reports surfaced that Heller was planning to sue N.W.A for defamation to the tune of US$75 million.

Image: The Source