10 Things You Didn’t Know About Clive Calder

Clive Calder might not be a household name, but his influence on the music industry is undeniable. As the South African-born co-founder of Zomba Music Group and Jive Records, Calder has had a hand in nurturing some of the most influential pop acts of the 20th Century. Below are ten intriguing facts about this behind-the-scenes music mogul that you might not be aware of:

1. He started his career at a young age

Born in South Africa in 1946, Calder’s life changed dramatically when he joined the jury for the local edition of Battle of the Bands at the tender age of 16. This early immersion into the music business would serve him well later, when he launched his record label.

Despite being underage, Calder showed an incredible understanding of the music world and quickly rose through the ranks. His early experiences laid the groundwork for his successful career in the industry.

2. His first successful act was a disco group

While now associated with pop acts like Britney Spears and ‘N Sync, Calder’s first major success came with a disco group. In 1975, Calder and his then-partner Ralph Simon signed a little-known South African band named Boney M. The group went on to have numerous international hits.

The success of Boney M put Calder’s Jive Records on the map. It also established his knack for spotting talent and turning unknown acts into chart-topping successes.

3. He is extremely private

Despite his incredible success, Calder prefers to stay out of the spotlight. He rarely gives interviews and is known to value his privacy highly. Some attribute this discretion to a desire to let the music and the artists speak for themselves.

This commitment to privacy is unusual in an industry known for its flamboyant personalities and public figures. Calder’s preference for a low-profile approach reiterates his focus on the music, rather than the glamour of the industry.

4. He mentored some of the biggest pop acts

Calder’s record labels are responsible for launching the careers of some of the biggest names in pop music. Britney Spears, ‘N Sync, and the Backstreet Boys all got their start on Jive Records. Calder’s influence not only facilitated their success, but also helped shape the sound of pop music during the 90s and early 2000s.

Without Calder’s strategic guidance, it is likely that these iconic pop figures may not have reached the global status they attained. His contributions have indelibly marked pop culture history.

5. He sold Zomba for an enormous sum

In 2002, Calder sold the Zomba Music Group, which includes Jive Records, for a whopping $2.74 billion to BMG. It remains one of the largest deals in music industry history. The deal reflects Calder’s keen business acumen and recognition of when to cash in on his investments.

After selling, Calder stepped back from the music industry, allowing him to focus on personal projects and other interests.

6. He’s not just about music

After selling Zomba, Calder founded the Calder Foundation, a philanthropic organization. The foundation supports initiatives in education, the environment, and other vital sectors, demonstrating his commitment to social responsibility.

The foundation moreover shows another facet of Calder’s life, revealing that he isn’t just about music. Calder has channeled much of his success into making a meaningful difference in the world.

7. He’s a billionaire

Thanks to his savvy business decisions and sharp ear for hits, Calder is a bona fide billionaire. Forbes listed him among the richest people in the world in 2020, with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion.

This achievement is testament to Calder’s hardworking ethic and entrepreneurial mindset. He’s living proof that in the music industry, passion mixed with sharp business acumen can result in astounding success.

8. He’s worked with hard rock bands

While Jive is mostly recognized for its pop acts, Calder also worked with various rock bands. He signed AC/DC to Jive parent Zomba in the late 70s, kickstarting their global success. Calder’s ability to identify potential in diverse genres showcases his adaptable and innovative approach.

AC/DC’s impressive career trajectory is yet another testament to Calder’s knack for spotting hidden talent, regardless of music genre.

9. He was behind one of the best-selling albums of all time

‘N Sync’s sophomore album ‘No Strings Attached’ was a Jive Records release. It sold an incredible 2.4 million copies in its first week – a record that stood for 15 years. Calder’s adept handling of the band and his strategic role in their success reflects his instinctive feel for the commercial market.

This album, aside from being a pop culture phenomenon, left a lasting imprint on the music industry – another notch in Calder’s illustrious legacy.

10. He’s received numerous awards for his contributions to the industry

Calder’s contributions to the music industry have not gone unnoticed. He was awarded the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement in 2000. The Award recognises outstanding contributions to the global music scene, a fitting tribute to Calder’s significant influence.

In addition, Calder’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020 further confirms his standing as a music industry titan.

Knowing more about Calder offers intriguing insight into the music business and the innovators shaping it. For more information about Calder, follow the links below:

Clive Calder – The Billionaire Who’s Running The Music Industry
Forbes Profile – Clive Calder
Billboard Interview with Clive Calder