LOS ANGELES - Music industry executive Frank Dileo, who managed Michael Jackson's career in the 1980s and returned as his manager in the superstar's final days, died Wednesday. He was 63. Publicist Karen Sundell said Dileo died in the morning. The cause of death was not immediately available, but he had recently experienced complications following heart surgery.
A native of Pittsburgh, Dileo began his career in the music industry working as a promoter for CBS subsidiary Epic Records. He signed so many stars that he was credited with catapulting the small company to the No. 2 label in the country. Jackson was at CBS Records at the time and together they worked on the phenomenally successful "Thriller" album.
In his book "Moonwalk", Jackson credited Dileo as one of the people "responsible for turning my dream for 'Thriller' into a reality."
In 1984, Jackson recruited Dileo to leave Epic and manage his career. Dileo accepted and presided over one of the most productive periods for Jackson. He executive-produced Jackson movie, "Moonwalker." He also wrote, produced and negotiated a series of lucrative Pepsi commercials for Michael. And he managed two of Jackson's concert tours — the Victory Tour and the Bad World Tour, Jackson's first solo excursion which became the largest grossing concert tour of all time.
After five years together, Dileo and Jackson abruptly ended their business relationship without explanation.
In 2005, Dileo returned to Michael's side. He later described their emotional reunion. After Jackson's acquittal from the child molestation trial, they remained in touch and in the summer of 2009, as Jackson prepared to launch his "This is It" tour, the singer asked Dileo to manage him again. They were working together when Jackson died on June 25, 2009.