Friday, June 21, 2024

Universal Music’s Sir Lucian Grainge on His Way to a Full Recovery: “This thing is not just some bad flu. It’s as serious as it gets”


Universal Music chief Lucian Grainge is on the mend, thank goodness. After a harrowing go with COVID-19, he sent a memo today to the Universal employees catching everyone up. It sounds like it’s all good news, Lucian is number 1 with a bullet. But he warns everyone that this was not a walk in the park. Whew!

Here’s the memo:

Dear Colleagues:

I do hope each and every one of you and your loved ones is safe and doing as well as can be in these difficult times.

I apologize for not having written earlier, but I know only too well how difficult these times can be, for you see, I contracted COVID-19 and was one of the 20% whose symptoms were severe.

Today, I am at home and recuperating. Thanks to those on the front line of this crisis—the doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers whose dedication and skill brought me back to health—I am on my way to a full recovery. I will never be able to thank them enough. And the first responders and all the other essential workers putting their lives on the line out there for all of us—they are heroes, justly entitled to our deepest respect and gratitude.

Take it from someone who’s been there: this thing is not just some bad flu. It’s as serious as it gets. As serious for the young and strong as it is for the old and infirm. Wherever you are in the world, take this pandemic as seriously as it deserves to be taken. Listen to and obey the guidance of your public health authorities. You will be doing it not merely for yourself, but for your families and—as we all know by now—for literally everyone in the world.

Let me close by thanking you as well. Without exaggeration, you are the greatest team the music world has ever brought together. Your amazing work—from home nonetheless!—during these past weeks only goes to prove it. I’m so proud of how your support for our artists and songwriters has not faltered, remaining as creative and devoted as it’s ever been, even as you’ve found the energy and time to lend helping hands to our COVID-19 response effort. You are remarkable.

Please take good care. If you need some special help the company might be able to provide, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Human Resources representative.

Remember: One day this will all be behind us. And I hope that day comes soon, because, honestly, I can’t wait until we’re all back in the office together. In the meantime, I’ll see you on Zoom.

Stay safe,


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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