David Watkins, event planner to the stars, passed away yesterday, October 28.
Watkins has been an pivotal figure in the music industry for more than two decades. He started out as one of the first staffers at The Source magazine in 1991, eventually rising to general manager. Then, after working as vice president and general manager at placement agency Da Streetz, Inc., for two years, he started his own marketing and advertising firm, Icon Lifestyle Marketing, in 1995. Watkins specialized in throwing star-studded events, and his clientele list grew to include such bold-face names as Russell Simmons, Diddy, Derek Jeter—who enlisted Watkins to throw his 30th birthday party—and BET.
More recently, Watkins launched a new firm, The Watkins Project, which helmed the listening party for Chris Brown's F.A.M.E. album earlier this year.
Watkins and his talent, which has been called visionary by many throughout the industry, will be deeply missed.