Universal Music chief Lucian Grainge hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus

Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive of Universal Music Group, is honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce at the Capitol Records building on Nov. 15, 2016.
(Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)

Universal Music Chairman and Chief Executive Lucian Grainge has been hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus and is receiving treatment at UCLA Medical Center, according to a report from Variety and confirmed by Billboard.

A Universal Music Group spokesman declined to comment.

A source with knowledge of the company’s operations confirmed that UMG closed its Santa Monica offices Friday ahead of a previous plan to do so this coming week because an employee tested positive for COVID-19. There has not yet been confirmation on the identity of the employee, which was reported by Variety to apparently be Grainge.

The source was unsure if the closure also extended to UMG-owned Capitol Music Group facilities in Hollywood or UMG’s New York offices.

Grainge succeeded Doug Morris as CEO of UMG in 2010, after having served as the head of the music group’s international operation. He was credited with expanding the company’s reach through digital distribution and for moving into new businesses, including merchandise sales, live event production and artist services.

The same year, he relocated Universal’s headquarters from New York to California to be closer to tech companies like YouTube and Apple that had begun to replace radio stations and record stores as the gateways through which new generations consumed music.


Grainge celebrated his 60th birthday in Palm Springs on Feb. 29 with a host of other West Coast power players, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, veteran music manager Irving Azoff and Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, Variety reported. Symptoms of the coronavirus, COVID-19, can appear up to two weeks after infection. An Apple spokesperson declined to comment.