Talent spotterMark Kamins

Kamins was a New York disk jockey. “I was always just a guy who played records at parties, from when I was ten years old on,” he once told an interviewer. He particularly liked working in nightclubs. In the early 1980s, Kamins worked to get his girlfriend a record deal. He liked her stuff, but no one would give her a listen. But Kamins believed in her, and had her cut a demo record, which he got to Sire Records chief Seymour Stein, who quickly signed the woman: Madonna (Madonna Louise Ciccone). Kamins is credited with “discovering” her. “If it weren’t for him, I might not have had a singing career,” Madonna said after hearing of Kamins’ death. “He was the first DJ to play my demos before I had a record deal. He believed in me before anyone else did.” Kamins produced at least one record for Madonna before she moved on to her next boyfriend. He died in Mexico on February 14 from a heart attack, at 57.

From This is True for 17 February 2013