The head of the world’s largest music company has been hospitalised after contracting coronavirus as the global pandemic continues to cause widespread disruption.
The Vivendi-owned company is at the heart of the mainstream music industry and is behind artists including Billie Eilish, Elton John, The Beatles and Drake.
Universal declined to comment on Sir Lucian’s health.
Mr Grainge celebrated his 60th birthday on February 29 with a private function in Palm Springs attended by some of the sector’s most influential figures, musicians and celebrities, according to a person with direct knowledge of the gathering.
Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple, and Eddy Cue, head of services at the tech group, attended the event, according to people familiar with the matter. Symptoms of coronavirus can take up to two weeks to appear.
Apple declined to comment.
Universal has closed its offices in Los Angeles, where its British chief executive is based, as well as in New York and London with staff ordered to work from home, according to another person with knowledge of the situation.
Mr Grainge is considered the most powerful record label boss in the world, and is known for his close relationships with Universal artists such as Taylor Swift, Mick Jagger and Kanye West. He recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame where Justin Bieber and Lionel Richie toasted him.
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Universal was recently valued at $33bn with music groups prospering thanks to the surge in streaming subscriptions to Spotify and Apple.
Vivendi, the French conglomerate, recently agreed to sell a 10 per cent stake in the company to a Tencent-backed consortium. Sir Lucian, who led Universal during its takeover of the bulk of the EMI business it acquired in 2012, has been a critical player in the deal.
He is one of the most high-profile business figures to have contracted coronavirus. BT, the British telecoms company, said last week that its chief had been diagnosed.
The company made the information public as he had been in meetings with government ministers, regulators and most of his rival executives in the sector in the days preceding the diagnosis.