Lucian Grainge tested positive and was hospitalized for the novel coronavirus on March 15th. On April 6th, the CEO of Universal Music Group (UMG) — 2019’s most-successful music group in terms of market share — sent his company a note that he is now recuperating at home.
“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,” he wrote in the memo to employees, confirmed via multiple reports. “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.”
The renowned music-business executive, whose record labels represent the likes of Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and Post Malone, warned against COVID-19 being taken lightly. It’s “not just some bad flu,” Grainge wrote. “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.” He shouted out first responders and essential workers as heroes.
“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,” he continued. “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,” Grainge added. “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.”