5 Jul 1944
11 Aug 2016 (72)
Robbie Williams is managed by the company ie:music, which was established in 1992 by David Enthoven and Tim Clark.
David Enthoven fell in love with the pop music industry in the 1960s and was successful as co-manager of King Crimson, Mark Bolan, Roxy Music, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, before getting addicted to drugs and alcohol. He completely recovered and used his experience to help other people, including Robbie Williams.
Robbie visited the office of ie:music in 1996, after leaving Take That. Neither David nor Tim were impressed by Robbie's demo tape or by his general condition. But they agreed to a second meeting, during which Robbie began reciting his poetry to them. "If you can do that, you can write songs," they told him, and introduced him to Guy Chambers. They wrote several songs together, including the songs that kickstarted Robbie's solo career: Angels and Let Me Entertain You.
David accompanied Robbie on his concert tours and helped him overcome his addictions; Robbie once said that without the help of David he might have died. David was also responsible for orchestrating Robbie's then record breaking £80 million deal with EMI.
At the height of Robbie's career, David explained his managerial technique to Esquire magazine. "I always say to Rob, 'If you wanted an elephant to keep you amused backstage, I'd go and find [an] elephant.' It sounds very pandering, but it's not, because at the end of the day, come nine o'clock at night, he's got to get up there and do his stuff. The boss gets looked after because the boss delivers the bacon."
When David died unexpectedly in August 2016, Robbie paid tribute to him on social media, saying: "My Friend, Mentor and Hero passed away today. David Enthoven, I love you. RIP." Robbie's youngest son, Beau Benedict Enthoven Williams is named after David.