Tisha Fein has produced and booked the most sought after exclusive talent in the world, creating legendary entertainment moments, including: Grammys, Nobel Peace Prize, Special Olympics, Billboard Awards, Cleo Awards, The World Music Awards, March of Dimes, Emmy’s, Fashion Rocks, Stand Up To Cancer, American Idol, Lip Sync Battle, just to name just a few.
Arts Management Magazine: You are renowned for your brilliant pairings of artists, such as Andrea Bocelli with Celine Dion. Tell us about a favorite collaboration and how it came about.
Tisha Fein: A great one was a Tribute to James Brown for HBO. I got Aretha by using a club her brother owned in Detroit and agreeing to use her caterer who had the best finger sandwiches on earth…Aretha was more into the sandwiches initially then the show (laughs)… Then Robert Palmer jumped at the change to honor James Brown…Joe Cocker came on board and was totally intimidated when James stood on stage watching him perform his signature song “When A Man Loves a Woman”…The icing on the cake was Wilson Pickett, and at 9th hour we added Billy Vera who had a huge hit.
AMM: In the Entertainment industry you’re known as a producer who thinks like an artist; which is why you are a favorite among many of the worlds biggest stars. What role does creativity play in creating the best talent line up for an unforgettable show?
TF: You have to be aware of stars and their heroes and younger artists who worship the older ones…it’s all in the mix…like a great soup or stew…the pleasure of the artists experience comes across to the audience when the thrill is real…and the artist has to be invested in the creative process…feel it’s a true collaboration…and they have to be totally comfortable and in a safe atmosphere to be able to give their all.
AMM: Who is or was the most gracious or humble superstar that you have worked with?
TF: Most of all BB King followed by Dolly Parton and Celine Dion…even when they are under the gun they are grace under pressure..and always true to themselves…Also, Tony Bennett and Lionel Richie and Natalie Cole, David Bowie come to mind.
AMM: Without giving any names (or you can if you like) what was the craziest request from a star or their team in your many years of working with superstars?
TF: So many….Keith Richards wanted Jack Daniels and Marlboro Reds for his dressing room at Rock Awards in NYC…when the bottle was almost empty his manager Jane Rose showed it to me with the warning “You run out of Jack you run out of Keith”…Rod Stewart’s team made so many demands that when they asked for “shaved ice.” I told them to shave it themselves…
AMM: You constantly work on charitable events like Keep Memory Alive which benefits in Alzheimer’s research and care, and countless others. What does giving back mean to you personally?
TF: To know your efforts result in something worthwhile is always gratifying…Doing Nelson Mandela’s 75th at Wembley when he was still in jail on Robins Island was so emotional… And when he was released not long after that it was so wonderful….Live Earth in Philly and UK was equally gratifying…. anytime you can feel like you are making a difference it really doesn’t feel like work at all and the artists have the same spirit of coming together for a just cause so it’s win win for all.
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