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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 May 2006, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
Police and REM rock promoter dies
Michael Stipe, lead singer of REM
Copeland was instrumental in getting REM a record deal
Music promoter Ian Copeland, who helped launch the careers of REM and The Police has died, aged 57

Copeland, whose brother Stewart was a founding member and drummer in The Police, was a booking agent for many of the "new wave" rock acts of the 1980s.

His strategy of making bands tour small venues and nightclubs around the US helped to break acts like Squeeze and The B-52's into the mainstream.

He died of melanoma at his home in Los Angeles, his publicist announced.

Born in Syria, Copeland was the son of Miles Copeland Junior, a jazz musician turned US intelligence officer.

He began his career in the music industry with the help of his older brother Miles, who got him a job as a booking agent in London.

Copeland discovered the Average White Band, who made their debut as an opening act for Eric Clapton in 1973.

US move

He moved to the US in the mid-1970s, where he and brother Miles worked together to establish British band Squeeze.

Copeland took on REM soon after their first gigs and introduced them to Miles, whose independent record label, IRS, signed them.

In the 1980s he set up his own agency, Frontier Booking International, which represented acts including Adam Ant, The Go-Gos and UB40.

Most recently, he ran the Backstage Café in Beverly Hills, where musicians like Herbie Hancock, Sting and Dr Dre have taken part in impromptu music sessions.

Copeland is survived by his two daughters, brothers Stewart and Miles and a sister, Lorraine.

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