Tributes paid to Food Records boss Andy Ross, who has died aged 66

Andy Ross, the head of Food Records, has died at the age of 66.

The passing of the record label boss, known for signing Blur, Idlewild, Dubstar, Jesus Jones and more, was confirmed to NME by a close friend and collaborator. A cause of death has not yet been revealed.

Tributes for Ross have started to pour in on social media, including one from Jesus Jones. “We’re heartbroken at the loss of Andy Ross, one half of the mighty Food Records,” the band wrote on Twitter. “Without him, we’d have never been able to do what we did. We’ll always be grateful, and we’ll always miss him. Goodbye boss xxx”

Blur drummer Dave Rowntree told his followers on Twitter that he was “really sad to learn of the passing of my friend and mentor Andy Ross,” adding that “he was one of the good ones – generous, warm, and kind. They broke the mold.”

Former labelmates Idlewild agreed: “We are deeply saddened by the news of Andy Ross’s passing. He gave a noisy bunch of young Scottish punks a home at food records and played a huge part in us being able to make music for all these years. Thank you Andy. You’ll be missed. Rest in peace. X”

“There aren’t words to describe how I feel after being told that my first music industry boss and second Dad Andy Ross has passed away,” War Child director Miles Jacobson tweeted alongside a picture of him with Ross. “A man who defined the ‘work hard, play harder’ music industry in the 90’s who will be missed every day. Love & thoughts with Helen, his partner.”

Creation Records co-founder Alan McGee paid tribute on Instagram, writing: “Gutted my friend @andy.ross.boss passed last night,” McGee wrote on Instagram. “One of the all time good guys in the music game .. Will miss him .RIP”

Originating from South London, Ross’ life in music began when he formed the band Disco Zombies while attending the University of Leicester from 1975-78. He also worked in a number of record shops before getting a job at the Inland Revenue.

Through a friend Ross then became a part-time music journalist. He left the Inland Revenue around 1986 to head Food Records whilst still a part-time journalist. Based in Camden, Food Records was formed in the mid-1980s by David Balfe.

While Ross was known for signing and working with many acts, one of his biggest moments came when he signed Blur in March 1990 after seeing them perform at the Islington Powerhaus the previous November.

After huge success, Blur’s final album associated with Food Records was their sixth, ’19’, which was released in March 1999. EMI bought out Food Records in early 1994.

You can see more tributes to Ross below:

This is a developing story – more to follow…