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RIP: Recording Legend Bruce Swedien Passes Away at 86

April 19, 1934 – November 16, 2020

The recording industry is shaken by the loss of Bruce Swedien, the Grammy Award-winning engineer behind the sound of countless classics including Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

“He had a long life full of love, great music, big boats, and a beautiful marriage. We will celebrate that life. He was loved by everyone,” Swedien’s wife Bea and daughter Roberta shared in a November 17th Facebook post. He passed away peacefully on the evening of November 16th at the age of 86.

Launching his storied career as a protégé of recording pioneer Bill Putnam, Swedien went on to work with a prestigious list of artists including Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney, Duke Ellington, Barbra Streisand, and a host of others. Recognized as a studio pioneer in his own right, he won five Grammy Awards throughout his career.

Swedien’s legacy lives on in the minds of all he worked with and the millions who have enjoyed listening to his work.

Professional Sound shares its condolences with Swedien’s family, friends, and colleagues.

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Andrew Leyenhorst is the Assistant Editor for Professional Sound and Professional Lighting & Production, and related online channels.
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