Honorary Degree Recipient 2015

Michael Rapino - Honorary Doctorate Degree of Commerce

Michael Rapino is a Lakehead alumnus who has become an icon within the music industry. Rapino was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Live Nation Entertainment in 2005 and led its transformation into the number one live music brand in the world with operations in more than 45 countries and annual revenue exceeding $6.5 billion.

Before his career achieved such great heights, Rapino studied Business at Lakehead University and earned his B. Admin. in 1989.  After graduation, Rapino eventually became a Partner in Core Audience Entertainment, a leading concert promoter and entertainment marketing company in Canada that was purchased by Clear Channel Entertainment.

In 2005, Live Nation separated from Clear Channel to form its own company in Los Angeles. Since then, Rapino has made significant contributions to the advancement of the world’s music industry through his strong business acumen and willingness to be innovative.

In an industry where CD sales plummeted due to digital piracy, Rapino knew that the need for live music would be the best way to market artists and their music. He was instrumental in merging Ticketmaster with Live Nation. Rapino now helps propel the careers of artists such as Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Adele and Madonna.

Comprised of four market leading divisions—Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, Live Nation Media & Sponsorship and Artist Nation Management—Live Nation annually issues more than 450 million tickets, promotes 23,000 events, partners with over 750 sponsors and manages the careers of 280+ artists. Its ecommerce sites average 37 million unique monthly users.  

Beyond the entertainment industry, Rapino is very active in supporting communities. He and his family established “The Rapino Family Foundation”, a non-profit corporation based in Los Angeles. Its focus is raising funds for public safety, and disaster preparedness and relief services programs. Live Nation’s Ticketmaster division uses innovative fundraising initiatives to benefit a myriad of charities.

Rapino has volunteered his time to be featured as a successful Lakehead alumnus in the University’s 2008-09 marketing campaign, “I Think for Myself.” He is proud of his Thunder Bay roots and his Lakehead University education.