Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, Elton John, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, David Bowie, Tom Jones, Billy Ocean, Britney Spears, The Backstreet Boys and Jason Donovan – these are some of the celebrity artists who have been exclusively signed and in some cases discovered by Steve Jenkins in a lifetime of creative music programming and production that has won him 260 Platinum Gold & Silver discs.
It was during his tenures as founder and Chairman of Impulse Promotions from 1983 to 1996 and Managing Director of Jive Records from 1989 to 2004, operating in partnership with Impulse, that Steve Jenkins’ most impacting achievements took place. Originally taking Jive on as a fledgling company, within just a few years it and its managing partner company were famous success stories in the music industry. They also became celebrated as remarkable talent spotters. Amongst Steve’s personal discoveries were the hitherto unknown Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys, and his imaginative promotion and programming of all the world famous artists he presented led to Impulse and Jive becoming two of the World’s most highly influential and powerful independent companies in popular music.
During this period, Steve Jenkins’ partnership with the song-writing and production team Stock, Aitken and Waterman (Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman) led to a pop music boom with, in particular, Rick Astley, Bananarama, Mel & Kim, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. Under Steve Jenkins’ direct individual management, Impulse also signed and created new projects for David Bowie, Elton John, Eurythmics, Mariah Carey, Hall and Oates, Genesis, Whitney Houston, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Human League, and Tom Jones. At one point Impulse reached an exceptional industry zenith when in one week 37 of its records were in the top 75 chart.
By 1999 Jive was the World’s largest Independent Record Label, and that year it won the first of four consecutive label of the year awards. Steve Jenkins was also given the award of Managing Director of the Year. Three years later, Jive’s international prowess led to a buy-out offer from the mogul publisher BMG, and Steve Jenkins thus became Managing Director of Jive/BMG. When Sony and BMG merged in 2004, Steve’s unique expertise was called upon as a consultant in a joint venture label with Pete Waterman.
From July 2006, running until March 2007, Steve Jenkins’ outstanding contribution to popular music has been honoured at Walsall Museum, in the town where he was born, where an exhibition called “Kylie. Britney. Justin & Me” tells the story of his remarkable and colourful career, from its beginnings working with many recording companies in the early 1970s, through his maverick period in the 1970s and early 1980s as a DJ, tour manager and recording executive, up to his creative international achievements of the last two decades.