Bronx native Mottola's career was set in motion when he settled down with Lisa Clark, the daughter of ABC Records chief, Sam Clark. By the early 1970s, he had founded a music management company, Don Tommy—later renamed Champion Entertainment—where he shepherded Hall and Oates to multi-platinum success and guided the careers of John Mellencamp and Carly Simon. In 1987, Mottola was hired by CBS Records' Walter Yetnikoff as president. When Sony bought the company the following year, Mottola moved up to the top spot. Mottola went on to spend 14 years running Sony Music and presided over the company during some of its most profitable years: On his watch, Sony signed the Dixie Chicks, Destiny's Child, Shakira, Mariah Carey, Ricky Martin, Celine Dion, and Jennifer Lopez, among many others. Everything changed, though, when the economics of the music industry started to shift in 2000. Sony Music reportedly lost $100 million during Mottola's last year at the company, at which point his legendarily lavish ways became less amusing to his corporate masters looking at the bottom line. In 2002, Sony's CEO, Howard Stringer, cut Mottola loose. Mottola is largely on the sidelines these days but he remains an influential figure in the biz. Shortly after he was ousted at Sony Music, he took over the long-defunct Universal-owned label Casablanca. Mottola has also got involved with several TV projects since leaving Sony, like serving as a judge on the VH1 reality show Born to Diva and producing lowbrow reality fare .
Gruff, tough, and with a pinky ring to match, Mottola was long one of the music industry's most intimidating figures, a Tony Soprano-like character who was always trailed by a security detail of armed cops. Thrice-wed Mottola's personal life has always been tabloid fodder. He divorced his first wife, Lisa Clark, in 1992; they had two kids, Sarah and Michael. The following year, he married Mariah in a star-studded $5 million wedding that attracted the likes of Barbara Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, and Robert De Niro. The two divorced in 1998, but Mottola quickly moved on to other high-profile babes. He reportedly dated both Jennifer Lopez and Naomi Campbell in the late 1990s before settling down with the Mexican star Thalia in 2000. [Image via Getty]