Elliott Murphy
musician ceos elliott murphy

Once hailed as "The New Dylan" (just like his friend Bruce Springsteen), Murphy "invented" being his own CEO. Based in Paris, selling lots of records, he loves being boss.

"In 1979, after recording for the majors, I found myself without a label," Murphy recalls. "I started my own, overseeing everything from recording to pressing. One day, I dropped off an album re-order to a Manhattan store. The manager looked at me, confused. 'You're Elliott Murphy?' he asked. 'Right,' I replied. 'You deliver the records yourself?' 'Right again,' I replied. 'Why?' he demanded. 'Total artistic control!' I said 'Smart artist!' he said."

Aside from playing 100 dates a year and selling CDs -- "My wife is my staff, although she'd kill me for saying so" -- Murphy now manages his son's band.

"I tell him to do what I do: Get involved in every decision that concerns your career, keep longevity in mind as your goal."

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated March 13 2013 02:23 PM ET
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