The Sad Passing of Hip Hop’s Francesca Spero

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My oldest friend in the world, Francesca Spero, died the day before yesterday. It is a very sad day for me and the music industry. She discovered Sean “P Diddy” Combs when he was an intern. She brought him to Def Jam Records and ultimately managed some of the biggest acts in Hip Hop. Someone more familiar with the music industry will have to give her a proper Hip Hop obituary.

We were friends from second grade on (P.S. 30, Rochdale Village). We did the club scene together “back in the day” and she was there for me when my dad died when I was 22. It is not true that none of your old friends from the party days are really our friends (*although we do need to avoid “people, places and things” if we’re addicts — I was the people, places and things). Most aren’t real friends but some prove to be true friends no matter what. Fran and I didn’t speak much when I was at my bottom. (I was busy bottom-feeding like a catfish for a few years and smart people stayed away from me to the extent they could.) We reunited when I got my life back on track in 1989.

She was a loving, generous woman, who was adored by an astounding number of people. She was known for her love of children. I always wanted her to be my kids’ godmother but she already had a full plate with her son, step-daughters and godchildren. She was also an amazing cook, and her house was a favorite for my family on the holidays. She leaves behind her father, brother and son, Giancarlo.

Here’s an article about her in USA Today. Fran USA Today


9 thoughts on “The Sad Passing of Hip Hop’s Francesca Spero

    Deborah Mannis-gardner said:
    November 20, 2014 at 10:34 am

    I met Frannie in 1990 when I started doing sample clearances. I aspired to be like her. I kept in touch with her as recently as her hitting me up on FB on Halloween and us trying to speak on the phone but missing each other. I haven’t stopped crying. Knowing, not just myself, but so many people and her family lost such a good, kind and caring person/woman who broke the barriers in the music and hip hop industry. She overcame addiction, was a great single mom and then was a mom to so many of these rappers and producers. She was part of the molding of hip hop and helped made these producers and moguls who they are today. The men in her life, Jerry, Giancarlo and her dad will miss her deeply as will all of the boys from the rap, hip hop and music community and all of the women she mentored and mothered throughout the years. She will ever be forgotten. ~ dmg

      Michele responded:
      November 20, 2014 at 10:59 am

      Thanks you for your comment, Deborah. I hope we will see stories in industry press about her. She accomplished so much and was a unique person in ways that are difficult to convey to those who didn’t know her. So sad.

    Brad Frank said:
    February 6, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Fran will truly be missed! She was a dear friend and I was blessed to have her in my life over the past 6 years. She was a pioneer and visionary as well as trusted friend. We planned to work together more in 2015 and I am saddened by not having her in my life outside of business. I know that Giancarlo was her heart and she lives on through him.


      Michele responded:
      February 6, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Fran was one of a kind. It’s still hard to believe she’s gone.

    Frankie Star said:
    March 28, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    A Look back at great times, If you know this picture you were a friend and the large family Fran had.
    Love you always Fran,
    Frankie Star (NA)

    Emanuel Lévy said:
    June 24, 2015 at 9:16 am

    I know this is very late, but I just googled her to see what she was up to. This is very shocking and sad news. I didn’t know Ms. Spero as well as the rest, but I used to work at Bad Boy Ent. back in the early 2000’s and she was always so very nice to me. I really looked up to her.

      Michele responded:
      June 25, 2015 at 5:50 am

      She was amazing. Thank you for commenting. She inspired so many people.

    Terrence Williams said:
    July 26, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Peace, I met Frannie boo boo in 1988 when she working for WBLS doing shows at the Palladium, Apollo theatre.. When she moved on to Cold Chillin records and then Rush Artist managment she took me with her. I am still saddened by the lost of my friend and sister. I still live One Day At a Time and have been for almost 30 years and I do this not just for myself but in her memory.

      Michele responded:
      July 28, 2015 at 6:11 am

      Thank you, Terrence. I hope we run into each other someday on the “happy road to destiny,” where Frannie had her best days.

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