R.I.P. Michael Jackson Audio Engineer Bruce Swedien
Published Nov 17, 2020
Famed audio engineer Bruce Swedien — best known for his celebrated work with Michael Jackson — has died. His daughter Roberta Swedien revealed on Facebook that he passed away last night (November 16). While a cause of death was not revealed, Swedien was 86.
“He had a long life full of love, great music, big boats and a beautiful marriage,” his daughter wrote. “We will celebrate that life. He was loved by everyone.”
Most famously, Bruce Swedien worked on Michael Jackson’s most famous work, including Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad and Dangerous — all of which he both recorded and mixed.
Beyond Swedien’s work with MJ, the engineer worked with the likes of Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Dinah Washington, first at RCA Victor before working under the legendary Bill Putnam at Universal Recording. Eventually Swedien met Quincy Jones, who asked him to help work on the Michael Jackson albums.
“There are not enough words to express how much Bruce meant to me,” Jones wrote in an Instagram tribute. “I have always said it’s no accident that more than four decades later no matter where I go in the world, in every club, like clockwork at the witching hour you hear ‘Billie Jean,’ ‘Beat It,’ ‘Wanna Be Starting Something,’ & ‘Thriller.’ That was the sonic genius of Bruce Swedien, & to this day I can hear artists trying to replicate him. I’m going to miss your presence every single day “Svensk”, but I will cherish every moment we shared together laughin’, lovin’, livin’, & givin’… Rest In Peace my brother.”
My dad, Bruce Swedien, passed away peacefully last night, November 16th. He was 86. A legend in the music industry for…