RIP Rob Stone, Co-Founder of The Fader & Cornerstone Marketing Agency

Rob Stone death due to cancer
  • Save

Rob Stone death due to cancer
  • Save
Photo Credit: Rob Stone

Rob Stone, Co-Founder of music marketing Cornerstone Agency and the magazine the Fader, died on Monday after a battle with cancer. He was 55.

“It is with a heavy heart and sadness we share the news of the passing of Rob Stone,” his family wrote on Instagram. “Rob bravely fought cancer over the past year. He chose to keep his diagnosis private in order to focus on his family. He was truly an amazing person who lived an incredible life.”

His longtime friend and Co-CEO John Cohen also paid tribute to Stone on Instagram. “The thing we accomplished together we could have never dreamed of doing when we were 15,” Cohen writes. “Yes we did want to kill each other at times but the love and respect we had in building our company for 28 years was special.”

Rob Stone launched Cornerstone Agency in 1996 with Steve Rifkind, who stepped aside for John Cohen just a year later. Cornerstone was an early force in music marketing, incorporating hip-hop street marketing teams to bring brands into the music space including Coca-Cola, Nike, Diageo, Reebok, Johnnie Walker, and many others.

Both Stone and Cohen founded the Fader magazine in 1999 as a companion to Cornerstone’s marketing efforts. Based in New York, the agency quickly grew with offices in Los Angeles, London, and Sao Paulo. The group expanded to include Fader Films, which is where Stone directed the bulk of his focus later in his career. Fader Films is responsible for the XXXTentacion documentary, “Look at Me” released in 2022.

Rob Stone graduated the University of Albany in 1990, joining SBK Records soon after. He rose to Director of Promotion and also served as Vice President of Promotion at EMI Records. In 1994, Stone joined music exec Clive Davis at Arista Records. He worked with artists including Notorious B.I.G, Usher Raymond, Diddy, Outkast, and Faith Evans.

Stone also sat on the board for the Children’s Cancer Association’s music medicine program, MyMusicRx. The non-profit delivers music medicine to critically ill kids and teens in the United States and Canada.