Mercury Records international product manager Thomas Ayad, who has worked with METALLICA, was among the victims in Friday’s (November 13) gun and bomb attacks in Paris, when 129 people were killed.
Said METALLICA in a statement: “We had great fortune to work with Thomas Ayad at Universal Music France for the past eight years and while Thomas had the official title of being our ‘project manager,’ we knew him as a member of our METALLICA family, a fan, a friend… and a warm, helpful, supportive familiar face each time we visited France. Friday we lost Thomas, at the Bataclan theatre, in a way that none of us can begin to comprehend. Our thoughts are with Thomas‘ friends, family, co-workers and all Parisians during these very difficult times.”
The photo of METALLICA frontman James Hetfield and Ayad below was taken on November 9, 2011 at the “Taratata” TV show.
Throughout his career, Ayad worked with dozens of musicians all over the world, including pop superstar Justin Bieber and THE ROLLING STONES legend Keith Richards, both of whom paid tribute to Ayad in messages, remembering him and thanking him for the work he did.
“Still thinking about Paris and my friend Thomas that we lost in the tragedy,” Bieber wrote Monday night. “He was part of the team for years and I wish I would’ve taken the time to thank him.”
Richards uploaded a photo of him and Ayad and offered “heartfelt condolences.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge confirmed Ayad‘s death in a statement on Saturday. He said: “This is an unspeakably appalling tragedy. On behalf of everyone here at UMG, we extend our most profound sympathies to his parents and all of his friends and family.”
Ayad was part of the team working at the EAGLES OF DEATH METAL show at Paris venue Bataclan, where 89 people were killed when gunmen fired inside the venue and took concertgoers hostage. All of the bandmembers were confirmed safe after the attacks, but members of their crew were not so lucky. Merchandising manager Nick Alexander lost his life, as did Bataclan stage and lighting manager Nathalie Jardin.