‘The Fader’ Co-Founder Passes Away

26 June 2024 | 3:15 pm | Mary Varvaris

Rob Stone and Jon Cohen launched The Fader as an independent music publication in 1999 with a Funkmaster Flex cover story.

The Fader logo

The Fader logo (Source: Wikimedia Commons/Public domain)

Rob Stone, the co-founder and co-CEO of music publication The Fader and co-founder of the Cornerstone Agency, has passed away. He was 55 years old.

The news was shared on the Fader website, and there were separate posts from his family and co-CEO Jon Cohen (the latter two statements on social media). Stone had been living with cancer but kept the process private.

Stone and Cohen launched The Fader as an independent music publication in 1999 with a Funkmaster Flex cover story. Stone was known for working closely with Biggie Smalls in his early days and for his “tireless energy”. If you want to find out how the Funkmaster Flex cover story happened, you can find the behind-the-scenes story here.

Since then, hundreds of artists have graced its cover, from’s cover, from Billie Eilish to Drake to James Blake.

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

Jon Cohen wrote, “I will love you forever Rob Stone. Our partnership was incredible. The things we accomplished together we could have never dreamed of doing when we were 15. 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. But way bigger than our success was our friendship.

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“There is no one I loved having at my side more than you. We experienced so much together. I will tell your story and our stories together for the rest of my life. There are so many incredible ones. Thank you for all that you taught me. Thank you for always having my back and thank you for always making me laugh. I will think of you at every Knick game, I will feel your presence every time I hear a Biggie song and laugh with you during every ridiculous NY Jet loss.”

In the 100th issue of The Fader, Stone wrote: “Music defines who we are. It brings out the best in us, comforts us, and accompanies us on our life’s journey. Listening to a new amazing song is personal — it becomes critical to our lives. It gets in our DNA. We’ll always shine the light on artists that we believe will make a difference.”

Artists and music industry figures have paid tribute to Stone. Metro Boomin’ and the estate of The Notorious B.I.G. are just some of the big-name figures who have shared tributes.