Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine has had a long, illustrious music career, but while it has held a lot of high moments, there have also been a lot of lows. Levine recently spoke to Variety about one of the worst moments: the death of his childhood friend Jordan Feldstein, who was also the band’s longtime manager.
Feldstein, who was also the brother of actor Jonah Hill, died unexpectedly at his home in Beverly Hills in December 2017 of a pulmonary thromboembolism. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner deemed the cause of death “natural,” though nitrous oxide Whip-It canisters that had been used several times were reportedly found in Feldstein’s bedroom.
“It was a tragedy foisted upon us and far and away one of the saddest moments of our lives, and personally mine,” Levine told the magazine for the latest issue’s cover story. “This is a kid I’ve known since we were in diapers. He was one of the most important people in my life from a very early age.”
Feldstein, USA Today reported, was the founder and chief executive of Career Artist Management and had managed the band since it formed 15 years ago. The company’s client list also includes Miguel, The B-52’s, Elle King, and Rick Springfield.
After his friend’s death, Levine had what he dubbed the “brutal” task of finding new management to Maroon 5.
“When that all went down, I remember having to dig deep and say to myself, ‘Am I just going to let this fall apart, or am I going to try and hold this thing together?'” Levine said of the decision.
But he knew that Jordan would have wanted him to “hold it together,” and ultimately, the singer chose to keep the position within the family. Adam tapped Feldstein’s mentor and business partner Irving Azoff for the job and promoted Adam “Ash” Harrison to co-manage the band.
Levine himself also co-manages to an extent, a decision he made partly due to his tenure in the industry.
“I’m almost 40 and have been doing this a long time,” he said. “I don’t need a babysitter.”
Almost a year after his death, Levine says he still thinks of his friend daily.
“It will always be something that’s missing my life. I break down; I cry. we built this together, and it will never be complete without him,” Adam said. “But at the same time, we know he wants us to keep trucking.”