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Grammy, Broadway producer John Cossette dies at 54

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Broadway musical producer John Cossette, who also followed in his father's footsteps to stage the Grammy telecasts and other entertainment award specials, has died at age of 54, his family said.

Cossette served as executive producer of several Grammy Awards, along with the BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards and Latin Grammy Award ceremonies.

He also produced the Broadway musical "Million Dollar Quartet," about the Memphis recording origins of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash.

"We are deeply saddened to report that John Cossette, 54, has passed away. We ask that you please respect our privacy during this incredibly emotional time," his wife, Rita, and two daughters said in a statement on Tuesday.

They did not give the cause of death, nor the time or place of Cossette's passing.

Cossette was the son of Pierre Cossette, known as the father of the Grammy Awards telecast for his influence in persuading the major networks to air the annual music industry ceremony, who died in 2009 at the age of 85.

The Recording Academy, which sponsors the Grammys, described John Cossette in a statement as a "remarkable live television producer."

"However, it was his warmth, easy-going nature, passion for music and the arts, and tireless dedication to the Grammy Awards and Latin Grammy Awards that was unmatched," Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, and Latin Recording Academy president Gabriel Abaroa said in a joint statement.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Steve Gorman and Greg McCune)

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