2018 - Individual Artist
David Ellefson is the electric bassist and co-founding member of Thrash Metal titans Megadeth, a member of the thrash metal collective known as the “The Big Four”, alongside Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax.
David’s aggressive plectrum style of bass playing has been at the foundation of Megadeths’ vast catalog of metal classics, including “Symphony of Destruction”, “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying”, “Hangar 18”, “Holy Wars... The Punishment Due”, and “Sweating Bullets”, to name just a few.
In 2016, David and the band recently enjoyed a Billboard hit with their 15th studio album Dystopia which landed in the #3 spot on the Hot 100. Far from their first major accomplishment, Megadeth has been awarded numerous gold and platinum awards, 13 Grammy nominations and has sold over 30 million albums worldwide during the span of their 33-year career.
Ellefson is also an accomplished producer, clinician, music business lecturer, and entrepreneur presiding over a global brand portfolio including his own record label EMP Label Group/Ellefson Music Productions, and relaunching the legendary Combat Records, the independent label that launched the career of Megadeth. Ellefson also helped forge the artist friendly merchandising venture MerchLive, and his own boutique coffee brand Ellefson Coffee Co., which has since become the World’s most visible rock ‘n roll coffee brand, with a sponsorship presence at major events including Chicago Open Air, Northern Invasion, Bourbon and Beyond, ShipRocked Cruise, and is available in retailers across the US.
David’s signature product collaborations include Jackson Guitars, SIT Strings, Ovation Guitars, Hartke Amplification, Peavey Electronics, GruvGear Straps, ISP Technologies, KH/DK Pedals (Kirk Hammett of Metallica), Pro Tone Pedals, and Re-Axe Products, and endorsements with EMG Pickups, Planet Waves, Providence Pedals, Peterson Tuners, and Blackstar Amplification.
Ellefson’s canon of literary works includes his music business self help guide Making Music Your Business…A Guide for Young Musicians (Hal Leonard) and his autobiography My Life With Deth (Howard Books/Simon & Schuster) which was co-written with BGM editor Joel McIver.