Chris Bevington was one of life’s great guys. Whenever we got together we always wanted to sit at his end of the table. In part because he was funny and a joy to be around, but also because he was warm and kind and interested in us all.
He’d see the good in everyone, and wasn’t afraid to point it out, surprising us with nice things he’d noticed about us that we’d never have seen in ourselves. We’d walk on from those chats, a little bit taller, with a little more spring in our step.
His sudden, tragic, and very public death came as a shock to us all. You don’t expect to lose a strong, healthy friend at 41. Especially not one you’ve known for over 20 years and imagined you’d grow old always knowing. We’d even joked about how Chris would be spinning the playlists in our group retirement home. For music was his first love and for many of us it was the central pillar of our friendship with him.
We went to an uncountable number of gigs and festivals together. He recommended bands and genres we’d never heard of; told us to re-listen to artists we’d been too quick to dismiss.
Chris was clever so after university he’d followed a path to the city, but we were so proud of him when he gave all that up to do a school-leaver’s level job at the Virgin Records store in Putney, to kickstart a career in the music industry.
He worked hard moving up the ranks at Warner Music, then Nokia Music in Sweden, before moving to Spotify where he played a key role in introducing the streaming service to new territories changing the way millions of people listened to music.
Throughout his life his own love for music never diminished. He listened to it from the moment he woke up until the time he went to sleep. His Spotify playlists were deep and diverse. When he died in our raw grief we would lose ourselves for hours on end in those playlists hurting, healing and taking comfort from listening to the music he loved. Many of us still do.
And we think he’d like that, for Chris truly believed in the transformational power of music. Which is why, we his friends, have set up this charity as a tribute to him. We hope to bring some of the joy that music brought to Chris’s life to as many young people as possible.
“He was a wonderful husband, son, father, brother and close friend to many.”
John Bevington, Chris’s father
“When I was asked to help in celebrating the life of Chris Bevington by performing at his funeral, I was a bit apprehensive. I was aware of the horrific tragedy that took his life, and my heart broke for his family left in the wake. I barely got through the songs without breaking down that day. Knowing the service itself would be an emotional blur, I was left thinking of ways to create a lasting token of our sympathies… I had an idea to link up with some local musicians to record a new arrangement of our song ‘No One’s Gonna Love You’.”
Ben Bridwell, Band of Horses
You can listen to the tribute single Band of Horses released for Chris, on Spotify.
“Chris has been a member of our band for over 5 years. He has had a great impact on not just the business but on everyone who had the privilege to know and work with him.”
Daniel Ek, Spotify CEO and Co-founder
“[He] helped change the way Filipinos listen to music.”
Ernest Cu, Globe CEO
“He [was] very much one of ours in the music-loving community.”
Lauren Laverne, 6 Music
“Chris was a fantastic man. He was loyal, fun and a wonderful friend to me. I will continue to do things that keep his memory alive and his influence real.”
Lucinda Pullinger, friend and foundation trustee
“Chris’s laugh was so infectious. I will never forget the sound of it, or how often we used to hear it.”
James Hunt, friend and foundation trustee
“Chris was very thoughtful and supportive; always looking out for his friends, always wanting the best for them.”
Matt Felwick, friend and foundation trustee
“Music formed a huge part of our connection.”
James Drake-Brockman, friend
“Chris loved a party, had a wicked chuckle and was a very caring friend to lots of people in different ways.”
Sian Felwick, friend
“Chris was a complete one of a kind and it was an honour to be his friend.”
Niall Douglas, friend