Local Current Blog

Ten years of Record Store Day Ambassadors: A history

St. Vincent performs at the State Theatre in Minneapolis, 2014. (Nate Ryan/MPR)

Record Store Day (RSD) is fast approaching, with Run the Jewels being named this year’s Record Store Day Ambassadors. Record Store Day is a day where people are encouraged to go out to their local independent record stores and browse the collection, with incentives like exclusive releases and live performances.

Each year’s “ambassador” is the face of the event, and over the past decade that’s meant increasingly elaborate promotions. Here’s a look back at all ten Record Store Day Ambassadors.

2009: Jesse Hughes

Although Record Store Day began in 2008, it wasn’t until 2009 that Jesse “Boots Electric” Hughes from Eagles of Death Metal was named the first official Record Store Day Ambassador. Hughes created the role of ambassador, which has stuck around ever since.

2010: Joshua Homme

For 2010 organizers kept the ambassadorship in the band with Joshua Homme, drummer for Eagles of Death Metal and Queens of the Stone Age frontman. Homme was the first ambassador to make a video about his ambassadorship.

2011: Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne was named 2011’s ambassador and he kept his message short and sweet with this 15-second video.

2012: Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop was named 2012’s RSD ambassador and for his video, he reminisced about his first time purchasing a record. He also talked about the fact that he worked in a record store and his coworkers were the ones who started calling him Iggy. On Record Store Day people had a chance to win a signed poster of Iggy and the Stooges.

2013: Jack White

Jack White was named RSD ambassador for 2013, which is fitting because White owns his own record store and label. For his announcement video, he took viewers inside United Record Pressing to “reveal” the secrets of the music industry.

White also left his mark on the following year’s RSD by delivering the fastest-ever studio-to-store record to fans at Third Man Records.

2014: Chuck D

Chuck D of Public Enemy took on the role of ambassador in 2o14. Although the rapper, RSD’s first hip-hop ambassador, didn’t make an announcement video of his own, in a Grammys interview that year he talked about record stores as going beyond what a library can offer and being a cultural center. He even gave a shoutout to Atmosphere and Rhymesayers.

2015: Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl, frontman of Foo Fighters and drummer of Nirvana, was named 2015’s RSD ambassador. In his announcement video, he talked about the first record he ever bought despite the fact that he didn’t have a record player.

On Record Store Day, Foo Fighters played a concert for about 150 people at Record Connection in Niles, Ohio.

2016: Metallica

Metallica were named Record Store Day ambassadors for 2016. In their announcement video, the band talked about how they’d been attending Record Store Day events since 2008.

On Record Store Day the band went on Facebook live and played a show from Rasputin music where they first attended Record Store Day in 2008.

Miss the stream from our little #RSD2016 party at Rasputin Music? Watch it again now.

Posted by Metallica on Saturday, April 16, 2016

2017: St. Vincent

In 2017 St. Vincent was named the first female ambassador for Record Store Day. She teamed up with Funny or Die to make her announcement video, which played on the question of what being a Record Store Day “Ambassador” exactly means.

2018: Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels announced their ambassadorship with a video that highlights the insanity of world news in 2018. They also announced that they will have exclusive releases for RSD, including a gold collectors’ box and an exclusive 12-inch with some remixes.