Theresa Velasquez, a DJ turned Live Nation executive, had arrived at the Surfside condo building near Miami to visit her parents just a few hours before tragedy struck. This week, Velasquez was identified as the 95th victim of the building’s June 24 collapse, alongside her parents Julio and Angela Velasquez.
Velasquez had an inspiring career. At 36, she had already gone from deejaying in Miami to becoming a senior vice president at Live Nation in Los Angeles. During her time there, she reportedly focused on making the music industry more inclusive for queer artists and women. This work earned her a spot on Billboard’s Pride List of music industry-shaping LGBTQ executives in 2020.
Live Nation released a statement following the heartbreaking news. “Our hearts break for the loss of our beloved Theresa Velasquez, her parents Angela and Julio, and everyone taken far too soon in the tragic accident in Surfside, FL,” they wrote. “Theresa was an impassioned leader at Live Nation, who elevated every project she was part of, at the same time breaking down barriers for women and the LGBTQIA+ community. We will always remember and honor the impact she made, and will miss her dearly."
Velasquez got her start in the Miami Beach music scene in 2004, where she performed at clubs under the name DJ Theresa. Her success in that scene landed her gigs at Miami Beach’s White Party and Aqua Girl Miami. From there, she started touring internationally, including deejaying at Barcelona’s famous Circuit Festival and Madrid’s SuperMartxe.
Velasquez founded her own music label, Audio4Play, in 2013 alongside Grammy-nominated DJ Hector Fonseca. The imprint focused on featuring LGBTQ+ artists and up-and-coming nightlife talent.
After graduating from Georgetown University, Velasquez went on to earn a degree in music business from New York University. She began working for music labels including Sony Music and SFX Entertainment, then moved on to Live Nation, where she had worked for the past six years.