Kelly ‘Dred’ Liebelt, 1977-2005
Atlanta based engineer/mixer, Kelly “Dred” Liebelt passed away June 1, 2005 of a heart attack. Liebelt was the chief engineer at ZAC Digital recording studio in Atlanta. He was 28.
In spite of Liebelt’s short career of two years, he gained enormous accolades in the local community as well as a Grammy nomination for engineering on Usher’s multi-platinum Confessions. Affectionately known as ‘Dred,’ Kelly was currently mixing the debut release, on Virgin Records, for rapper Sun N.Y., as well as just completed mixing theme music for Bobby Brown’s upcoming reality TV show, “Being Bobby Brown.”
Hailing from Phillips, in the northern parts of Wisconsin, ‘Dred’ attended Madison Media Institute, under instructor Brian Liston prior to beginning his internship at ZAC. As an intern, he quickly gained the confidence of clients and soon began his engineering career. Producer Dave Fortman commented, “Dred was definitely one of the best ‘listening’ assistants I’ve ever worked with.” Owner/studio manager, Jim Zumpano, follows up, “Dred could work with any of my clients, from rock to rap–he really had an uncanny ability to just see the music. Kelly was the flagship engineer here, as in the old days, people came to ZAC because they wanted to work with ‘Dred.'”
Atlanta and the entire music making industry has suffered the loss of one of it’s brightest young stars.