New York, NY -- Jermaine Dupri, one of the industry's most consistently successful top-charted producers and songwriters, has been appointed president of Island Records Urban Music, a new division of the Island Def Jam Music Group, it was announced today by Antonio "L.A." Reid, Chairman, Island Def Jam Music Group. As part of the arrangement, Mr. Dupri will oversee Island's entire urban music operation. In addition, he will produce artists on the IDJ roster, as well as provide his production services to the entire Universal Music Group family of labels.
In this newly created position, Mr. Dupri will report directly to Mr. Reid, and to Steve Bartels, President, Island Records/COO, Island Def Jam Music Group, on operational matters. Dupri will be based in Atlanta and New York.
"Jermaine's career has grown from strength to strength over the years," said Mr. Reid, "as a producer and songwriter and recording artist in his own right, as a respected label executive and entrepreneur, and as a highly esteemed developer of new talent. His deep ties to Atlanta's creative R&B and hip-hop community have been the springboard to working with the greatest names in contemporary music. This is a tremendous step forward for Island Records and its established roster of artists who will benefit enormously from Jermaine's presence."
"I'm so excited to be reunited with L.A. Reid because most of my biggest hits were when he and I worked together," said Mr. Dupri. "And then to be working side by side with Steve Bartels -- I don't think there's a better team because he's by far the best in the game. I can't wait for us to start stuntin' on y'all."
"I am thrilled that Jermaine has decided to join the Island Def Jam family," said Mr. Bartels. "Jermaine is a prestigious hitmaker as well as a production wizard. I personally look forward to helping be part of once again, adding to and continuing his illustrious legacy."
Jermaine Dupri is one of the preeminent figures in Urban Music today. He has written, produced, or mixed hit records for many of the industry's top artists. His long-distance run of hits with Usher, which began in 1997, culminated with 2004's string of "Burn," "Confessions Part II," and "My Boo" (a duet with Alicia Keys) which drove 8-times platinum sales of Usher's Confessions album, making it the best-selling album of the year.
Dupri is no stranger to the Island roster, having co-written and produced the Mariah Carey #1 hits "We Belong Together" (for which he shared the Grammy award for Best R&B Song), "Shake It Off," and "Don't Forget About Us." All three were from The Emancipation of Mimi, the #1 top-selling album of 2005. In addition to his collaborations with IDJ artists Jay-Z, Ludacris, and Lionel Richie, Dupri has turned out hits with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, TLC, Run-DMC, Toni Braxton, Alicia Keyes, Nelly, Chingy, Janet Jackson, Monica, Aaliyah, Ciara, and many others.
Jermaine Dupri was 19 years old when he produced his first #1 record on the Billboard Hot 100, Kris Kross' 1992 single, "Jump." The 5-times platinum sales of the teen duo's debut album led to Dupri's founding of the So So Def label in 1993. He was quickly marked as one of the foremost young entrepreneurs driving the arrival of hip-hop as a central creative and commercial force in mainstream music. So So Def became known as an engine not only of hit records, but of artist development, as Dupri went on to sign and nurture the careers of many gold, platinum, and multi-platinum selling artists including Xscape, Da Brat, Jagged Edge, Lil' Bow Wow, Dem Franchize Boyz, J-Kwon, Youngbloodz, and Anthony Hamilton.