Producer and songwriter Jermaine Dupri has been appointed president of Island Urban Music, a newly created division of Island Def Jam Music Group. In his new role, Dupri will oversee Island’s entire urban music division, while additionally providing his production services to artists within the entire Universal Music Group family of record labels. Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Chairman of Island Def Jam, officially made the announcement today after several weeks of speculation about where Dupri would land following his abrupt resignation as President of Urban Music at Virgin Records in October of 2006. JD will report directly to Reid and Island Def Jam President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Bartels, and will be based in New York and Atlanta.
“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.” The move will reunite Dupri with Reid, who previously ran Arista Records when the producer moved his So So Def label to the company in 2003. “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 JD. “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.”