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"Jermaine has been one of the outstand-ing creative forces in the Atlanta music scene. We have known each other for more than a decade, and it has been a source of personal satis-faction for me to watch him work with and guide many of Atlanta’s hip-hop and R&B artists to superstar status."
——Arista chief
L.A. Reid
A SO SO DEAL FOR ARISTA
Reid Names Producer/Artist/Label Exec Jermaine Dupri Senior VP

Jermaine Dupri has entered into an exclusive label and production agreement with Arista Records, and has been named a Senior VP of the company.

The move, which was announced early Tuesday by label President/CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid, had been expected (Rumor Mill, 1/10).

Under terms of the agreement, Dupri’s So So Def Recordings, formerly distributed by Columbia Records, will now be distributed worldwide by Arista. Since 1994, Atlanta-based So So Def has been one of the hottest labels in Urban music, most recently with Jagged Edge and Bow Wow, both of whom will remain with Columbia.

In addition, Dupri will exercise his talents as a producer and solo artist and will also seek out and develop new and established artists. Dupri will provide his services as a producer exclusively for the BMG group of labels. Based in Atlanta, Dupri will further develop Arista’s presence in that music community and will enhance Arista’s creative focus by lending his talents in urban music A&R and visual taste, the company said.

"Jermaine has been one of the outstanding creative forces in the Atlanta music scene," said Reid. "We have known each other for more than a decade, and it has been a source of personal satisfaction for me to watch him work with and guide many of Atlanta’s hip-hop and R&B artists to superstar status. Jermaine has produced some of the greatest names in contemporary music, and I welcome the opportunity to bring him into the Arista family."

Dupri added, "I am very happy to join the Arista family and to continue the legacy that So So Def has created over the past 10 years. Antonio "L.A." Reid has been a source of support and encouragement over the years, and I am excited about the opportunity to work closely with him in my new position as Senior Vice President. I feel I bring a lot to the table and am definitely happy to do what I have to do in Arista’s very comfortable space. As SVP, I hope to follow Arista’s path and continue to change the face of music."

Dupri is no stranger to the Arista artist roster, having produced, executive produced or remixed recordings by Usher, TLC, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Toni Braxton, Donell Jones, Run D.M.C., Monica and others.

For the past decade, Dupri has been at the helm of his So So Def Productions and the So So Def label, whose roster has also included XSCAPE, Da Brat, Whodini, Harlem World and the Bass All-Stars.

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