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"His remarkable ability to identify and develop talent will continue to build great careers in the years to come, while bringing innovative and refreshing ideas to well-established acts."
——Virgin Chairman/CEO Matt Serletic
JERMAINE DUPRI NAMED PRESIDENT, VIRGIN RECORDS URBAN MUSIC
Veteran Artist/Producer Bringing So So Def with Him; Will Record and Produce for Label
In a multi-faceted deal, Virgin Chairman/CEO Matt Serletic has named hit-making hip-hop artist/producer/ label owner Jermaine Dupri to the newly created post of President, Virgin Records Urban Music.

In his new position, Dupri will oversee Virgin’s entire Urban Music operation. He will also record for Virgin as a solo act, produce Virgin artists and make his production services available to all of EMI’s labels. Also, as part of the deal, Dupri will bring his label, So So Def to Virgin, with JD as an artist, as well as Da Brat, Brooks Buford and Daz. Present So So Def artists Anthony Hamilton, Bonecrusher, 3LW and J-Kwon will remain at the company's previous home, Zomba Label Group.

Dupri, who will be based in Atlanta and New York, will report directly to Serletic and to Virgin COO/GM Larry Mestel, while working closely with Executive VP Urban Music Lionel Ridenour.

"Jermaine Dupri's outstanding work has extended in every direction since the mid-Nineties: as a producer and songwriter, as an entrepreneur, as a label executive and as a recording artist," said Serletic. "All of us at Virgin are thrilled to welcome Jermaine to the company. We know that his remarkable ability to identify and develop talent will continue to build great careers in the years to come, while bringing innovative and refreshing ideas to well-established acts. And I can't wait to get him started on a remix for Collective Soul."

Said Dupri: "I am happy to join the Virgin Records family, and look forward to working with Matt, Larry, Lionel and the whole Virgin Records team. As the new President of Urban Music for Virgin Records, I'm up for the challenge. My strengths as a producer and hit-maker were magnified this year with the success of my work with Usher. By joining So So Def and Virgin, I plan to do for Virgin what Russell Simmons did 10 years ago when he moved Def Jam to Island Records. I will catapult Virgin into a young, hip label with chart-topping success in both R&B and rap music. I also hope to change the whole look of the company, so when up-and-coming R&B and hip-hop artists are looking for a home, Virgin will be their first stop."

Added Mestel, "Jermaine Dupri is such a unique talent. He is a rare blend of artist, talent magnet, creative visionary and businessman. We are very lucky to have the opportunity to add someone of Jermaine's stature in the creative community to our senior management team.”

Dupri has had a long association with Usher and most recently produced three #1 tracks from the artist’s eight-million selling Confessions album: "Burn," "Confessions Part II" and "My Boo," featuring Alicia Keys. He is currently nominated for two Grammys for his work on the disc.

Prior to the Virgin move, Dupri and So So Def had a deal with Sony BMG's Zomba Label Group. Prior to that, Dupri and Label were at Arista. Previously, So So Def had been distributed by Columbia.
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