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"Reuniting with Mr. Bronfman and my good friend Lyor sets the stage for one of the greatest shows on earth. We all know how to win big and won't accept anything less."
——Kevin Liles, on being named WMG EVP
LILES NAMED EVP AT WMG
Former Def Jam President Re-Joins Lyor Cohen in Group-Level Position
He's ready to Shyne at a new job.

Warner Music Group announced today that Kevin Liles, former President/CEO of Def Jam Records and EVP of parent company Island Def Jam Music Group, has been named Executive Vice President. 

Reporting to U.S. Chairman/CEO Lyor Cohen, his ex-IDJ colleague, Liles will "bring 15 years of expertise in the Urban and Rock music genres as well as in marketing and brand extension to bear on WMG's corporate operations."

 

WMG Chairman/CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr., looking forward to his first writing session with Shyne, was effusive in his praise: "We're extremely pleased to welcome Kevin into the Warner Music family.  His remarkable, sustained success at Def Jam in such a broad range of entertainment endeavors and his demonstrated leadership abilities and business acumen will make him an invaluable asset to our operations worldwide. And, most importantly, he promised to get my penthouse on Cribs."

 

Said Cohen: "Not only is Kevin one of the most knowledgeable music executives I know, he's one of the hardest-working, most passionate people in the business. With his extraordinary resume, he brings an entirely new level of vitality to WMG's efforts to build momentum in urban music. And with such a broad grasp of every element of the business, from A&R, artist relations, brand-building, merchandising, movies, television, video games and mobile content as well as phenomenal business instincts, he really is the consummate entertainment executive. We couldn't be more thrilled to have him join the Warner Music team. And a little-known fact about Kevin is, he speaks fluent Yiddish."

 

Said Liles: "I am very excited about this next phase in my career. Warner Music Group's executive team has extraordinary vision and a commitment to building a dynamic cultural enterprise. Reuniting with Mr. Bronfman and my good friend Lyor sets the stage for one of the greatest shows on earth. We all know how to win big and won't accept anything less. Whaddaya mean I can't get a discount on my AOL subscription?"

 

The 36-year-old exec's career began in 1986 when he penned the multi-platinum, award-winning single "Girl You Know It's True" written with his group Numarx and performed by Milli Vanilli. In 1989, he co-founded Marx Brothers Records, releasing several regional hits by his group Numarx while also opening for such acts as LL Cool J, Salt 'N Pepa, Rob Base and Run DMC. In 1991 he began his career at Def Jam as an unpaid intern in the Mid-Atlantic region, rising to Mid-Atlantic Marketing Manager in 1993. Just three years later, Liles was named President of the Def Jam Music Group. During his tenure as president, from 1998 to 2002, Def Jam revenues doubled to $400 million. Liles also oversaw the development and creation of the brands Def Jam South, Def Soul, Def Soul Classics, Roc-A-Fella and Murder Inc.

 

In 2002, he added the title of EVP of Island Def Jam Music Group, where he was instrumental in the success of superstars and emerging artists such as Jay-Z, Hoobastank, Ludacris, Sum 41, Ja Rule, LL Cool J, DMX, Kanye West, Musiq and Ashanti. He has also overseen all of Def Jam brand-extension and cross-marketing deals that have linked Def Jam's name to movies, television, DVDs, video games, clothing, financial services and mobile content arenas.

Liles and Cohen worked together at Def Jam for more than 12 years. Cohen resigned his post as head of Island Def Jam to join Bronfman’s newly private WMG in January.

Liles left Def Jam last month after failing to come to terms on a contract extension with new IDJ chief Antonio "L.A." Reid. While still at Def Jam, Liles is said to have closed the deal to bring incarcerated rapper Shyne, whose album Godfather Buried Alive streeted yesterday, to the label. The record is on track to sell more than 180k in first-week sales.
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