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DARCUS SAILING TO ISLAND U.S.

Island U.K. chief Darcus Beese will be the next leader of Island U.S., succeeding fellow Brit David Massey. The native of Fulham, London, who began his career 25 years ago as a tea boy at Island’s London offices during the reign of founder Chris Blackwell, came up through the ranks as an A&R man, becoming Co-President in 2008 and President in 2013. His signings include Amy Winehouse, Mumford & Sons, Florence + The Machine, Hozier, Disclosure, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Taio Cruz and Dizzee Rascal.

Beese, who has described  his goal of carrying Blackwell’s A&R vision forward, has also been responsible for the U.K. success of such global acts as Drake, The Weeknd, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne; he has also maintained a close relationship with U2 (who are still on the label in Blighty) for many years. He was awarded the honor Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the crown in 2014.

The British exec was seen hobnobbing at Coachella during weekend one (no self-respecting label heavyweight would be seen with the bridge-and-tunnel crowd at weekend two).

Who will succeed Beese as head of the U.K. label? Stay tuned.

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