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In the latest announcement of an established hitmaker scoring a top A&R role at a major label, the Island Def Jam Music Group announced today that veteran songwriter/producer Dallas Austin will be joining the company as a senior vice president, A&R for Island Records. Austin will be reporting directly to Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO of Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown.
Weiss described Austin as “a veteran who has been supplying chart hits to this industry for more than two decades, across multiple genres and around the world. Island Records is fortunate that such a coveted creative force is working with the company and its artists,” he continued in a statement.
“I am truly honored,” Austin stated of his new appointment, which will see him writing and producing for current Island artists and also discovering and signing new talent.
Over the years, Austin has scored hits with Madonna (“Secret”), Michael Jackson (“They Don’t Care About Us [Remix]”), and Monica (“Don’t Take It Personal [Just One Of Dem Days]”), among many others. More recently, Austin has worked with Gwen Stefani (“Cool”), Chris Brown (“Key 2 Your Heart”), and Carly Rae Jepsen (“Tiny Little Bows”).
Austin might be best-known for his work with TLC and pop singer Pink. He worked extensively on the TLC albums FanMail (including the smash “Unpretty”) and CrazySexyCool, both of which won a Grammy for Best R&B Album. Austin helped make Pink the star she is today by producing and sharing writing credits with the singer on “Don’t Let Me Get Me” and “Just Like A Pill,” two hit singles from her early album Mizzundastood.
The past year has seen a flurry of producers and songwriters taking positions at majors, with Island Def Jam leading the trend. Last August the company brought on hip-hop producer No I.D. (famous for working with Kanye West and Jay-Z on tracks like “Run This Town”, “D.O.A.” and “Heartless”) as the new executive vp of A&R. More recently, Ne-Yo moved to Motown, signing on as both an artist and as svp of A&R, and The-Dream has joined Def Jam also as evp of A&R.
Other high-profile hitmakers landed at Sony: Dr. Luke brought his Kemosabe label to the company, and Tricky Stewart (who scored hits with The-Dream including Rihanna‘s “Umbrella” and Justin Bieber‘s “Baby,” among many others) was named president of A&R at Epic Records.
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