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NEW YORK – Universal Music Group said Wednesday that it has promoted Ethiopia Habtemariam to the posts of executive vp/head of urban music for Universal Music Publishing Group and senior vp of its storied Motown Records label.
It also said that Motown will now make use of Island Def Jam’s sales, marketing and distribution services.
Habtemariam, who has been head of music at Universal Music Publishing, will be based in New York and Los Angeles and report directly to Barry Weiss, chairman & CEO of Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown. The company said the promotion is the first in a number of planned new appointments at Motown Records.
“Ethiopia represents the new breed of today’s best creative music executives,” said Weiss. “In the studio at night and in the office during the day, she is artist and song focused. There is no one more relevant and credible in the creative community to help us build upon Motown’s fantastic legacy and move the company into its next groundbreaking era.”
Habtemariam, who joined Vivendi-owned UMG in 2003 and has signed such artists as Justin Bieber, Chris Brown and Ciara, said she was “grateful to Barry for giving me the honor and challenge to put a new creative stamp on a label that has such a rich history.”
Motown’s roster of artists includes Stevie Wonder, Babyface and Chrisette Michele, as well as the newly signed Luke James.
UMG’s urban music roster includes Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Mariah Carey and Swizz Beatz.
Former Motown president Sylvia Rhone recently headed to Sony to restore the defunct Portrait label.
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