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|The Island Def Jam Music Group|
|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
(In the US)
(In the UK)
Universal Music Group
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location||New York City|
|Official website|| islanddefjam|
The Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJMG) was an American record label group formed in 1998 by combining the operations of 14+ record labels including Island Records, Def Jam Recordings, and Mercury Records. In 2011, Motown Records was split from The Universal/Motown Records Group and subsequently became a division of the Island Def Jam Music Group.On April 1, 2014, Universal Music announced that Island Def Jam's operations would be split between three entities: Island Records, Motown Records, and Def Jam Recordings.
In 1998, The Seagram Company acquired the PolyGram Group Distribution, Inc. family of labels and merged them with the Seagram owned MCA Music Entertainment family of labels, forming what is now known as Universal Music.
Following the formation of Universal Music Group was the creation of the Island Def Jam Music Group, a company founded through the integration of more than 14 record labels, including former PolyGram flagship labels: Island Records, Mercury Records, and Def Jam Recordings.
Despite being a new organization, Island Def Jam quickly made a name for itself in the music industry. The label gained notoriety for its untraditional and innovative approach when it came to breaking new artists, creating joint ventures, acquisitions, internet marketing, etc. IDJ had a great A&R team that oversaw chart-topping talent such as Jay-Z, Bon Jovi, DMX, Elton John, & Ashanti (among others). These savvy business moves are the reason IDJ prospered.
In 2000, IDJMG announced that they would be launching Def Jam Germany, the first international Def Jam brand/label. This move expanded urban music into a global phenomenon.
In 2001, Island Def Jam created a country label, Lost Highway Records. The label operated as an imprint of IDJ's Mercury Records division.
In Summer 2001, Island Def Jam acquired a controlling interest in the legendary rock label, Roadrunner Records.
In December 2004, Island Def Jam acquired the remaining 50% interest in Roc-A-Fella Records, the other 50% had been purchased by former Def Jam parent company, PolyGram, in 1997.
In 2011, Motown Records became an imprint of the Island Def Jam Music Group.
In April 2014, UMG announced that Island Def Jam would cease to exist. IDJ's operations were split up/separated between its flagship labels: Island Records, Def Jam Recordings, and Motown Records.
Today, The Island Def Jam Music Group continues to possess one of the most impressive music catalogues in history.
According to the 2012 radio airplay analysis of music industry service Mediabase, IDJMG became the number-one rhythmic label with seven number one songs played on Rhythmic radio stations from Rihanna, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, and Justin Bieber.
Island Records is a British-Jamaican record label owned by Universal Music Group. It was founded in 1959 by Chris Blackwell, Graeme Goodall, and Leslie Kong in Jamaica, and was eventually sold to PolyGram in 1989. Island and A&M Records, another label recently acquired by PolyGram, were both at the time the largest independent record labels in history, with Island having exerted a major influence on the progressive music scene in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s. Island Records operates four international divisions: Island UK, Island US, Island Australia, and Island France. Current key people include Island US president Darcus Beese, OBE and MD Jon Turner. Partially due to its significant legacy, Island remains one of UMG's pre-eminent record labels.
Motown Records is an American record label owned by the Universal Music Group. It was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. as Tamla Records on January 12, 1959, and incorporated as Motown Record Corporation on April 14, 1960. Its name, a portmanteau of motor and town, has become a nickname for Detroit, where the label was originally headquartered.
Polydor Records Ltd. is a German-British record label and company that operates as part of Universal Music Group. It has a close relationship with Universal's Interscope Geffen A&M Records label, which distributes Polydor's releases in the United States. In turn, Polydor distributes Interscope releases in the United Kingdom. Polydor Records Ltd. was established in London in 1954 as a British subsidiary of German company Deutsche Grammophon GmbH. It was renamed Polydor Ltd. in 1972.
Universal Music Group is a global music corporation that is majority owned by the French media conglomerate Vivendi, with Chinese tech company Tencent owning a minority stake. UMG's corporate headquarters are located in Hilversum, Netherlands and its operational headquarters are located in Santa Monica, California. The biggest music company in the world, it is one of the "Big Three" record labels, along with Sony Music and Warner Music Group. Tencent acquired ten percent of Universal Music Group in March 2020 for €3 billion and acquired an additional ten percent stake in January 2021.
Mercury Records was an American record label that had significant success as an independent operation in the 1940s and 1950s and that later became owned by Philips, PolyGram, and Universal Music Group. In the United States, it operated through Island Records; in the United Kingdom, it was distributed by EMI Records.
Verve Records, also known as Verve Label Group, founded in 1956 by Norman Granz, is home to the world's largest jazz catalogue and includes recordings by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Stan Getz, Bill Evans, Billie Holiday and Oscar Peterson, among others. It absorbed the catalogues of Granz's earlier labels, Clef Records, founded in 1946, Norgran Records, founded in 1953, and material previously licensed to Mercury Records.
PolyGram N.V. was an entertainment company and major music record label formerly based in the Netherlands. It was founded in 1962 as the Grammophon-Philips Group by Dutch corporation Philips and German corporation Siemens, to be a holding for their record companies, and was renamed "PolyGram" in 1972. The name was chosen to reflect the Siemens interest Polydor Records and the Philips interest Phonogram Records. The company traced its origins through Deutsche Grammophon back to the inventor of the flat disc gramophone, Emil Berliner.
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment was a British film studio founded in 1980 which became a European competitor to Hollywood, but was eventually sold to Seagram Company Ltd. in 1998 and was folded in 1999. Among its most successful and well known films were An American Werewolf in London (1981), Flashdance (1983), Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Dead Man Walking (1995), The Big Lebowski (1998), Fargo (1996), The Usual Suspects (1995), The Game (1997) and Notting Hill (1999).
Roc-A-Fella was an American hip hop record label founded by rapper/entrepreneur Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, Damon "Dame" Dash, and Kareem "Biggs" Burke in 1995. It was operated as a division of Def Jam.
4th & B'way Records is a US-based subsidiary of Island Records that specialised in street-oriented music such as hip hop. Established in 1984, it was the flagship label of the Island Trading Company, the independent-distribution parent company of Island's other record labels that operated in the US. However, 4th & B'way was not distributed through major-label channels—the flagship Island label was distributed by Atlantic Records at that time—until the label and distribution company were acquired by PolyGram Records in 1989, when Island Trading became a unit of PolyGram Group Distribution and was renamed Independent Label Sales (ILS). It was also one of several US-based Island labels that were named after nearby New York City streets when Island's US headquarters were located at 14 East 4th Street in Manhattan, the same building that held the legendary East Village branch of Tower Records, and also nearby at 400 Lafayette Street. When Island moved its headquarters to the Worldwide Plaza Building at 825 8th Avenue in 1995, where PolyGram's US headquarters were also located, the empty 4th Street offices became the headquarters of V2 Records.
Phonogram Incorporated was started in 1970 as a successor to Philips Phonographic Industries, a unit of the Grammophon-Philips Group (GPG), a joint venture of Philips N.V. of the Netherlands and Siemens A.G. of Germany.
S. Carter Records was a record label formed by Jay-Z. The label included Foxy Brown. The label was formed after The Island Def Jam Music Group, holding a 50% stake in the Roc-A-Fella Records, bought the last 50% of the company. They also appointed Jay-Z the president of Def Jam Recordings, soon after Damon "Dame" Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke were released as the co-founders of Roc-A-Fella Records. Dash and Burke have started up Dame Dash Music Group since, which was also distributed by Island Def Jam. In 2009, S. Carter Records dissolved and went out of business after Jay-Z created Roc Nation in 2008, which was actually a 10-year contract agreement between him and concert promotion company Live Nation. Despite the closure, the name still bears copyright on later Jay-Z releases, albeit as "S. Carter Enterprises".
Universal Music Group Nashville is Universal Music Group's country music subsidiary. Some of the labels in this group include MCA Nashville Records, Mercury Nashville Records, Lost Highway Records, Capitol Records Nashville and EMI Records Nashville. UMG Nashville not only handles these imprints, but also manages the country music catalogues of record labels Universal Music and predecessor companies acquired over the years including ABC Records, Decca Records, Dot Records, DreamWorks Records, Kapp Records, MGM Records and Polydor Records.
Def Jam Recordings is an American multinational record label based in Manhattan, New York City. Def Jam has focused predominantly on hip hop, pop and urban music, owned by Universal Music Group. In the UK, the label was known as Def Jam UK and was operated through EMI Records, while in Japan, it is known as Def Jam Japan, operating through Universal Music Japan. The label distributes releases of various record labels, including Kanye West's GOOD Music, and Listen Up Forever Records, headed by producer, Ronny J. Current artists include Justin Bieber, Big Sean, Kanye West, Nas, 2 Chainz, Dave East, Jeezy, Jeremih, Jhené Aiko, Pusha T, Fabolous, and YK Osiris, among others.
Lyor Cohen is an American music industry executive. Cohen has been actively involved in hip hop at various record labels for more than 30 years. He started by managing rappers for Rush Productions, then led Def Jam. After Def Jam, Cohen took on a leadership role at Warner Music Group. In September 2012, Cohen resigned from Warner and started his own independent label, 300 Entertainment. On September 28, 2016, Cohen was named YouTube's Global Head of Music.
List of albums released or distributed by Def Jam Recordings.
A&M Records was an American record label founded as an independent company by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss in 1962. Due to the success of the discography A&M released, the label garnered interest and was acquired by PolyGram in 1989 and began distributing releases from Polydor Ltd. from the UK. Throughout its operations, A&M housed well-known acts such as Gin Blossoms, Dishwalla, Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Captain & Tennille, Sting, Sergio Mendes, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Supertramp, Bryan Adams, Burt Bacharach, Liza Minnelli, The Carpenters, Paul Williams, Quincy Jones, Janet Jackson, Cat Stevens, Peter Frampton, Elkie Brooks, Carole King, Styx, Dennis DeYoung, Extreme, Amy Grant, Joan Baez, The Police, Jann Arden, CeCe Peniston, Shanice, Blues Traveler, Soundgarden, Duffy, and Sheryl Crow.
The Rocket Record Company was a record label founded by Elton John, along with Bernie Taupin, Gus Dudgeon, Steve Brown and others, in 1973. The company was named after the hit song "Rocket Man". The label was originally distributed in the UK by Island and in the US by MCA Records, both of which Elton John was also signed to.