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Shakir Stewart’s Def Jam Replacement Announced

Written By S. Samuel

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Def Jam Recordings have officially announced Christopher Hicks as the label’s new vice president, a post that has been vacant since Shakir Stewart committed suicide last year.

The announcement was made by Island Def Jam’s Antonio “L.A.” Reid on Tuesday (February 17).

“Chris has a musician’s ear for talent and hit songs that has brought him huge long-term success in the industry,” Reid said in a statement. “His track record in Atlanta has resulted in breaking some of the biggest names in Urban and hip-hop out of that city over the past decade. We look forward to the next quarter-century of history with Def Jam as we welcome Chris aboard.” (PR Newswire)

Hicks will enter the position with a variety of responsibilities.

In his new position, he will assume overall responsibility for the acquisition and development of new talent, overseeing producers and guiding the creative vision and brand recognition of the legendary Def Jam label as it celebrates its 25th year anniversary in 2009. Mr. Hicks will report directly to Mr. Reid, and to Steve Bartels, President & COO, Island Def Jam Music Group, on operational matters. Mr. Hicks will be based in Atlanta and New York. (Hip Hop Press)

The executive will be the official replacement of the late Shakir Stewart.

Hicks replaces Def Jam’s previous senior VP, Shakir Stewart, who committed suicide in November. The post has remained vacant though Island Def Jam promoted Jeff Straughn to senior VP of strategic marketing in November, and many speculated that Straughn would be Stewart’s replacement. (Hollywood Reporter)

Hicks is known for helping guide the careers of various music superstars.

During his 13-year career in the music business, Mr. Hicks has identified and developed numerous artists including Noontime writers Bryan Michael Cox, Jazze Pha, Dave Young, and Teddy Bishop; as well as Warner/Chappell writers Eric Hudson, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Zak Wallace, Drumma Boy, Claude Kelly, Don Cannon and others. Mr. Hicks has worked with Usher, Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Lopez in his many capacities as a manager/consultant/executive producer. (Press Release)

Along with a new vice president, Def Jam will also celebrate its’ 25th anniversary with the spring release of a limited edition vinyl set, Def Jam 25.

To help with the celebration of Record Store Day, Def Jam will release a limited edition double 12″ Vinyl set. The first set will focus on cuts from 1984 to 1996 while the second will feature music from 1997 to 2008. Artists include Jay-Z, Redman, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Ludacris, Kanye West, Rick Ross, Rihanna, Musiq, Jermaine Dupri, Foxy Brown, Dru hill, Montell Jordan and more. The double vinyl set are slated to hit stores April 18. (Press Release)

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Written by S. Samuel

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