Island Def Jam ups Karen Kwak

Label veteran to exec VP, head of A&R

Island Def Jam Music Group has promoted Karen Kwak to exec VP-head of A&R, the Universal Music Group unit announced Monday.

Kwak will spearhead the discovery, signing and development of IDJ’s roster of artists, producers and songwriters. Based in Los Angeles, Kwak will report to Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown chairman-CEO Barry Weiss.

In a statement, Weiss said Kwak “has developed into one of the most formidable and respected A&R executives in this business. Karen’s track record of hits for a wide variety of artists is exceeded only by those artists’ love and trust in her.”

Kwak was formerly exec VP of A&R operations for IDJ. She took that role in 2007, after serving as senior VP of A&R operations beginning in 2004. At the division, she was instrumental in the success of Mariah Carey, Usher, OutKast and Rihanna. She is credited with bringing the mega-hit “Umbrella” to Rihanna and signing the tune’s co-writer/co-producer The-Dream to IDJ.

Kwak had previously held senior A&R administration positions at Arista, LaFace and Motown.

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