Songwriter-producer will serve as senior vp of A&R
Motown Records appointed R&B star Ne-Yo as senior vp of A&R. Austin will sign and cultivate new talent for Island, and will report directly to Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown chairman-CEO Barry Weiss. Atlanta-bred Austin is a studio vet with more than two decades of R&B hitmaking under his belt. Associated with the production team of L.A. Reid and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds early in his career, he broke through as a producer in 1991 with Boyz II Men’s “Cooleyhighharmony.” He had a short-lived partnership with Reid, Rowdy Records, in 1992. He enjoyed great success with the femme trio TLC, working on their hit albums “Ooooooohhh…On the TLC Tip” (1992), “CrazySexyCool” (1994) and “FanMail” (1999); he collected Grammys for his production work on the latter two albums. His production and remixing clients have included Michael Jackson, Madonna, will.i.am and Carly Rae Jepsen. He was executive producer of the 2002 Fox pic “Drumline.” Weiss said in a statement, “Island Records is fortunate that such a coveted creative force is working with the company and its artists, bringing his experience and expertise to Island at this exciting time in the company’s history.”
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