R&B singer-songwriter will serve as exec vp of A&R

In what appears to be the makings of a trend, Def Jam Recordings has appointed producer-songwriter-artist The-Dream as executive vp of A&R.

It’s the second hiring this year of a high-profile artist in a senior A&R position at Universal Music Group’s Island Def Jam Motown unit. In January, R&B star Ne-Yo was named senior vp of A&R at venerable Motown Records; at that time he shifted his own releases from Def Jam to Motown (Daily Variety, Jan. 26).

The-Dream (born Terius Nash) will work closely with Universal Republic and IDJ Motown chairman-CEO Barry Weiss, IDJ executive vp/head of A&R Karen Kwak, Def Jam prexy Joie Manda and IDJ president-COO Steve Bartels.

He will oversee new artist projects, sign new talent and work as a producer with artists on the Def Jam roster. He will continue to be involved with his own distributed imprint Radio Killa.

A star in his own right, Atlanta-bred artist The-Dream has racked up two top 10 albums, “Love King” (No. 4, 2010) and “Love vs. Money” (No. 2, 2009); latter release spawned four top-10 R&B singles. Release of a new collection, “Love IV MMXII,” is pending.

He has been a potent force as an R&B and hip-hop songsmith, crafting hits for Rihanna (“Umbrella” and “Birthday Cake”), Mariah Carey (“Touch My Body”), Mary J. Blige (the “Growing Pains” album) and Justin Bieber (“Baby”).

He contributed a track to the Kanye West-Jay Z album “Watch the Throne,” and shared a best rap song Grammy Award for his work on “All of the Lights,” from West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”

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