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Nigerian American Tunji Balogun Named Def Jam Chairman and CEO

NEW YORK, (The Southern African Times) – Nigerian American record label executive, Tunji Balogun has joined multinational record label, Def Jam Recordings as its Chairman and CEO to take effect on January 1, 2022.

Balogun will be based in Los Angeles and report to UMG Chairman & CEO, Sir Lucian Grainge.

A successful creative executive, Balogun has worked with artists including Bryson Tiller, Childish Gambino, Goldlink, Khalid and Wizkid over his 17-year career.

He comes to Def Jam from RCA Records, where he has served as Executive Vice President of A&R since 2018.

His appointment marks a return to UMG for Balogun, where he served as an A&R executive at Interscope Records from 2007 to 2015.

Jeffrey Harleston, UMG’s General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs, has served as Def Jam’s interim Chairman and CEO since 2020 after the departure of Paul Rosenberg.

Harleston will continue to oversee the label until Balogun assumes his new role.

Sir Lucian Grainge, said “Tunji is part of a new wave of dynamic executives who view today’s artists and music through a unique creative lens.

“Not only does he bring a deep understanding and respect for the cultural significance of what Def Jam has created over the past four decades, but he also sees the boundless potential of what Def Jam can be to a new generation of artists and fans.”

Balogun said “I grew up on Def Jam’s music – collecting, listening to and studying their albums and singles – those early moments as a young fan have had a lasting influence on who I am today.

“Def Jam remains one of music’s most iconic brands and has always represented forward-thinking artists and partners that continue to shift ideas and impact culture around the world.

“I’m honored to lead Def Jam into its next chapter and thank Lucian and Jeff for their support and this incredible opportunity.”

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