Jermaine Dupri Named President Of Virgin Records' Urban Division

Virgin Records Chairman

and CEO Matt Serletic announced today that hip-hop mogul Jermaine Dupri has

been hired on as President of their new Urban Music Division.

Dupri will oversee the entire

division as well as produce for the EMI family of record labels. Under terms

of the new deal, Jermaine will also bring his So So Def label over to Virgin.

"As the new

President of Urban Music for Virgin Records, I'm up for the challenge,"

Dupri said. "My strengths as a producer and hit-maker were magnified this

year with the success of my work with Usher. By joining So So Def and Virgin,

I plan to do for Virgin what Russell Simmons did 10 years ago, when he moved

Def Jam to Island Records. I will catapult Virgin into a young, hip label with

chart-topping success in both R&B and rap music. I also hope to change the

whole look of the company so when up-and-coming R&B and hip-hop artists

are looking for a home, Virgin will be the first stop."

Based in Atlanta and New

York, Dupri will report to Virgin Chairman Serletic and COO/GM Larry Mestel.

Most recently, Jermaine

Dupri received two Grammy nominations for his co-writing credits on Usher's

chart topping hits "Burn" and "My Boo."

"Jermaine Dupri's outstanding

work has extended in every direction since the mid-Nineties: as a producer and

songwriter, as an entrepreneur, as a label executive and as a recording artist,"

Matt Serletic said. "All of us at Virgin are thrilled to welcome Jermaine

to the company. We know that his remarkable ability to identify and develop

talent will continue to build great careers in the years to come, while bringing

innovative and refreshing ideas to well- established acts."

Dupri established his So

So Def label in 1993, after scoring a five-million-plus seller with Kris Kross'

album, Totally Krossed Out.

Dupri had massive success

with such acts as Da Brat, Jagged Edge, Bow Wow, J-Kwon and others.

He has produced for a who's-who

in music, including Mariah Carey, Usher, Alicia Keys , Whitney Houston, Jay-Z,

Chingy, Ludacris, Toni Braxton and many others.

Sources told

that a contributing factor in Dupri taking the helm at Virgin was because of

his girlfriend, Janet Jackson. Jackson is also an artist on the Virgin label.

"L.A. Reid and Jermaine

Dupri obviously go way back," a source close to the deal told

"Jermaine and L.A. are both from Atlanta. L.A. wanted Jermaine to stay

within the Universal fold, but J.D. wanted to go run the Virgin division and

help guide the career of Janet Jackson."

Other artists on Virgin

include Lenny Kravitz, N.E.R.D., Ben Harper, Gorillaz, Guerilla Black and others.