Steve Bartels has been promoted to President/COO, Island Def Jam Music Group, it was announced today by Antonio ‘L.A.’ Reid, Chairman, Island Def Jam Music Group. In this newly-created role, Mr. Bartels will oversee all day-to-day matters of the company and its labels. He will continue to work closely with Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter, President/CEO, Def Jam Recordings, Jermaine Dupri, President, Island Records Urban Music and David Massey, President, Mercury Records. Mr. Bartels will also work with all IDJ joint ventures including DTP (Disturbing Tha Peace) and Slip N Slide. Mr. Bartels, who is based in New York, will report directly to Mr. Reid.
“This is a tremendous step forward in the evolution of our company, and there is no one more worthy to take the reins of this new position than Steve Bartels,” said Mr. Reid. “In the decade that we have worked together, I have always been impressed by Steve’s leadership and dedication to the smooth day-to-day runnings of the entire operation. He has played an integral role at Island Def Jam of breaking new artists and bringing our music to the widest possible markets. His friendship is invaluable at every level and he now has the capacity to achieve even greater heights.”
“I am thrilled and honored to be given the opportunity to steer such historic labels as Island, Def Jam and Mercury Records and the diverse group of new and innovative labels that make up the Island Def Jam Music Group,” said Mr. Bartels. “Today, the Island Def Jam Music Group has the most creative artists and musical ears in the business. To work with that vision and talent is inspiring every day. I am excited about all the opportunities I see ahead of us in the music business today and I thank LA Reid for giving me the opportunity to work side by side with him to drive IDJ forward.”
Mr. Bartels has served as president, Island Records, since May 2004, subsequently attaining the dual title of COO of Island Def Jam Music Group in early 2005. Under his careful strategy and guidance at Island, record-breaking success has been enjoyed by Mariah Carey, Bon Jovi, Fall Out Boy, Lionel Richie, the Killers, Melissa Etheridge, and many others. At the same time, Mr. Bartels played a crucial role in the recent success of Def Jam and its affiliated artists, including Kanye West, Jay-Z, Ludacris, Rihanna, Young Jeezy, Ne-Yo, Rick Ross, and many others.
Prior to IDJ, Mr. Bartels spend a decade at Arista Records, which he joined in 1993 as Vice President of Special Projects, eventually rising to Executive Vice President. He worked with many of the great stars of the ’90s and ’00s, among them Whitney Houston, Kenny G, Barry Manilow, and Santana; played a crucial role in the breakthroughs of Puff Daddy, OutKast, and Usher; and helped launch the careers of Dido, Pink and Avril Lavigne. He began his career in music as National Director of Promotion, A&M Records. Mr. Bartels is a graduate of Hofstra University and completed the MBA Program of UCLA’s John Anderson School of Executive Education in Management.