paul rosenberg half-smile

Eminem’s Manager, Paul Rosenberg, is the New CEO of Def Jam

Since Def Jam was founded in the 1980s, some of the biggest figures in the music industry have run the company, from JAY-Z to Lyor Cohen. That trend continues today with the announcement that Paul Rosenberg has been named as the label’s newest CEO, effective in January of 2018.

Rosenberg co-founded Shady Records and has been Eminem’s manager for much of the Detroit star’s illustrious career. In addition to Em, through Shady and other ventures, he’s had a hand in the development of a slew of successful acts, from 50 Cent to Kendrick Lamar to D12, Action Bronson, to Danny Brown and Slaughterhouse. With Def Jam, however, Rosenberg will have decidedly more stars under his jurisdiction than he’s ever had before, as the label’s current roster includes mega-celebrities like Justin Bieber and Kanye West, and a handful of high-caliber talent like Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Jeezy, Pusha T, YG and more.

In addition, Rosenberg enters the fold at a time when Def Jam’s youth movement is one of their primary focuses. Over the last few years, young stars like Alessia Cara, Desiigner, Vince Staples and August Alsina have had significant success. There’s also a slew of recent signees—Dave East, Jahkoy and Amir Obe among them—to be developed.

“I can’t overstate what an honor it is for me to have the opportunity to carry this brand forward,” Rosenberg said in a statement. “The Def Jam name has meant so much to me for so long, and it’s a dream come true to be able to be a part of the next chapter in the labels’ storied legacy.” According to Variety, Rosenberg will remain the head of Shady Records and Eminem’s manager, even after he assumes his new post.

Rosenberg’s tenure will follow a three-year run by Steve Bartels, which saw a successful Kanye West album through The Life of Pablo, career peaks by Big Sean during his Dark Sky Paradise run and a record-setting release by Justin Bieber with Purpose. Unfortunately, it also saw the departure of Rick Ross and Frank Ocean from the label. Bartels will step down at the end of the year.

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