UMG’s Island Records Names a Brand-New President

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Photo Credit: Rankin (PRNewsfoto/Universal Music Group)

After David Massey’s exit, Island Records names Darcus Beese as its the new President.  Parent company Universal Music Group made it official.

Beese will take over Massey’s role, who’s heading to Sony Music, in New York on July 1st.  Massey officially exits Island Records on June 1st.

Beese has led Island Records in the U.K. for five years, working with Amy Winehouse, Florence Welch, and breakout star Sigrid.  He’s also spent a majority of his career at the 59-year-old label, which was founded by Chris Blackwell, starting off as an intern in 1989.

Since that point, he’s been steadily working his way up through the company, holding numerous jobs including A&R director.

The U.K.-native will get to work with some of biggest artists in the music industry on the Island U.S. roster, including Fall Out Boy, The Killers, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Tove Lo, Bon Jovi and Shawn Mendes.

As president, Beese has overseen the careers of Annie Lennox, PJ Harvey, Robbie Williams and U2, alongside new acts including Ben Howard, Disclosure, Hozier and Jessie Ware.  He also helped break U.S. acts Ariana Grande, DNCE, Drake, Post Malone and others in the U.K.

“Few in the music industry have Darcus’s track record of creative and commercial success,” said UMG Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge in announcing Beese’s promotion. “I’ve had the pleasure over the years of working closely with Darcus, who has impeccable creative instincts and takes a long-term view of artist development.”

Beese was inducted as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2014 for services to the U.K. music industry.

“Island Records was founded by Chris Blackwell to serve as the home for boundary-defying and maverick artists with the ability to move popular culture. To this day, that mission continues to define and drive Island, whether in the U.K. or U.S., and I couldn’t be more proud to play a role in carrying on that legacy,” Beese said.



One Response

  1. Anonymous

    Looks like step-brother of Julian Grainge!