DJ Khaled Bids Adieu to Sony Music, Inks Exclusive Deal with Def Jam/UMG

DJ Khaled Sony Music
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DJ Khaled Sony Music
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Photo Credit: Meghan Roberts / CC by 2.0

DJ Khaled bids adieu to Sony Music, joining the Def Jam and Universal Music Group family in a newly-created global creative consultant role.

In a press conference in his hometown of Miami, Grammy-winning superstar DJ Khaled announced an exclusive partnership with Def Jam Recordings for his We The Best label and future releases. Khaled will also join Universal Music Group in an executive role as Global Creative Consultant to Def Jam and UMG’s family of artists.

The announcement serves as a return to form for Khaled, who initially took an executive A&R position at the label in 2008, where he developed hits for major artists like Rick Ross. 

“This new chapter marks a special time for me,” states DJ Khaled. “The energy at this point in my career is at an all-time high, and I’m grateful to Sir Lucian Grainge for allowing me to join his empire at this stage in my journey. Together, we will achieve even greater heights and take it to the next level. I feel blessed and so inspired with renewed energy.”

“DJ Khaled is a great artist, hitmaker, mentor, and cultural innovator,” says Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG’s Chairman and CEO. “It gives me great pleasure to welcome him home to UMG, where we look forward to working together to amplify his brilliant creative instincts and unique vision.”

“Beyond a proven hitmaker, incredible producer, undeniable artist, and consummate showman, DJ Khaled occupies the rarified air of cultural icon,” says Tunji Balogun, Chairman and CEO of Def Jam Recordings. 

“His uncanny ability to continuously have his finger on the pulse of the culture, to reach audiences all over the world in innovative yet authentic ways, and his remarkable savvy for marketing, promoting, and eventizing everything he touches is absolutely second to none. We are thrilled to partner with DJ Khaled and We The Best, both as a multi-platinum, award-winning artist and a valued executive. Without a doubt, Khaled can only make us better.”

“I’m excited to not only partner but to come back home to Def Jam,” adds DJ Khaled. “Tunji Balogun is not only an extraordinary A&R but a true music man and a visionary who continuously is responsible for introducing the world to some of its next greatest superstars. I’m excited to join my sister and visionary executive LaTrice Burnette once again, as we have had tremendous success on every single project we have collaborated on in the past. Def Jam is the culture, and together we will make history yet once again.”

“DJ Khaled has been a dear friend and close collaborator of mine for over a decade,” says LaTrice Burnette, Executive Vice President of Def Jam Recordings/President, 4th & Broadway. “Throughout our years together at Epic, Khaled and I developed a special working bond and broke barriers through a united vision-focused partnership and hard work. I have tremendous respect for Khaled’s artistry, creativity, work ethic, marketing savvy, and boundless positive energy. I’m thrilled to welcome him back home to Def Jam and can’t wait to see what we cook up next.” 

Last week, DJ Khaled was joined by an all-star cast including Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, and Fridayy for a performance of his Song of the Year nominated hit, “God Did,” at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards. The Song of the Year nom was one of six for the artist that night, his tenth Grammy nomination overall.