Warner Music Group’s Atlantic Records Group And Warner/Chappell Music Appoints Christopher Hicks As Senior Vice President, Urban A&R And Head Of Urban Music for Warner/Chappell Music
CWarner Music Group’s (NYSE: WMG) Atlantic Records Group and Warner/Chappell Music jointly announced the appointment of Christopher Hicks as Senior Vice President, Urban A&R for Atlantic Records and Senior Vice President, A&R and Head of Urban Music for Warner/Chappell Music. Based in Atlanta, Hicks will report to Craig Kallman, Chairman and CEO of Atlantic Records and Dave Johnson, CEO of Warner/Chappell Music. Hicks was most recently Vice President of Urban A&R for Warner/Chappell Music.
Hicks’ promotion at Warner/Chappell and new role at Atlantic Records positions him to build upon his track record in identifying and developing successful recording artists and songwriters. In addition, Hicks will continue to run publishing company Noontime, a company he founded in 1997 and with which he subsequently formed a joint venture with Warner/Chappell in 2000. In the past three years alone, Noontime writers have achieved more than 25 Top-10 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 and/or Hip-Hop/R&B charts. In his new role with Atlantic, Hicks will establish a recorded music imprint called Beatfactory that will be distributed by the label.
In making the announcement, Kevin Liles, Executive Vice President, Warner Music Group, said, “Chris is a pillar in the Atlanta music community. In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, it’s increasingly important to be able to offer artists the best resources in both publishing and recorded music in order to take advantage of all the emerging platforms for music. Chris’ exceptional talents as an A&R executive and his dual roles at Warner/Chappell and Atlantic will allow our artists to benefit from the full breadth of resources WMG has to offer.”
Johnson said, “Over the past two and a half years, Chris has been instrumental in bolstering Warner/Chappell’s presence in urban music and helped lead the company to its first-ever BMI Urban Music Publisher of the Year award. We are fortunate to have such a talented and well-respected executive running our urban division -- one who brings a truly unique understanding of both the recorded music and songwriting sides of the business.”
Kallman said, “Atlantic is first and foremost an A&R-driven company, and Chris has the great A&R gift of truly understanding both performers and songwriters, and being able to put them together to make great records. He is driven by a passion for the music and a devotion to his artists, which makes him the perfect choice for our A&R team. We are thrilled to welcome him into the Atlantic family.”
Hicks said, “I’m a developer; I believe in growing things from the ground up. When I first came to Warner/Chappell, I had the opportunity to provide vision and a plan for growth in the Urban market and I’m proud of all that we’ve accomplished. Now Craig and Dave are giving me the chance to create even more synergies within Warner Music Group and I am grateful for the opportunity.”
Over a nine-year career in the music business, Hicks has identified and developed numerous artists including Noontime writers Brian Michael Cox, Jazze Pha, Dave Young and Teddy Bishop as well as Warner/Chappell writers Eric Hudson, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Zak Wallace, Drumma Boy, among others. Through his management activities, Hicks also has played a key role in the career of Billboard’s 2006 Urban Songwriter of the Year, Johnta Austin. Hicks’ ability to unite artists and songwriters that result in hit records has earned him a reputation as a leading industry executive. For example, Hicks brought Mary J. Blige several songs on her Grammy-Award winning album “Breakthrough” including the track “Be Without You” which won Grammys for “Best R&B Song” and “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.” Hicks is credited for his A&R work on Blige’s recent “Reflections” album and served as Executive Producer of LeToya’s eponymous debut album.
Hicks joined Warner/Chappell as a Vice President, Urban A&R in 2004 and played a key role in striking publishing agreements with T.I., Lil’ Wayne, Yung Joc, LeToya, Eric Hudson and Lloyd, among others. Hicks spearheaded Warner/Chappell’s purchase of the Timbaland catalog and his re-signing in 2006, as well as the re-signing of Dr. Dre in 2005. Through Hicks’ efforts, Warner/Chappell has also secured a number of finder/co-publishing agreements with: Mosley Music (Danja); SwishaHouse (Mike Jones and Paul Wall); Grand Hustle (Young Dro and Lil’ C); First ’N’ Gold (Trick Daddy, Trina, and Rick Ross); December First Publishing (Kendrick Dean); and Block Entertainment (Yung Joc).
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