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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Barry Weiss
Born (1951-02-11) February 11, 1951 (age 67)
Demarest, New Jersey, U.S.
Genres Hip hop, rap, pop
Occupation(s) Executive producer, producer, music executive
Years active 1981–present
Labels RECORDS (2015–present)
Island Def Jam Music Group/Republic Records (2011–2014)
RCA/Jive Label Group (2008–2011)
Jive Records (1991–2011)

Barry Weiss (born February 11, 1951) is an American music executive. The Woodbury, New York native was born to the business as a second-generation record man whose father, the late Hy Weiss, founded Old Town Records, a popular independent doo-wop label, in the late 1950s, releasing music by such legendary New York street corner acts as the Harptones, the Earls, the Cleftones and the Fiestas. Hy's work exposed Barry to the industry early on, as he hung around his father's midtown office, where he mingled with artists like Simon & Garfunkel, Isaac Hayes and Tiny Tim.

Weiss was born in Demarest, New Jersey. As a student at Cornell University, he took his first job in the record business, doing rock and College Radio promotion for Infinity Records. After classes, he'd talk to radio PDs all over the country on a WATS line installed in his dorm room. He also worked for Ariola America, a subsidiary of Arista, where he learned how to build the business from the ground up, what it took to develop an act, make a record a hit and sell albums.[citation needed]

In addition to the invaluable first-hand experience and wisdom he gleaned from his dad and his professional collegiate endeavors, Weiss also credits the two legendary Clives-Zomba founder Clive Calder, who hired him fresh out of college, and Clive Davis, with whom he succeeded as head of RCA and Jive Music Groups. He further acclaims UMG boss Lucian Grainge, who strongly influenced his philosophy and approach to the business.

In 1982, Weiss joined the newly launched Jive Records as Manager of Artist Development, shepherding the first release by A Flock of Seagulls. He later became an integral part of establishing Jive as a home for burgeoning rap stars such as A Tribe Called Quest, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Kool Moe Dee and Whodini and Too Short.[citation needed]

Having successfully mastered the day-to-day operations of the business, Weiss completed his MBA at New York University, just before he was appointed President of Jive/Silvertone/Verity Records in 1995. Five years later, he presided over the release of NSYNC's No Strings Attached, watching the album soar to an incredible 2.4 million copies sold in its first week. Given his success with teen pop acts such as NSYNC, Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys, when Bertelsmann/BMG acquired the Zomba Music Group in 2002 for $2.7 Billion, Weiss was appointed President/CEO to the renamed Zomba Label Group, which included LaFace Records and So So Def.

In 2008, Sony Music's Rolf Schmidt-Holtz named Weiss Chairman/CEO for the RCA/Jive Label Group, replacing the legendary Clive Davis.

Following his time at RCA/Jive, Barry then became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music, East Coast, overseeing the Republic, Island Def Jam and Motown record labels which were several of the most profitable, dynamic and provocative companies in the recording industry, including labels whose rosters include artists such as Lorde, Rihanna, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Bon Jovi, Fall Out Boy, Nas, Akon, Busta Rhymes, Enrique Iglesias, Nelly, The Band Perry, and the Killers among others. It was the latest stop in a career that succeeded a nearly three-decade run at RCA/Jive Label Group, which he turned into a popular culture powerhouse. He is perennially named on the Billboard Power 100 of the industry's most influential executives.

After leaving Universal, Barry started a label venture called RECORDS [1], with Songs Music Publishing. At the time, SONGS was the world's leading contemporary independent music publisher. Their roster included Lorde, The Weeknd, Desiigner, Diplo, DJ Mustard, among others. Since its inception in March 2015, RECORDS has signed Noah Cyrus, Nelly, iLoveMemphis, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, and Lennon Stella[2]. The labels first releases, Nelly's "The Fix" and "iLoveMemphis' "Hit The Quan" were both certified platinum. SONGS was sold in December 2017, and in January 2018, RECORDS became a venture of Sony Music.

Jive Records & RCA/Jive Label Group

In 1981, Clive Calder of Zomba started his first U.S. record label Jive Records, which released British dance and pop music such as Q-Feel, A Flock of Seagulls and Tight Fit. In 1982, Calder was introduced to a young Barry Weiss, fresh out of college at Cornell University. For his job interview with Zomba, Weiss took Calder out to hip-hop and black clubs all over New York City, demonstrating his keen awareness of the scene at the time.[3] Calder was immediately impressed and hired him to scan sales data from all over the country searching for unknown acts with significant sales. Together, Weiss and Calder turned Jive into a veritable hip hop and rap empire throughout the eighties, beginning with Whodini.

Weiss continued working for Jive in various capacities helping establish such blockbuster pop acts as Britney Spears, Usher, Backstreet Boys, Justin Timberlake, 'N Sync and T-Pain. When Calder sought to retire from the business and sold Zomba to Bertelsmann, Weiss was appointed head of the resultant Zomba Label Group in 2004. In 2008, Weiss replaced music executive Clive Davis as chairman of BMG Label Group, which was renamed RCA/Jive Label Group in early 2009.[4] Weiss left the company in March 2011. Later on that year Sony Music underwent a major restructuring where multiple Jive Records artists were moved to Epic Records while other stayed with Jive as it moved under the RCA Music Group. In October 2011 Jive Records was dissolved with their artists being moved to RCA Records.[5]


Preceded by
L.A. Reid (Island Def Jam)
Mel Lewinter (Universal Motown Republic)
Chief Executive Officer of Island Def Jam/Universal Republic
March 2011-present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Clive Davis (RCA Music Group)
Chief Executive Officer of RCA/Jive Label Group
April 2008-March 2011
Succeeded by
Peter Edge (RCA Music Group)
This page was last edited on 10 May 2018, at 14:57.
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