HITS Daily Double


Just as we told you last month, Island Records U.K. President Darcus Beese will cross the pond to take over David Massey’s role as the head of the label’s U.S. imprint. As an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, Beese will enjoy posh accommodations during the transatlantic voyage; his ship docks on 7/1.

In anticipation of his arrival, UMG has sent out a formal announcement, while Beese sat for this snazzy new portrait.

Island U.K. has been Beese’s home for nearly his entire music career. He started as an intern in 1989, signed Amy Winehouse, Sugababes and Taio Cruz as an A&R director, and was named co-president of the label in 2008. He became president in 2013.

“Few in the music industry have Darcus’s track record of creative and commercial success,” Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said. “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. I’m thrilled he is taking on this new role and I’m excited to support him in signing, developing and breaking many more artists.”

Among the artists he has developed are Mumford & Sons and Florence + the Machine; he helped break Ariana Grande, Drake, Nick Jonas, Nicki Minaj, Post Malone and The Weeknd in the U.K.

“Island Records was founded nearly 60 years ago by Chris Blackwell to serve as the home for boundary-defying and maverick artists with the ability to move popular culture,” Beese said. “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. Now where do they keep the scones?”

Still no word on who gets the U.K. job.