HITS Daily Double


Def Jam Recordings has tapped Riggs Morales as EVP of A&R, reporting to the company’s chairman and CEO, Tunji Balogun.

Morales arrives from Atlantic, where he was most recently SVP of A&R and artist development; he also previously served as director of A&R for Eminem’s Shady Records. Back in 1998, Morales was one of the first journalists to spread the word about Eminem, while writing for The Source.

"Armed with an instinct for creative development that keeps his artists first, Riggs has carved out a unique place for himself in our business and has an absolutely blockbuster resume," reads a quote from Balogun. "Our relationship spans over a decade, and I have always been impressed by his instincts, energy and creativity. From his work with Shady Records to his alliances with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Janelle Monáe to his time as a journalist, Riggs' contributions are the stuff of legend. We’re excited to welcome him to the Def Jam family."

"I grew up in New York City, so Def Jam has served as a touchstone in my life for longer than I can remember,” Morales proclaimed. “In my time as both a journalist and an executive, Def Jam has always been the pinnacle, the hip-hop label, and the blueprint for others to follow. The roster and the culture that Tunji has built over the past two years is exactly where the future of this great label needs to lead—global, diverse, dynamic and artist-forward. As Def Jam heads into its 40th year, I look forward to bringing my energy and passion to the team at this pivotal and exciting moment in the story of one of the greatest labels of all time."

At Atlantic, Riggs was instrumental in the success of Wiz Khalifa, Monáe and Miranda’s many Hamilton-related projects, including the show’s original cast album, which has been certified diamond and is the best-selling such release of all time.

Morales has served as VP of the New York chapter of the Recording Academy and as a trustee on its national board. He also helped launch the Academy’s Black Music Collective.

In his new capacity at Def Jam, he looks forward to telling Gabe he doesn't want to talk to us.