Columbia Records co-head of urban music, Shawn Holiday, is launching a new label and publishing venture with Irving and Jeffrey AzoffBillboard can confirm. He will maintain an A&R capacity role with Columbia.

The news was first reported by HITS Daily Double, which noted Holiday will continue to work with Polo GChloe x Halle and other artists signed to the label. Holiday also held a dual role at Sony/ATV, where he was named head of urban music in January 2019.

The HITS story added that Columbia’s parent company, Sony Music, will likely be involved in Holiday and the Azoffs’ new venture.

Azoff Company“Shawn has been an integral part of helping Full Stop Management build an incredible Urban department and sign some of today’s biggest stars,” Irving Azoff told HITS in a statement. “He will join The Azoff Company in all areas, including spearheading the launch of a new record label and publishing company.”

Holiday was named urban music co-head at Columbia in Dec. 2018. During his tenure in the role, the division enjoyed success with artists including Lil Nas X24kGoldn and more. Prior to that, he played an instrumental role in the label’s partnership with the FOX TV show Empire as well as Solange’s 2016 album A Seat at the Table. He additionally lured T.I. to the label in 2014.

Before joining Columbia, Holiday served as senior vp/head of urban A&R at Interscope and senior vp of A&R at RCA Records.

Universal Music Group (UMG) has named Dr. Menna Demessie as senior vp and executive director of the Task Force for Meaningful Change (TFMC) , the social justice group established in June 2020 by UMG chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge in the wake of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.

In the role, Dr. Demessie — a political scientist and social justice advocate with a track record of civic and educational empowerment — will manage the TFMC and its activities.

It was concurrently announced that the company’s executive vp, chief people and inclusion officer Eric Hutcherson will join Jeff Harleston (UMG general counsel and executive vp business & legal affairs/ Def Jam Records interim CEO) and Ethiopia Habtemariam (Motown Records president) as TFMC co-chair.

Read more in Billboard.

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