Industry veteran Mike Kyser has been named the first-ever President of Black Music for the Atlantic Records Group.
The announcement was made yesterday by Atlantic Chairman/COO Julie Greenwald and Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman. Kyser, who began his music career two decades ago at Def Jam Recordings, joined Atlantic Records in 2004 as Executive Vice President of Urban Music.
In the early years of his career, Kyser (who was a DJ) worked and toured with such artists as Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Jay-Z, Method Man, Redman, Foxy Brown, Warren G, and Montell Jordan. Kyser was instrumental in staging the historic, record-breaking "Hard Knock Life" stadium tour with Jay-Z, DMX, Method Man, and Redman in 1999.
In 2009, Kyser was a key player in one of Jay-Z's most successful releases to date, The Blueprint 3. He spearheaded Jay-Z's achieving his 11th #1 album, surpassing Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most #1 albums, while leading the team that delivered Jay-Z his first #1 Billboard Hot 100 single as a lead performer, the
multi-Grammy nominated "Empire State Of Mind" duet with Alicia Keys.
"To say that this is a dream come true is an understatement," said Kyser in a press release. "The heritage of black music at Atlantic Records is second to none in this industry, and it is both humbling and thrilling to take on this new post at a label with such an amazing legacy. We have a fantastic roster of talent, combined with the best staff in the business, and I'm looking forward to building on our achievements to take black music at Atlantic Records to new heights."
Some of you may know Kyser as the elusive, but popular @Littleburger on Twitter.com. For a while, many in the industry believed @Littleburger was really singer chris brown.
Photos: Wireimage/Getty and Atlantic Records