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Barry Weiss (born February 11, 1959) is an American music executive and producer who is currently an executive with RECORDS, a label he co-founded. He got his start at Clive Calder's Jive Records before working his way up to the head of the RCA/Jive Label Group. While at Jive, Weiss fostered artists like Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, NSYNC, Chris Brown, Backstreet Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, and many others. He left the organization in 2011 to join the Universal Music Group prior to co-founding RECORDS in 2015.

Barry Weiss
Barry Weiss - Partner & Co-founder of RECORDS, LLC.jpg
Background information
Born (1959-02-11) February 11, 1959 (age 60)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Years active1981–present
LabelsRECORDS (2015–present)
Universal Music Group, East Coast Labels (2011–2014)
RCA/Jive Label Group (2008–2011)
Jive Records (1991–2011)

Early life and educationEdit

Weiss was born to a Jewish family in New York, New York on February 11, 1959 to parents Hy and Rosalyn Weiss.[1][2][3] His father, Hy, was also a music executive having founded Old Town Records in the late 1950s.[4] Barry Weiss graduated from Cornell University in 1981. While in school, he worked as a promoter to radio stations from his dorm room.[5][6] Weiss received his Master of Business Administration from New York University in 1986.[7]


1981–2008: Early years, Jive, and ZombaEdit

Early on in his career, Weiss worked at Ariola America and Infinity Records.[8] He earned his first major job in 1982 at Clive Calder's new label, Jive Records. For his job interview, Weiss took Calder to various black, hip hop, and gay clubs where he knew bouncers and doormen throughout New York City.[5][6] He initially started in the position of Manager of Artist Development.[8] At the time of his arrival, the label consisted mostly of pop acts like Billy Ocean, A Flock of Seagulls, and Samantha Fox.[9][10] Weiss helped establish the label as a home for rappers and hip hop artists like DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, A Tribe Called Quest, Whodini, Kool Moe Dee, Too Short, Boogie Down Productions, UGK, and others.[6][11]

In January 1995, Weiss was promoted to President of Jive Records along with Verity and Silvertone.[2][12] From 1995 to 2000, Weiss was involved with acts such as Britney Spears, NSYNC, The Backstreet Boys, and others.[13][14][15] He also oversaw the release of NSYNC's 2000 album, No Strings Attached which broke the album sales record (a record that stood until 2015).[15] In 2002, Jive Records' parent company, Zomba Music Group, was purchased by BMG for $2.7 billion.[16] Under BMG, Weiss was named the President and CEO of the newly formed Zomba Label Group.[4][17] While in that position, he oversaw the careers of artists like Chris Brown, T-Pain, R. Kelly, and others.[18]

2008–2014: RCA/Jive to UniversalEdit

In 2008, Weiss was named Chairman and CEO of the BMG Label Group (later renamed RCA/Jive Label Group), replacing Clive Davis. As the head of the label group, Weiss oversaw Jive, Verity, GospoCentric, Volcano, RCA, Arista, Fo Yo Soul, LaFace, and J. He also inherited the management of acts such as Pink, Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, Daughtry, the Foo Fighters, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis, and numerous others.[5][19] In 2010, Weiss announced that he would be leaving the RCA/Jive Label Group for a position at the Universal Music Group.[20] His official appointment to the position of Chairman and CEO of a group of labels colloquially referred to as Universal's "East Coast" labels (i.e. Republic Records, Island Def Jam, Motown Records, etc.) came in March 2011.[21][22][23]

Artists under Weiss's purview included Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, 2 Chainz, Fall Out Boy, The Weeknd, Avicii, and numerous others. He left his position in 2014 after Universal decided to reorganize the music group into standalone labels.[22]

2015–present: Founder of RECORDSEdit

In a partnership with SONGS Music Publishing, Weiss co-founded a new independent label, RECORDS, in early 2015. The SONGS roster included The Weeknd, Diplo, Lorde, and DJ Mustard (among others) at the time of RECORDS' founding. Early RECORDS' signees included Nelly and iLoveMemphis.[24][25] Both artists had 2015 singles ("The Fix" and "Hit the Quan," respectively) that were certified platinum.[26][27] Other RECORDS artists include Noah Cyrus,[28] LSD (composed of Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo),[29] Lennon Stella,[30] Lauren Jauregui,[31] Dylan Brady,[32] and St. Paul and The Broken Bones, among others.[33]

SONGS Music Publishing was sold to the Kobalt Music Group in December 2017.[34][35] The following month, RECORDS became a joint venture with the Sony Music Entertainment.[30][36]


  1. ^ "Hy Weiss, 84; Romanian native co-founded '50s R&B label Old Town". Los Angeles Times. April 2, 2007. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Good Works". Billboard. February 24, 1996. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  3. ^ Patrick Goldstein (Jun 19, 1988). "A Rappin' Big Year for Little Jive Records". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ a b Sisario, Ben (March 31, 2007). "Hy Weiss, 84, Music Executive From Rock 'n' Roll's Early Days, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Newman, Melinda (April 25, 2008). "BMG's Weiss brings business savvy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Knopper, Steve (January 6, 2009). Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age. Simon and Schuster.
  7. ^ "THE ULTIMATE WEISS GUY: BARRY THROUGH THE YEARS". Hits Daily Double. December 7, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Executive Turntable". Billboard. May 29, 1982. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  9. ^ Bell, Carrie (November 21, 1998). "Jive Imprint Slides Into Electronica". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  10. ^ Leeds, Jeff (July 23, 2007). "Oops! ...They Did It Again". The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  11. ^ Charnas, Dan (February 1, 2013). "The 25 Best A&Rs in Hip-Hop History". Complex. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  12. ^ Lichtman, Irv (January 14, 1995). "The Billboard Bulletin". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  13. ^ LeBlanc, Larry (July 17, 1999). "Bartlett Kick-Starts Zomba Canada". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  14. ^ Christman, Ed (August 12, 2000). "BMG's Jones: 'Keep The Ball In Play'". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  15. ^ a b Halperin, Shirley (January 8, 2016). "RECORDS Founder Barry Weiss on Being a 'Major-Label Refugee,' Adele Surpassing 'N Sync and the 'Emotional' Closing of Jive". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  16. ^ Oppelaar, Justin; Meza, Ed (November 26, 2002). "BMG finally jumping Jive". Variety. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  17. ^ "Details Prove Devilish For Sony, BMG Merger". Billboard. November 22, 2003. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  18. ^ Lee, Chris (April 18, 2008). "Iconic CEO has new role at BMG". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  19. ^ Laurent, Lionel (April 18, 2008). "Clive Davis Out Of The Spotlight". Forbes. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  20. ^ Sisario, Ben (December 7, 2010). "A Sony Executive Joins Universal Music". The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  21. ^ Halperin, Shirley (March 17, 2011). "Barry Weiss replaces L.A. Reid at record label". Reuters. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  22. ^ a b Halperin, Shirley (April 1, 2014). "Island Def Jam Motown Reorganizes, Barry Weiss Steps Down". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  23. ^ Christman, Ed (January 7, 2012). "The Billboard Power 100". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  24. ^ Christman, Ed (February 17, 2015). "Barry Weiss To Join Forces With SONGS Publishing On New Label". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  25. ^ Mitchell, Gail (October 14, 2015). "'Hit the Quan' Rapper iLoveMemphis Signs With RECORDS Label". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  26. ^ "Gold & Platinum: Nelly". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  27. ^ "Gold & Platinum: iLoveMemphis". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  28. ^ Reilly, Phoebe (May 18, 2017). "Noah Cyrus Talks Debut Album 'NC-17' and the Skill She'd Borrow From Miley". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  29. ^ Shackleford, Tom (May 3, 2018). "Watch: Sia, Diplo and Labrinth team up for new LSD collaboration, share trippy animated video for 'Genius'". AXS. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  30. ^ a b Hollabaugh, Lorie (January 17, 2018). "Lennon Stella Signs With RECORDS/Columbia Records". MusicRow. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  31. ^ Karp, Hannah (April 12, 2019). "Why RECORDS CEO Barry Weiss Is Betting on Country - and Unproven Talent - in His Latest Act". Billboard. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  32. ^ "Why RECORDS CEO Barry Weiss Is Betting on Country - and Unproven Talent - in His Latest Act". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  33. ^ McCall, Malorie (November 10, 2015). "St. Paul & The Broken Bones Signs With RECORDS". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  34. ^ Ingham, Tim (December 7, 2017). "SONGS has agreed to sell for around $160m, say sources". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  35. ^ Karp, Hannah (December 8, 2017). "SONGS Music Publishing Sells Catalog To Kobalt: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  36. ^ "Jenna Andrews Joins Barry Weiss' Records Label as Exclusive A&R Consultant". Billboard. February 26, 2018. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
Preceded by
L.A. Reid (Island Def Jam)
Mel Lewinter (Universal Motown Republic)
Chief Executive Officer of Island Def Jam/Universal Republic
March 2011-April 2014
Succeeded by
Position terminated
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)