New York, New York, November 22, 2004 – Acclaimed hip hop and R&B producer Samuel ‘Tone’ Barnes, of the celebrated producing duo Trackmasters, has been named Executive Vice President of A&R for Universal Motown Records Group, it was announced today announced by Sylvia Rhone, President of Motown Records/Executive Vice President of Universal Records, and Monte Lipman, President of Universal Records.

“I’ve had the privilege of working with Tone throughout my career, and have tremendous respect for both his talent and his honesty,” stated Ms. Rhone. “He is one of the few producers out there who has the ability to work with everyone from 50 Cent to Jay-Z to R Kelly to Mary J Blige. His keen instincts and invaluable insight make him a multi-dimensional asset to the entire company.”

“I am thrilled to become part of this great team at Universal Motown,” stated Tone. “I’ve worked on many projects with Sylvia over the years and share both her musical philosophy for uplifting great artists as well as her passion and commitment for the music business as a whole. I look forward to collaborating closely with her and the entire Motown staff as we work to bring new energy to this great company.”

Tone’s appointment is the culmination of a decade-long rise as one of the premier producer’s in urban music. He and partner Poke have reigned the past several years as the versatile production powerhouse known as Trackmasters, working with some of the biggest names in popular music, including 50 Cent, Nas, LL Cool J, Mary J Blige, Foxy Brown, Benzino, Big Punisher, Boyz II Men, 98 Degrees, Ginuwine, Destiny’s Child, Will Smith, Jay-Z, and many others.

Most recently Tone has produced Best Of Both Worlds Part 2, the much anticipated second offering from superstars R Kelly and Jay-Z, a follow-up to the Trackmasters produced Best Of Both Worlds Part 1.

In 1999 Tone was named Executive Vice President of Columbia Records, where he launched his own label, Trackmaster Records, and worked with and produced superstar artists including Destiny’s Child, and Will Smith. Tone began his producing career in 1990 producing Select Records hip hop legend Chubb Rock’s debut classic Lost In A Storm, among numerous other hip hop releases.

Universal Motown Records Group is a division of Universal Music Group, the world’s largest leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 71 countries around the world. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.

Universal Music Group consists of record labels A&M Records, Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, Geffen Records, Interscope Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, MCA Nashville, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Records and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and UM3 (outside the U.S.).

Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications comp