New York, NY, December 8, 2004– The Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJ), a division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, today announced that Grammy Award-winning superstar artist, songwriter, producer and entrepreneur Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter has been appointed President & CEO of Def Jam Recordings. The announcement was made by Antonio “LA” Reid, Chairman of The Island Def Jam Music Group, to whom Jay-Z reports. The appointment is effective January 3, 2005 and Jay-Z will be based at IDJ’s New York headquarters.

In addition to Def Jam, Jay-Z will continue to run Roc-a-Fella, which was recently purchased by IDJ.

“After ten years of successfully running Roc-a-Fella,” stated Mr. Reid, “Shawn has proven himself to be an astute businessman, in addition to the brilliant artistic talent that the world sees and hears. We are fortunate that he has agreed to take over as president & CEO of Def Jam Recordings. I can think of no one more relevant and credible in the hip hop community to build upon Def Jam’s fantastic legacy and move the company into its next groundbreaking era.”

“I have inherited two of the most important brands in hip hop, Def Jam and Roc-a-Fella,” added Mr. Carter. “LA Reid and Doug Morris (Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group) have given me the opportunity to manage the companies I have contributed to throughout my whole career. I feel this is a giant step for me and the entire artistic community.”

Since 1995, Jay-Z and his Roc-a-Fella artists have dominated the rap industry and set the trends for a generation. Not just with an extensive catalog and talented artists and producers, but with a profitable brand that spawned a clothing line (Roca Wear), films (“Fade to Black,” “Backstage,” “Streets Is Watching,” “State Property”), a nightclub (40/40 Club) and a successful sneaker line (Reebok’s S. Carter shoe collection). Moreover, Jay-Z has founded three philanthropic organizations, including The Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund, Team Roc, and the annual Jay-Z Santa Claus Toy Drive. With a string of multi-platinum albums, SRO concerts and more than 30 million albums sold worldwide on his Roc-a-Fella label, there are no thresholds that Shawn Carter has not crossed. That is what made his Grammy-nominated The Black Album such a phenomenon – a groundbreaking autobiographical statement that was not only one of the most important records of 2003/2004, but perhaps the most important record of Jay-Z’s legendary career.

Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 71 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the world’s premiere music publishing companies.

UMG consists of record labels Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, DreamWorks Records, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, The Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown Records Group, 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 Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technologies division.

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