DJ Khaled is having his best year yet.
On Thursday (Feb. 9) during a press conference in Miami, Fla., Khaled announced his return to Def Jam Recordings, but not as an executive A&R — as he once was in 2008. The Grammy-winning megastar‘s We The Best imprint will now partner with the legendary label, in addition to him being appointed a Global Creative Director Consultant for Universal Music Group.
“This new chapter marks a special time for me,” DJ Khaled stated in a press release obtained by VIBE. “The energy at this point in my career is at an all-time high and I’m grateful to Sir Lucian Grainge for allowing me to join his empire at this stage in my journey. Together, we will achieve even greater heights and take it to the next level. I feel blessed and so inspired with renewed energy.”
He added, “I’m excited to not only partner, but to come back home to Def Jam. Tunji Balogun is not only an extraordinary A&R, but a true music-man and visionary who continuously is responsible for introducing the world to some of its next greatest superstars. I’m excited to join my sister and visionary executive LaTrice Burnette once again, as we have had tremendous success on every single project we have collaborated on in the past. Def Jam is the culture and together we will make history yet once again.”
Khaled worked as an executive A&R at Def Jam in 2008, and was responsible for some of the biggest hits heard by Rick Ross and more.
Speaking of how deserving Khaled is of the partnership and executive position, Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG’s Chairman and CEO, stated: “DJ Khaled is a great artist, hitmaker, mentor and cultural innovator. It gives me great pleasure to welcome him home to UMG where we look forward to working together to amplify his brilliant creative instincts and unique vision.”
Def Jam CEO Tunji Balogun added: “Beyond a proven hitmaker, incredible producer, undeniable artist, and consummate showman, DJ Khaled occupies the rarified air of cultural icon. His uncanny ability to continuously have his finger on the pulse of the culture, to reach audiences all over the world in innovative yet authentic ways, and his remarkable savvy for marketing, promoting and eventizing everything he touches is absolutely second to none.”
“We are thrilled to partner with DJ Khaled and We The Best, both as a multi-platinum, award-winning artist and as a valued executive. Without a doubt, Khaled can only make us better,” he stated.
Long time friend and Executive Vice President of Def Jam, LaTrice Burnette, also added her sentiments.
“Throughout our years together at Epic, Khaled and I developed a special working bond and broke barriers through a united vision, focused partnership and hard work,” she stated. “I have a tremendous respect for Khaled’s artistry, creativity, work ethic, marketing savvy, and boundless positive energy. I’m thrilled to welcome him back home to Def Jam, and can’t wait to see what we cook up next.”
Along with We The Best, Def Jam and UMG’s announcement, the Miami-resident also put his best foot forward in philanthropy. During the conference, Khaled and his We The Best Foundation awarded a 2023 scholarship grant to high school senior, Felisha Agenor. The We The Best Foundation is “dedicated to uplifting individuals throughout underserved communities across the United States and supporting various non-profits.”
If Khaled’s press conference hadn’t announced enough good news, he was also honored with both the key to the City of Miami and the key to Miami Beach in recognition of his ongoing work in the community. By proclamation, Feb. 9 is now recognized as “WE THE BEST” day in the city of Miami, and Nov. 26 will be “KHALED KHALED” day on Miami Beach.
Check out DJ Khaled giving his celebratory speech above as he now joins Def Jam Recordings and takes on his new executive position.
Congratulations DJ Khaled!