(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
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.
"I've had the privilege of working with Tone throughout my career," said Sylvia Rhone, president of Motown Records/executive vice president of Universal Records, “and have tremendous respect for both his talent and his honesty. 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 Barnes. "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."
Barnes' appointment is the culmination of a decade-long rise as one of the leading producers in urban music. He and partner Poke have reigned the past several years as the 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 he produced Best Of Both Worlds Part 2, the second offering from R Kelly and Jay-Z, a follow-up to the Trackmasters produced Best Of Both Worlds Part 1.
In 1999 Barnes was named executive vice president of Columbia Records, where he launched his own label, Trackmaster Records, and worked with and produced Destiny's Child, and Will Smith. He began his producing career in 1990 with Chubb Rock's debut Lost In A Storm. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen