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Leesa Brunson    

Senior VP A&R Operations, Def Jam Records

Celebrating 15 years at Def Jam, Brunson has earned the nickname "The Closer" by overseeing the creative team responsible for project rollouts and "never delivering a 'no' " to a roster that includes Alessia Cara, Logic and Justin Bieber -- along with the perpetually tinkering Kanye West, whose Tidal-exclusive LP, The Life of Pablo, became the label's first Billboard 200 No. 1 in 2016. Her open-door policy and industry expertise keep both veterans and rookies coming back. Says Brunson: "They look for me when they come into the building."

For more than a decade, Leesa's close, trusted relationships with both our artists and their managers has ensured that the music gets delivered, and we stay true to our release schedules. Her expertise in the field of A&R Operations is renowned throughout the industry, and we couldn't be more proud of announcing this well-deserved promotion to Senior VP of A&R Operations.

I have been incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to continue to grow at DEF JAM, alongside the most talented artists and executives in the world," said Brunson. "STEVE Bartels and are consummate leaders, and their infinite creativity and commitment inspire me every day. DEF JAM has an extraordinary slate of both new and superstar releases lined up for 2015, and I'm certainly looking forward to the new year."

Brunson joined DEF JAM's A&R department as Manager in 2001, and rose through positions of increased responsibilities prior to her promotion to Vice President in 2010. During the course of her tenure, she has worked closely with Ne-Yo, Jeezy, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Rick Ross, Fabolous, Jeremih, Big Sean, and Logic, among others. She began her career in the A&R Department of ELEKTRA RECORDS in the '90s, working with Busta Rhymes, Ray J, Metallica, and Brand Nubian.

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