Universal Music Group has launched a label dedicated to urban Latin music, Billboard.biz has learned.

Universal Music Group has launched a label dedicated to urban Latin music, Billboard.biz has learned.

Los Angeles-based Machete Music is the first Latin urban label to be fully owned and funded by a multinational record company. Machete will be headed by president Gustavo Lopez, who is shifting from his post as VP of Latin sales and marketing for Universal Music & Video Distribution. In his new role, Lopez will report to Jesus Lopez (no relation), chairman of Universal Music Latin America/Iberian Peninsula.

"We have a significant presence in reggaeton already, and we've been seeing this genre of music develop without any real radio play," Universal Music Group president/COO Zach Horowitz says. "The signs are all there. And it really does remind me of hip-hop when it was first starting. It had no radio airplay. It was a cultural event. It resonated with youth, and it's still with us."

Lopez will head Machete from Burbank, Calif., and will supervise staff in New York, Puerto Rico, Miami and Chicago. He has appointed Toy Hernandez, DJ/producer of Mexican hip-hop group Control Machete, as head of A&R for Mexico and the West Coast. Hernandez will be based in Monterrey, Mexico.

Also on board are label representatives Carlos Casillas (Puerto Rico), Joe Raposo (New York) and Jehova Chavez (Los Angeles). Ed Agudelo and Mickey Hernandez will be in charge of marketing for Puerto Rico and New York, respectively.

El Cartel Records, the label of reggaeton act Daddy Yankee, has signed an exclusive agreement with Machete for marketing and distribution outside the United States.

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