Production/label vet named exec VP of A&R.

Universal Motown Records Group has named Samuel "Tone" Barnes, of producing duo the Trackmasters, as executive VP of A&R.

Based in New York, he reports to Sylvia Rhone, president of Motown Records/executive VP of Universal Records.

Tone began his production career in 1990, working on the debut from Chubb Rock. In 1999, Tone was named executive VP of Columbia Records, where he launched the Trackmaster Records label. He is best known for his work with partner Poke as the Trackmasters, which have produced material for 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 others.

“I’ve had the privilege of working with Tone throughout my career, and have tremendous respect for both his talent and his honesty,” says Rhone. “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."