Steve Bartels: The 2015 Billboard Power 100
NO. 51

Steve Bartels

51, CEO, Def Jam Recordings


Last year's rank: 54

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014, Def Jam found itself back where it started after a corporate restructuring: a stand-alone label intent on fostering its image as a cutting-edge musical and cultural force. Promoted to CEO in April 2014, Bartels, a former DJ, has used his calm management style to lay a solid foundation for Def Jam 2.0. Iggy Azalea, YG, Jhene Aiko and Logic helped the label claim bragging rights as the No. 2 Top R&B/Hip-Hop label and No. 6 Hot 100 label. On tap for 2015: Kanye West, Frank Ocean and Axwell & Ingrosso. 

OVERUSED PHRASE: "'Let's go!' Usually with three exclamation points."

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