Universal Music Group has announced a major restructuring, splitting Island Def Jam into three standalone labels as Barry Weiss resigns as chairman and CEO of the label's East Coast group.

A Tuesday news release says historic labels Def Jam Recordings, Island Records and Motown Records will once again become independent operations, effective immediately, while Weiss explores starting another venture with Universal.

Lucian Grange, UMG chairman and CEO, says "we're positioning them to recapture the uniqueness of their brands" in the news release.

The move comes 15 years after the three influential labels were consolidated in 1999 and as hip-hop pioneer Def Jam celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Island Def Jam has been home to some of music's top stars, including Kanye West and Justin Bieber.



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