For counterfeit releases, please use Def Jam Recordings (2).
1984: Label founded; releases several 12" singles independently. First release was purchased by Streetwise Records and released with a Def Jam logo (and is not considered part of Def Jam today).
1985: Def Jam Recordings began distribution through Columbia/CBS Records.
1988: CBS Records was purchased by the Sony Corporation.
1991: CBS Records became Sony Music Entertainment.
1994: PolyGram purchased 50% of Sony’s Def Jam holdings and switches distribution companies.
1996: PolyGram purchased an additional 10% of the Def Jam holdings, which made it the parent company.
1999: Universal Music Group was formed through the merger of the MCA and PolyGram families of labels and it subsequently purchased the remaining Def Jam holdings that Sony held. All the Def Jam assets were then spun into Island Def Jam Music Group after merging it with Mercury's pop roster and Island Records.
2004: Universal Sigma begins using the Def Jam Recordings imprint for domestic Japanese releases (operating independently of the Island Def Jam Music Group).
2013: Barry Weiss stepped down as Chairman/CEO of both Island and Def Jam.
2014: Universal Music dissolved The Island Def Jam Music Group. Now re-positioned Def Jam, Island Records and Motown separately as all three solo labels. Steve Bartels is now Def Jam's Chairman, president and CEO. No I.D., Rodney Jerkins and Kyambo Joshua are currently working for A&R representation of the label.
Labelcode: LC 08427/LC 8427