Beats 1 anchor Ebro Darden has been given a New Year’s promotion, being made Apple’s new global editorial head of hip-hop and R&B. In the role, Darden will manage a team of editors in developing editorial strategies for promoting artists, albums, and song releases.
This will be in addition to his Monday to Friday role as a host on Beats 1 and the Hot 97 show, Ebro in the Morning.
Darden takes over a role that was being carried out by Carl Chery, who left Apple to join Spotify. The new job title, however, was especially created for Darden. It underlines how serious Apple is about promoting hip-hop and R&B, two of the genres that Beats 1 is most focused on.
“We’re excited that Ebro is joining us in a full-time capacity,” Rachel Newman, Apple Music’s global director of editorial, told Billboard. “Having dedicated his life and career to hip-hop, R&B and pop music, he has so much to offer. One of Ebro’s most defining characteristics is that he has great ears for where R&B and hip-hop are transcending and evolving to beyond even the borders of the U.S. He’ll obviously take a leadership position for us not just in hip-hop and R&B but also in the communities where the music is made, which is also exciting and something unique to Ebro.”
Darden joined Apple Music back in 2015. Since then, he has helped showcase a broad range of artists on his show. He previously worked as music director for Hot 97 from 2003 until 2007. After this, he was promoted to the role of program director, which he stayed in until 2014. He also served as VP of programming for Hot 97’s parent company from 2008 to 2013.
In recent times, Apple has been ramping up its efforts to promote artists. At the end of last year, Apple acquired the U.K.-based music creative services and artist development company Platoon, founded by former Apple live events and artist relations exec Denzyl Feigelson.