Baltimore Insider

Former Def Jam president, Baltimore native Kevin Liles to receive national philanthropic award

Kevin Liles, a West Baltimore native who became the president of Def Jam records, is slated to receive a national award Wednesday evening for his philanthropic work.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings is to present the Congressional Award Foundation's Horizon Award to Liles at a ceremony at Washington's Hyatt Regency, according to Cummings' office.

The entertainment mogul's local foundation, Kevin Liles for a Better Baltimore, hosts an annual back-to-school fair. He also sponsors summer sessions on college campuses for disadvantaged teenagers through his Make It Happen Foundation.


Liles began his career in the music industry in 1991 as an intern for Def Jam. Seven years later, he was the president of the company.

He has helped guide the careers of Jay Z,  LL Cool J, Kanye West and Ashanti, among other artists.  He currently serves as the CEO of KWL Enterprises, a talent company he launched in 2009 after leaving his post as executive vice president of Warner Music Group.