If you’ve ever danced to a tune by TLC or belted out lyrics from Outkast, then you’re already familiar with the musical genius of L.A. Reid. From his early days at LaFace Records to launching his own label, Hitco Entertainment, this powerhouse producer has left an indelible mark on the music industry. Join us as we take a closer look at L.A.’s incredible journey and explore how he’s shaped the sound of modern music as we know it today!
What is L.A. Reid’s Career History?
L.A. Reid is one of the most successful music executives in history, with a portfolio that spans from his time at LaFace Records to his current role as chairman and CEO of Epic Records. Reid’s career has been marked by both successes and failures, but his influence on the music industry is undeniable.
Reid first gained notice as the president of LaFace Records, where he helped develop artists like Toni Braxton and Whitney Houston into megastars. After leaving LaFace in 1996, Reid signed several big names to Hitco Records, including Usher, P!nk, and Justin Timberlake. His tenure at Hitco was short-lived however; after just two years on the job, Reid was fired due to creative differences with then-chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid Jr.
In 2002, Reid rejoined forces with Antonio “L.A.” Reid Jr., this time as chairman and CEO of Epic Records. Under his leadership, Epic has become one of the biggest music companies in the world, with blockbuster records by Rihanna, Bruno Mars, and Taylor Swift among others. In 2017, Billboard named Reid the most successful music executive of all time.
What are some of L.A.’s Major Achievements in the Music Industry?
In the music industry, one name stands out above all others: L.A. Reid. The founder of LaFace Records and now chairman and CEO of Epic Records, Reid has had a profound impact on the industry, both as a producer and label head. Here are five major achievements in Reid’s career:
1. He Founded LaFace Records in 1989
Reid founded LaFace Records with his partner Arista Records in 1989. The label quickly became a powerhouse, signing such iconic artists as Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, and Janet Jackson. LaFace also released some of the most successful hip-hop albums ever made, including NWA’s Straight Outta Compton and Dr. Dre’s The Chronic. In spite of its success, LaFace was eventually bought by Sony Music Entertainment in 1994.
2. He Produced Biggest Hits for Def Jam Recordings
Reid is perhaps best known for his work as a producer. Throughout his career, he’s produced or co-produced hits for artists such as Jay-Z, Rihanna, Kanye West, Mariah Carey, and 50 Cent. His production credits include classic songs like “Izzo (HOVA)” by Jay-Z and “Rude Boy” by Rihanna. In 2006, he received an honorary doctorate from Howard University for his contributions to music culture worldwide.
3. He Launched Epic Records in 1992
Ten years after founding LaFace Records, Reid
What is LaFace and How Did It Affect Reid’s Career?
In 1984, LaFace Records was started by two young brothers, Andre and Michel Legrand. The label released music from artists such as Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, and Celine Dion. In 1989, L.A. Reid joined the label as its president and CEO. At LaFace, Reid helped to guide the careers of some of the most successful recording artists in history, including Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Michael Jackson.
Under Reid’s leadership, LaFace became one of the leading record companies in the world. The company’s success can be attributed to Reid’s dedication to developing talent and his focus on creating successful marketing campaigns for his artists. For example, during Mariah Carey’s career breakthrough years (1996-1998), LaFace launched several successful marketing campaigns that resulted in Carey becoming one of the top-selling music artists of all time.
Reid’s influence on the music industry is clear to see. His work at LaFace contributed to the success of some of music’s most iconic performers
Hitco and Reid’s Relationship with Artists
In the early days of LaFace Records, founder L.A. Reid was closely aligned with some of the most influential and talented artists in music. He worked closely with Atlanta-based producer Babyface (real name Lawrence Tyler) to sign superstar performers Toni Braxton and Michael Jackson, respectively.
Reid also developed a close relationship with New York-based artist Whitney Houston. The two collaborated on multiple projects, including the critically acclaimed album I Will Always Love You. Houston later credited Reid with helping her transition from r&b singer to pop icon.
In 2003, LaFace was acquired by Miami-based Hitco Music Group. In 2005, Hitco merged with Universal Music Group, forming Universal Republic Records. Since then, Reid has continued to play an important role in the careers of many of UMG’s artists.
Reid’s Legacy in the Music Industry
Since his days as the CEO of LaFace Records, L.A. Reid has had a major impact on the music industry. He helped to create some of the biggest names in pop music over the past two decades, from Toni Braxton and Whitney Houston to Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé.
Reid’s legacy extends well beyond LaFace, though. In 2003, he co-founded Hitco Music Group, which became one of the largest independent record labels in the world. Today, Hitco operates independently under its own label, Aspire Music Publishing.
Under Reid’s leadership, Hitco has been responsible for releases by some of today’s biggest stars. For example, Marsha Ambrosius and Toni Braxton both recorded albums for Hitco during their careers.
In addition to his work in the music industry, Reid is also an accomplished businessman. He is chairman and CEO of Epic Records and chairman and majority owner of The Island Def Jam Music Group.
L.A. Reid’s career in the music industry is a story of success and endurance. After starting out as a producer for LA face label LaFace Records, Reid went on to found his own record label, Hitco Music, and become one of the most successful executives in music history. Throughout his career, Reid has been responsible for signing some of the biggest names in R&B and pop music, including Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, and Usher. In this article we take a look at how L.A. Reid’s influence has shaped the music industry over the years and what he may be able to do next.