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L.A. Reid (1956)

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Antonio "L.A." Reid is a US record executive, songwriter, and record producer. Best known as the co-founder of LaFace Records, he is responsible for signing and helping bring Mariah Carey, Pink, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Kanye West, Avril Lavigne, Toni Braxton, TLC, Usher, Ciara, OutKast, and Dido to multi-platinum album sales. He has won three Grammy Awards.

He is the President and chief executive of Hitco Music Publishing, based in Atlanta and was the chairman and chief executive officer of Island Def Jam Music Group until 2011, when he signed up to appear as a judge on the 2011 U.S. version of The X Factor. He is currently the Chairman and CEO of Epic Records.


 early life
Reid was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is one of four children of Emma Reid, a seamstress and interior decorator. His father was mostly absent. He was raised in the Mount Auburn and Madisonville neighborhoods in Cincinnati's east side. Antonio gained the nickname "L.A." as a young musician when a guitar player in his band called him "L.A." because he was wearing a T-shirt that said “L.A.” in reference to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were competing against the Cincinnati Reds at the time. His first drum lessons were with his uncle, Albert Baldwens. He has three children named Aaron, Ariana and Addison.

Reid's first appearance on record was with Cincinnati funk rock outfit Pure Essence who released one solitary 45 in the middle 1970s as well as garnering an appearance on local FM rock radio station WEBN's second annual LP compilation, this time as Essence. Reid then became a member of the 1980s R&B band The Deele, best known for their 1988 hit "Two Occasions". The band had broken up before the success of the single, then reunited to promote "Two Occasions" as it rose up the charts. The song peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.

  1989–2004: LaFace Records and Arista years
After The Deele disbanded, Reid and fellow band mate Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds founded LaFace in 1989 through a joint venture with Arista Records, with funding from Arista Records creator Clive Davis. The label soon became one of the premiere destinations for popular African-American entertainers who created Black Pop music that was easily accessible to both Urban and Top 40 radio formats. Reid signed 14 year old Usher to the label, whose six album releases have sold 65 million units worldwide. Other popular acts on the label during its peak include Toni Braxton, TLC, and Outkast. Initially headquartered in Atlanta, the label played a role in building the current landscape of the Atlanta music industry.

In May 2000, Edmonds and Reid sold their remaining 50% stake in LaFace to parent company BMG. The label became an imprint of Arista Records, with Arista taking on sales, marketing, and promotional duties for its acts. At this time, Reid also succeeded his mentor, Clive Davis, as President of Arista Records. This happened after Davis refused to name a successor at the request of Arista parent company, BMG, due to the fact that Davis, who was 67, was beyond the company's mandatory retirement age. Davis went on to find success creating another BMG imprint named J Records, which signed global superstars such as Alicia Keys, Luther Vandross and Rod Stewart. Reid then took a six week executive course at the Harvard Business School in order to prepare himself to become CEO and President of Arista.

As President of Arista Records, Reid brought the company great success by signing artists such as P!nk, Ciara and Avril Lavigne, whose debut album Let Go sold 6 million copies in the United States. Under Reid's tenure at Arista, Usher completed production on his multi-platinum hit 2004 album Confessions, which went on to spawn 4 #1 hit singles and sell 10 million copies in the United States alone.

  2004–2011: Island Def Jam Music Group
Following the merger of Sony and BMG, L.A. Reid was released from his contract at Arista in 2004 and quickly became the Chairman and CEO of The Island Def Jam Music Group in February 2004. Reid is noted for bringing Mariah Carey's career back to prominence with her multi-platinum 2005 album The Emancipation Of Mimi after her career had stalled from 2001-2003 with less than stellar sales and general lack of public interest for her two previous projects Glitter and Charmbracelet.

Reid has also played a role in the recent successes of artists such as Amerie, Kanye West, Rihanna (alongside Jay-Z), Bon Jovi, and most recently teenage pop phenomenon Justin Bieber. In the last few years, L.A. Reid has also been responsible for the recent high profile signings of major Pop music artists such as Janet Jackson , Utada , as well as former Bad Boy rapper Shyne to the record company. However, in 2006, Reid's label dropped Lady Gaga after three months of signing her. This would eventually be the inspiration of Gaga's Marry The Night video. Reid stepped down as CEO and Chairman of Def Jam in March 2011.

 2011–present: The X Factor and Epic Records
Reid became a judge on the U.S. version of the British singing competition The X Factor, alongside its creator and former American Idol judge Simon Cowell, 80s pop star Paula Abdul and former Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger . In July 2011, Reid became the Chairman and CEO of Epic Records which also includes various former Jive Records artists.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "L.A. Reid", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.