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L.A. Reid


L.A. Reid

L.A. Reid

Photo by Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Early Life and The Deele:

Antonio "L.A." Reid was born June 7, 1956 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He earned the nickname "L.A." from a guitar player in his band who called him that because of a Los Angeles Dodgers t-shirt he was wearing. L.A. Reid was a drummer in high school. In the early 1980s he joined the Cincinnati based R&B band The Deele. A fellow member of the group was L.A. Reid's soon to be production and business partner Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. The Deele hit #3 on the R&B chart with the single "Body Talk" off their debut album Street Beat in 1983. In 1988 the band climbed into the top 10 of the pop singles chart with their signature hit "Two Occasions."


While members of the Deele, L.A. and Babyface began working on songwriting and production for other artists. They put together the 1987 top 10 pop hit "Girlfriend" for L.A. Reid's eventual wife, Pebbles. L.A and Babyface also wrote and produced the Whispers' top 10 hit "Rock Steady." In 1988 the pair left the Deele to form the record label LaFace. The label was formed in cooperation with Arista Records and received funding from Arista label head Clive Davis. LaFace soon became known for releasing pop-friendly R&B music. Among the successful artists given a start at LaFace are OutKast, Pink, and Usher.

L.A. Reid Moves To Island Def Jam:

In 2000 L.A. Reid was made the successor to Clive Davis as president of Arista. In that role he continued to have success with new artists such as Avril Lavigne and Ciara. In 2004 major labels Sony and BMG merged resulting in L.A. Reid being released from his contract as head of BMG subsidiary Arista. He was quickly hired to be chairman and CEO of the Island Def Jam Music Group under major label Universal. L.A. Reid is given significant credit for helping revive Mariah Carey's career with the 2005 release of the album The Emancipation Of Mimi. Under his leadership highly successful new artists were cultivated at the label including Justin Bieber and Rihanna.

X Factor US:

In March 2011 it was announced that L.A. Reid would be one of the four judges when Simon Cowell brings his UK hit show X Factor to the US in September 2011. At the time of the announcement, L.A. Reid left his position with Island Def Jam. In July 2011 it was announced that L.A. Reid would return to the Sony label as head of the subsidiary Epic Label Group.
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