Happy Birthday, L.A. Reid!
There aren't many who have the ear for talent and business acumen like L.A. Reid does. That's why he's one of the biggest record executives ever. Today (June 7), we celebrate his 59th birthday.
Many people don't know this, but L.A. Reid made a hit of his own before becoming a record head. He was originally a drummer for the 1980's R&B band the Deele, which had a Billboard No. 10 hit in "Two Occasions." That's the group's only hit before they disbanded shortly after.
L.A. Reid and famed producer and former bandmate Babyface founded LaFace Records in 1989. Throughout the '90s, the label started raking in some of the most acclaimed and highest-selling acts in music history. OutKast became known as one of the greatest duos ever, TLC is the first female group to have an album go diamond (CrazySexyCool) and Usher went on to sell an astonishing 65 million copies worldwide.
Like most smaller labels, LaFace got swallowed up by bigger ones. Reid's company got swallowed up by Arista Records in 2000. But he was still on top: he became president and CEO of Arista. At the position, he oversaw many more music successes like OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, which went diamond and became the last hip-hop album to win the Grammy for Best Album of the Year. Reid also worked closely with artists like Kanye West, Rihanna and Justin Bieber over the past 10 years.
Reid parted ways with Arista and became Chairman and CEO of the Island Def Jam Music Group in 2004. In 2011, he made the move to hold the same position at Epic Records, where he currently works. The man knows the business.
Watch the Deele's "Two Occasions" Video
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