Antonio Marquis "L.A." Reid (born June 7, 1956)[1] is an American record executive, A&R representative, and record producer. He has served as the chairman and CEO of Epic Records and The Island Def Jam Music Group, as well as the president and CEO of Arista Records. He co-founded the record label Hitco Entertainment in 2017, which was sold to Concord in 2022.[2][3]

L.A. Reid
Reid in 2011
Antonio Marquis Reid

(1956-06-07) June 7, 1956 (age 68)
EducationHarvard Business School (Exec. Ed)
  • Record executive
  • A&R representative
  • record producer
  • businessman
Years active1973–present
(m. 1989; div. 1996)
Erica Holton
(m. 2000)

Early in his career he was a musician, joining the Ohio R&B bands Pure Essence in 1973, and The Deele (with future business partner Babyface) in 1981 as a drummer. Reid also has an extended musical career serving as a record producer, programmer, and instrumentalist for various recording artists. He founded Hitco Music Publishing in 1996, and co-founded LaFace Records with Babyface in 1989.[4][5] Reid appeared as a judge on the first two seasons of the U.S. version of the television show The X Factor,[6][7][8] after which he focused on the release of Xscape (2014)—the second posthumous album by American singer-songwriter Michael Jackson.[9]

Reid has won three Grammy Awards, including as a songwriter for his work on Boyz II Men's "End of the Road".[10] His life is documented in his 2016 memoir Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who's Next, which also made the New York Times bestseller list.[11]





L.A. Reid began his music career as a drummer, with his first appearance on record being with the Cincinnati funk rock outfit Pure Essence. Pure Essence released one solitary 45 in the mid-1970s. They later appeared on local FM rock radio station WEBN's second annual LP compilation, but the group was renamed 'Essence'. Reid would experience more mainstream success when he became a member of the 1980s R&B band The Deele, best known for their 1988 hit "Two Occasions", a song on their third album Eyes of a Stranger. The band had broken up before the success of the single, then reunited to promote "Two Occasions" as it rose up the charts under Dick Griffey's Solar Records. The song peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.[12]

1989–2004: LaFace Records and Arista years


After The Deele disbanded, Reid and bandmate Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds founded LaFace in 1989 through a joint venture with Arista Records, with funding from Arista Records creator Clive Davis.[13] The label soon became one of the premier 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.[14] Other popular acts on the label during its peak include Toni Braxton, TLC, and Outkast. Both TLC and Toni Braxton went on to sell more than 65 million records each. Initially headquartered in Atlanta, the label played a significant role in developing the city's music industry.[13]

Hitco Publishing Group

Reid formed the Hitco Publishing Group in 1996, as a joint venture with Windswept Music.[15] While starting up Hitco, Reid, looking to connect to a new market of producers, songwriters and talent, hired Shakir Stewart whom he saw as someone with "a finger on the pulse of the next generation of hot producers in the Atlanta music scene".[16] Shakir's first job in the music industry was as a creative executive at Hitco; he went on to become a senior vice president at Island Def Jam Music Group.[16]

"The most vital lesson [Reid has] learned from 22 years working at record companies? 'That you keep the doors open and the lights on and a star will walk in. I learned to stay in business. People are still buying music, dancing to it and dressing like it. They're using it to sell cars and CoverGirl makeup, so we sell product lines with our artists. The popularity of music is at an all-time high. How we monetize it is sometimes a moving target.'"

L.A. Reid, regarding the challenge in marketing current music artists, as quoted in The Hollywood Reporter, February 9, 2011.[14]

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 Clive Davis as president of Arista Records.[17]

In 2000, LaFace was merged into Arista Records with Reid being promoted to president and CEO of Arista Records. In 1997, Reid attended the Harvard Business School six-week Advanced Management Program, in preparation to become CEO of Arista Records.[18] In 2000, Reid signed his first unknown artists, Latin rapper Havana Mena and pop/rocker Avril Lavigne, to Arista. Avril Lavigne's debut album Let Go sold 6 million copies in the United States. As president of Arista Records, Reid signed artists such as Pink (whose November 2001 album Missundaztood sold 5 million copies in the US) and Ciara (whose September 2004 debut album Goodies sold 2.5 million copies in the US).[19]

Under Reid's tenure at Arista, Usher (whom Reid originally signed at LaFace) completed production on his multi-platinum hit 2004 album Confessions, which went on to spawn four No. 1 hit singles and sell 10 million copies in the United States alone. Outkast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below sold more than 10 million copies and won a Grammy Award for Album of the year.[citation needed]

2004–2012: Island Def Jam Music Group and The X Factor


Following the merger of Sony and BMG, L.A. Reid was released from his contract at Arista in 2004 and 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 to 2003 with less than stellar sales and general lack of public interest for her two previous projects, Glitter and Charmbracelet.[citation needed]

Reid also played a role in the successes of artists such as Kanye West, Rihanna, Bon Jovi, and Justin Bieber and was credited for the musical comeback of Jennifer Lopez with her 2011 album Love?.[citation needed] Reid stepped down as Chairman/CEO of Island Def Jam in March 2011.[20]

In early 2011, Reid became a judge on The X Factor USA for the first season, alongside creator and former American Idol judge Simon Cowell, pop star and dancer Paula Abdul and former Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger, who replaced British recording artist Cheryl Cole.[7][8]

Reid with Mariah Carey at The Emancipation of Mimi release party in 2005

Reid was assigned the Boys category throughout the competition, aided by friend and singer Rihanna at the Judges' Houses stage of the competition in The Hamptons. His final four acts were Marcus Canty, Chris Rene, Astro and Phillip Lomax. Lomax was eliminated on week one of the Live Shows, with Astro being eliminated on week six. Marcus Canty came fourth in the competition and was eliminated by the public vote in the semi-final (week eight). Chris Rene was Reid's most successful act who came third overall in the competition, bested by Josh Krajcik (who was mentored by Nicole Scherzinger) in second place and Melanie Amaro (mentored by Simon Cowell) who won the show. After the season ended, Reid worked with Astro, Marcus Canty and Chris Rene on their music careers.[citation needed]

In July 2011, Reid became the chairman and CEO of Epic Records. The label's roster included various former Jive Records artists.[4][5][21]

In 2012, Reid returned for the second season of The X Factor USA' along with Simon Cowell, while Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul were axed from the panel, along with Season 1 host Steve Jones. Joining the judging panel were new judges Demi Lovato and Britney Spears, while Khloé Kardashian and Mario Lopez replaced Jones as co-hosts. Reid's category in the "Over 25s" included Tate Stevens, the winner of the season.[citation needed]

Reid announced in December 2012 that he would not return for the third season in 2013 and was replaced by former judge of The X Factor UK, Kelly Rowland.[22]

2013–2017: Memoir, Xscape album, Epic Records


One of the projects that Reid embarked on following his stint on The X Factor, was remaking Michael Jackson songs after his death with the album Xscape, released May 2014.[9] Reid went through 40 years of tracks catalogued by the Jackson estate, and eight tracks of Jackson vocals set to new music from Timbaland and J-Roc, Rodney Jerkins, Stargate and John McClain, the former A&M Records executive who is co-executor of the Jackson estate with John Branca. The originals they worked with were recorded by Michael Jackson from 1983 to 1999, the period just after Thriller and before Invincible.[9] Xscape earned Gold certification.[23]

In 2016, Reid published the memoir Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who's Next.[11] The book received favorable reviews. Soul Train wrote: "In Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who's Next, his memoir written with Joel Selvin, Reid vividly takes readers on a musical journey via fascinating stories and rare photos that chronicle his modest beginnings as a young musician in Cincinnati, to his storied and adventurous path to becoming one of the most successful music executives in history.[24]

Under Reid, Epic had four albums debut at No. 1: Future, DJ Khaled, Travis Scott, and the final album from A Tribe Called Quest.[25][26][27][28] On March 3, 2017 Future became the only artist on the Billboard charts to release back-to-back albums that debuted at number 1.[29] While at Epic, Reid established the label as a hub for hip-hop acts such as Future, Travis Scott, DJ Khaled, and had significant success with pop artists including Meghan Trainor and Fifth Harmony. During his tenure, Epic grew its market share to 3.63 percent, up from 2.56 percent when he took over in 2011.[30][31]

Reid is the co-author (with Joel Selvin) of The New York Times bestseller[32] Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who's Next.[33]

In May 2017, it was announced that Reid would exit his post at Epic Records following an accusation of unlawful behavior by a female co-worker.[34] In response Reid stated: "I'm proud of my track record promoting, supporting and uplifting women at every company I've ever run. That notwithstanding, if I have ever said anything capable of being misinterpreted, I apologize unreservedly."[35][36][37]

2018 to 2022; Hitco Entertainment


In 2018, Reid became founder and co-chairman of Hitco Entertainment, LLC with Charles Goldstuck, the former Chairman and CEO of TouchTunes Interactive Networks. Formed in January 2018, the company has offices in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta and has signed over 15 artists including platinum-selling acts Big Boi (of Outkast) and Dinah Jane of Fifth Harmony;[38] the first release is a new album from Big Boi of Outkast.[39][40][41][42] In April 2018, Empire Distribution, the San Francisco-based independent music company founded by Ghazi Shami, announced that it will provide distribution services to Hitco for their first new album release for Big Boi.[43][44] In August 2018, Hitco held The Hit List showcase in New York City with performances by Hitco artists including Yella Beezy. Hitco's hit, Yella Beezy's "That's on Me", reached No. 1 at Urban Radio and Top 20 at Rhythm in September & has since went on to sell over 2 million copies worldwide.[45] Songwriter Delacey, who has written for the likes of Halsey and Zara Larsson, joined the Hitco roster as a solo artist releasing "My Man," in March 2019.[46] Also in March, Jennifer Lopez premiered the single "Medicine" featuring French Montana, her first release with Reid's Hitco Entertainment label.[47]

In 2022, the assets of Hitco and its artist recording contracts were sold to Concord Music Group and Hitco ceased operations.[48]



Awards and recognition


On August 30, 2006, L.A. Reid, along with Babyface, was honored as a BMI Icon at the 6th annual BMI Urban Awards. As of 2006, he has won 18 BMI awards.[49] Together with Babyface, Reid has produced and/or co-written penning numerous R&B hits, racking up over 40 No. 1 singles.[50]

Reid was honored with the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences' President's Merit Award at the Grammy salute to Industry Icons celebration on February 9, 2013, the day prior to the 55th Grammy Awards.[51] Reid is also a three-time Grammy Award winner. In 2014, Reid received the Harvard University Alumni Award of Excellence in Media.

In March 2016, Reid, received an award from BET Honors for The Business of Entertainment Award.[52]



In 2006, Reid was noted for his philanthropic efforts to bring arts programs to urban youth at the Art for Life Palm Beach fundraiser hosted by Russell Simmons.[53] That year, he also received the UJA-Federation of New York's Music Visionary Award.[54] He has also been involved with the Taste of Hope event for the City of Hope organization[55] and the Robin Hood Foundation.[56] In 2008, Reid wrote and co-produced the song "Just Stand Up" for the television special Stand Up To Cancer, which was performed by artists including Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Fergie, Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, Melissa Etheridge, Ashanti, Natasha Bedingfield, Keyshia Cole, Ciara, Leona Lewis, LeAnn Rimes, and Carrie Underwood. The record sales for the single were donated to the show's eponymous organization.[57] In 2009, Reid received the Spirit of Compassion Award from UNICEF.[58]

Personal life


Reid has a son named Antonio M. Reid, Jr., born in 1978, from a previous relationship.[59] He married Perri "Pebbles" Reid in 1989; the two had a son, Aaron Alexander, in November 1989. Reid and Pebbles divorced in 1996.[60][61] In 2000 he married Erica Holton.[62] They have two children.[63][61]

Reid was nicknamed "L.A." by a friend because he frequently wore a Los Angeles Dodgers shirt as a child.[64]

Sexual misconduct allegations


In May 2017, the media reported that one of Reid's female assistants filed a sexual misconduct claim against him. Epic Records executives allegedly refused to intervene at the time.[65] Reid soon departed from Sony's Epic Records.[66][67]

In November 2023, former music executive Drew Dixon, who worked with Reid at Arista Records between 2000 and 2002, filed a sexual assault lawsuit against him in the Federal District Court in Manhattan, alleging that Reid sexually assaulted her on two occasions.[68] The lawsuit, which was filed under the New York Adult Survivors Act, charged that Reid's misconduct forced Dixon out of the music business.[69]


  1. ^ L.A. Reid at AllMusic
  2. ^ "L.A.Reid Plotting his Return to the Music Industry". The New York Post. January 30, 2018.
  3. ^ "L.A. Reid's HitCo, Label Home to Jennifer Lopez and Saint JHN, Sold to Concord (EXCLUSIVE)". August 11, 2022.
  4. ^ a b "L.A. Reid's First Week at Epic Has Some Staffers Feeling 'Energized'". July 12, 2011. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
  5. ^ a b "L.A. Reid Officially Named Chairman & CEO of Epic Records". July 18, 2011. Archived from the original on January 2, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
  6. ^ "Judge and mentor L.A. Reid is leaving 'The X Factor'". CNN. December 14, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Official: L.A. Reid signed as 'X Factor' judge". Entertainment Weekly. March 18, 2011. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
  8. ^ a b "Breaking News: Grammy-winning music mogul Antonio "L.A" Reid to join Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole as a judge on The X Factor!". The X Factor. Facebook. March 18, 2011. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c "Michael Jackson's Back: How L.A. Reid Planned His 'Xscape' (Cover Story)". Billboard. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  10. ^ ""Antonio "L.A." Reid Is Writing His Next Chapter"". The Recording Academy. June 21, 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Best Sellers – The New York Times". The New York Times. March 13, 2016.
  12. ^ "The Deele - Chart history - Billboard".
  13. ^ a b Rule, Sheila (December 2, 1992). "The Pop Life; Arista's Formula: Country and Film Music". NYTimes. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  14. ^ a b Halperin, Shirley (February 9, 2011). "Justin Bieber Cover: The Team and Strategy Behind Making Him a Star". The Hollywood Reporter/Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  15. ^ "EMI Music Publishing forms strategic partnership with Antonio "L.A." Reid". EMI Music Publishing. Archived from the original on September 29, 2010. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
  16. ^ a b "Interview With Shakir Stewart". HitQuarters. November 14, 2005. Archived from the original on January 11, 2019. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
  17. ^ Gensler, Andy (May 20, 2017). "How L.A. Reid Dethroned Clive Davis, Cried in His IDJ Office, Called 'B.S.' on Lucian Grainge". Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  18. ^ Philips, Chuck (May 3, 2000). "BMG Chief Strauss Zelnick Sens Reid back to school". Retrieved December 23, 2011.
  19. ^ Halperin, Shirley (September 15, 2011). "Outkast, Ciara Headed for L.A. Reid's Epic Records, Sources Say". Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  20. ^ "L.A. Reid Steps Down As Chairman Of Island Def Jam To Judge 'X Factor'". Deadline. March 17, 2011. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  21. ^ "L.A. Reid to Run Restructured Epic Records". June 15, 2011. Archived from the original on September 1, 2011. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
  22. ^ "L.A. Reid Will Not Return for 'X Factor' Season 3". The Hollywood Reporter. December 13, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  23. ^ "Michael Jackson – Biography". Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  24. ^ "Book Review: L.A. Reid's 'Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who's Next' – Soul Train". Soul Train. March 16, 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  25. ^ "Future Makes History With Back-to-Back No. 1 Debuts on Billboard 200 Albums Chart". Billboard. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  26. ^ "DJ Khaled Earns His First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Major Key'". Billboard. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  27. ^ Lang, Cady. "A Tribe Called Quest Has the No. 1 Album in America". Time. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  28. ^ "Travis Scott Scores First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight'". Billboard. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  29. ^ McIntyre, Hugh. "Future Makes History By Debuting Back-To-Back No. 1 Albums". Forbes. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  30. ^ "Epic Holds Breath as L.A. Reid Era Comes to Ugly Close". Billboard. May 17, 2017.
  31. ^ "What L.A. Reid's Sudden Sony Music Exit Means for Epic Records, Variety". May 12, 2017.
  32. ^ "Best Sellers". The New York Times. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  33. ^ Reid, L.A. (February 2, 2016). Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who's Next. Harper. ISBN 9780062274755.
  34. ^ Rindner, Grant (October 3, 2018). "L.A. Reid's Hitco Teams Up With Pilgrim Media for Music-Related TV Programming". Billboard.
  35. ^ "Russell Simmons Accuser Points Finger at L.A. Reid: Report", Billboard, December 14, 2017.
  36. ^ "Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. May 11, 2017.
  37. ^ Karp, Hannah (May 15, 2017). "Epic Executives Knew of L.A. Reid's Alleged Misconduct, Letter Claims". Billboard. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  38. ^ Angermiller, Michele (August 16, 2018). "Fifth Harmony's Dinah Jane Signs With L.A. Reid's Hitco". Variety.
  39. ^ "L.A. Reid's Hitco Ramps Up With 25 Hires and Handful Of New Acts". Billboard. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  40. ^ "L.A. Reid's Hitco Entertainment on the Hunt for Staff". Billboard. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  41. ^ "Embattled L.A. Reid plotting his return to the music industry". Billboard. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  42. ^ Karp, Hannah (June 27, 2018). "Hitco Close to Hiring SONGS Business & Legal Affairs Head David Gold: Sources". Billboard.
  43. ^ "Empire Strikes Global Distribution-Services Deal With Universal Music Group". Variety. April 25, 2018.
  44. ^ Leight, Elias (August 14, 2018). "How Big Boi's 'All Night' Became 2018's Most Improbable Hit". Rolling Stone.
  45. ^ Cantor, Brian (September 29, 2018). "Yella Beezy's "That's On Me" Reaches #1 At Urban Radio". Headline Planet.
  46. ^ Kress, Bryan (March 7, 2019). "Delacey Signs to HITCO, Releases First Single 'My Man': Exclusive". Billboard.
  47. ^ "World's Hottest Entertainer Jennifer Lopez Reveals Tantalizing Details Of North American It's My Party Tour To Celebrate Milestone Birthday With Fans". Live Nation Entertainment. March 22, 2019.
  48. ^ Halperin, Shirley (August 11, 2022). "L.A. Reid's HitCo, Label Home to Jennifer Lopez and Saint Jhn, Sold to Concord". Variety.
  49. ^ "BMI Salutes Top Urban Music Makers at Star-Studded Gala in NYC". August 30, 2006. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
  50. ^ "Def Jam's New Tune". NewsWeek. August 30, 2004. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
  51. ^ "The Recording Academy, Clive Davis Partner For Pre-Grammy Gala". April 30, 2017.
  52. ^ Murrell, Morgan (March 15, 2016). "BET Honors 2016: Usher Pays Tribute to L.A. Reid With Greatest Hits Performance". Music Times.
  53. ^ "Billboard by Nielsen Business Media, Inc". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. March 25, 2006. p. 90 – via Internet Archive.
  54. ^ "Reid Raise Cash (Lots), Gets Props". Inside Track. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. July 29, 2006. p. 78 – via Internet Archive.
  55. ^ Ettinger, Jessica, "Backbeat: Steve Bartels, L.A. Reid, Tom Poleman, Alissa Pollack More at Taste of Hope Auction", Billboard, March 26, 2013.
  56. ^ "Robin Hood Raises $56.5 Million to Fight Poverty in New York City - Robin Hood". May 27, 2008.
  57. ^ "Female Stars Team For Cancer Charity Tune". Billboard.
  58. ^ "Mariah honors L.A. Reid at Unicef Snowflake Ball - The Mariah Carey Archives".
  59. ^ "Antonio "L.A." Reid". February 15, 2001.
  60. ^ "10 Hottest Couples", Ebony, March 1992, p. 94.
  61. ^ a b Benet, Lorenzo (August 18, 2011). "X Factor Judge L.A. Reid: Five Things to Know".
  62. ^ "Who Is L.A. Reid's Wife, Author Erica Reid?". March 14, 2016.
  63. ^ "L.A. and Erica Reid Talk Michael Jackson's Legacy With Matt Lauer", Hamptons, July 17, 2014.
  64. ^ "The man behind LaFace". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. June 20, 1994. Retrieved December 18, 2023.
  65. ^ Karp, Hannah (May 15, 2017). "Epic Executives Knew of L.A. Reid's Alleged Misconduct, Letter Claims". Billboard. Retrieved February 21, 2024.
  66. ^ Rys, Dan (May 11, 2017). "L.A. Reid Out at Epic Records". Billboard. Retrieved February 21, 2024.
  67. ^ Karp, Hannah (May 18, 2017). "Sony Dismisses First L.A. Reid Loyalist". Billboard. Retrieved February 21, 2024.
  68. ^ Ryzik, Melena (November 8, 2023). "Music Executive L.A. Reid Is Accused of Sexual Assault in Lawsuit". New York Times. Retrieved February 21, 2024.
  69. ^ Cho, Winston (November 9, 2023). "Music Mogul L.A. Reid Sued Over Sexual Assault Claim By Former Arista Records Executive". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 21, 2024.
Preceded by Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Epic Records
July 2011–May 2017
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Chief Executive Officer of Island Def Jam
February 2004 – March 2011
Succeeded by