After several years as the chairman of Epic Records, longtime music exec L.A. Reid is leaving the company.
Variety broke the news on Thursday (May 11) afternoon. Reid joined Sony in July 2011, and three of his biggest signings during his tenure were Future, Travis Scott, DJ Khaled and Rick Ross. Future has become one of the biggest stars in rap, and Travis Scott has built a career for himself while becoming an architect for much of rap's current sound. Khaled has become a viral phenomenon with a Grammy nomination and the current no. 1 song in the country, "I'm the One" with Justin Bieber, Chance The Rapper, Lil Wayne and Quavo of Migos.
Reid is one of the most respected figures in the music industry. After his own start as a musician in the 1980s, he cofounded LaFace Records - a joint venture with Arista Records - with Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and launched careers of superstars like Usher and TLC. When Arista later absorbed LaFace, he became the CEO, heading the company when OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below became such a hit and sold 10 million copies.
In 2004 Reid left for Island Def Jam, where he worked with Kanye West, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, and others. He then moved to Epic/Sony in 2011.
Reid was also a judge on "X Factor," the music competition reality show where he discovered Fifth Harmony, who he would also sign to Epic. He released his New York Times bestseller autobiography "Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who’s Next” last year.
Artists like Rick Ross and DJ Khaled constantly sing their praises for L.A. Reid. Reid made a cameo on Ross' "Maybach Music IV," and Ross rejoined Reid at Epic Records after his contract with Def Jam was complete. DJ Khaled has also cited Reid as a friend and mentor, starting his We The Best Music Group under Epic Records.