Veteran music industry exec Antonio Marquis “L.A.” Reid is stepping down from his role as chairman of Epic Records, according to Variety. Details surrounding the split are scarce, but he is listed as an executive producer on the scripted drama, Cotton Club, which indicates he is already ahead in plotting his next move.
Reid joined the Sony Music label in July 2011 and has since launched the careers of pop artist Meghan Trainor, rap superstars Future and Travis Scott, female singing group Fifth Harmony, and mega-producer DJ Khaled. He is also responsible for signing Rick Ross and bringing Mariah Carey back into the Sony Music family after working with her at his former label, Island Def Jam, where he was the CEO.
Reid’s long history in the music business began with a stint as a drummer in an ’80s R&B band, The Deelee, before he relocated from his hometown of Cincinnati to Atlanta and established the LaFace Records imprint along with fellow band member Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds under the Arista umbrella. Since then, he’s helped mastermind the careers of artists like Pink, TLC, Usher and Outkast. In 2000, LaFace merged with Arista, and he became the CEO.
“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald #BeEpic
— LA Reid (@LA_Reid) May 10, 2017
Neither Sony Music Global nor Epic Records have mentioned anything on their social handles mentioning the change, but Reid did post a tweet Wednesday afternoon (May 10) that read: “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” Whether he just meant to share some more hard-won wisdom or it’s in reference to the split remains to be seen.
While there is no word on who is taking the soon-to-be empty position or if Reid is headed to another company, for now, the label’s social media accounts point to business as usual. Reid published his memoir, Sing To Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who’s Next, early last year.