table.) Whether Houston and others will now stay with the label is uncertain, but except for her, artists at Arista reportedly do not have “key man” clauses in their contracts that would allow them to exit after Davis’s departure.
In facing the challenges, Reid, 43, brings tremendous record industry experience. Before cofounding LaFace as a joint venture with Arista in 1989, Reid and Edmonds produced 33 No. 1 singles and garnered three Grammy awards. Derrick Thompson, vice president at BMG Music Publishing and A&R consultant for RCA Records, contends that, “Reid’s appointment is brilliant and very important for all blacks in the music business. White executives make decisions regarding black music all the time. However, it’s easy for blacks to be pigeonholed in the industry into only black music positions.”