The New King Of Pop

For the past five months, Antonio "L.A." Reid has held court as the head of Arista Records. See how he came to power and how he intends to preserve his throne.

people, he’d have been a billionaire a long time ago. When asked if he was president, owner, and CEO of his current music publishing and record companies, Avant simply said that he didn’t call himself anything, he was just a businessman.

When asked if he was ready to pass the baton after all these years, he said, “I don’t really have a baton to pass. The record business doesn’t really work that way. You come along and make your contribution, then it’s someone else’s turn.” He says that black music i
s responsible for 50% or more of the profits in the record business today, whereas it was responsible for about 20% 10 years ago. And while people like Reid are making significant strides on the corporate side of the business, blacks are a long way from pulling in 50% of the dollars or enjoying 50% of the power in the industry. Avant admits, “This is a big jump for [Reid], from LaFace to Arista, but Arista is not Sony or Time Warner Group or Jive.”

But Avant has had a hand in grooming Reid and has seen him rise to his current position. And it’s a pretty safe bet that Reid won’t be the only African American to make strides in the industry, if Avant has anything to do with it.

ARISTA
(including artists from the following labels*)
Ace Of Base
Blue
Brand Nubian
Castro
Coffee Brown
Jimmy Cozier
Gigi D’Agostino
Dido
DJ Quik
Dyme
Electrasy
Faithless
Fierce
Aretha Franklin
From Zero
Funkmaster Flex
Kenny G
Grateful Dead
Havana
Whitney Houston *
Alicia Keys
Kenny Latimore
Leon
Annie Lennox
Barry Manilow
Sarah McLachlan *
Monica
Abra Moore
Lennon
Naughty By Nature
Pushmonkey
Run DMC
Rustic Overtones
Santana *
Carlos Santana
Carly Simon
Sister *
Sky
Farn Smith

INTERNATIONAL ICLA
Another Level
Bachelor Girl
Crash Test Dummies
Eurythmics
Five
Beth Orton
Spiritualized
Lisa Stansfield
Angie Stone
Westlife *

TIME BOMB
Amazing Crowns
Aussie Youth
Bail
Chlorine
Death In Vegas
No Knife
Peter Scancy
Reverend Horton Heat *
Social Distortion
Soul Circle
Starling
Sunny Day Real Estate

MELISMA
Angie Aparo *
Color

LaFACE
1 Life 2 Live
Raphael Brown
Joy Enriquez
Donnell Jones
Goodie Mob
Latrelle
L.G. (Bren)
Outkast *
Pink
Sam Sakes
Shanice
T.L.P.
T.L.C.
Toni Braxton
Usher *
Christina Wilson
Young Bloodz

BAD BOY
112
Asia & Ashley
Black Rob
Mark Curry
Cheri Dennis
Dream
Faith Evans
Thelma Gayton
Puffy
Shyne
Carl Thomas *
Mario Winans

Antonio “L.A.” Reid
Occupation: CEO and president of Arista Records
Age: 43
Family: Divorced; three children; remarried in 2000
Education: Hughes High School, Cincinnati, Ohio (1974); 12-week Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School (1999)

Timeline
1957 Born in Cincinnati, Ohio
1975 Hits the road with local bands
1980 Joins The Deele with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds
1983 Signs with Solar Records and makes first hit, “Body Talk”
1984 Moves to Los Angeles with Babyface to write and produce songs
1989 Begins LaFace as a production company with

Babyface
1989 Grammy nomination – Songwriter, “Don’t Be Cruel”
1989 Begins LaFace label as joint venture with Arista
1989 BMI – Songwriter of the Year
1992 Signs TLC, who sold 4 million copies of their debut album Oooooooh, On the TLC Tip.
1992 LaFace soundtrack for Boomerang goes triple platinum (3 million copies sold)
1992 Grammy Award – Producer of the Year
1992 Grammy Award – Best R&B Song, “End of the Road”
1994 Signs Usher
1996 Outkast goes platinum with “Atliens”
1997 Usher’s first No. 1 hit, “You Make Me Wanna”
1997 Sound track for Soul Food goes double platinum
2000 Sells LaFace to Arista for $100 million; becomes
CEO and president of Arista

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