Sony Music did not have any flowery thanks for L.A. Reid as he was ousted from Epic Records this week. Their sole statement, according to Billboard: “L.A. Reid has left the company.”
Reid struggled, as everyone does, with getting hits. But on balance he’s done pretty well running Epic the last couple of years. Future had double hit albums, DJ Khaled has a top hit single right now, Fifth Harmony always produces, and Fifth Harmony singer Camila Cabelo is being primed for take off.
Additionally, Jennifer Hudson is working on her first Epic album and has a hot single called “Remember Me.” Reid has a Spanish album by Jennifer Lopez set for release, and Mariah Carey is…well, she’s Mariah Carey. Epic has also reaped the benefits of Sara Barielles’s hit, “Brave,” and her current Broadway hit “Waitress.”
During Grammy week, Reid threw a lovely brunch at his Beverly Hills home for execs and press to introduce Epic artists (many of the above were there). But that’s when it also became clear that Sony had moved veteran exec Sylvia Rhone out west. She’s bought a home and it seemed like her mission was to watch Reid for the New York honchos.
It’s possible that the next step for Sony is to merge Epic into Columbia Records as an imprint. There’s always been talk of Epic ending as a free standing label. With all the consolidation in the record business, that’s possible. As terse as their send off was to Reid, believe me, L.A. will be back. He will have big hits. This story is not over.