Home Celebrity Someone’s Got It In For L.A. Reid with Epic Attack

Someone’s sure got it in for L.A. Reid as he arrives at Epic Records. This is worse than when he took over Arista Records a decade ago. Reid has just arrived at Epic under Doug Morris’s new regime at Sony Music. He had a hugely successful run at Island DefJam before that. Today’s Page Six–totally manipulated and without one fact or named source–paints Reid as “Mr. Nasty” who only wants “beautiful people” in the office. There’s also an insistence that he’s already at war with Sylvia Rhone, who’s come with him from Universal Music Group to run Portrait Records at Sony/Epic. It’s all hilarious and quite untrue.

When I read Page Six I flashed back to the numerous times I was brought up to Island DefJam to meet staff members and listen to new music from NeYo, Mariah Carey, Duffy, or Lionel Richie. The staff loved Reid and was very devoted to them. Also, and I mean this nicely, they were not exactly a Vogue photo shoot cast. They were nice looking — no one had a horn or a huge hairy mole–but they were normal people. (I know that p.r. director Laura Swanson is doing a spit take right now reading this!) As for the whole L.A. Reid vs. Sylvia Rhone invented feud, I think it smacks of implicit racism that the two best known black record executives in the business have now been pitted against each other before they even start working. It’s just wrong.

Reid, meantime, does arrive at a good time. Epic has just released Incubus’s really wonderful album “If Not Now, When?” This album is just a delight to listen to, a refreshing rock pop CD that everyone in my ancient age group would love if they got to hear it. Reid’s first task will be to make Incubus into a breakthrough act. In time he’ll bring back big stars like Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez. But he also has a great eye for new talent (for better or worse, he gave us Justin Bieber). And he’d do well to look around for some legacy artists who don’t have major label recording contracts like Motown legend Gladys Knight and Alison Moyet (the original, ahem, Adele).

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
2 replies to this post
  1. Mr. Reid and Ms. Rhone — wow! Congratulations! I wish you well and continued success at what you do best — deliver a good product! Look for the best and if they’re beautiful — please hire them.

  2. And to think all this time, Roger, we didn’t agree on talent…heh heh heh,.

    ALYSON MOYET is a goddess….and Adele nothing more than a princess with a similar talent…

    I’ll check out the Incubus album, BTW…sounds like quite a good listen to me!

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