Thursday, May 30, 2024

Music: LA Reid Welcomes Jennifer Hudson, Puff Daddy, Ryan Seacrest to Swanky Bel Air Brunch


Friday afternoon was an atypical weather experience in Los Angeles– rain and lots of it. Rain so bad that traffic didn’t move because the drivers here freak out when they see a drop.

Still, up we went on the winding roads of Bel Air, the very exclusive and posh neighborhood where the elite really meet. And high up in the hills we were lucky enough to join Epic Records’ soaring chief L.A. Reid and beautiful wife Erica–recent transplants from New York– as they welcomed a few guests for brunch at their modern art-filled aerie.

Among those guests: the luminous Jennifer Hudson, who has signed with Epic (staying in the Sony-RCA family) and her husband David Otunga. Jennifer has already begun recording her new album, which will take her into a turn looking for real chart success and airplay. She’s already recorded a song called “Remember Me” that has the label very excited.

I also met the ladies from Fifth Harmony, whose music is so upbeat and catchy, as well as their ex member Camilla Cabella, who is striking out on her own with a solo career. They were all very chill, and eager to take pictures with Hudson.

Other guests included Sean Combs, who is recovering from knee replacement surgery. He’s using a cane now and wearing Givenchy sandals. Plus there was Ryan Seacrest, Lisa Rinna, Holly Robinson Peete, and DJ Khaled, as well as some Epic staffers, and Sony Music chiefs Doug Morris and Rob Stringer. I had some smoked salmon and caviar pizza with Sony’s Mel Lewinter and superstar music lawyer Joel Katz.

Epic is moving west and having a Renaissance. You can tell Reid is rocking because now Sony is sending record industry vet Sylvia Rhone out to LA to join him. She’s just bought a house and is getting out her GPS!

Kudos to LA Reid, who conquered Atlanta, then New York, and now takes aim at Hollywood. He’s got Travis Scott, Meghan Trainor, A Tribe Called Quest, Jennifer Lopez and more coming before the end of the year. Not bad!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also 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.

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