L.A. Reid out at Epic Records, according to reports

Antonio "L.A." Reid accepts an award at Clive Davis and the Recording Academy's 2013 Grammy Salute to Industry Icons Gala on Feb. 9, 2013, in Beverly Hills.
Antonio “L.A.” Reid accepts an award at Clive Davis and the Recording Academy’s 2013 Grammy Salute to Industry Icons Gala on Feb. 9, 2013, in Beverly Hills.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Antonio “L.A.” Reid has exited his post as chairman of Epic Records, according to multiple reports that surfaced Thursday afternoon.

Since joining the ranks at the Sony Music label in 2011, the record man and Grammy Award-winning producer has steered Meghan Trainor, Fifth Harmony, Future, Travis Scott and DJ Khaled to superstardom.

Reps for Epic Records have not responded to requests for comment. The news was first reported by Variety.

After cutting his teeth as a drummer with R&B band the Deele alongside Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Reid and Edmonds launched LaFace Records through Arista.

LaFace was instrumental in shaping R&B and hip-hop at the dawn of the 1990s by breaking multi-platinum acts such as TLC, OutKast, Toni Braxton, Usher and Pink. When Arista absorbed LaFace in 2000, Reid became the label’s new chief executive.


He then went to Island Def Jam, where his work with Mariah Carey yielded her massive 2005 comeback album, “The Emancipation of Mimi,” before leaving to become a judge on Simon Cowell’s short-lived American version of “The X Factor” — a decision he called “the worst thing I’ve ever done” — and began heading to Epic.

“It really affected my taste — it almost destroyed it,” he later said of the show. “I adjusted my taste for television. But the truth is, I lowered my bar — my bar was quite high, if I’m being honest, and as a result, I didn’t have the same level of success.”

After departing “X Factor,” Reid focused his efforts on cultivating talent. He helped lead Fifth Harmony, an act that lost “X Factor,” to score numerous chart successes. .

Reid also oversaw a major posthumous Michael Jackson project, 2014’s “Xscape,” with the executive curating a collection of new tracks built around decades-old unreleased Jackson vocals — including a record Reid originally produced for the late pop star.

He also reunited with Carey, bringing her to Epic in 2015 after she had a few rocky years. Last month, Reid and the label announced a joint partnership with the singer that would see her launch her own Butterfly MC Records imprint and release a new album later this year.

“L.A. Reid is everything. I felt really abandoned by him. I was lost. I really didn’t like being at a place without a family,” Carey told The Times in 2015. “You’ve gotta have people that actually care about you as an artist, that’s first and foremost, and as a person as well. That’s what you get with him. I was kind of like floundering, doing some work that I’m still really proud of.”

Reid has also had a hand in albums from Justin Bieber, Kanye West, the Killers, Bon Jovi, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna and Avril Lavigne.

There was no immediate word yet on Reid’s replacement.

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