L.A. Reid sets the record straight with new memoir, ‘Sing to Me’

LA Reid (photo credit Harper Collins)

L.A. Reid carved an undeniable niche in music history in the ’90s with his legendary La Face records, the label responsible for creating some of music’s biggest superstars. In fact, it’s unlikely that any successful artist from the last two decades  hasn’t been touched or influenced by Reid’s brand of excellence. He is the definition of a living legend with icons like OutKast, Usher, TLC, Pink and many more, a result of his ability to capture what he simply calls “magic.” While Reid currently sits at the helm of Epic Records, his presence in the industry is inescapable. With Toni Braxton’s recent biopic, Reid was once again immortalized on the big screen, played by newcomer Greg Davis Jr.

Despite his infamous presence, complete with rumors including mismanagement of artists’ funds and a larger-than-life personality, Reid takes the initiative to tell his own story with Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic and Searching for Who’s Next.

The book opens with Reid’s recollection of meeting and signing a ballsy 14-year-old on the brink of puberty named Usher Raymond, who some would say became Reid’s biggest or most impactful protégé.  Reid then delves into his childhood and early memories of music. He is candid about his humble beginnings and his extreme aversion to returning to the humble lifestyle he was exposed to as an adolescent. His prose is frank and brutally honest at times, addressing his inability to parent his first son and his relationship with Pebbles, who was a married woman at the time they met. Reid details the blossoming of his friendship with Babyface, and later the breakdown of their business partnership.

From meeting Rihanna to his faith in Jay Z, Reid relives the stories in vivid color, being unapologetic about his faults and ego, while demonstrating his love for music and capturing it in its purest form. Aside from a very driven personality with little patience for frivolity, the Reid introduced in this memoir has a childlike love and admiration for music and the superstars he feels honored to have met and helped find their musical identity.

Sing to Me is more than L.A. Reid’s story. It’s the story of anyone who has chased a dream by any means necessary and has the good fortune of finding a career path that allows one to keep chasing that all-time high.

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