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"L.A. couldn't have picked a better way to put his identity on the label and introduce his new release slate."
——Industry insider

REID IS FUNDAMENTAL: ARISTA BOSS PUTS MUSIC IN MOTION

Antonio "L.A." Reid Brings His Roadshow to L.A., Introducing New Music From Babyface, Usher, Blue Cantrell And More
As boss of Arista Records, Antonio "L.A." Reid has put his stamp on the label by stressing the music. After all, the songwriter/producer/performer comes from an artistic background, so it's no secret he gets a delight out of introducing new talent.

Tuesday night (5/15), he invited radio, retail, press, HITS losers, etc., to L.A.'s St. Regis Hotel in Century City to wine, dine and, oh yeah, play some new music from Babyface, Usher and Blue Cantrell, among others.

Reid and his executive staff flew in for the sit-down dinner before unspooling a video montage of the label's diverse roster featuring Dido, 112, OutKast, Dream, Spiritualized, From Zero, Kenny G., Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox and Pink. The boss himself took center stage to declare it "a night for music lovers" before playing newcomer Cantrell's new single, "Hit Em Up Style." The Babyface video for "There She Goes" was played before Reid brought up his partner to introduce a new ballad produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis he'd just completed for his forthcoming "Face To Face" album.

Reid then played the first single from Rock act Adema before airing Usher's new video for the track, "U Remind Me." Cantrell returned to the stage to perform a live version of "Hit Em Up Style," the song that convinced Reid to sign her to the label, that had the crowd screaming for more.

Everyone left with a souvenir Arista backpack containing a set of earphones as a gracious L.A. thanked the audience for allowing him to share the label's music with them.

Said one insider: "L.A. couldn't have picked a better way to put his identity on the label and introduce his new release slate."

The evening ended with a whimper as several HITS staffers were spotted closing up the St. Regis bar.

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