L. A. Reid is a starmaker. But before he begins to make a star, he has to find the raw material — the talent, the desire, the special “It” quality that can be shaped and made to sparkle. That’s where the subtitle of his new book Sing to Me comes in. The subtitle is the real core of the Reid enterprise: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who’s Next. In Reid’s case who’s next has included Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Outkast, TLC, Usher, Mariah Carey, Pink, Jennifer Lopez and more. Reid worked with them all — early career, mid-career — Reid knows how to work the stages.
He’s been at it for three decades, so his story is really a history of pop music over that period. Reid’s instinct is finely honed. From Sing To Me: “I always know in a few seconds. There are very few people who can pass an audition. I usually know when they walk in the room before they open their mouth—even if they open their mouth only to speak and not sing. I’ve already made up my mind.”