Yesha Callahan

L.A. Reid Reveals He Didn’t Think Rihanna Would Be As Big As Teairra Mari

Getty Images

Getty Images

In his forthcoming memoir, L.A. Reid reveals what he really thought of Rihanna the first time they met back in 2005 when Reid was the Chairman and CEO of Island Def Jam Music Group. In an interview with Billboard , Reid says Rihanna auditioned for the label singing Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, and “Pon De Replay,” which would later become her first hit. Afterwards, he says he told Jay Z, “Don’t let her leave the building.” And Jay signed Rihanna that day.

Interestingly, Reid recounts that he wasn’t involved in Rihanna’s career because he was focused on developing another artist. “The funny thing about Rihanna’s success was that we signed two girls at that time — Rihanna and a lovely young lady named Teairra Marí. At the label, we thought Teairra Marí would be the big star. We spent more time on her, did more work on her, paid more attention to her,” he writes. “A bell went off for me, however, when, after [a label] showcase, Beyoncé came up to me and said, ‘That Rihanna girl. She’s a beast.'” Once again, Beyoncé was right. As for Tearra Mari, well, she’s doing her thing on Love And Hip Hollywood. We’re not exactly sure what that thing is but hey, that’s the update.
L.A. Reid’s memoir Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who’s Next is available for purchase beginning Feb. 2nd.
  1. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    I truly hope that this is not the biggest highlight or revelation that L.A. Reid has to offer as a reason to potentially invest in reading his life story. I think that we can all formulate that Rihanna was not Island Def Jam’s biggest priority when she was signed. We know that, but for the life of me, I want to know more about his marriage to Pebbles, his thoughts on what went awry during his time as Chairman/CEO of Def Jam, and his experience of working on X Factor. Just my opinion. Are there any other memorable points that people are hoping him to elaborate on??

  2. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    Well. I still don’t think she should be as big as she is, but who am I?

  3. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    After her song Umbrella, I knew that Rihanna would have a huge amount of popularity in the music industry. Many people originally had the same views as L.A. Reid. His memoir will be interesting to many human beings.

  4. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    Whether people love her or hate her, you can’t say Rihanna didn’t work hard to earn her place in music. It goes to show that nothing is set in stone, and usually the ones you count out are usually the main ones end up surprising you.

    • January 8, 2016 - Reply


      Excellent Points Sister.

    • January 9, 2016 - Reply


      The Chris Brown incident helped her a lot tough along with ditching her image. If it wasn’t for it, she would be another Ciara

      • January 9, 2016 - Reply


        I disagree with the domestic violence situation helping her career. Yes changing her image helped but she did more to sustain her own career. Love her or hate, I give her credit for handling her career to the level it is at when people counted her out.

  5. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    I don’t remember hearing one song by this woman, and first it confused me because she was out around the time of Rihanna and Destiny’s Child. But now I realize kids my age weren’t allowed to listen to her. Teairra Mari came out the gate singing about sex and being buck wild because she didn’t have a father. Those songs aren’t going to be played at a sixth grade dance or junior prom. I was a preteen when Rihanna came out, most of her songs were safe bubble gum pop kiddie stuff that you could play at dances. Which is probably why I had a Rihanna CD and not a Teairra Mari one. I would’ve probably gotten a whooping if my mom caught me listening to her back then.

  6. January 8, 2016 - Reply

    I too didn’t think Riri would become a huge star. With that Pon De Replay song, I thought she was going to be a one hit wonder. I was wrong I guess.

  7. January 9, 2016 - Reply

    LA throwing shade at Teairra Marie? How diva of him.

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