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Natalie

LA Reid talks about signing Rihanna after Beyonce's encouragement

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Epic Records CEO L.A. Reid recounts meeting Rihanna for the first time in this exclusive excerpt from his memoir Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who's Next.

At Island Def Jam, Jay Z, whom I'd hired to be president of Def Jam, became one of my great teachers. When he first brought Rihanna into the office for an audition in February 2005, we worked like a team.

I first laid eyes on her in the hallway. I didn't know she was a singer or anything, just a pretty girl standing outside somebody's office. Then Jay Z burst into my office.

"You have to see this girl," he said.We went back to his office and he introduced me. She was a startlingly beautiful 17-year-old from Barbados. She opened her audition with a Beyoncé song, singing, but the whole time piercing me with these laser eyes. I saw her determination, her commitment. I saw someone who was going to be a big star someday. My head was spinning. She sang another song, "Pon De Replay," that would become her first hit. After she was done, I looked at Jay Z.

"Don't let her leave the building," I said.

I left it to Jay Z's guys to close the deal, and she signed her contract that day.

After signing Rihanna, Jay Z and his team did the A&R for her first album, and I had nothing to do with it. The funny thing about Rihanna's success was that we signed two girls at that time -- Rihanna and a lovely young lady named Teairra Mari. We had an in-house company showcase and Beyoncé happened to be there with Jay Z. Teairra Mari, Rihanna, a four-girl group called Black Butterfly and Ne-Yo performed. At the label, we thought Teairra Mari would be the big star. We spent more time on her, did more work on her, paid more attention to her. Rihanna already had a hit with "Pon De Replay," but we still thought it was the other girl. A bell went off for me, however, when, after the showcase, Beyoncé came up to me.

"That Rihanna girl," she said, "she's a beast."

Source: Billboard

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I'm not sure what is exclusive about this interview as they said, there was an article about this last year in January already. Interesting to see how Beyoncé did actually help in Rihanna's advancing.

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On 18.01.2017 at 3:46 PM, Unfaithful said:

I'm not sure what is exclusive about this interview as they said, there was an article about this last year in January already. Interesting to see how Beyoncé did actually help in Rihanna's advancing.

who said there's something exclusive about it? we never posted it so now we do... just like we post throwbacks

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5 hours ago, Natalie said:

who said there's something exclusive about it? we never posted it so now we do... just like we post throwbacks

The title read 'exclusive' so that's why I asked what do they actually mean by that when it was already made a year ago. I assumed it was posted by a news page earlier this month that said 'exclusive' and you found it, but I guess it was a mere throwback post like you said.

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