Sylvia Rhone with L.A. Reid at Essence's tribute to Rhone and Kelly Rowland in Los Angeles last week. (Photo: 2012 A Turner Archives)
It looks like L.A. Reid's appearance at Essence magazine's tribute to Sylvia Rhone last week was the crowning touch that many expected it to be: As predicted for months, Rhone will be getting her own label under Reid's Epic Records, a label rep confirmed to Billboard.biz.
"I have the best of both worlds - to finally work with L.A. Reid and launch my own label," Rhone reportedly told the New York Post through her rep. The two imprints will share some staff, and Rhone will have a small team of her own.
The rep also shot down longstanding reports of tension between Rhone and Reid. "L.A. Reid and Sylvia Rhone are extremely good friends. It is completely false that he's pushing against her. In fact the other night, L.A. Reid went to the Essence black women in music tribute to support Sylvia." Billboard.biz published photos of the two together the following morning.
The two, of course, worked together for many years under current Sony Music head Doug Morris at Universal, and Rhone has long been expected to re-start the Portrait imprint through Sony ever since Reid joined Morris at Sony last summer. It was unclear at press time whether or not her label will be Portrait.
After weeks of speculation, Rhone left her post at the helm of Universal Motown in May.
Billboard.biz will have more on this story as it develops.