In what is perhaps the music industry's worst kept secret, THR has learned definitively that "X Factor" judge and former Island Def Jam chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid is headed to Sony Music. He will take on the chairman title at the soon-to-be restructured Epic Label Group, which will encompass Jive Records and reunite Reid with two artists he discovered and developed: Usher and Pink.
Sources tells THR the 55-year-old executive is expected to arrive at 550 Madison just after the fourth of July holiday (Sony Entertainment's new chief executive Doug Morris officially takes the reigns on July 1). In his new position, Reid will inherit the label last helmed by songwriter Amanda Ghost, whose controversial one-year stint nearly destroyed the company. Since her exit in late 2010, things have quieted some, but hits are still hard to come by, despite some significant strides, namely breaking The Script and, on a smaller scale, Denmark's Oh Land.
In terms of new signings, the Reid era has already begun. According to an insider, Epic recently signed the girl-guy duo Karmin, who gained instant notoriety with their Youtube hit cover of Chris Brown and Lil Wayne's "Look at Me Now," which is currently at 21 million views and counting.