With Fifth Harmony, Epic chairman/CEO Reid and Simon Cowell put together the first girl group to score a top 10 Hot 100 hit in nearly a decade. Now, he describes the evolution of his strategy with the band.
You were an X Factor judge when world first met Fifth Harmony. What was your first impression of the group?
Fifth Harmony auditioned as individuals with no idea that they'd be a girl band. My first memory was that I gave each of them a yes. I loved each and every one of them from the very beginning. Then I remember backstage, Simon Cowell and myself and we're sitting at the table with Rob Wade, one of the producers of the show, and we have photo cards of all of the contestants who might make it through to the next segment -- we were getting through the first process of elimination. And Simon at that point had great success with One Direction and he had this vision to have a global girl band. So we assembled the cards on the table, moved them around, changing them in and changing them out. It's funny how fate is, isn't it? It's like the hand or the card that you're dealt, literally. [Laughs] And so we put the five girls together, might have made one or two changes, and that was the birth of Fifth Harmony. Now, once we were on the live show, they were a part of Simon's crew. He had the groups. So everything I said on television was almost, not nasty, but I was competing with them. So their fans think I don't like them [laughs] and I've been busting my ass for four years to help get them there and their fans still think I don't like them, so can you help me?