Antonio "LA" Reid
A consummate music industry executive, Antonio "L. A." Reid mentored rising stars and turned them into among the biggest-selling artists of all time. As the co-founder of LaFace Records, Reid brought urban music into the mainstream by signing an impressive roster of R&B artists such as Toni Braxton, Usher, and TLC. Reid worked his magic once again as the head of Arista Records by introducing the world to the hit-making talents of Avril Lavigne, Pink, and Ciara. After Reid took full reign over the Island Def Jam Music Group in 2004, the music mogul oversaw the triumphant return of Mariah Carey with the multi-platinum and Grammy Award-winning album "The Emancipation of Mimi" (2005), the meteoric rise of controversial rapper Kanye West, and the discovery of teen pop heartthrob Justin Bieber. In 2011, Reid left his plum position at Island Def Jam after he was handpicked by Simon Cowell to judge aspiring singers on the reality competition series "The X Factor" (Fox, 2011-14). With his innate knack for finding superstars, Reid remained an influential figure in music as well as an instrumental force in the entertainment industry.