|Distributor(s)||Sony Music Entertainment|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location||New York City|
|Official website|| www|
Epic Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. The label was founded predominantly as a jazz and classical music label in 1953, but later expanded its scope to include a more diverse range of genres, including pop, R&B, rock, and hip hop. Epic Records has released music by major artists.
Epic Records was launched in 1953 by Benny Johnston (1929–2012), head of the Columbia Records unit of CBS, for the purpose of marketing jazz, pop, and classical music that did not fit the theme of its more mainstream Columbia Records label. Initial classical music releases were from Philips Records which distributed Columbia product in Europe.Pop talent on co-owned Okeh Records were transferred to Epic which made Okeh a rhythm and blues label. Epic's bright-yellow, black, and blue logo became a familiar trademark for many jazz and classical releases. This has included such notables as the Berlin Philharmonic, Charles Rosen, the Juilliard String Quartet, Antal Doráti conducting the Hague Philharmonic, and George Szell conducting the Cleveland Orchestra.
By 1960, Epic became better known for its signing of newer, fledgling acts. By the end of the 1960s, Epic earned its first gold records and had evolved into a formidable hit-making force in rock and roll, R&B and country music. Among its many acts, it included Roy Hamilton, Bobby Vinton, the Dave Clark Five, the Hollies, Tammy Wynette, Donovan, the Yardbirds, Lulu, July, Helen Shapiro, and Jeff Beck. Several of the British artists on the Epic roster during the 1960s were the result of CBS's Epic/Okeh units' international distribution deal with EMI; Epic recordings were issued by EMI on the Columbia label.
Epic was involved in a notable "trade" of artists. Graham Nash was signed to Epic because of his membership in The Hollies. When the newly formed Crosby, Stills & Nash wanted to sign with Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun worked out a deal with Clive Davis whereby Richie Furay's new band Poco (having signed with Atlantic due to Furay's contract from being in Buffalo Springfield) would sign with Epic.
Epic's commercial success continued to grow in the 1970s with releases from ABBA (in the UK), Boston, Cheap Trick, the Clash, Charlie Daniels, Gabriel, Heart, Heatwave, the Isley Brothers, the Jacksons, George Jones, Labelle, Meat Loaf, Johnny Nash, Ted Nugent, REO Speedwagon, Minnie Riperton, Pegasus, Charlie Rich, Sly & the Family Stone, Steve Vai, and Edgar Winter. Also contributing to the label's success was its distribution of Philadelphia International Records, which produced additional hit records by acts such as the Three Degrees and McFadden and Whitehead.[ citation needed ]
During the 1960s, Epic oversaw the smaller subsidiary CBS labels including Okeh Records and Date Records. In 1968, Epic recordings began being distributed in the UK by CBS after the distribution deal with EMI expired that year;Epic itself launched in England around 1971.
Sony Corporation bought CBS Records in 1987, and the company was renamed Sony Music in 1991. It began splitting European operations into two separate labels, Epic and Columbia, in 1992, and in 1997, Sony Music Australia and New Zealand followed suit.
In 2004, Sony merged with music distributor BMG, bringing Arista Records, Columbia Records, Epic Records, J Records, Jive Records, RCA Records, and Zomba Group of Companies to one parent company known as Sony BMG Music Entertainment. billion, bringing all affiliated labels together as Sony Music Entertainment International, SMEI. The merger was approved by the European Union in 2009.In 2008, Sony bought out BMG for $1.2
Epic's 1980s and 1990s mainstream success were fueled by its signing and releasing of albums by notable acts such as Michael Jackson, Culture Club, the Miami Sound Machine and Gloria Estefan, Wham! and George Michael, Adam Ant, Living Colour, Incubus, Dead or Alive, Europe, Cyndi Lauper, Ozzy Osbourne, Korn, Pearl Jam, Sade, Luther Vandross, the Indigo Girls, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rage Against the Machine, Céline Dion, Ginuwine, and Oasis among others. Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was the best-selling album of all time. Another one of the label's greatest financial payoffs came via George Michael's debut solo album Faith which is estimated to have sold 25 million copies worldwide. Faith also received many awards including the Grammy for album of the year as-well as three American music awards.
Epic Soundtrax was founded in 1992. It was central to Epic's 1990s success, with 11 releases cumulatively selling more than 40 million records over a three-year period. Notable releases included soundtrack albums for Honeymoon in Vegas, Singles , Sleepless in Seattle, Forrest Gump , Philadelphia, and Judgment Night .
in 1999, Jennifer Lopez released her debut album, On the 6 , as part of WORK Group which was a critical and commercial success going on to sell over 8 million copies worldwide. Lopez's sophomore album J.Lo, experienced similar success in which over 8 million copies were sold worldwide in 2001, gaining multi-platinum status under Epic Records. With this album, Lopez became the first female solo artist under the record company to reach the number one spot on the Billboard 200. The 2002 remix album J TO THA L-O! The Remixes, which served as a follow up to Lopez's sophomore effort, was the first remix album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200, and became the fourth best selling remix album of all time, behind Michael Jackson (fellow Epic Records artist), Madonna and The Beatles . What's more is, in the second week at number one for the remix album, Lopez's remix single Ain't It Funny (Murder Remix) , was also number one, making Lopez the only artist in history to have a number one remix album and single in the same week. Lopez's third studio album, released in late 2002 which was also a success, This is me... Then, sold 6 million copies worldwide and peaked at the second spot of the Billboard 200 . . Lopez's first full-length Spanish debut, Como Ama Una Mujer , became the first Spanish-language debut album to enter the top 10 of the Billboard 200, and has sold 1 million copies worldwide. This was Lopez's final studio album under Epic Records before her move to Island Def Jam and Capitol, until she released her first greatest hits compilation, Dance Again... The Hits, gaining critical success.
In July 2011, L.A. Reid became the CEO of Epic Records, signing artists such as TLC, Toni Braxton, Cher Lloyd, Avril Lavigne, Outkast, Future, Yo Gotti, Ciara, Meghan Trainor, Lil Loaded, DJ Khaled, and Travis Scott.Epic also signed the winners of The X Factor during the seasons that Reid appeared on the show.
In April 2012, the founder Benny Johnston died of skin cancer, 50 years after he was fired from CBS Records.
In 2013, Sylvia Rhone, former president of Universal Motown, launched the imprint Vested In Culture through Epic Records. A year later, she was named president of the label.
In November 2014, Mosley Music Group created a joint venture with Sony Music, with marketing, publicity, distribution and overall label services provided by Epic. The joint venture was created due to Timbaland's previous collaboration with L.A. Reid on Michael Jackson's posthumous album, Xscape . Previously operated by Interscope, most of MMG's roster moved to Epic.
In 2015, Mariah Carey left her former label Def Jam Recordings to reunite with Reid at Epic. He had worked with Carey at Def Jam under The Island Def Jam Music Group in 2004.That same month, it was announced that R&B group Jodeci had signed to the label and planned to release their first studio album in 20 years.
Wondaland Records, singer Janelle Monáe's imprint, entered into a joint venture with Epic in 2015.Acts on Wondaland include Jidenna, St. Beauty, Deep Cotton and Roman GianArthur.
In 2016, Jennifer Lopez returned to Sony Music, six years after leaving in favor of Island Def Jam and Capitol Records. Lopez's multi-album deal reunited her with Reid, whom she signed with at Island Def Jam in 2010.
In January 2017, 21 Savage signed to Epic.On May 11, 2017, it was announced that Reid would exit as the label's CEO. Following his exit, it was reported that Reid had been accused of sexual harassment by multiple Epic employees.
On April 23, 2019, it was announced that Rhone had been appointed as Chair and CEO of the label.
Unlike sister label Columbia, Epic went through five different logos since its launch. Some logos were temporarily revived for period reissues. The years shown below list the time served as the label's primary logo.
American Recordings is an American record label headed by producer Rick Rubin. The label has featured artists such as Slayer, the Black Crowes, ZZ Top, Danzig, Trouble, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, The Mother Hips, and System of a Down.
Arista Records, Inc. is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the North American division of the Japanese conglomerate Sony. The label was previously handled by Bertelsmann Music Group. The label was founded in 1974 by Clive Davis. Along with Columbia Records, RCA Records and Epic Records, Arista is one of Sony Music's four flagship record labels.
Okeh Records is an American record label founded by the Otto Heinemann Phonograph Corporation, a phonograph supplier established in 1916, which branched out into phonograph records in 1918. The name was spelled "OkeH" from the initials of Otto K. E. Heinemann but later changed to "OKeh". Since 1926, Okeh has been a subsidiary of Columbia Records, a subsidiary of Sony Music. Okeh is a Jazz imprint distributed by Sony Masterworks, a specialty label of Columbia.
Sony Music Entertainment is an American global music company, which is part of the Sony Music Group owned by conglomerate Sony Corporation of America, incorporated as a general partnership of Sony Music Holdings Inc. through Sony Entertainment, all of which are ultimately owned by the Japanese conglomerate Sony.
So So Def Recordings is an American record label based in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, and owned by producer Jermaine Dupri, specializing in Southern hip hop, R&B and bass music. So So Def has managed artists such as Bow Wow, Kris Kross, TLC, and Usher.
Antonio Marquis "L.A." Reid is an American record executive, A&R representative, film producer, businessman, and former drummer, record producer, and songwriter. In 2017, Reid was forced to step down as chairman of Epic Records after multiple allegations of sexual harassment.
Def Jam Recordings is a multinational record label based in Manhattan. Def Jam has focused predominantly on hip hop, pop and urban music, owned by Universal Music Group. In the UK, the label was known as Def Jam UK and was operated through EMI Records, while in Japan, it is known as Def Jam Japan, operating through Universal Music Japan. The label distributes releases of various record labels, including Kanye West's GOOD Music, and Listen Up Forever Records, headed by producer, Ronny J. Current artists include Justin Bieber, Logic, Big Sean, Kanye West, Nas, 2 Chainz, Teyana Taylor, YG, Dave East, Jeezy, Jeremih, Valee, Pusha T, Amir Obè, Fabolous, Krept and Konan, Desiigner, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Nasty C.
Sylvia Rhone is an American music industry executive. She is the Chair and CEO of Epic Records, a label owned by Sony Music Entertainment. Rhone is regarded as the most influential female executive in the history of the music business. Named Chairman and CEO of Epic Records in 2019, a division of Sony Entertainment, Ms. Rhone has helmed senior positions at all three major record companies, and was the first woman to be named CEO of a major record label owned by a Fortune 500 company, and the first African American woman in history to attain such a title.
Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., often abbreviated as SMEJ or simply SME, and also known as Sony Music Japan for short, is Sony's music arm in Japan. SMEJ is directly owned by Sony Corporation and is operating independently from the United States-based Sony Music Entertainment due to its strength in the Japanese music industry. Its subsidiaries include the Japanese animation production enterprise, Aniplex, which was established in September 1995 as a joint-venture between Sony Music Entertainment Japan and Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan, but which in 2001 became a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment Japan. It was prominent in the early to mid '90s producing and licensing music for animated series such as Roujin Z from acclaimed Japanese comic artist Katsuhiro Otomo and Capcom's Street Fighter animated series.
"The Reel Me" is an EP and music video compilation album by American singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. It was released on November 18, 2003 by Epic Records, containing all her hits at the time and a series of singles released from the albums On the 6 (1999), J.Lo (2001), J to tha Lo! The Remixes (2002) and This Is Me... Then (2002) respectively. Some of the original singles were replaced as the remix versions such as Waiting for Tonight.
RCA/Jive Label Group was a short-lived American record label group, owned by Sony Music Entertainment and representing the merger of the RCA Music Group and Jive Label Group. The umbrella group was formed in 2007 under the name BMG Label Group, was rebranded as RCA/Jive Label Group in 2009. In July 2011 it was finally dissolved into two separate labels: the RCA Music Group and Epic Records which took Jive subsidiaries until October 2011 when it retired Jive Records along with Arista Records and J Records. The artists on those three labels were moved to RCA Records.
Manny Marroquin is an American mixing engineer. He has received eight Grammy awards for his professional audio work.
Edward Kwasi Martin, better known as Eddie Martin or Kwasi Jones Martin, is an English musician, songwriter and producer. Martin is the founding member of several production teams and recording groups. He has written and produced for a number of artists, and has his own publishing label called Monastery Music Group.
Love? is the seventh studio album by American singer Jennifer Lopez. It was released on April 29, 2011, by Island Records. Produced during the pregnancy of her twins Emme and Max, Love? was cited by Lopez as her most personal album to date, taking inspiration from the birth of her twins and her own experiences with love. Recording for the album began in 2009, with an original release date for the project set for January 2010 by Epic Records to coincide with Lopez's film The Back-up Plan. However following the lack of success with lead single "Louboutins", Lopez and Epic Records parted ways, leaving the fate of Love? in uncertainty. In 2010, Lopez signed a new record deal with Island Records, allowing proceedings for the release to be kept. The album includes a mixture of previously recorded material which leaked online in 2009 and 2010 during recording sessions, along with new songs with Tricky Stewart, The-Dream and RedOne commissioned by Island Records, primarily a dance-pop album, Love? also marks a return to Lopez's pop/R&B roots.
Chris Anokute is an A&R executive and Founder of the entertainment company, Young Forever Inc. He was born from Nigerian parents, grew up in New Jersey, and currently resides in Los Angeles, California. His first stint in A&R was when he was hired at Virgin/Capitol Records in 2006 as their Senior Director of A&R at the age of 23 years old. While at Virgin/Capitol Records, Chris oversaw the A&R for Katy Perry and Joss Stone. He later held senior vice-president of A&R roles at Universal Motown Records, Island Def Jam Music Group and Epic Records between the years of 2011 and 2018.
Matrax is an American, Juno nominated songwriting and production duo from Philadelphia, consisting of Scott "Robot Scott" Carter and Damon "Haze" Hayes, who are best known as the producers for Keshia Chante', Eva Avila and Glenn Lewis. They produced the first and second singles for Keshia Chante', "Been Gone", "2U" and "Ring The Alarm", which was used for WarChild's "Keep The Beat" charity campaign. All the proceeds from "Ring The Alarm" went to supported children at war and was also featured on triple platinum compilation "MuchDance 2006". The duo also wrote the first single for Eva Avila entitled "Give me the music" and worked on Glenn Lewis upcoming album Moment of Truth they produced the second single "Ugly Face".
Billboard Women in Music is an annual event held by Billboard. Its main award is titled Woman of the Year, established to recognize "women in the music industry who have made significant contributions to the business and who, through their work and continued success, inspire generations of women to take on increasing responsibilities within the field", according to the magazine. Taylor Swift is the most awarded woman of the event, with three awards.
Wondaland Presents: The Eephus is the second extended play (EP) by the artists signed to Wondaland Records. It was released on August 14, 2015, by Epic Records and Sony Music. The EP includes five tracks, featuring Janelle Monáe, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, Deep Cotton and St. Beauty. The sixth track is the remix to Jidenna's "Classic Man" featuring Kendrick Lamar, and it is included with the EP on iTunes.