|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 was launched in 1953 by 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, Cliff Richard, and Jeff Beck. Several of the British artists on the Epic roster during the 1960s were the result of CBS's Epic/Okeh units' 1962 international distribution deal with EMI; Epic recordings were issued via this arrangement by EMI on the Columbia label. Other British artists appearing on Epic were a result of signings to the new UK CBS affiliate formed after the acquisition of Oriole Records (UK) in August 1964.
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, Dan Fogelberg, Starcastle, 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.  In 2008, Sony bought out BMG for $1.2 billion, bringing all affiliated labels together as Sony Music Entertainment International, SMEI. The merger was approved by the European Union in 2009. 
Epic was arguably the most successful label of the 1980s and its 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, Joe Diffie, Stephanie Bentley, Aldo Nova, Doug Stone, Living Colour, Incubus, Dead or Alive, Europe, Cyndi Lauper, Teena Marie, Ozzy Osbourne, Korn, Pearl Jam, Sade, Luther Vandross, the Indigo Girls, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rage Against the Machine, Céline Dion, Ginuwine, Oasis, and Ty Herndon, among many others. Michael Jackson's Thriller album, released by Epic, is the best-selling album of all time. Another one of the label's many successes came via George Michael's debut solo album Faith which is estimated to have sold 25 million copies worldwide.
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 February 2009, Sony Music Group chairman Rob Stringer appointed singer-songwriter Amanda Ghost as president of Epic.  Ghost, who had successfully promoted James Blunt to Grammy Award-winning status,  was an unconventional and controversial choice for president because she had no corporate executive experience.  She was expected to reverse the trend of declining sales at Epic by promoting the label's newer and mid-tier artists such as Augustana.  Stringer also merged Epic and Columbia to form the Columbia/Epic Label Group in 2009, with himself as acting chairman. Ghost scored hit records for the Fray, Modest Mouse, Matisyahu and Sean Kingston.  However, she delayed the scheduled release of Shakira's album She Wolf by insisting that the album contain another song – "Give It Up to Me" featuring Lil Wayne and uncredited Timbaland. This delay probably caused She Wolf to perform less well in the market. Epic staff members described Ghost as "abrasive" and a "loose cannon". She was fired in October 2010, with Stringer apologizing for his mistake: "I owe the people at Epic..." 
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, DJ Khaled, and Travis Scott.   Epic also signed the winners of The X Factor during the seasons that Reid appeared on the show. 
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 Epic.   
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 co-collaboration with Reid on Michael Jackson's posthumous album, Xscape . Previously operated by Interscope, most of MMG's roster moved to Epic. 
In 2015, Def Jam Recordings parted ways with Mariah Carey and Carey reunited with Reid at Epic. She had worked with Reid at Def Jam under The Island Def Jam Music Group in 2004. Carey's deals with both Def Jam and Epic were at a fraction of the $80 million deal Carey had previously signed with Virgin Records; Virgin later rescinded that deal after poor sales.   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.  In April 2023, Sony Music UK announced the relaunch of Epic Records UK as one of their frontline labels, with former publishing executive Sarah Lockhart appointed as president. 
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.
Columbia 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. It was founded on January 15, 1889, evolving from the American Graphophone Company, the successor to the Volta Graphophone Company. Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in the recorded sound business, and the second major company to produce records. From 1961 to 1991, its recordings were released outside North America under the name CBS Records to avoid confusion with EMI's Columbia Graphophone Company. Columbia is one of Sony Music's four flagship record labels, alongside former longtime rival RCA Records, as well as Arista Records and Epic Records.
RCA Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. It is one of Sony Music's four flagship labels, alongside RCA's former long-time rival Columbia Records; also Arista Records, and Epic Records. The label has released multiple genres of music, including pop, classical, rock, hip hop, afrobeat, electronic, R&B, blues, jazz, and country. Its name is derived from the initials of its defunct parent company, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). RCA Records was fully acquired by Bertelsmann in 1987, making it a part of Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) and became a part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment after the 2004 merger of BMG and Sony; it was acquired by the latter in 2008, after the dissolution of Sony/BMG and the restructuring of Sony Music. RCA Records is the corporate successor of the Victor Talking Machine Company, founded in 1901, making it the second-oldest record label in American history, after sister label Columbia Records, founded in 1889.
Arista Records 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 a division of BMG Entertainment, the North American division of German conglomerate Bertelsmann. Founded in November 1974 by Clive Davis and deactivated in 2011, Arista was re-stablished in 2018. Along with Epic Records, RCA Records, and Columbia Records, it 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 1965, Okeh was a subsidiary of Epic Records, a subsidiary of Sony Music. Today, OKeh is a jazz imprint, distributed by Sony Masterworks.
Sony Music Entertainment (SME), simply known as Sony Music, is an American multinational music company owned by Sony Entertainment and managed by the American umbrella division of Japanese multinational conglomerate Sony. It is the recording division half of the Sony Music Group, with the other half being the publishing division, Sony Music Publishing.
The Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJMG) was an American recording music unit, formed on New Year's Eve 1998 by the Universal Music Group. It consists of labels devised and consisted under the basic operations of Island Records and Def Jam Recordings. On April Fools Day 2014, Universal Music publicly announced the disbandment of the Island Def Jam Music Group, leaving Island, Def Jam and its affiliated subsidiaries as separate sister labels.
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, and record producer. He is the founder and served as co-chairman of Hitco Entertainment. He also previously served as the chairman and CEO of Epic Records and The Island Def Jam Music Group, as well as the president and CEO of Arista Records.
GOOD Music is an American independent record label founded by rapper Kanye West in 2004. The label signed an exclusive long-term worldwide label agreement with the Island Def Jam Music Group in 2011. In 2012, the label released its debut compilation album Cruel Summer. In 2015, Pusha T was appointed the president of the label by West, while record executive Steven Victor was appointed COO. On December 19, 2022, Pusha T announced that he was stepping down and was no longer on speaking terms with West.
Def Jam Recordings is an American multinational record label owned by Universal Music Group. It is based in Manhattan, New York City, specializing predominantly in hip hop, contemporary R&B, soul and pop.
"I'm Real" is the name of two songs recorded by American actress and singer Jennifer Lopez, both primarily for her second studio album J.Lo (2001). The original song was released as the album's fourth single; Ja Rule of Murder Inc. Records wrote and was featured on a newly-written song with completely different lyrics and production titled "I'm Real (Murder Remix)", which was featured on a re-issue of J.Lo in July 2001, on Lopez's remix album J to tha L–O! The Remixes (2002), and on Ja Rule's third studio album Pain Is Love (2001).
Keenon Dequan Ray Jackson, better known by his stage name YG, is an American rapper from Compton, California. In 2010, he released his debut single, "Toot It and Boot It", which peaked at number 67 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single's success resulted in his signing to Def Jam Recordings. In the following years, YG released mixtapes such as The Real 4Fingaz, Just Re'd Up,Just Re'd Up 2, 4 Hunnid Degreez, among others.
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.
Kemosabe Records is an American record label founded by American record producer and songwriter Dr. Luke and owned by Sony Music Entertainment. The label is based in Los Angeles, California.
Todd Moscowitz is a music industry executive. He is currently the founder and CEO of Alamo Records and the manager of Gucci Mane. Previously, Moscowitz co-founded 300 Entertainment, served as a co-president and CEO of Warner Bros. Records and worked for Def Jam.
#1 to Infinity is the sixth greatest hits album by American singer-songwriter and producer Mariah Carey. It was released by Sony Music Entertainment on May 15, 2015. It features Carey's then eighteen US number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. A new recording called "Infinity" was released as the only single on April 27, 2015. In January 2015, the singer announced that she had signed a residency deal to perform at The Colosseum at the Caesars Palace hotel in Las Vegas in May and July 2015, and would perform all of her number ones. As a result, she decided to re-release her first compilation, 1998's #1's, with an updated list of subsequent chart toppers. Carey promoted the album with her #1 to Infinity residency and with live performances at the Billboard Music Awards, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Live! with Kelly and Michael.
Ruff Ryders Entertainment is an American hip hop record label and management company founded by siblings and record executives Joaquin "Waah", Darin "Dee" and Chivon Dean. It operated as a subsidiary of Universal, and distributed by Fontana Distribution. The label went on to launch the careers of several successful artists such as DMX, Eve, Drag-On and the Deans' nephew, Swizz Beatz, among others. The Ruff Ryders namesake also referred to a loose-knit hip hop collective composed of the core signees of the label. The collective's de facto leader was the label’s flagship artist DMX.