LaFace: Give Our Legends Their Flowers.

Founded: 1989

Founder: Antonio Reid & Kenneth Edmonds

Status of label: Defunct & absorbed into RCA Records.

Former Artists: 1 Life 2 Live, A Few Good Men, Az Yet, B-Rock & the Bizz, Toni Braxton, The Braxtons, Ciara, Damian Dame, Corey Glover, DeDe O’Neal, Goodie Mob, Highland Place Mobsters, Jermaine Jackson, Donell Jones, Kenny Lattimore & Chanté Moore, OutKast, Pressha, Sam Salter, Shanice, Society of Soul, TLC, Tony Rich, Usher, YoungBloodZ.

LaFace producers: L.A. Reid, Babyface, Daryl Simmons, Kayo, Dallas Austin, Organized Noize.

The 1990s was a wonderful time for music. Hip-Hop in the east & west coasts were thriving. The world of R&B was excelling with artists like Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson & many more..but what about the south? Atlanta, GA was filled with so many talented musicians, & Antonio “L.A.” Reid & Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds made sure they were to be noticed.

L.A. & Babyface were members of the R&B group “The Deele.” The Deele were known for their hits “Body Talk,” “Shoot ‘Em Up Movies” & “Two Occasions.”

L.A. & Babyface also become known for being a supreme fire team, which started with writing a hit single for L.A.’s future wife Pebbles..which was 1987 hit “Girlfriend.” A whole bop!

The duo also wrote & produced for other artists such as Karyn White, Bobby Brown, After 7, The Whispers, Whitney Houston, Pebbles, Sheena Easton, Boyz II Men & eventually the artists signed to their LaFace label!

Here are some of the artists that made LaFace a household name:

Damian Dame:

Years active: 1991-1994

Members: Debra Jean (Deah Dame) Hurd & Bruce Edward (Damian) Broadus.

Known for: Right Down to It & Exclusivity.

The first act signed to LaFace, Damian Dame were known for their hit record “Exclusivity.” Unfortunately they were not able to record more music since they tragically passed away (Hurd passed away in a car accident in 1994, & Broadus passed from colon cancer two years later on the same day).

Fun fact: Chilli from TLC was a backup dancer for the group!

Toni Braxton:

Years active: 1989-present

Known for: Un-Break My Heart, You’re Making Me High, Love Shoulda Brought You Home, He Wasn’t Man Enough, Just Be A Man About It, Another Sad Love Song, I Love Me Some Him, Let It Flow, Breathe Again.

Toni Braxton was the First Lady of LaFace. Starting her career as a member of her family group “The Braxtons,” the group was signed to Arista.

Eventually the group was introduced to LA & Babyface, but they were interested in Toni. The world was introduced to Toni’s solo work on the soundtrack to the 1992 film “Boomerang,” on a nice little song called “Love Shoulda Brought You Home.

“Love shoulda” was originally supposed to be a song for Anita Baker, but she insisted that the song go to Toni since she was pregnant at the time. Thank god because with all due respect..Toni KILLED IT WITH NO REMORSE. Toni went on to record her debut album with LaFace, which was released the summer of 93.

Toni went on to release albums like Secrets & The Heat for LaFace. To this day, Toni is still dropping quality music and being the wonderful queen she is. With 7 Grammys & selling over 60 million records worldwide, Toni Braxton is one of our living legends we adore and cherish.

https://youtu.be/p2Rch6WvPJE

TLC:

Years active 1990-present.

Members: Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas.

Known for: No Scrubs, Baby-Baby-Baby, Creep, Waterfalls, Unpretty, Red Light Special, Hat 2 Da Back, Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg, What About Your Friends, Diggin’ On You.

TLC is one of the greatest girl groups of all time, not to mention the BEST selling girl group.

The group’s debut album Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip went quadruple platinum and became a household name with classics like Baby-Baby-Baby, What About Your Friends, Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg & Hat 2 Da Back.

The group ascended to greater heights with their second album CrazySexyCool! The album went 11 times platinum, making TLC the first girl group in history to be awarded diamond status. The group went on be one of the most celebrated BLACK girl groups ever. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes tragically passed away in 2002, but the living group members still performs together as a duo, & released their final album in 2017.

Usher:

Years active: 1991-present.

Known for: You Make Me Wanna, Yeah!, Burn, Nice & Slow, U Remind Me, U Got It Bad, U Don’t Have to Call.

Usher is one of the best selling artists of all time. For over 2 decades, he’s won over the hearts of millions with amazing songs and great vocals to accompany them. He’s the TRUE King of R&B. 🤷🏾‍♂️

OutKast:

Years active: 1992-2006; 2014

Members: André Benjamin & Antwan Patton

Known for: Hey Ya, Elevators (Me & You,) Player’s Ball, Ms. Jackson, So Fresh, So Clean, The Way You Move, Roses.

The world was introduced to OutKast on “A LaFace Family Christmas” compilation with their debut single “Players Ball,” and we’ve been intrigued ever since. The group helped popularize hip-hop in the south & take it to greater heights.

Goodie Mob:

Years active: 1991-present

Members: Big Gipp, Khujo, Cee-Lo, T-amp.

Known for: Cell Therapy, Dirty South, Soul Food, Black Ice, Get Rich to This, What it Ain’t (Ghetto Enuff.

One of the very few hip-hop groups signed to LaFace, Goodie Mob is CRIMINALLY underrated when it comes to the 90s hip hop scene. Cee-Lo Green has had a successful run as a solo artist and a member of Gnarls Barkley.

Donell James:

Years active: 1996-present

Known for: Where I Wanna Be, Knocks Me Off My Feet, U Know What’s Up, You Know That I Love You, Shorty (Got Her Eyes on Me,) This Luv.

Donell Jones is one of R&B’s most guilty pleasures. His catalog is so rich & full of classic tunes, that it should be a crime. He’s one of the best to ever do it!

P!nk:

Years active: 1995-present.

Known for: There You Go, Most Girls, Lady Marmalade, Get The Party Started, Don’t Let Me Get Me, So What, You Make Me Sick, God Is A DJ, Please Don’t Leave Me.

Pink’s career began as a member of the R&B group Choice, which LaFace signed in the mid 90s. Their album was never released, but their song “Key to my Heart” was released on the Kazaam soundtrack.

Ultimately, L.A. Reid gave Pink the chance to go solo & the group disbanded. Pink went into the studio to work with Babyface, Kandi Burruss & Tricky Stewart. Her debut album “Can’t Take Me Home,” was a commercial success.

Pink has sold over 90 million records worldwide, & is one of the most incredible entertainers alive. It’s a crime she didn’t like her R&B sound as much. She has a voice that would tear UP a lot of R&B records.

Ciara:

Years active: 2002-present.

Known for: Goodies, 1, 2 Step, Oh, And I, Get Up, Promise, Like A Boy, Ride, Love Sex Magic, Like A Surgeon, Can’t Leave Em Alone.

In the early 2000s, Ciara was a force to be reckoned with. A songwriter, dancer, singer and a model! L.A. Reid signed Ciara to LaFace in 2003, & she dominated the charts in 2004 with her album Goodies! Goodies was certified triple platinum and immediately made Ciara a household name.

Ciara’s second album “The Evolution” took her to higher heights! Praised for more substance and lyrical content. 🙌🏾🙌🏾 Ciara is still releasing music today, & can still show the girls what time it is on the dance floor.

LaFace was absorbed into RCA Records into 2011. The label will always be remembered for being a home for artists in the urban music market. Shoutout to LA & Babyface for shining light of R&B & Hip-Hop in the south! -MJ.

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