HitCo Entertainment, the music company launched by Antonio L.A. Reid (pictured at left) and Charles Goldstuck (at right) in 2017, has been sold to Concord, Variety has learned through multiple sources. Home to such artists as Jennifer Lopez, Saint Jhn, Outkast’s Big Boi, Yella Beezy and Dixie D’Amelio, HitCo had been distributed through ADA.
Concord, a private company funded by long-term institutional capital, in addition to equity holders from Concord’s senior management team, represents close to 900,000 songs and trades in recorded music, music publishing, theatrical and original productions. Headquartered in Nashville, it has additional offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Berlin and Miami. Its frontline labels include Concord, Concord Jazz, Easy Eye Sound, Fantasy Records, Fearless Records, KIDZ BOP, Loma Vista Recordings and Rounder Records. Its publishing arm owns or administers more than 600,000 copyrighted musical works and represents the catalogs of Benny Blanco, Sammy Cahn, Phil Collins, John Fogerty, Cyndi Lauper, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Ryan Tedder. Although sources say the deal only involves recorded music.
With offices in Beverly Hills, Atlanta and New York, the name and entity HitCo dates back to early in Reid’s career — around 1996. A musician himself (Reid played drums with Cincinatti’s the Deele), in 1989 he co-founded LaFace Records whose roster included several superstar artists, including OutKast, Pink, TLC, Toni Braxton and Usher. Reid’s track record resulted in a joint venture with Arista Records, a label he would later head as president and CEO, succeeding Clive Davis.
Reid went on to run Island Def Jam Records, where he played a key role in multi-platinum releases by Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber, Kanye West and Rihanna. He returned to Sony Music as chairman of Epic Records in 2011; during his six-year run, Future, Travis Scott and DJ Khaled would sign with the label. In May 2017, Reid was dismissed from his post following accusations by a female ex-employee of sexual misconduct. He said at the time, “I’m proud of my track record promoting, supporting and uplifting women at every company I’ve ever run. That notwithstanding, if I have ever said anything capable of being misinterpreted, I apologize unreservedly.”
Goldstuck, who serves as co-chairman of HitCo, also comes from the Clive Davis school of top music executives, having co-founded J Records (the future RCA) in 2000 with the industry icon and served as EVP/GEM of Arista. Among the artists under Goldstuck’s purview were Rod Stewart, Dave Matthews Band, Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Sarah McLachlan and Avril Lavigne.
When Reid and Goldstuck first set up shop as HitCo, the company launched with a reported $75 million raised from private equity. The label saw one legitimately massive hit in a remix of Saint Jhn’s “Roses,” which won a Grammy and is approaching 4 billion on-demand streams. Word is he’s readying a new album in time for Grammy submission cut-off. Less successful have been efforts to break Dixie D’Amelio, whose latest single, “Someone to Blame,” was released in June — although it hasn’t helped that the singer from the so-called “first family” of TikTok refuses to promote the song on the platform, where she has nearly 60 million followers.
Financial terms of the sale to Concord are as yet unknown. In terms of existing HitCo staff, a number of executives will be retained by Concord, among them label president Joel Klaiman and head of A&R Jaha Johnson, who will contibue to work HitCo projects. Variety has reached out to reps for Concord and HitCo.
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