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L.A. Reid’s Autobiography Spilled The Secrets Of Ex-Wife Pebbles, Former Partner Babyface, Whitney Houston, The Deele And David Geffen (Among Others)
March 29. 2016
I've been reading the profanity laced book "Sing To Me" by Antonio "L.A." Reid, who is a former drummer and member of the 1980s R&B group, The Deele. It is not a good tome. It makes him look bad, as he has betrayed the confidence of people who are instrumental in his success in the music industry. In the 1980s Reid branched off and partnered with fellow Deele band member, keyboardist/vocalist/songwriter, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds to form the production duo L.A. and Babyface. In the mid 1980s, when they were just getting started a production team, a music executive referred them to a then up and coming singer, Pebbles, who was about to make her debut.
Reid had pitch a catchy, funky R&B/pop song entitled "Girlfriend" to Vanessa Williams, who was also about to make her music debut after the terrible Miss America scandal had destroyed her life at the hands of an unscrupulous, money hungry photographer, who sold private, compromising nude photos taken of her years prior in university. Williams verbally agreed to record the song. L.A. and Babyface met Pebbles after Williams had been offered the song.
When they met Pebbles, Babyface developed a crush on her (and it showed when they sang together that he was smitten with her) thought the song "Girlfriend" was more suited to her than Williams. Pebbles gave them $18,000 for the song and two of her cars (a Mercedes and a Jaguar) in exchange for the tune. The song became a smash. Williams was understandably upset, but she too later went on to great chart success on her sophomore album with the smash "Save The Best For Last."
Pebbles, L.A. & Babyface became fast friends. Pebbles took them out to champagne dinners and showed them a luxury lifestyle they were not used to as struggling musicians. When she married Reid not long after and they moved to Atlanta to start the LaFace records label, with a deal from Clive Davis' Arista, Pebbles was an instrumental part of the companies success, but for years L.A. took and got all the credit. Pebbles put together, named, styled and placed TLC with producers, songwriters and video directors, which culminated into a big debut.
Pebbles discovered the singer/songwriter, Tony Rich, who had a massive hit with the song "Nobody Knows It But Me." Pebbles styled Toni Braxton and helped to edit her music videos. Pebbles discovered the group/production team Organized Noize, who went on to produce many urban hits. Pebbles helped him when he had nothing. He even admits it in the book. However he kept taking credit for what she and others did.
TLC, L.A. Reid and Pebbles in the 1990s
Another example of this is in one chapter he takes credit for TLC, when it was Pebbles' project from start to finish (but claims she took over TLC from him, which is a lie). In the book Reid takes credit for placing the song "Unbreak My Heart" with LaFace recording artist, Toni Braxton, but since the 1990s, Clive Davis was credited with finding the song and sending it to LaFace for her, stating her album lacked a big hit.
In a 1990s interview on the BET television show "Video Soul" Babyface indicated Reid had ripped him off. Babyface stated he wished he had paid as much attention to the business side of their partnership, as Reid had done. Reid stated in the book Babyface asked for an audit, but was unable to turn up any evidence. However, Babyface did most of the songwriting work, but because they were a production duo, Reid's name went on every song as well. Reid did write a few hits, but Babyface did the bulk of the work in the studio.
Reid later admitted in an interview that he was privileged to have his name on Babyface songs. It's pretty telling that when Babyface terminated the music production partnership, he went on to write many songs and Reid never wrote another tune. When you're a true songwriter, you don't stop writing because you broke up with your production partner.
Reid takes full credit for the success of LaFace Records when others were instrumental in the company's success. Ironically, when things went bad with LaFace in the early 1990s, beginning with TLC, all the blame was placed on Pebbles, despite the fact they were not getting properly paid by parent company Arista Records and Reid claims in the book she took over the project from him. TLC were never signed to LaFace directly, as they were Pebbles' group she put together.
Reid allowed, Pebbles, the mother of his child, the woman that helped him when he was broke, to be the scapegoat for what happened, in a terrible situation that completely devastated her. He threw his wife under the bus, letting her be the scapegoat, over not wanting to damage his position in the music industry. He sacrificed her. He put his career ahead of his family and that's not cool (a family he admits he walked out on, children included, in the middle of the night without telling them).
For two decades he let people slander and slam Pebbles on television, in print and online and never said a word. That woman was devastated and he looked the other way. I never respected that. He finally spoke up for her last year stating she is not a thief and did not rob TLC. The group found it out as well, as after they pushed Pebbles out of the picture, they were still broke for years and decided to hold Arista CEO Clive Davis at gunpoint.
Clive Davis and L.A. Reid
I admit, TLC being paid $33,000 per year for three years, while Arista made over $100,000,000 off the group is greedy and crazy on the parent company's part. Arista should have compensated TLC more from the beginning of their success when they saw the group was turning a profit. They weren't losing money on TLC. Arista was not fair in this regard.
Reid was also cheating on Pebbles during their marriage. He even admitted writing the 1989 hit song "In The Heat Of The Moment" about seducing his secretary in his office bathroom. The song was a R&B hit for the band After 7. This occurred while he was married to Pebbles, as that was the first time in his life he could afford a secretary and the song was written and released shortly after his marriage to Pebbles. As stated in the column previously, years ago, a cousin of Reid's in Atlanta, who is now a preacher, told me he was cheating on Pebbles with different women. Prior to meeting Pebbles, Reid was going after several women as well. He is a promiscuous man. Marriage seldom changes such a man.
Reid and TLC member Rhozanda "Chili" Thomas played down what went on between the two of them, but they were intimate. That's how Chili got in TLC, with Reid kicking up a fuss over the original third member, Crystal, in order to boot her in favor of his mistress. Reid claims he doesn't know where the story started, but years ago a website wrote about an Atlanta radio station broadcasting the story of Chili and Pebbles being at odds arguing over L.A. Reid's cheating.
In his book, Reid also indicates Chili "kept making eye contact" with him at an audition where she was a backup dancer. Chili's inappropriate behavior with L.A. is apart of the reason the love of her life, TLC producer Dallas Austin, did not show her the full attention he craved. In the TLC biopic, Reid is shown flirting with Chili and it upsetting his then wife Pebbles. L.A. and Chili are playing the public for fools regarding what transpired.
There is a chapter in the book that puts out the private business of the late, legendary singer, Whitney Houston. Reid wrote of an incident in his book regarding Houston showing up at his and Pebbles' Atlanta home and later began watching a movie with him at night while Pebbles was away on tour:
"Whitney came back to Atlanta one week later and she knocked out these two songs like they were nothing—pow, pow—only now we were used to it. She came back a third time to do some fixes. Aaron had been born and Pebbles was out touring behind her new “album. Whitney called from her hotel to tell me her room had been broken into and she felt uncomfortable at the hotel. Could she use the guesthouse? She showed up with her manager and running partner Robyn Crawford. It was late. I put on a movie in the theater to watch and the phone rang. It was Pebbles, who quickly became upset when she learned Whitney was there.
“Whitney’s in my house?” she said. “We’re not having that. My husband is not going to sit in my house late at night watching a movie with another girl.” I tried to explain, but she threw a tantrum and I started to get angry. I told her she had nothing to worry about, this was completely safe, platonic, and just us musicians. I got loud and Whitney overheard.
“She’s trippin’, huh?” she said.
Whitney offered to leave, but I told her my responsibility was to take care of her and everything would be fine. “I don’t want to be in the middle of y’all’s mess,” she said.
Pebbles kept calling back and finally I took the phone off the hook. I was embarrassed. I pride myself on being a professional. I was starting a business, and was now working with—and entertaining—major celebrity superstars. I didn’t need this bullshit. Whitney went to the guesthouse to sleep.
The next day, Pebbles came home and had attitude with me. She tried having attitude with Whitney, too, but Whitney put out that fire in, like, two seconds. I don’t know what she said, but everything quickly was cool. Whitney invited us all—me, Pebbles, Babyface and his new girlfriend, Tracey (he and his wife had divorced)—to her place, so we all piled on a Delta jet and spent the weekend in New Jersey.'" - L.A. Reid's "Sing To Me"
What was the necessity of including that story in the book. Houston is gone and can't defend herself. Pebbles is no longer your wife. She and Pebbles ended up becoming great friends to the day Houston died. They were even bridesmaids at each others weddings (when Houston wed Bobby Brown and Pebbles later remarried, tying the knot with baseball player, Otis Nixon). Reid betrayed their confidence in putting the story in the book for sensationalism purposes, in order to sell more copies. I find it hard to believe either woman would want that story out there. It was personal.
It is understandable that a woman would not feel comfortable with the idea of another woman, especially one she does not know well (yet), watching a movie alone with her husband at night in her house, while she is away. Most women would not be happy about that. However, Pebbles didn't know Houston was actually in Atlanta to work and see Bobby Brown, who she had begun dating. Brown became the love of Houston's life. Pebbles misunderstood (and considering L.A. Reid had been dating singer Paula Abdul and others at the same time he was seeing her before they got married, it is easy to see why she was concerned, as you can't trust a man behaving like that).
Reid also wrote of how in a jealous rage, Pebbles, whom he was dating at the time, smashed up all the glass furniture in his apartment using a broom, as he had Paula Abdul in his place at night on a date. In the 1980s, Abdul was known as an industry mattress. She was the mistress of married Jackson 5 member, Jackie Jackson. Abdul also had a relationship with Arsenio Hall that was lampooned on television.
Reid also brought up how he took over Arista Records, pushing Clive Davis out of his job, when the latter merged with BMG. I am not fan of Davis or Sony (Davis' Arista was bought by Sony) , due to their chronic acts of copyright infringement in ripping off legendary and lesser known songwriters, producers and artists, but Reid was a Judas to take Davis' job, when the latter was forced out.
When so many in the industry had rejected funding LaFace Records in the late 1980s, such as David Geffen, Davis was the one who gave them funding. It was a betrayal to stab him in the back and take his job. Much like he betrayed his wife Pebbles...and partner Babyface. In the book, Reid also arrogantly slammed the group the Deele, whom he got his start with, as lazy, for putting their family ahead of the group (in wanting to go to a family party instead of doing more retakes in the recording studio). Reid slammed Janet Jackson in the book. He also took aim at music mogul David Geffen.
Reid has exhibited a pattern of betraying and bad mouthing people who have greatly helped him in life and that's not a good thing (Babyface, Pebbles, Clive Davis, The Deele). I implore my readers not to take that path. Do business the right way. Don't betray or step on people because you can, as it will come back to you in life. Engaging in ruthlessness and betrayals may seem like it is working at first, but make no mistake, everything people do in life, whether good or bad, comes back to them. You reap what you sow.
TLC's television movie "CrazySexyCool"
Side Bar: some of you are probably wondering why I dislike L.A. Reid. I disapprove of his treatment of others, as mentioned above. Additionally, in the infringements of my preexisting copyrights that occurred, a lawyer discovered that my preexisting copyrighted catalog, that industry criminals gained an illegally made copy of through Madonna and her hacker, has been passed around A&R departments at record labels. A second source discovered Reid is one of the people who is in illegal possession of unlawful copies made of my preexisting copyrighted catalog and illegally used items on artists at labels he has been working with, in criminal violation of the law.
As written in the column previously, my copyrighted catalog contains outlines for biopics I want to make ("Alleged Crime Scene Knife Conveniently Found While The People v. OJ Simpson Movie Airs On Television" and "Newly Unearthed Knife In The OJ Simpson Case Is A Fraud With No DNA (Confirming Previous Site Claims)"). Thus far, Madonna, who had my catalog hacked and illegally copied, has gotten those biopics made (and psychotically had her name included in some of the finished biopics that aired on TV, in people's life stories that had nothing to do with her). One of the biopics I wanted to write and direct is TLC's story (the one that aired on VH-1 is not written or directed in the manner I would have done it, as it is slanderous, defamatory and contains lies).
Firstly, TLC is free to do their life story, as is anyone else, provided an unauthorized production does not use the subject's copyrighted music, logos or any other intellectual property without permission. However, VH-1's TLC biopic had a new song called "Meant To Be" which is an infringement of a PREEXISTING song of the same name in my Library of Congress registered copyrighted catalog.
Secondly, my name is in VH-1's TLC movie as a character, when I don't know them. I saw T-Boz in a Miami mall once and she and her then boyfriend were looking me in the face, which I had wondered about at the time, but ignored it. However, that does not constitute knowing someone.
Thirdly, Rhozanda "Chilli" Thomas blocked me on Twitter.com, when she's not supposed to even know who I am, I never followed her on the site and I never tweeted anything at her. People block others on Twitter who tweet threats or harassing statements at them. I never did that, not tweeting at her at all. Chilli went out of her way to find my Twitter name and block me, when I don't know her, never met her, never contacted her and did not tweet anything at her and had no intention of doing so. The whole thing is just weird and it's due to all that stealing that went on in the background on their end.
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