The stars of Atlanta turned out Wednesday night to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the groundbreaking LaFace Records label founded in the ATL by Antonio “LA” Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds.
Ludacris, T.I., Monica, 2Chainz, Jermaine Dupri, Future, Rick Ross, Big Boi, CeeLo Green, Da Brat, Dallas Austin and more paid tribute to the multi-Grammy-winning writers and producers at the 2020 Leaders & Legends Ball, hosted by YouTube Music at the Atlanta History Center.
Reid and Edmonds founded LaFace in Atlanta in 1989, which launched the careers of artists including Toni Braxton, Usher, Ciara, Outkast, Pink and TLC.
“I didn’t have it in my head that we were going to make this the greatest label of all time, but in that journey, we were able to meet amazing people,” Babyface said Wednesday.
“People were proud to say that they worked for LaFace,” he added. “I feel blessed to have written the songs I wrote, but I’m just as blessed to have known and worked with the people at LaFace and to be a part of this city. There is no place like Atlanta and I don’t think there ever will be.”
LA and Babyface began their career as members of the group The Deele in Cincinnati, Ohio. After writing and producing several hits for other artists, including the number-one single, “Rock Steady,” for The Whispers in 1987, they founded LaFace in Atlanta.
“I’m proud to say I started my career bumping up next to the greatest songwriter ever [Babyface],” Reid said. “It doesn’t get better, but Dallas [Austin] measured up and Jermaine [Dupri] measured up and Organized Noize measured up. They gave us greatness and music that will live forever. So, I’m thankful to Atlanta for embracing us.”
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