|Parent company||Universal Music Group (UMG)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location||New York City, New York, U.S.|
Republic Records (still often referred in copyright notices as Universal Republic Records) is an American record label that is under the ownership of Universal Music Group, it was originally founded as Cheese Factory Records. After Motown Records was separated from Universal Motown Records which caused the Universal Motown Republic Group to be shutdown, the label was temporarily reincarnated as Universal Republic Records, until it was re-activated a year later.
The label focuses on mainstream and urban music, for example from artists including: Kelly Rowland, Austin Mahone, Nelly, Lil Wayne, Drake, Busta Rhymes, Amy Winehouse estate, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Akon, Enrique Iglesias, Jessie J and The Weeknd. Successful country artists include Taylor Swift and Florida Georgia Line.
According to Avery Lipman, he and his brother Monte Lipman first conceived of Cheese Factory Records at the kitchen table of their apartment:
"My brother and I had been working at record companies. He was in between jobs and we started putting records out as a hobby. We had a grassroots approach to the business. The first record we put out happened to work really well. That was the Bloodhound Gang."
Frustrated by the limitations of being an independent with a very small staff, the Lipman brothers accepted an offer from Universal. One of several labels that comprise Universal Motown Republic Group, the newly named Republic Records was formed in 1995 as a sub-label of MCA's Geffen Records. Avery Lipman told HitQuarters that the pairing was a "complete disaster", saying: "Our ideas and vision didn’t fit with the label. We didn’t trust our own instincts. We let others decide what was right for the project."
Universal Records: 2000-2005
Universal Music Group acquired the Lipman brothers' Republic Records as a fully owned subsidiary in 2000, and named Monte Lipman as President of the newly established Universal Records label, and Avery Lipman the COO; both reporting to Doug Morris (Chairman of Universal Music Group), and Mel Lewinter, (Chairman of Universal Records Group). During their tenure, the Lipmans shaped the newly formed company into an industry leader with such acts as Nelly, Lil’ Wayne, Elton John, and co-ventures with Cash Money Records, Master P’s No Limit Records, and Sean “Puffy” Combs (Bad Boy Records).
Universal Republic Records: 2006–2012
As of 2006, Universal Republic has adopted an A&R and partnership-based growth strategy. In an era of music industry transition they have proven effective, as Universal Republic has continued to grow in the industry's declining years. In the summer of 2011, changes were made at the Universal Motown Republic Group umbrella, Motown Records was separated from Universal Motown Records (causing it to shut down and transfer its artists to either Motown Records or Universal Republic Records) and the umbrella label and merged into The Island Def Jam Music Group, making Universal Republic Records a stand alone label and shutting down Universal Motown Republic Group.
Republic Records Reincarnation: 2012-present
In mid-2012, Universal Republic Records changed its name to its former name Republic Records. All Universal Republic Records roster were moved to Republic Records. The label has since released albums by Lil Wayne, Kid Cudi and Tyga among others.
Strategic partnerships and co-ventures orchestrated by Universal Republic's senior management have seen highly commended success since 2005. Artists signed under these partnerships include:
- Singer-songwriter Jay Sean and singer-songwriter and producer Kevin Rudolf of Cash Money Records. Rudolf's single, "Let It Rock" was certified 3x Platinum and licensed by multiple television networks for sports and other entertainment endorsements. Jay Sean's debut single "Down" sold 3 million copies in the United States and over 6 million worldwide. Sean's follow-up single "Do You Remember" also sold over a million copies. Cash Money Records also houses rapper Bow Wow.
- American Singer-Songwriter Taylor Swift with Nashville-based Big Machine Records. Swift today is a 10x Platinum artist with 4 Grammys and 20 million records sold worldwide (Recording Industry Association of America: 4× Platinum). In 2010 The Band Perry was also signed to Republic vis-a-vis Big Machine Records.
- Jack Johnson on Brushfire Records who has achieved multi-Platinum certifications twice and is estimated to have sold about 8 million albums worldwide (Recording Industry Association of America: Platinum).
- Damian Marley with Jr. Gong Records, whose debut album reached Gold certification and sold 1 million worldwide.
- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros from Vagrant Records
- British singer-songwriter Jessie J and Black Veil Brides vis-a-vis the Lava Records imprint, originally founded in 1995 by hugely successful A&R, Jason Flom.
- Producer Rick Rubin has revived his imprint American Recordings at Universal Republic, bringing artists such as The Avett Brothers and ZZ Top to the label.
The label also houses successful ventures and alliances with Mark Burnett as the home record label to NBC-TV’s The Voice, MTV’s Jersey Shore (Soundtrack), Downtown Records, Indie-Pop Records, (Gene) Simmons Records, and Tuff Gong Records; home to Stephen Marley.
Today, the label is responsible for numerous breakthrough and mainstream chart topping artists, including a diverse array of groundbreaking imprints and ventures encompassing new and established platinum and multi-platinum acts.
Per-eminent artists include: Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Amy Winehouse estate, Ben Howard, Colbie Caillat, Jay Sean, Kelly Rowland, 3 Doors Down, Tyga, Mika, Florence & The Machine, Godsmack, Owl City, and The Weeknd among others. Recent signings include: Victorious/Sam & Cat star Ariana Grande and New Zealand singer Lorde.
In chronological order are current Republic artists, and their accolades:
- 2000: 3 Doors Down' Debut Album The Better Life achieved 6x Platinum.
- 2006: Hinder, whose debut album Extreme Behavior achieved 3x Platinum certification in the United States and sold 5 million worldwide.
- 2006: Universal Republic released The Who's comeback, Endless Wire in the US.
- 2007: Amy Winehouse, whose debut album for the Universal Republic, Back to Black achieved 2x Platinum certification and sold 10 million copies worldwide. Winehouse also received five Grammy Awards.
- 2007: Colbie Caillat's debut album Coco, featuring the single Bubbly, received a 3x Platinum certification. Her second album Breakthrough received two Grammys.
- 2008: Taylor Swift (success aforementioned).
- 2008: In October, Republic announced Lil Jon as the "Urban Music Czar" in a multi-facted deal which includes a label, a recording contract, a production arm, a digital presence and an A&R consultancy role.
- 2009: Owl City released single "Fireflies", which received Platinum certification and sold 2 million worldwide as a number one record in 27 countries. Also signed in 2009, the band Lonely Island received Gold certification as the number 1 comedy album of the year. Lonely Island's YouTube videos have over 350 million aggregate views.
- 2010: Florence + the Machine debuts in the United States with Lungs which received Gold certification, a Grammy nomination and won the 2010 Brit Award for album of the year.
- 2011: Drake released his second album Take Care, featuring the song of the same name, and received a 2x Platinum certification in both United States and Canada, received a Grammy for Best Rap Album in 2013.
- 2011: Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande signed with Universal Republic in August 2011. Her first single, titled "Put Your Hearts Up" debuted on iTunes on December 20, 2011.
- 2011: Family Guy and American Dad! creator Seth MacFarlane signed with Universal Republic in 2011 to produce his debut album, Music Is Better Than Words.
- 2011: Lava Records plans to breakout highly anticipated artists including Jessie J (winner of Critics Choice Brit Award and the BBC Sound of 2011).
- 2011: Republic Nashville's The Band Perry, and James Blake signed on to the label.
- 2012: Lisa Marie Presley's third album Storm & Grace was released on the label on May 15, 2012 and was produced by T-Bone Burnett.
- 2012: Nicki Minaj released "Starships" from her second studio album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded gaining international success.
- 2012: PSY rose to fame for his hit single "Gangnam Style", which went viral over the Internet.
- 2012: New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde released her debut EP The Love Club, featuring chart-topper "Royals" in March.
- 2013: Ariana Grande released her second single "The Way" featuring rapper Mac Miller on March 25. Upon release, the song immediately topped the iTunes charts. Her debut album Yours Truly was released later that year.
- 2013: Kelly Rowland's fourth album Talk a Good Game was released on June 18.
- 2013: American Idol (season 6) runner up Blake Lewis' third album Portrait of a Chameleon was planned for release in the Spring.
- 2013: Duck Sauce returned with zippy track “It’s You.” For its visual treatment, they’ve brought the song’s barbershop quarter sonics to life, quite literally. Not only do the two play barbers in the video, but many of the hairstyles come to life via animation to sing along and move to the song
- American Recordings
- Aware Records
- Brushfire Records
- Casablanca Records
- Cash Money Records
- Indie Pop Music
- Lava Records
- Loma Vista Recordings
- Republic Nashville
- SRC Records
- Anti- (distribution for select releases)
- Next Plateau Entertainment (distribution)
- Serjical Strike Records (distribution)
- XO Inc. (distribution)
- "Decision 2012. - Mediabase 24/7 Chart". Universal Republic Records. 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "Interview with Avery Lipman". HitQuarters. 7 Aug 2006. Retrieved 23 Nov 2010.
- "Ethiopia Habtemariam Named Senior Vice President of Motown Records | Billboard". Billboard.biz. 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- "RIAA – Gold & Platinum – September 4, 2010: Kevin Rudolf certified singles". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
- Dawson, Kim (February 27, 2010). "Jay Sean's Boycott Plan Over Brits Snub". Daily Star. Retrieved February 27, 2010.
- Alan Jones (February 5, 2010). "Lady Antebellum top US chart". Music Week. Retrieved February 15, 2010.
- "RIAA – Gold & Platinum". RIAA.com. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
- Damian ”Jr. Gong” Marley’s Welcome To Jamrock Certified Gold by RIAA; Project Also Nominated for Two Grammy Awards. World Music Central.org (February 4, 2006).
- "Review". Allmusic. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- (December 6, 2007). "The Envelope Please" Los Angeles Times'.' Retrieved December 6, 2007.
- The Envelope Please Los Angeles Times 6 December 2007. Theenvelope.latimes.com.
- Blog Archive » Universal Republic Introduces Jessie J to the US w/Help From B.O.B.!. Clizbeats.com (January 14, 2011).
- James Blake Signs to Universal Republic in the U.S. | News. Pitchfork (February 2, 2011).
- Official website
- Republic Records discography at Discogs
- Republic Records / Republic statistics and previews at Last.FM
- Interview with co-founder Avery Lipman, HitQuarters Aug 06