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|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
Antonio "L.A." Reid
(In the US)
(Outside the US)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location||New York City, New York|
Formed in 1992 by producers Dallas Austin and L.A. Reid, Rowdy was initially distributed through Arista Records. At the time, Austin had gained notoriety for writing and producing hits for acts like Monica, Another Bad Creation, Boyz II Men, Joi, For Real, Da King & I and TLC. Reid, meanwhile, was also running the fledging LaFace Records. In 1993, Reid stepped down to continue focusing his energies on LaFace, leaving Dallas to run the Atlanta-based company on his own.
Rowdy shot to success in 1995 with the release of the triple platinum debut album from fourteen-year-old R&B singer Monica entitled Miss Thang. Other acts on the label included: Y'all So Stupid, Illegal, For Real, Fishbone and Caron Wheeler. The label also released the soundtrack to the motion-picture Fled.
In spite of the labels strong buzz in the industry (mainly due to Austin's name being attached to it), by 1997 Rowdy began to flounder, as Monica's debut album had been its biggest release to date—and arguably the company's only success. Creative differences with Arista subsequently caused Rowdy to vacate its fold, while Monica (its most notable star) remained at Arista. Without a major distributor, Rowdy briefly went the independent route before stalling completely. Austin's career, meanwhile, continued to thrive as he remained a highly sought after producer, which led to him stepping down as CEO. In 1998, Rowdy closed its doors. He then started the short-lived record label Freeworld Entertainment after the dissolution of Rowdy.
In 2005, when a fledgling Decatur, Georgia based hip-hop group called Da BackWudz caught Austin's attention, he decided to reactivate Rowdy (after seven years of dormancy) in order to sign them. Upon its reactivation, Rowdy took up distribution with Motown Records.
- Q-PID (1995)
- Y'all So Stupid
- GSR (formerly known as Gangstir Rock)
- Muzza Chunka
- Da King & I
- Rampage the Last Boy Scout
- Jamal a.k.a. Mally G
- For Real
- Dallas Austin
- Spearhead X
- Arnold Hennings (1995-1998)
- Tim & Bob (1993-1999)
- Mario Winans (1995-1998)