Republic Records

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Republic Records
Republic records logo.svg
Logo in use since November 2012[1]
Parent companyUniversal Music Group
Founded1995; 25 years ago (1995)
Country of originUnited States
LocationNew York City, New York, U.S.

Republic Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group (UMG). It was founded by Avery Lipman and Monte Lipman as an independent label in 1995, and was acquired by UMG in 2000. Republic was initially an imprint of the Universal/Motown Records Group, and was renamed Universal Republic Records after a reorganization in 2006 before reverting to its original name in 2012.[2][3][4]


Foundation and Universal Records: 1995–2005[edit]

According to Avery Lipman, he and his brother Monte conceived Republic Records at the kitchen table in 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 grassroot approach to the business. The first record we put out happened to work really well. That was the Bloodhound Gang.[5]

Republic Records was formed in 1995 as a subsidiary of MCA's Geffen Records, but soon after its foundation, the distribution changed to the newly-established Universal Records.[6] In January 2000, it was announced that the Universal Music Group acquired the Lipman brothers' Republic Records as a wholly owned subsidiary. Monte Lipman was named president of the Universal Records label,[7] while Avery Lipman became Republic's president.[8]

Universal Republic Records: 2006–12[edit]

In 2006, corporate restructuring saw the formation of Universal Republic Records through a merger between the two labels.[9] Monte Lipman became the president and CEO of the restructured label while Avery Lipman served as co-president and COO.[10] That same year, Gary Spangler joined the label as Vice President of Crossover Promotion, later becoming the Executive Vice President of Promotion.[11] Other changes were made at the label's parent, Universal Motown Republic Group, during the summer of 2011. Universal Motown Records was shut down, transferring its artists to the newly-recreated Motown Records or Universal Republic Records. The umbrella label was merged with the Island Def Jam Music Group, making Universal Republic Records a stand-alone label and shutting down the Universal Motown Republic Group.[12] In August 2011, the restructured Universal Republic signed Ariana Grande to a record contract.[13]

Republic Records revival: 2012–present[edit]

In October 2012, Universal Republic Records returned to the Republic Records moniker.[14] Just prior to the label's return to the Republic name, it signed Canadian artist, The Weeknd, through his imprint label, XO.[15] In addition to artists' albums, the label has released soundtracks with Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey),[16] the Fox Broadcasting Company (Star),[17] and NBC (The Voice), among numerous other partnerships, films, and television series.[18] Republic Records had songs in six of the top-10 spots on the Mediabase Top 40 Chart in 2015, tying a 2013 record.[19] Also in 2015, the label signed American rapper and singer, Post Malone.[20]

In November 2017, the company was named Variety's Hitmaker Label of the Year.[21] In 2018, Taylor Swift signed to Republic Records after releasing her music through the Republic imprint, Big Machine Records, for a majority of her career.[22] Early 2019 saw the signing of a reunited Jonas Brothers, as well.[23]

Also in 2019, Republic Records was named the "Label of the Year" by both Billboard[24] and Variety.[25] It has been Billboard's label of the year for 4 of the last 5 years[24] and Variety's for each of the last three.[25] Republic was also named Billboard's Hot 100 Label of the Year for the sixth straight time,[26] having accumulated 5 number one singles over the course of the year. Five Republic albums (Ariana Grande's Thank U, Next, Taylor Swift's Lover, Post Malone's Beerbongs & Bentleys, Drake's Scorpion and Post Malone's Hollywood's Bleeding) also appeared in the top 10 of the year-end Billboard 200 chart.[24]

In 2020, Republic Records partnered up with JYP Entertainment for the Korean Girl Group TWICE as the group's first American label and distributor. TWICE will be first artist from JYP Entertainment to be powered under the alliance. TWICE's signing represents a diversifying market for K-pop in America. [27]

In October 2020, an investigation made by Rolling Stone editor Elias Leight was published by the magazine. Among 2,500 text messages obtained by the magazine, several suggested a link between airplay and record label payments, including a message made by independent radio promoter Steve Zap to one station in August 2019 saying "Republic sweating me already", asking to put one of their artists on "super power" rotation. Zap's texts refer to "adjusting airplay to help labels achieve chart goals in key weeks". A spokesperson for Universal Music Group, corporation which owns Republic Records, stated that "all third-party radio promotion contractors annually submit affidavits to UMG certifying their compliance with strict rules and regulations, including prohibitions that expressly forbid providing anything of value to a radio station or a radio station employee in exchange for increased airtime".[28]


Old black-and-white Republic Records logo
Republic Records' logo

Republic Records released the Bloodhound Gang's 1994 EP, Dingleberry Haze,[29] and their first LP, Use Your Fingers. Kevin Rudolf's single, "Let It Rock", was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.[30] Jay Sean's debut single, "Down", sold three million copies in the United States and six million copies worldwide.[31] Sean's follow-up single, "Do You Remember", sold over one million copies.[32]

American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift recorded with Nashville-based Big Machine Records. Swift is a quadruple-platinum artist with 10 Grammy Awards and over 175 million units moved worldwide as of 2014. As her contract with Big Machine ended in 2018, she signed with Republic, with her first single "ME!" with the label and her own label "Taylor Swift Productions, Inc." released on April 26, 2019.[33][34] Jack Johnson has received a number of gold and platinum certifications.[35] Damian Marley's debut album was certified gold and sold one million copies worldwide.[36]

Other prominent Republic releases in recent years have come from acts like Ariana Grande (2013's Yours Truly, 2014's My Everything, 2016's Dangerous Woman, 2018's Sweetener, 2019's Thank U, Next, and 2020's Positions);[37] the Jonas Brothers (2019's Happiness Begins); Taylor Swift (2019's Lover, and 2020's Folklore); and The Weeknd (2013's Kiss Land, 2015's Beauty Behind the Madness, and 2016's Starboy).[38]

Notable artists[edit]

As of 2020, the current Republic Records roster includes James Bay, James Blake, Kid Cudi, Florence + the Machine, Ariana Grande, Seth MacFarlane, John Mellencamp, Julia Michaels, Post Malone, Of Monsters and Men, Liam Payne, Black Sabbath, Hailee Steinfeld, Taylor Swift, Stevie Wonder and more. Republic has also brought numerous other artists under its umbrella with strategic partnerships with labels like Brushfire Records (Jack Johnson), XO (The Weeknd, Nav), Casablanca Records (Lindsay Lohan, MIKA, Tiësto), Cash Money Records (Drake, Jacquees, Nicki Minaj), Young Money Entertainment (Drake, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj), Hollywood Records (Sofia Carson, Zendaya), Lava Records (Greta Van Fleet, Jessie J, Lorde, The Warning), Monkeywrench Records (Pearl Jam), American Recordings (The Avett Brothers), Roc Nation (Jaden Smith, Justine Skye, The-Dream), Victor Victor Worldwide (Pop Smoke, Ski Mask the Slump God) and others.



  1. ^ "Brand New: Republic Records". Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Universal Signs New Agreement With Republic's Monte and Avery Lipman". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  3. ^ Taylor, Chuck (January 15, 2000). "Lipman to head up Universal Records". Billboard. p. 12. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Gayle (February 10, 2007). "Stop in the Name of Shiny Toy Guns". Billboard. p. 72. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  5. ^ "Interview with Avery Lipman". HitQuarters. 7 Aug 2006. Retrieved 23 Nov 2010.
  6. ^ Rosen, Craig (17 January 1998). "Lipmans' Republic Label Signs With Universal For Distribution". Billboard. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  7. ^ Taylor, Chuck (15 January 2000). "Lipman To Head Up Universal Records". Billboard. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  8. ^ Oppelaar, Justin (7 January 2011). "UMG labels Lipman as Republic prexy". Billboard. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Universal Music Label to Be Split Into Two". Los Angeles Times. 24 February 2006. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  10. ^ Walsh, Chris M. (8 January 2008). "Uni Republic taps Lipman co-president". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Universal Republic Promotes, Restructures Promo Staff". All Access. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  12. ^ "Universal Motown Lays Off Most Of Staff; Consolidates Roster Into Universal Republic". All Access Music. 17 June 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  13. ^ "ARIANA GRANDE SIGNS A RECORD DEAL!". Tiger Beat. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Republic Records", Pentagram (design firm), New York, 25 October 2012. Retrieved on 29 April 2018.
  15. ^ "THE WEEKND ANNOUNCES DEAL WITH UNIVERSAL REPUBLIC, PREPS 'TRILOGY' ALBUM". Rap Up. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  16. ^ Halperin, Shirley (17 June 2017). "'Fifty Shades' Franchise Veteran Dana Sano to Head Film and Television at Republic Records (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  17. ^ "REPUBLIC RECORDS AND FOX TV PRESENT NEW SHOW STAR". Music Connection. 11 November 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  18. ^ Gallo, Phil (25 October 2013). "How Republic Records Reignited the Soundtrack Market & Became Hollywood's Go-To Label". Billboard. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Republic Records Promotion Dominates Top 40 Scoring 6 Spots In Top 10". All Access. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  20. ^ FD, Aicha (14 August 2015). "POST MALONE SIGNS TO REPUBLIC RECORDS". XXL. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  21. ^ Halperin, Shirley (2017-11-21). "Hitmakers: From 'Despacito' to Post Malone, Republic Records Had (Another) Very Good Year". Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  22. ^ Lake, Schatz (19 November 2018). "Taylor Swift signs to Republic Records". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  23. ^ Young, Alex (28 February 2019). "The Jonas Brothers announce reunion, new single "Sucker" arrives tomorrow". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  24. ^ a b c "Billboard Honors Republic Records as 2019 Label of the Year". Billboard. 20 January 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  25. ^ a b "Billie Eilish Named Variety's Hitmaker of the Year; Will Be Honored at 3rd Annual Brunch". Variety. 19 November 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  26. ^ Rys, Dan (19 December 2019). "The Singles and Stars That Made Republic 2019's Top Hot 100 Label". Billboard. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  27. ^ "JYP Entertainment & Republic Records Enter Strategic Partnership For Girl Group Twice: Exclusive". Billboard. 2020-02-24. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  28. ^ Leight, Elias. "Pay-for-Play Was Banned From Radio — But Texts Reveal It May Still Be Thriving". Rolling Stone.
  29. ^ "Bloodhound Gang - Dingleberry Haze". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  30. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum – September 4, 2010: Kevin Rudolf certified singles". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  31. ^ Dawson, Kim (February 27, 2010). "Jay Sean's Boycott Plan Over Brits Snub". Daily Star. Retrieved February 27, 2010.
  32. ^ Alan Jones (February 5, 2010). "Lady Antebellum top US chart". Music Week. Retrieved February 15, 2010.
  33. ^ "Taylor Swift Hints at New Project on Social Media". Billboard. April 15, 2019. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  34. ^ "Taylor-made '80s sounds". New Straits Times. December 30, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  35. ^ "Jack Johnson". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  36. ^ Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley’s Welcome To Jamrock Certified Gold by RIAA; Project Also Nominated for Two Grammy Awards. World Music (February 4, 2006).
  37. ^ Peters, Mitchell (10 August 2019). "Ariana Grande Thanks Republic Records on Eighth Anniversary of Label Signing: 'Thank U For Believing in Me'". Billboard. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  38. ^ Smith, Da'Shan (16 February 2019). "XO And Beyond: How The Weeknd Forged His Own R&B Empire". uDiscoverMusic. Retrieved 6 May 2020.

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