L.A. Reid thought Teairra Mari was going to be a bigger star than Rihanna

Believe it or not, there was once a time when music mogul, L.A. Reid thought that “Make A Girl Feel Good” singer, Teairra Mari, would be a bigger star than 8 time Grammy Award winning singer, Rihanna. 

In an excerpt from his memoir, Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who’s Next, the 59-year-old Epic Records honcho spilled on signing Rih Rih and Tea Tea at the same time and planned on focusing all his efforts on making Teairra a star. 

 l.a. reid teairra mari Rihanna beyonce  
In fact, it wasn’t until after an endorsement from Beyonce that L.A. was finally able to recognize Rihanna’s full potential. 


“The funny thing about Rihanna’s success was that we signed two girls at that time — Rihanna and a lovely young lady named Teairra Mari. We had an in-house company showcase and Beyoncé happened to be there with Jay Z. Teairra Mari, Rihanna, a four-girl group called Black Butterfly and Ne-Yo performed. At the label, we thought Teairra Mari would be the big star. We spent more time on her, did more work on her, paid more attention to her. Rihanna already had a hit with “Pon De Replay,” but we still thought it was the other girl. A bell went off for me, however, when, after the showcase, Beyoncé came up to me.

“That Rihanna girl,” she said, “She’s a beast.”

So far, neither Rih, Teairra Mari, not Beyoncé have commented on L.A.’s claims. 

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