Republic Records

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Republic Records
Republic records logo.svg
Logo in use since November 2012[1]
Parent companyUniversal Music Group
Founded1995; 26 years ago (1995)
Country of originUnited States
LocationNew York City, New York, U.S.

Republic Records is a 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 going back 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 the idea for Republic Records. Lipman stated that both had previously been employed by record companies and was in between jobs at the time. They began putting records out as a hobby, the first of which 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: 2006–2012[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, Rolling Stone published an article stating several people suggested a link between airplay and record label payments. A spokesperson for Universal Music Group responded that third party radio promotional contractors are required to submit affidavits showing compliance with regulations, including prohibiting radio stations or employees from increasing airtime based on such conduct.[28]

Republic Records became the first label to partner with DistroKid, allowing it to mine data from the company looking for new artists. The initiative began in 2021 and allowed DistroKid to receive a finder's fee for any new artist signed to the label.[29] In 2021, Republic gets their first "Album of the Year" win in Grammys for Taylor Swift's Folklore.[30]


Old black-and-white Republic Records logo
The Republic Records logo from
1994 to 2006

Republic Records released the Bloodhound Gang's 1994 EP, Dingleberry Haze,[31] 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.[32] Jay Sean's debut single, "Down", sold six million copies in the United States[33] and received a large airplay on radio worldwide.[34][35] Sean's follow-up single, "Do You Remember", sold over one million copies.[36]

American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift recorded with Nashville-based Big Machine Records. Swift is a quadruple-platinum artist with 11 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.[37][38] Jack Johnson has received a number of gold and platinum certifications.[39] Damian Marley's debut album was certified gold and sold one million copies worldwide.[40]

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);[41] the Jonas Brothers (2019's Happiness Begins); Taylor Swift (2019's Lover, and 2020's Folklore and Evermore); and The Weeknd (2013's Kiss Land, 2015's Beauty Behind the Madness, and 2016's Starboy).[42]


As of 2020, the current Republic Records roster includes Ariana Grande, Drake, Benee, James Bay, James Blake, Kid Cudi, Florence + the Machine, Seth MacFarlane, John Mellencamp, Julia Michaels, Post Malone, Of Monsters and Men, Liam Payne, Black Sabbath, Hailee Steinfeld, Taylor Swift, Stevie Wonder, Conan Gray, Jonas Brothers, DNCE, Peach PRC 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 (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) Tomas Skyldeberg, Civet Cat, (Twentyfive Productions) Darhk (Gothenburg House), Ikson (Tell Your Story) and others.[citation needed]

Associated labels and imprints[edit]


  1. ^ "Brand New: Republic Records". Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  2. ^ "Universal Signs New Agreement With Republic's Monte and Avery Lipman". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  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. August 7, 2006. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
  6. ^ Rosen, Craig (January 17, 1998). "Lipmans' Republic Label Signs With Universal For Distribution". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  7. ^ Taylor, Chuck (January 15, 2000). "Lipman To Head Up Universal Records". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  8. ^ Oppelaar, Justin (January 7, 2011). "UMG labels Lipman as Republic prexy". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  9. ^ "Universal Music Label to Be Split Into Two". Los Angeles Times. February 24, 2006. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  10. ^ Walsh, Chris M. (January 8, 2008). "Uni Republic taps Lipman co-president". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  11. ^ "Universal Republic Promotes, Restructures Promo Staff". All Access. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  12. ^ "Universal Motown Lays Off Most Of Staff; Consolidates Roster Into Universal Republic". All Access Music. June 17, 2011. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  13. ^ "ARIANA GRANDE SIGNS A RECORD DEAL!". Tiger Beat. August 12, 2011. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  14. ^ "Republic Records", Pentagram (design firm), New York, October 25, 2012. Retrieved on April 29, 2018.
  15. ^ "THE WEEKND ANNOUNCES DEAL WITH UNIVERSAL REPUBLIC, PREPS 'TRILOGY' ALBUM". Rap Up. September 11, 2012. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  16. ^ Halperin, Shirley (June 17, 2017). "'Fifty Shades' Franchise Veteran Dana Sano to Head Film and Television at Republic Records (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  17. ^ "REPUBLIC RECORDS AND FOX TV PRESENT NEW SHOW STAR". Music Connection. November 11, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  18. ^ Gallo, Phil (October 25, 2013). "How Republic Records Reignited the Soundtrack Market & Became Hollywood's Go-To Label". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  19. ^ "Republic Records Promotion Dominates Top 40 Scoring 6 Spots In Top 10". All Access. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  20. ^ FD, Aicha (August 14, 2015). "POST MALONE SIGNS TO REPUBLIC RECORDS". XXL. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  21. ^ Halperin, Shirley (November 21, 2017). "Hitmakers: From 'Despacito' to Post Malone, Republic Records Had (Another) Very Good Year". Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  22. ^ Lake, Schatz (November 19, 2018). "Taylor Swift signs to Republic Records". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  23. ^ Young, Alex (February 28, 2019). "The Jonas Brothers announce reunion, new single "Sucker" arrives tomorrow". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  24. ^ a b c "Billboard Honors Republic Records as 2019 Label of the Year". Billboard. January 20, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  25. ^ a b "Billie Eilish Named Variety's Hitmaker of the Year; Will Be Honored at 3rd Annual Brunch". Variety. November 19, 2019. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  26. ^ Rys, Dan (December 19, 2019). "The Singles and Stars That Made Republic 2019's Top Hot 100 Label". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  27. ^ "JYP Entertainment & Republic Records Enter Strategic Partnership For Girl Group Twice: Exclusive". Billboard. February 24, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  28. ^ Leight, Elias. "Pay-for-Play Was Banned From Radio — But Texts Reveal It May Still Be Thriving". Rolling Stone.
  29. ^ Stassen, Murray (January 28, 2021). "DistroKid launches 'matchmaking service' to help labels find unsigned artists; Republic Records named first partner". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  30. ^ "Taylor Swift". December 15, 2020. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  31. ^ "Bloodhound Gang - Dingleberry Haze". Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  32. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum – September 4, 2010: Kevin Rudolf certified singles". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  33. ^ "Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on August 13, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
  34. ^ 4Music 360 SESSION I Jay Sean interview in Miami I Part 1/3 on YouTube
  35. ^ Pietroluongo, Silvio (October 7, 2009), "Jay Sean Sends Peas Packing From Hot 100 Penthouse", Billboard, retrieved November 1, 2009
  36. ^ Alan Jones (February 5, 2010). "Lady Antebellum top US chart". Music Week. Retrieved February 15, 2010.
  37. ^ "Taylor Swift Hints at New Project on Social Media". Billboard. April 15, 2019. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  38. ^ "Taylor-made '80s sounds". New Straits Times. December 30, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  39. ^ "Jack Johnson". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  40. ^ Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley’s Welcome To Jamrock Certified Gold by RIAA; Project Also Nominated for Two Grammy Awards. World Music (February 4, 2006).
  41. ^ Peters, Mitchell (August 10, 2019). "Ariana Grande Thanks Republic Records on Eighth Anniversary of Label Signing: 'Thank U For Believing in Me'". Billboard. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  42. ^ Smith, Da'Shan (February 16, 2019). "XO And Beyond: How The Weeknd Forged His Own R&B Empire". uDiscoverMusic. Retrieved May 6, 2020.

External links[edit]