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Did Beyoncé Contract Block Teairra Mari’s Career in Favor of Rihanna?
A new excerpt from L.A. Reid’s forthcoming memoir, Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who’s Next, the record exec reveals that he and the label thought between theLove & Hip Hop Hollywood starlet and Rihanna that TeTe was the bigger star but Queen Bey had him rethink things.
After signing Rihanna, Jay Z and his team did the A&R for her first album, and I had nothing to do with it. 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-Yoperformed. 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.”
Obviously, RiRi blew up to be a big star and TeTe’s spotlight has been bright, if dimmer, but is that Beyoncé’s fault?