Logo in use since November 2012
|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location||New 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.
According to Avery Lipman, he and his brother Monte conceived of 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.
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. 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, while Avery Lipman became Republic's president.
In 2006, corporate restructuring saw the formation of Universal Republic Records through a merger between the two labels. Monte Lipman became the president and CEO of the restructured label while Avery Lipman served as co-president and COO. 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. In August 2011, the restructured Universal Republic signed Ariana Grande to a record contract.
In October 2012, Universal Republic Records returned to the Republic Records moniker. Just prior to the label's return to the Republic name, it signed Canadian artist, The Weeknd, through his imprint label, XO. In addition to artists' albums, the label has released soundtracks with Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), the Fox Broadcasting Company (Star), and NBC (The Voice), among numerous other partnerships, films, and television series. Republic Records had songs in six of the top-10 spots on the Mediabase Top 40 Chart in 2015, tying a 2013 record. Also in 2015, the label signed American rapper and singer, Post Malone.
In November 2017, the company was named Varietys Hitmaker Label of the Year. 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. Early 2019 saw the signing of a reunited Jonas Brothers, as well.
Also in 2019, Republic Records was named the "Label of the Year" by both Billboard and Variety. It has been Billboards label of the year for 4 of the last 5 years and Varietys for each of the last three. Republic was also named Billboards Hot 100 Label of the Year for the sixth straight time, 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.
Republic Records released the Bloodhound Gang's 1994 EP, Dingleberry Haze, 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. Jay Sean's debut single, "Down", sold three million copies in the United States and six million copies worldwide. Sean's follow-up single, "Do You Remember", sold over one million copies.
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.Jack Johnson has received a number of gold and platinum certifications.Damian Marley's debut album was certified gold and sold one million copies worldwide.
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, and 2019's Thank U, Next); The Weeknd (2013's Kiss Land, 2015's Beauty Behind the Madness, and 2016's Starboy, among others); and the Jonas Brothers (2019's Happiness Begins).
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), 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.