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.
The newly named Republic Records was formed in 1995 as a subsidiary of MCA's Geffen Records, but a little after the distribution changed to the newly Universal Records. The Lipman brothers accepted an offer from Universal in 2008, and resigned from UMG in 2011.
Universal Records: 1999–2005
Universal Music Group acquired the Lipman brothers' Republic Records as a wholly owned subsidiary in 1999. Monte Lipman was named president of the newly established Universal Records label, and Avery Lipman was named its chief operating officer. They reported to Doug Morris (chairman of Universal Music Group) and Mel Lewinter, chairman of Universal Records Group.
Universal Republic Records: 2006–12
In 2006, Universal Republic adopted an A&R and partnership-based growth strategy. Changes were made at the Universal Motown Republic Group during the summer of 2011. Motown Records was separated from Universal Motown Records; it shut down, transferring its artists to 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.
Republic Records revival: 2012–present
In October 2012, Universal Republic Records again re-branded itself as Republic Records to mark the arrival of producer Rick Rubin. All artists on the Universal Republic Records roster were moved to Republic Records. The label has released albums by Lil Wayne, Kid Cudi and Tyga; according to executive vice-president Charlie Walk, the new Republic Records was the number-one soundtrack label. On March 31, 2014, it was announced that Big Machine and Republic Records had revived Dot Records and Chris Stacey would head the label. Dot was the third label (after Valory and Republic Nashville) introduced as part of the Big Machine Label Group.
It was announced on June 20, 2014 that Republic had joined VH1 for a "Make a Band Famous" campaign, which would pick an artist for network appearances and Republic's roster. VH1 and Republic used social media for the campaign. Republic Records had songs in six of the top-10 spots on the Mediabase Top 40 Chart in 2015, tying a 2013 record.
The label appointed former New Line Cinema senior music executive Dana Sano its first executive vice-president of film and television in July 2017. The position oversees film and TV projects and the Federal Films initiative, working with UMG's Polygram Entertainment.
In November 2017, the company was named Variety's Hitmaker Label of the Year. The following year, Republic named Donna Gryn senior vice-president of marketing.
Republic Records' logo
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.