Interscope Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group through its Interscope Geffen A&M imprint. Founded in late 1990 by Jimmy Iovine and Ted Field as a $20 million joint venture with Atlantic Records of Warner Music Group, it differed from most record companies by letting A&R staff control decisions and allowing artists and producers full creative control. Its first hit records arrived in under a year, and it achieved profitability in 1993. Chair and CEO until May 2014, Iovine was succeeded by John Janick.
In 1992, Interscope acquired the exclusive rights to market and distribute releases from the hardcore hip hop label Death Row, whose artists included Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, a decision that ultimately put the label at the center of the mid-1990s gangsta rap controversy. As a result, Time Warner, owning Atlantic, severed ties with Interscope by selling its 50 percent stake back to Field and Iovine for $115 million in 1995. In 1996, 50% of the label was acquired for a reported $200 million by MCA Inc., later known as Universal Music Group.
Based in Santa Monica, California, Interscope has a roster including Eminem, Madonna, Billie Eilish, Gwen Stefani, Imagine Dragons, Summer Walker, Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, Maroon 5, Selena Gomez, and U2.