Janet Jackson parts ways with Island Def Jam

Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:32pm EDT
 
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NEW YORK (Billboard) - After just 14 months on Island Def Jam, Janet Jackson announced Monday (September 22) her departure from the label. According to Jackson's publicist, the label agreed to dissolve its relationship with the artist at her request.

After a long stint with Virgin, Jackson inked a deal with Island in July 2007 and released her label debut, "Discipline," in February. When album sales failed to meet expectations, the singer expressed dissatisfaction with Island Def Jam, first telling SOHH.com that the label "stopped all promotion whatsoever on the album" after releasing the first single, "Feedback."

Earlier this month, she hinted about potentially severing ties with the label to Billboard, stating, "I can't say if we'll be working with them in the future. I don't know what the future holds between the two of us."

Executive produced by Jackson and her boyfriend, Island Urban president Jermaine Dupri, "Discipline" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in March with 181,000 copies sold. But it has shifted only 415,000 copies in the United States so far, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and spent just 14 weeks on the chart.

Now, Jackson "will have autonomy over her career, without the restrictions of a label system," according to a statement from her management team. "Always known to break new ground and set trends, Janet's departure from Island makes her one of the first superstar artists to have the individual freedom to promote their work through a variety of avenues such as iTunes, mobile carriers and other diverse and innovative channels."

Jackson is on the road for her first tour in seven years, "Rock Witchu," with support form LL Cool J and Donnie Klang. The outing began September 10 in Vancouver and runs through October 22 in Dallas.

Reuters/Billboard

 
<p>Singer Janet Jackson speaks on stage at the 8th annual BMI Urban Awards at the Wilshire theatre in Beverly Hills, California September 4, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>