Janet Jackson Leaves Island Def Jam

After just 14 months on Island Def Jam, Janet Jackson announced today (Sept. 22) her departure from the label. According to Jackson’s publicist, the label agreed to dissolve their 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 IDJ, 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 IDJ 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,” reads a statement from her 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 currently on the road with her first tour in seven years, “Rock Witchu,” with support form LL Cool J and Donnie Klang. The Live Nation-promoted outing began Sept. 10 in Vancouver and runs through Oct. 22 in Dallas.

Moving forward, Jackson would seem to be a natural fit at Live Nation Artists, which is already home to Jay-Z, Nickelback and Shakira. A Live Nation spokesperson was unavailable for comment on the subject.

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31 Comments

  1. Well I`m not surprised by this news because the signs were all there. It has just now become official. Janet definitely did the right thing. If a record company stops all promotion of your album after the first single release, and it being your debut album with that label, then the writing is clearly on the wall. Besides, there are other ways to distribute/promote one`s work without a major label. With today`s technology/avenues the label system may soon become obsolete altogether anyway. I can`t comprehend why a label would go through the channels of signing an artist and not properly promoting their work.

    Anyway, best wishes to Janet and I`ll always luv her. She`s also lookin` very fit and thick on her tour I might add; absolutely gorgeous. She`s still the best female performer right now bar none. The woman knows how to perform and command the stage. And she does it with style. One thing about it, a great performer can always sellout a tour. It doesn`t take enormous record sales for your fans to come out, support you, and show the luv for you on tour. With Janet you`ll definitely get your money`s worth and not want a refund. Yes, she`s still the #1 female performer in my book. Much luv to Janet.

    MJ & The Golden 80s forever!!!

  2. •Live Nation says L.A. and Las Vegas shows sold out Live Nation•

    The promoter behind the Rock Witchu Tour, sent out a press release this morning announcing that both of the tour’s Los Angeles and Las Vegas shows last week sold out.

    Janet Jackson’s Rock Witchu Tour Sells Out in Los Angeles and Las Vegas LL Cool J receives roaring welcome on his first date of the tour LOS ANGELES,
    Sept. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ —

    Music icon Janet Jackson kicked off her highly anticipated Rock Witchu tour to rave reviews, major media coverage and fan adulation during opening week of the smash tour, selling out Staples Center in Los Angeles and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas last week. Adding to the excitement in Los Angeles was the addition of hip-hop superstar LL Cool J, who joined the tour at the Staples Center on September 17th and will continue on the Live Nation produced tour from Chicago on September 25th through the final date at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on October 22nd.”Janet Jackson still a trend-setter, diva, and marvelous performer

    — When she decides it’s time for a tour, Ms. Jackson makes sure it’s done right. And when she promises fans the show is going to be packed with hits, costumes and dancers, she doesn’t disappoint.
    “Vancouver Sun”

    Some two hours and 35 songs later, Jackson had played all 10 of her No. 1 hits, as well as her other blockbusters … That’s how a true pro gets back to business after a seven-year absence from the road.
    “Contra Costa Times”

    Any show following Janet Jackson into GM Place will find it difficult to match her.
    “Vancouver Province”

    Offering up a lengthy and engrossing song-and-dance spectacle that delivers on every level…
    “Variety”

    Nine seamlessly executed costume changes are only the beginning. This show is all about dominance, and Jackson held the whip.
    “Los Angeles Times”

    Rock Witchu kicked off on September 10th in Vancouver, BC with unparalleled dance routines and stage production featuring more than two hours of music including fan favorites and smash hits “Control,” “Rhythm Nation,” “Pleasure Principal,” “All For You,” “Young Love,” “Let’s Wait A While,” “What Have You Done For Me Lately,” “Escapade,” and more along with new singles “Feedback” and “Luv,” spanning three decades of music that have made Janet Jackson one of the most celebrated performers in history.LL Cool J joins the tour on the heels of 13th album release, Exit 13. More than a hip-hop artist, more than an actor, the author, television producer, two-time Grammy Award winner LL Cool J is an American icon who kicked opened his own doors to music, Hollywood, television, publishing, and along the way created opportunities for countless others. His 20 million album sales worldwide are just the tip of the iceberg for this international megastar, recipient of countless industry awards.

  3. Did I forget to mention that people said Ms. Jackson was washed up. She’s an “ICONIC LEGEND” not the “IT GIRL”

  4. Smooth and Andre I totally agree she is the best female performer and wholly iconic: a legend. Love her and look forward to seeing her Oct. 22nd.

  5. Thats alright Janet. We fall down but we get up. Like MJB, you’ll be “Just Fine”. You’re the icon the others want to Bey.

  6. i blame her man. ever since he’s been in her life, things haven’t been going that great, music wise anyway. also, jd is the president of IDJ and he ain’t promoting her right? best believe if my man was the president of my record company, i be the HBIC and wouldn’t give a crap what anyone else said about it.

    @charden, was that subliminal jab really necessary? although i don’t deny that janet is an icon, i think she needs to stop NOW cause she’s putting paint on that icon status. her music hasn’t evolved and instead of showing maturity, she’s putting out music to compete with young people and going around still grabbing random dudes crotch. janet needs to go sitdown and tour every couple of years because she’s still one hell of a performer. i understand she has to put out new music to continue to tour, but she shouldn’t put out cds to compete for the mtv audience, and she should try actually singing instead of doing all that dog on whispering. janet go tour, tour, tour cause that’s where the money’s at anyways

  7. I want to know what it is Def Jam didn’t do for Janet. I have been a Janet fan for years but Janet has a lazy streak in her these days. Janet performed just days before her album came out. She personally did no promo and basically sat things out until the last minute. Was it Def Jam’s job to book her performances? Look at Ashanti, she has sold far less than Janet but is still out performing and promoting her music. Sorry. I can’t blame Def Jam or Virgin anymore. I think the real culprits are Janet and JD. JD manages Janet now and he has no business doing that. He is in over his head and has caused Janet’s career and image much harm. Janet needs to separate her personal life from her business life, make great videos again and go back to Jummy and Terry.

  8. “Thats alright Janet. We fall down but we get up. Like MJB, you’ll be “Just Fine”. You’re the icon the others want to Bey.”

    Interesting words. @Wohoo, I don’t think Janet needs to sit down at all. Let her keep making her money anyway she can get it. Ain’t nobody telling Cher to go sit down…

  9. i would like to add that def jam is just going downhill period. they need to invest some money in real talent instead of promoting rihanna over and over like she’s really brings them money. i bet you janet’s ONE tour is going to outsell/gross more than rihanna’s gazillion tours she’s had this era. call me a hater, but the child is about to be on single #8 (with no great sales to show for it at that) and def jam is still promoting her, but they shelve janet after one single? i may think janet needs to put the mic down but in no way do i believe that she shouldn’t have been given a chance to perform and put on a real show on some of these award shows. instead, def jam invests in this no talented girl with no voice, no stage presence, and no energy, all she got going for her is looks. at least with janet, there’s an entertainer, chrisette michelle has a great voice but is hardly promoted. i swear la reid better find some people to make him money off of their talent or his record label is going to go down the hill real soon when people finally start seeing past these gimmicks.

    ok, my rant is over….lol

  10. i`m happy she`s no longer at def jam but at the same time, this has to teach some folks a very precious lessons, personally i think one must learn somewhere, somehow how to seperate your private and professional life, the fact she`s dating jermaine dupri doesnt mean he has to be all over her records because this hasnt yielded good fruits so far, so therefore it is safe to say her artistic collaborations with jermaine need to stop if she really wants to pursue her career in a more promising way
    def jam itself is a total failure, i mean lets get this straight, how many artists on def jam go platinum these days? L A reid seems to be the cancer of that label so maybe in the near future somebody needs to address his tenure because i really dont see the necessity to keep him at the helm of that label
    congrats to janet for the enormous success of this tour, i wonder where the naysayers are? lol ! how many artists below the age of 30 can sell out concert tickets?? we all know the answer
    peace!

  11. I agree with Wohoo. Ever since JD’s been a producer on her album, the songs have been weak. She needs to get back with her old school crew, whom ever they are. And keep JD out of the studio.

  12. To all the people who think IDJ was not the problem, listen up: Janet is not responsible for the promotion part of the album, that’s the record label’s responsibility. That’s why she signed a contract. If she had her own label then she would be responsible for that. IDJ is responsible for getting the word out and booking interviews and shows, NOT JANET. If they don’t promote properly it will not get done. IDJ waited til the last minute and then did nothing else. Waiting til the last minute isn’t necessarily the problem either. It’s that plus no follow through. If they noticed that their first approaoch wasn’t working then they should’ve tried something else. You don’t just give up. They didn’t even update their website for like 4 months, but everything Mariah did they put up even if she was just making a visit to Disney World. Come on now, that’s just ridiculous. And, JD is not the President of the label, LA Reid is. JD didn’t sign Janet, L.A. did. JD can’t do it all either. As Janet stated, it’s a team effort and when half the team quits on you, you just have to pick up the pieces and move on to the next thing, which is exactly what she is doing. She’s on tour and now she parted ways with an unsupporting team.

  13. I just hope that Janet goes back to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. They are the ones responsible for her classics and major hits. Those three were like the dream team.

  14. ummm I BLAME IT ON MATTHEW KNOWLES!!! You know he had to have something to do with it….lol

  15. LOL @ Janet’s post. Matthew Knowles is always to blame (just kidding). If Janet signs with Live Nation, she’ll make lots of money. That’s the reason Shakira, Jay Z and Madonna’s pockets are so fat right now.

    The record labels will eventually become useless if they don’t change their way of thinking. They need to stop monopolizing the airways with the same 20 songs and bring real LIVE talent to their listeners. It’ll bring excitement back to the industry and maybe we’ll buy the albums after being swayed by great performances.

  16. I’m not a fan of Janet’s last album, but I’ll still go see her perform. I went to her Velvet Rope concert and it was wonderful.

  17. Janet’s doin’ good rite now on the road and she’s making faces smile !!! so thats all that counts !!!

  18. Good for her. Her concerts are sold out an everything so we know SHE is not the problem. I know there will be all sort of people who are going to speculate that she was dropped and everything…..what ever!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Well I hope that this change will see her content & I hope that she has success w/ it 🙂 .

  20. Good move, now she can concentrate on her career. As long as she takes charge she will do good. It’s best for her to sign with Live Nation, since that touring at the moment is her bread and butter.

    And Janet should not sit down, for what, if she can sell out arenas with touring she should continue. Eventhough I was not a fan of her last CD (I loved “Feedback”) but she has one of the tightest music catalogs.

  21. Good for Janet in leaving Island/Def Jam…I wish her the best in all her endeavors

  22. I know things will be better off for Janet leaving Island. It’s their loss because “Dicipline” has been her best work since “All for you”. She needs to sign with Live Nation as Madonna did. They both may not be a radio hit artist anymore, but they are indeed in demand performers. Without Janet and Madonna their would be no Beyonce or Britney, don’t these major labels recognize that???

  23. Also…I love and support Janet no matter what, Fan of 20 years! Don’t get me wrong!!! But she really needs to reinvent herself in a totally different way. Dupri needs to step off and let Janet be JANET, she’s Mariah and quite frankly Dupri doesnt do Janet’s music justice. She should go a lot more dance and less slow love song on the next album. I could totally see her working magic with Timbaland, Pharell, and even Stuart Price! I’d love to hear an album a bit more edgy and modern produced like that. The past is the past…leave Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, and for sure Jermaine Dupri behind.

  24. So Glad Janet has left that shady label.. Now Janet can move on to bigger and better things.. And continue to be the sucess that she is….

  25. Good. Given the current state of music i was pissed when her album didnt get pushed. everyone acted like oh ho hum janet’s puttin out an album but the album is good. listen to it and compare to others and tell me it’s not good. im so sick of mediocre being praised while living legends get treated like that auntie or uncle u dont want invited to the family cook out. JANET JACKSON IS ONE OF THE BEST PERFORMERS ALIVE! Period. no dispute no argument, check her credentials and then holla at me. she’s had more hits than some of these current’s have had albums, hell she probably has a hit for every song on their album. Real music is dying and it’s at the hands of those who want to keep our generation and the generation of our children filling their heads up with GARBAGE. please keep doing ya thing ms.janet….keep doing u and being u and let all the imitators and haters hate. God bless the true performers
    Out

  26. @prettylady818 i feel u
    Ain’t nobody telling Cher to go sit down…
    Or Barbara Striesand or Madonna or Celine Dionne. A legend is a legend people and real talent stands the test of time and gimmicks and i think Janet should phase into the next part of her career instead of trying to relevant in today’s peice of crap music scene. there’s flickers of light like neyo and if he dumps rihanna and starts back focusing on his career instead of carrying her stupid damn dog…chris brown. (that one has been coming for a while sorry). the underdogs like chrissette who barely got any frickin promotion at all (the girl was performing @ borders for god’s sake), jilly from philly, jazmine sullivan…but these women will never open a show like watching paint dry rihanna will kno why…lack of green eyes and beige skin and a size 2 frame. Music is supposed to be about variety so why dont we have any?

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