Dupri: Janet Jackson Inks With Island Urban
Janet Jackson has followed her boyfriend Jermaine Dupri from Virgin to Island Def Jam, Billboard has learned. "She's on Island, but it's more or less [Def Jam CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid's] project," DuprJanet Jackson has followed her boyfriend Jermaine Dupri from Virgin to Island Def Jam, Billboard has learned. "She's on Island, but it's more or less [Def Jam CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid's] project," Dupri says. "I let him deal with that on a day-to-day basis. He's going to A&R that project, too. Janet's record is one that he's wanted to do for a long time. He's very passionate about it.
Jackson's departure from Virgin comes in the wake of two consecutive commercial disappointments: 2004's "Damita Jo" and last year's "20 Y.O." Her departure from the label was widely rumored after Dupri exited the company late last year to become president of Island Urban.
As for the direction of Jackson's as-yet-untitled album, Dupri says, "I don't really know what he's got in mind at this point. His past record isn't shabby so I'm going to let him do what he's going to do. I'm going to do [the new] Mariah [Carey album], and we're going to make it seem like we're in competition to see who's going to have the biggest album of the year."
There is no release date yet for the Jackson album, although rumors suggest it may be ready before the end of the year.
In related news, Dupri will release his autobiography, "Young, Rich and Dangerous: My Life in Music," Oct. 16 via Simon & Schuster. The book was co-authored by Samantha Marshall.
For more on Dupri's plans for Island Urban, see the July 23 issue of Billboard, on newsstands today (July 13).