Rihanna Now a Roc Nation Artist, But Def Jam Remains In the Picture
Earlier today Complex Magazine reported that Rihanna has "left" her longtime label, Def Jam, joining the in-house imprint at Shawn "Jay Z" Carter's management company Roc Nation. The 26-year-old singer's next album, the follow-up to 2012's "Unapologetic,” will still be distributed by Def Jam, with an announcement on official plans expected "soon," according to sources.
While Rihanna will be a frontline artist going forward with Roc Nation's label, which is distributed by the Universal Music Group, Def Jam will still be involved with the project. In fact, the label just met with the singer last week to discuss her next moves, sources confirm to Billboard.
The transition makes sense. Roc Nation -- a full-service entertainment company attached to music, sports, management and publicity -- is led by Carter, who signed Rihanna during his stint as president of Def Jam nearly a decade ago. Though Jay Z left Def Jam in 2009 to start Roc Nation (then an indie house of sorts), he and Rihanna have maintained both a business and artistic relationship.
In 2009 she was a guest vocalist on "Run This Town," Jay Z's Kanye West-assisted single from his Atlantic Records-distributed album "The Blueprint 3." Weeks prior to dropping her fifth solo album "Loud" in 2010, Rihanna announced that she had enlisted the managerial services of Jay Z and Roc Nation. In 2011, Jay was a featured artist on the title track of Rihanna's sixth album "Talk That Talk."