Reports: Jermaine Dupri Exits Island
The Island Records Urban division was created within the Island Def Jam Music Group a short time prior to Dupri's hiring in February 2007, just after he stepped down as president of urban music at Virgin in October 2006.
In the position, Dupri oversaw the label's urban music operations and reported directly to label chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid and Steve Bartels, president of Island Music and COO of the Island Def Jam Music Group.
In July 2007, Dupri's girlfriend, singer Janet Jackson, who also departed from Virgin in the wake of two consecutive commercial disappointments, was signed to Island Def Jam. But her label debut, "Discipline," sold just 428,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and a Live Nation-promoted tour also fared badly. Jackson left Island in September.
Dupri's other major initiative at Island was a joint venture with Procter and Gamble's TAG brand. The partnership created a new marketing module that allowed for new talent, like So So Def/Tag artist Q, to be cross-promoted with TAG Body sprays through print, television, radio and digital advertising.
A source confirms to Billboard that Dupri's departure from Island won't affect his post at TAG. Island Def Jam had no comment.