Janet’s rep confirm she has left Island Def Jam

In a statement to People Magazine, Janet’s representative has confirmed that she is no longer with Island Def Jam:

Janet Jackson has terminated her relationship with her label, Island Records, her publicist announced Monday.

“At her request, the record label has agreed to dissolve their working relationship,” the singer’s rep said in a statement to PEOPLE. “Now more than 20 years after the release of her iconic album, Control, Janet will have autonomy over her career, without the restrictions of a label system.”

A rep for Island Records had no comment.

Jackson, 42, first discussed her label woes in June, when she told the hip hop Web site, “I’m trying to figure out a way to say this, but just to say it and to be quite honest, they just stopped all promotion whatsoever on the album, so I don’t think you’re going to hear another single off this album.”

Concert Tour Continues

At the time, an Island Def Jam spokesperson told Billboard, “Unfortunately, we haven’t experienced the results we would have liked with this new album. But we respect and support Janet.”

Jackson was signed to Island Records in July 2007, and released her album Discipline, which debuted at No. 1, on the label in February.

Despite the break with Island, Jackson will continue to perform her Rock Witchu tour across North America.


Janet speaks to Billboard about the tour

Janet spoke to to promote her upcoming tour and also cited possible problems with her existing label Island Def Jam:

Label Deal In Doubt, Jackson Hits The Road
Janet Jackson Dissatisfied With New Album Promo

September 04, 2008, 3:50 PM ET
Gary Graff, Detroit

After the disappointing showing of her latest album, “Discipline,” Janet Jackson is again raising questions about her relationship with Island Def Jam.

“I can’t say if we’ll be working with them in the future,” Jackson said today (Sept. 4) during a conference call with reporters to promote her upcoming Rock Witchu Tour. “I don’t know what the future holds between the two of us.”

She did not elaborate on her comment, which echoes remarks she made to in June about the performance of the album.

“Discipline” was Jackson’s first for Island Def Jam after leaving Virgin Records; she says she even agreed to scratch a tour for 2006’s “20 Y.O.” at the label’s wishes in order to record it. Executive produced by Jackson and her boyfriend, Island Urban president Jermaine Dupri, the album debuted at No. 1 in March with 181,000 copies sold. It’s shiftedNielsen SoundScan, and spent just 14 weeks on The Billboard 200.

Jackson was upbeat about the tour, however, which kicks off Wednesday in Vancouver. She described it as a “two hours of dance” on a stage set that has “a taste of … the future.” The repertoire will span her career and, according to Jackson, was drawn from requests made on her call-in line for fans.

“This show is all for the fans,” Jackson told during the call. “They tell me what they’d like to hear, what they’d like to see, what they want. And this is what I’m trying to give them.”

Jackson said fans will also get their wish for some more visual product from her as well. “We’ve been talking about something for TV, also a DVD,” she confirmed, the latter of which may include “past stuff I’ve done that wasn’t previously released,” including possibly a Japanese TV performance that was filmed in High Definition during the Rhythm Nation 1814 Tour in 1990. “Just a nice package for the fans,” Jackson explained. “They’ve been asking for it for so long, and they truly deserve it.”

Jackson said that she “definitely” intends to keep the Rock Witchu Tour going beyond its current Oct. 22 wrap in Dallas, with more U.S. dates and legs that are currently being discussed for Europe, Asia, Australia, Russia and “some parts of the Middle East. It hasn’t been etched in stone. It’s still being put together. People will hear about it in a little while.”

Multimedia News

Full audio of Janet’s conference with bloggers

Full audio of Janet’s recent conference call with bloggers, as reported by, has been released by RealTalkNY. Listen to it below:


IDJ release statement regarding ‘Discipline’

Island Def Jam have released a statement regarding the promotion of Discipline to Billboard magazine in response to Janet’s recent comments on the SOHH blog.

“Unfortunately we haven’t experienced the results we would have liked with this new album. But we respect and support Janet.”

The Billboard article does, however, confuse Janet’s comments about being unable to visit Europe on her promotional tour as her saying that she will not be bringing the Rock Witchu Tour to the continent. Island Def Jam responded saying that the label “has nothing to do with Janet’s tour”. Indeed Island Def Jam is in no way linked to the upcoming tour and Janet’s comments about not coming to Europe were not related to the Live Nation Rock Witchu Tour.


Janet speaks to New York Times

In a new interview with Gary Graff for the New York Times syndicate, Janet speaks about Discipline, her love of touring and much more. Read the article below:

Janet Jackson finds freedom in ‘Discipline’

By Gary Graff
The New York Times Syndicate
Contrary to its ominous title, Janet Jackson thinks that her latest album, “Discipline,” captures the lighthearted flavor of where she is in her life these days.

“This album is very up,” she says. “It’s very dance, It’s very hopping, it’s very feel-good. And it has some moments of some thought-provoking things … but, still, it’s a very nice mood.

“I think it’s a fun album.”

And fun is something that Jackson says she has recaptured after some trying times in recent years.

Now four years removed from “nipplegate,” the Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction” fiasco that effectively harpooned the commercial prospects of her next two albums, “Damita Jo” (2004) and “20 Y.O.” (2006), she’s also more than four years into a relationship with producer / songwriter / record-company executive Jermaine Dupri after two sensationalized, initially secret marriages, to fellow singer James DeBarge in 1984 and to Rene Elizondo from 1991 to 2003.

All these positive developments, she hopes, are conveyed on “Discipline.”

“It plays an important role,” says the 41-year-old Jackson, who has sold more than 100 million albums since her self-titled debut in 1982. “I’ve always been the kind of artist that sings about life experience and where I am at that very moment of my life, from ‘Control’ (1986) on. So once again your (music) really reflects where you are in your life.

“And if I was in a funky, very down space,” she says, “that’s what I would probably be searching for musically. But this time it’s really just the opposite.”

Fans have certainly responded to that good feeling. “Discipline” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart after its release in late February, marking the sixth chart-topper of her career and her first No. 1 debut in seven years. The first single, “Feedback,” made her best chart showing since “Someone To Call My Lover” (2001).

“Damita Jo” and “20 Y.O.” each debuted at No. 2, but ironically each sold better in its first week than “Discipline” did. Jackson isn’t letting that fact, which reflects an industrywide sales decline, rain on her parade. She’s simply happy to have a No. 1 hit.

“It’s always a thrill,” she says, “and I haven’t gotten tired of it yet. It’s always exciting.”

“Discipline” marks another major change in the musical life of Jackson, who as the youngest member of the famed Jackson clan initially came to prominence as an actress on the television shows “Good Times” (1977-1979) and “Diff’rent Strokes” (1980-1984): She and Dupri have fled Virgin Records, her home for her past five albums, in favor of Island Def Jam, and she credits the new label for the album’s initial success.

“I think the energy you feel really is the new label and having the support of the whole company,” she says, “vs. the support of only half the company for the last two projects.”

There were extensive personnel changes at Virgin, Jackson explains, and she felt that her place at the label had changed.

“We just didn’t see eye to eye anymore,” she says. “It wasn’t my family anymore. Before I knew it, everyone was gone except for one person, and that’s when things started to change. And then my contract was up, and I went to Island and finally got support from the entire record label. There’s a family atmosphere there that feels like Virgin in my beginning years with them.”

Island was so excited to land Jackson that company executives asked her to return to the recording studio immediately, even though she was in “full-blown tour mode,” rehearsing to support “20 Y.O.” The quick decision to move forward caught her without any songs of her own ready to go, so for the first time since “Dream Street” (1984) Jackson has released an album without any of her own songs.

“It was very different for me,” she admits, “but I was OK with that. I’m not the kind of person that has to (write) just so that my name is seen somewhere. If it’s great, then it’s great. If it’s great without me, that’s totally fine. I just want to put the best thing I can forward.”

Once word got out that Jackson was returning to the studio, there was no shortage of material for her and Dupri to consider.

“I just started listening to stuff that people had written for me,” the singer says, “and I started liking things, and those were the things that I picked and that’s how I first started recording this album.

“(A song) just had to have a life connection to myself, something I could relate to in some sort of way,” Jackson says, “or else I didn’t want to do it. I’ve heard songs that were written for me that were given to other artists and were hits for those other artists, and I could hear that they were hit songs, but I couldn’t relate to it.”

Her primary creative goal for “Discipline,” she says, was to create something that was “all about classic me but with a modern twist to it.” She also wanted something with a beat.

“I missed dancing, so it was about getting back in the dance,” Jackson says. “But you still get a feel for a couple of midtempos and slow stuff, and even what everybody calls the ‘baby-making songs.’ But it’s still classic me.”

Part of that “life connection” Jackson sought surfaces in the title song, a pillow-talking track on which she coos about an affinity for sexual sadomasochism, singing “I misbehaved/and my punishment should fit my crime.”

It’s not the first time she has touched on the topic, including previous songs such as “Someday Is Tonight” (1989), “Any Time, Any Place” (1993), “Rope Burn” (1997) and “Would You Mind?” (2001), Jackson points out, so she’s a bit surprised that “a lot of people seem to be focusing on, ‘Oh, this is … wow!’”

“It’s not something that I haven’t done before,” she says. “It’s very sensual and it’s, like it says, wanting to be disciplined by that person you’re really feeling or in love with. It shocks me that people are taken aback because, like, the whole ‘Janet’ (1993) album was really about being liberated and coming more into my womanhood … so I don’t know why they’re paying more attention to it now.

“If they want to call me freaky,” she says, “then so be it. I guess I’ve been that way since the beginning.”

Then again, being part of the Jackson family and particularly being Michael’s younger sister, “freaky” is one of the more polite terms she hears from time to time.

“People pay very close attention to my family,” Jackson says, “and I guess there’s a pro and a con to that. There’s always that scrutiny. I’ve seen other people get it. I don’t know if they’ve gotten it as strongly as my family has, but it is what it is.”

Jackson will be putting herself out to be looked at this fall when she launches a world tour in support of “Discipline.” The tour, which Jackson promises will be “big, it’s always been big,” will kick off in North America in mid-September and move on to territories such as Australia, Asia, Africa and Europe.

“It’s been seven years,” Jackson says, “and I have missed it. It means a great deal to me. When I’m creating music or singing the music (in the studio), I think about the stage performance. I think about the tour. The idea starts that early on for me.

“And I love being able to see the sea of faces, to have that connection, to feel that love,” she says. “That’s exciting for me.”

Jackson also plans to publish a book about her struggle with weight issues and about “being an emotional eater,” co-written with nutritionist David Allen, that she hopes to have out by the end of the year.

Multimedia News

Listen to Soundpusher’s RWU remix

As previously mentioned on Janet Love, Soundpusher has completed an official remix for Rock With U. You can now listen to it in our jukebox on the right of this page.