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 from 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.