Rihanna leaves Def Jam, reportedly signs with Roc Nation

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Pop superstar Rihanna has departed her longtime label, Def Jam Recordings. The singer released all seven of her albums on the powerhouse label, but has now reportedly signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation as an artist. It was Jay who signed Rihanna to Def Jam when he was label president in 2005 and her latest Def Jam release was 2012’s Unapologetic--her seventh album for the label. When Jay formed Roc Nation in 2009, Rihanna split from her former manager, Marc Jordan, and inked a deal with Roc Nation’s management team the following year.

MTV News reports that Def Jam will still play a role in the marketing and promotion of Rihanna’s music, but she is now officially a Roc Nation artist.

The news comes in the aftermath of a major label re-shuffling. Island Def Jam Music Group CEO Barry Weiss stepped down earlier this year and parent company Universal Music Group split the company into three distinct record labels: Def Jam, Island, and Motown. Stars such as Rihanna, Kanye West and others joined CEO Steve Bartels at a revamped Def Jam with No I.D. and Kyambo “Hip Hop” Joshua serving as executive vice presidents and heads of A&R.

COMPLEX initially recognized that Rihanna’s Roc Nation website profile has been updated to specify that she’s signed to the label. The Def Jam website now lists Rihanna under its “Legacy” section, alongside past hit makers like Amerie and Public Enemy.

Stereo Williams
Stereo Williams

Todd "Stereo" Williams, entertainment writer based in New York City. He co-founded Thirty 2 Oh 1 Productions, an indie film company.



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