L.A. Reid Adjusting to Life After Def Jam

The longtime record exec misses old job as he starts new gig as X Factor judge.

Posted: 04/12/2011 12:07 PM EDT
L.A. Reid

Music mogul L.A. Reid is having a hard time saying goodbye to the record business. The legendary record executive, who helped nurture the careers of Usher, Kanye West, Rihanna and countless others, confessed to feeling a little separation anxiety yesterday in the wake of his decision to leave Island Def Jam to become a judge on Simon Cowell's upcoming talent competition series, The X Factor.

Reid, who had been chairman of IDJ for seven years, told MTV News it was hearing Rihanna's new "S&M" remix featuring Britney Spears that gave him pause.

"It's the first time some music has been done that I wasn't involved with and I don't know if I like that or not. I don't know," he said.

Reid said he never had any doubts about joining X Factor, but that leaving behind the IDJ family is something he's still wrestling with.

"I loved the artist roster that we created at Island Def Jam and I love the company and yes, it was difficult. It still is difficult," he said.

Simon Cowell's X Factor has attracted considerable buzz since it was announced early last year and will likely pick up more top talent to round out the judges panel.

The series, based on a long-running British and international competition show of the same name, is being positioned as the next American Idol and will offer its winner a whopping $5 million cash prize and a recording contract with Sony Music.

To that end, Reid may not be away from the industry for too long, as many have speculated that his X Factor deal has set the table for him to take a position at Sony in the near future. The series is set to debut on Fox this September, with other rumored judges including former American Idol panelist Paula Abdul, 1980s pop icon George Michael and hip hop star Nicki Minaj.

 

 

(Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

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