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Janet Jackson in Talks to Join 'X Factor'

R&B icon is the latest star approached to replace Paula Abdul as a judge

February 17, 2012 11:16 AM ET
janet jackson
Janet Jackson visits 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at NBC Studios in Burbank, California.
Kevin Winter/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Janet Jackson is in talks to become a judge on the next season of The X Factor. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the singer is one of a handful of top female pop stars, including Katy Perry and Pink, on producer and lead judge Simon Cowell's list as a potential replacement for Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, who were dismissed from the show after one season.

Jackson tiptoed around the issue in an interview with Anderson Cooper yesterday, telling the host that she is not a judge on X Factor but "that's all I really think I should say" on the topic. The Hollywood Reporter reported that Whitney Houston was approached to join the show just before her death last weekend.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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