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Janet Jackson Parts Company With Island Def Jam

September 22, 2008 5:57 PM ET

After only one album, Janet Jackson's tenure with Island Def Jam has come to a sudden halt, as the singer was released from her contract per her request. During her brief stay at the label, Jackson frequently lamented that the label wasn't doing its part to properly promote her most recent album, Discipline. Despite coming in Number One the week of its release, Discipline still sold fewer copies than her two previous albums. "We didn't get the support from the record company," producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jenkins said in a vlog post (which you can watch above). "[Janet] felt like it wasn't pushed. She just didn't get her just due as an artist of that magnitude." Whether she signs to another label in the near future or not, for the time being Jackson brings some much-needed R&B flavor to the industry's free agent pool, with artists like Radiohead, Nine inch Nails and Smashing Pumpkins all operating without a record contract. Jackson is currently on the road promoting Discipline on the Rock Witchu Tour.

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Janet Jackson Opens Rock Witchu Tour With Three Decades of Hits, Video Duets and Pyro
Janet Jackson Super Bowl Flash Fine Tossed
On The Charts: Janet Jackson Wrestles Top Spot From Jack Johnson

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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.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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