Jay-Z and Live Nation Near $150 Deal, New Record Label

April 3, 2008 10:30 AM ET

Jay-Z is reportedly on the verge of inking a new $150 million deal with concert promotion giant Live Nation. The deal will encompass all of Jay's concerts, endorsements and recordings over the next decade, as well as provide the rapper a platform to launch Roc Nation, Jay's own label, music publishing and talent managing company. Jay-Z, who previously served as Def Jam's CEO for three years until he and Universal Music Group couldn't agree to a new contract, still owes his former label one more album, set for release later this year. The Brooklyn rapper becomes the third powerhouse veteran artist to join forces with Live Nation since October, as both Madonna and U2 have signed on with the ever-expanding empire.

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Madonna Deal Done: Material Mom Signs With Live Nation

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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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