L.A. Reid to Become Judge on 'The X Factor'

CEO of Island Def Jam steps down to join new Simon Cowell singing competition

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Antonio "L.A." Reid, the music industry figure responsible for signing superstars such as Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Outkast, Rihanna, Usher, Justin Bieber and many others, will be stepping down as chairman and CEO of Island Def Jam to become a judge on the upcoming American version of Simon Cowell's singing competition The X Factor. The program will begin airing in September, just before Reid's contract with Island Def Jam expires at the end of the year.

Contest: Choose the Cover of Rolling Stone

In other X Factor news, Deadline Hollywood reports that Cowell and Fox have approached Enrique Iglesias with an offer to become the series' host – essentially the same job Ryan Seacrest has on American Idol. This may not pan out, though, as Deadline's sources say that Iglesias is more interested in a judging gig and either way would prefer to focus on his music career – which makes sense given that the singer just scored a Number One pop hit with "Tonight (I'm Loving You)."

UPDATE: This is the letter that L.A. Reid sent to his staff at Island Def Jam this morning.

"Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through
argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand."
-Colin Powell

To my Island Def Jam family:

After much consideration, I have decided to leave my position as Chairman of the Island Def Jam Music Group.

I have always thrived on growth and the next great challenge, and I look forward with much enthusiasm to what the future holds.

I am extremely proud of our beautiful roster and all we have accomplished in my seven years with IDJ.  We continue to have incredible success together with today's most phenomenal superstars - Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Bon Jovi, Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, Rick Ross, The Killers, The-Dream, Chrisette Michele, Jeezy and Ludacris to name a few.

I want to thank all of you for your amazing contributions.

With Warm Regards -
LA

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