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Janet Jackson's beau Jermaine Dupri quits Virgin Records

October 26, 2006|Nekesa Mumbi Moody | Associated Press

New York — JERMAINE DUPRI -- superproducer, rapper, and the boyfriend of Janet Jackson -- has confirmed to the Associated Press that he has quit as a top executive at Jackson's label, Virgin Records, amid disappointing sales of Jackson's new album.

"Since there are so many rumors running rampant about my position at Virgin Records, I feel that it is necessary to set the record straight," Dupri said Wednesday in a statement to AP. "I was not forced out of the company; I made a decision to leave."

Dupri became head of urban music at Virgin, a unit of EMI Group PLC, just last year. His abrupt departure comes after the underwhelming performance of Jackson's "20 Y.O." Dupri was an executive producer of the record, along with Jackson and her longtime producers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

Jackson's album failed to debut at the top of the charts last month, then steadily fell. It has sold 443,000 copies since its release Sept. 26, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Jackson's 2001 album, "All for You," debuted at No. 1 with more than 605,000 copies sold in a single week. Coming after the flat performance of 2004's "Damita Jo" and Jackson's infamous Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction, "20 Y.O." was seen as an opportunity for Jackson to reestablish herself as a multi-platinum hitmaker.

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