L.A. Reid Pursuing Deal With 'X Factor' Co-Judge Britney Spears
Whatever comes of the season itself, Britney Spears' leap to FOX's "The X Factor" may already have paid a lucrative, unexpected dividend.
Spears' fellow judge Antonio "L.A." Reid is reportedly interested in inking the blonde pop icon eventually to Sony's Epic Records, according to Billboard. Spears currently owes one more album to round out her deal with Sony Music division RCA Records, formerly known as Jive Records.
Reid can get in line, though. Meanwhile, Barry Weiss, who helped guide Spears' peak career as the former head of Jive, has aspirations of bringing her into his Island Def Jam Motown-Universal Republic fold to sit alongside Justin Bieber, Kanye West and Mariah Carey.
"I have a 15-year history with Britney and would love to be reunited with her," Weiss told The Hollywood Reporter. As her career maybe takes flight again, one source said Weiss could be her "comfort zone" as she takes off once more.
"Barry understands how her business is run and the many buffers in place," a source said, referring to a cadre of filters that includes her co-conservators - fiancé Jason Trawick and father Jamie Spears - and manager Larry Rudolph. Her manager is an interesting "in" with both, since he knows Reid via his management of Avril Lavigne and Weiss via Spears herself.
Sources say Reid, meanwhile, has been going out of his way to ease into Spears' best graces. He swapped seats with Spears' fellow newbie judge Demi Lovato to take a seat alongside Britney during auditions. Epic has been shooting blanks recently, even since signing hit-makers Ciara and Avril Lavigne, so he's allegedly been guaranteeing Britney that her career could be headed "to the next level" by his side.
"Larry and Jason will want to go where the money is. [Spears had developed] a pretty good s**t-detector [where] if L.A. goes overboard, that could push her away," one source said. That does raise an interesting question: L.A., what "next level" could possibly exist for a woman who's already sat among the most sought-after pop stars on Earth? First pop star on the moon? A "Live on Mars" HBO special?
Combined, Britney's seven albums have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. She's expected to elevate "The X Factor" to its own "next level" this season, with she and Lovato replacing the departed Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger this fall.
The X Factor