Last month, L.A. Reid announced his departure as chairman of Island Def Jam Records to secure a judging gig for the U.S. edition of Simon Cowell’s reality singing competition ‘The X Factor,’ which is scheduled to premiere in September. Maybe the letters from Nas and Shyne finally got to him but Reid will now be searching for new talent instead of managing the demands of current acts.

The caught up with Reid to find out why he left behind a gig behind a desk to wade through scores of wannabees looking for their big break.

Why did you decide to leave Def Jam to join ‘The X Factor’?

L.A. Reid: Well, I decided to do ‘The X Factor’ largely because of Simon Cowell and my admiration for Simon and how he’s developed this show, how he’s developed this format of music television, and how he’s developed his own career. I really admire Simon. When he called me it was a no-brainer because I admire him that much.

And the second reason was I love artists and I love music. I love the excitement of entertainment and I love ‘The X Factor’ as a platform to discover the next generation of superstar talent.



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