L.A. Reid: Leaving Def Jam For ‘X Factor’ Is ‘Still Difficult’

Music mogul tells MTV News he's psyched to judge reality talent show but misses 'amazing roster' that included Rihanna.

L.A. Reid recently left Island Def Jam Records to be a judge on Simon Cowell’s upcoming “The X Factor.” And although he’s been prepping his TV debut, he admits that it’s been a little bittersweet to see what some of his former artists are up to.

“I loved the artist roster that we created at Island Def Jam and I love the company and yes, it was difficult. It still is difficult,” he told MTV News on Monday (April 11). “This morning I heard about a remix that Rihanna did with Britney Spears [for 'S&M'] and I was like, ‘It’s the first time some music has been done that I wasn’t involved with and I don’t know if I like that or not.’ I don’t know.”

It wasn’t so much that Rihanna and Spears hooked up on the track as that someone other than him made that decision. “I don’t like anybody tampering with my Rihanna,” he joked. “Doesn’t matter [what the song sounds like]! I didn’t do it. No, I think it’ll be great, but it was very difficult to leave. It wasn’t difficult to decide to do ‘X Factor,’ it was difficult to walk away from this amazing roster and amazing staff of people and all the executives that were there that was tough.”

“X Factor” auditions are currently being held across the country. Next up, producers will make their way to New Jersey on Thursday to look for more talent.

The show premieres this fall on Fox with former “American Idol” judge Cowell and Reid as the only two confirmed judges so far.

Reid said he’s ready for this next step in his career, which includes the chance to groom a new crop of pop stars. While he admitted he isn’t yet TV-ready, “what I’m ready to do is try my hand at discovering the next generation of musical talent through ‘The X Factor,’ and that’s why I’m doing it,” he explained. “You can keep the fame and popularity and all the other stuff that comes with it. All I want is the talent.”

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