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Report: Janet Jackson Signs Record $80-Million Deal with Virgin

January 12, 1996 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Pop singer Janet Jackson has struck a deal with Virgin Records that is worth an estimated $80 million, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

She was expected to sign off on it today, the Times said, citing unnamed industry sources.

The unprecedented contract, which calls for Jackson to make four albums, would set the stage for a new level of high-priced music deals.

It would surpass the music industry’s record of $60 million, which has been claimed by superstars such as her brother Michael and by Madonna.

Janet Jackson, 29, has been at the center of a bidding war since her contract with Virgin expired last year. She shocked the pop world in 1991 with her announcement of a $40-million, three-album pact with the company. It was considered to be the shrewdest deal ever negotiated.

She is Virgin’s best-selling artist. Jackson’s last Virgin album, ``janet.,″ has sold nearly 10 million copies since its 1992 release.

Representatives for Jackson and Virgin refused to discuss the deal.

According to the Times, the deal calls for Jackson to receive a $35 million signing advance and a guaranteed advance of about $5 million for each album, plus a 24 percent royalty on the retail price of each copy sold, the Times said.

The masters to the new albums would belong to Jackson seven years after the contract ends.

The agreement also requires Virgin to allocate about $25 million in video production, marketing and promotion costs _ a much larger amount than in most deals.