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Akon Says Lady Gaga’s Success Has Him Ready To Retire

By Allen Starbury   /   Published 02/16/10

AkonThere's no doubt that Lady Gaga has become a huge star. Since dropping her 2008 debut, The Fame, she's blossomed into an international mega-star.

Before she shot to fame with hits like "Just Dance" and "Poker Face," Gaga spent years struggling to make it. After several failed deals, she finally found a home at Akon's Kon Live label and the rest is history.

"I think what everybody else didn't," Akon said of what he saw in Lady Gaga initially, in a recent interview with the Associated Press. "She had went through like four or five labels. When I closed my deal at Interscope, she was getting dropped that week ... they was dropping her again. I was like 'Yo, I wanna sign that right there.'

"Jimmy [Iovine] was like 'Yea, whatever you want, take her. Let's get it done.' She's blossomed into a super-mega star," he continued.

It was a smart move for Akon. He says Gaga's been so successful, he's on the cusp of retiring from music altogether. Maybe to focus on the business side of his label?

"She's pretty much retired me," Akon said with a grin. "She was definitely a blessing. She came at the right moment. I'm glad I believed in her boy. That goes to show, if you believe in something good ... you know, strong enough, it will pay off."

According to Akon, Gaga's style of dance-infused pop music has influenced the entire industry ... even hip-hop.

He says when "hardcore" hip-hop artists are choosing dance genre styled beats, he knows he's done something right with Lady Gaga.

"That's what excited me more about her, because you got some straight hardcore guys actually moving into the dance realm. That's shocking," Akon said. "You got someone like Dr. Dre about to do a dance record. ... that's my point. That's crazy.

"In a way, it's so exciting for me, because that just shows that out industry is so open-minded to everything now. Believe it or not, with that openness we can create magic."

Since the release of The Fame, Gaga has gone on to win multiple awards -- including MTV VMAs for Video of the Year and Artist of the Year -- and made high profile appearances on Oprah, and even performed before Queen Elizabeth.

So yes, Akon definitely made the right decision when he decided to sign her.

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  • mercedes1010

    AKON, NIGGA PLEASE! That bitch is garbage! if she had talent and could sing she wouldnt have to wear those stupid ass costumes! that bitch is trash! you sold your soul to the devil akon.

  • capton california

    Yea dat hoe sold dat soul of hers

  • slab

    @Benz:

    Dont know what you trippin on my nig but Lady Gaga straight

  • 2thPick

    yeah...i feel akon...this way he is remembered on top..w/smart finacial investment and the success of him,t-pain &lady gaga is enough doe to live off. learn to not throw kids off stage & he's good.

  • http://www.ajani.ca Ajani

    Akon is such a smart business man, at least in terms of the music industry.

    He signed T-Pain, Lady Gaga and Colby O'Donis.

    Those three alone, as of 2010 equal money and a lot of it.

    Not to mention that Akon is a sick artist himself.

    After "Locked Up", it's been a wrap.

    In terms of smart business decisions in the music industry, as of this year, Akon is comparable to Diddy, Dr. Dre, and a few others in the past.

  • @skullgizzy

    Lady Blah Blah is wack lmao

  • http://iamsoze.blogspot.com/ VENGEANCE IS MINE!!!!!!!!!!

    LADY GAGA IS AN ARTIST AND AKON SAW THAT IN HER, SHE AIN'T JACKIN NO SWAG, STYLE, NOTHING....

    SO WHY HATE?????

    EVEN BEYONCE WANTED TO BE A PART OF HER MOVEMENT, SO????

    THE THING IS HER MUSIC AIN'T REALLY FOR HIP HOP FANS....

    SO IF YA AIN'T BOUGHT IT???? DON'T KNOCK IT!!!!!

    IN THE END SOME PEEPS LOVE TO TALK SH!T JUZ TO KEEP SH!T IN THEIR MOUTH.....

  • sexysabs

    mercedes - it all about bizness acumen, if you don't understand it, don't comment on those that do! Akon can quit now AND STILL be paid til he dies, how many other past R n B and HIp-Hop artists can say the same??!!! They all just wasted their money on girls, drugs and partying instead of thinking about their futures - DUMBASS!!!

  • ndini motto

    All this hate, i for one am glad AKON is getting paid, let's be honest black people don't buy music, white ppl do, so if AKON and DRE had the smarts to sign white artists who can crossover then you have to say well done.Stop hating gone are the days when we were slaves to the industry now we run it.
    Nothing racial here just giving props to black ppl who get it, "it is a business that involves music, not music that involves business.

  • ndini motto

    lesson 2 never mix up talent and gimmicks, the lady had talent but nobody careed until she found a gimmick, Just like Eminim found Stan, just like Tupac played Thug, the gimmick does not take away the talent that the artist has, music is "marketing,publishing and image" nobody wants to hear your music until you get their attention with image.

    I'M DONE

  • WILL

    rap is dead lets face it. big industry labels wanna sell and push music. the best way to sell one artist to a wack load of people is making a track that appeals to all people. What better way then combining dance beats, with popular rap lyrics, its the perfect match. Don't beleive me?then listen to bring on the noise mixed by benni bennassi,its time to move and get pumped while were at it,dance-rap does both.

  • Vengeance is WRONG

    Mercedes you stupid homie. Lady Gaga is a real artist. Im not all into that type of music but shes a true talent.

  • hiphopjunkeee

    personally i'm not a fan of her music, but that bia is money in the bank. if i had my own label i'd want to sign her with the quickness. it ain't selling your soul, y'all just haters cuz you broke azz fools ain't getting filthy rich off her. guaranteed you wouldn't say shit once you got a taste of all that doe.

  • some-guy

    Vengeance is mine- you are very uneducated go back to the 1980's if your even old enough and there was one artist named Madonna as for her style lady gaga is "jackin" drag queens she is just some big nose italian girl that put a new twist on Madonna.

  • mercedes1010

    Can yall broke bitches please make a comment without saying my name. Dont be mad at me because she has no talent and cant sing.

  • slab

    lol @ benz gettin heated

  • Dretruth

    Akon make me sick and so does lady gaga and now all this makes since to me cause I was wondering where she came from.

  • A-Beatz of WTNRRADIO.COM

    Wow. I think Gaga is pretty hot actually. People who talk trash about those who are successful can't help but look so envious...

  • http://nill deyemi oloyede

    AKON IS A GOOD MUSICIAN, SO HE COULD RECOGNISE SOMEONE WHO GOT THE TALENT,AKON MAKE UR MONEY JUST AS JAYZ IS MAKING ON RIHANNA,SENEGAL BRAVO