Record Deals Knock While Spears Dominates Celebrity Fragrance Market Earning $1.5B

Pop singer Britney Spears recently posed long enough to for beauty brand, Elizabeth Arden. Then she took to her Facebook and wrote: “Channeling my inner Cleopatra today at Elizabeth Arden Fantasy Twist shoot. Fragrance is out in Sept. 1st look on Path.” In the photo, Spears strikes a pose in Cleopatra inspired all-gold ensemble, complete with heavy eye makeup and a large headpiece. The star also showed off her flawless body in the tight dress, which featured a sheer skirt. Evidently, Spears is bringing the sex factor to her new fragrance ad.

Britney tweeted: ‘Loving day 2 of my Elizabeth Arden Fantasy Twist fragrance shoot.

‘Jason says I look like Jean Harlow!’

The day before, the mother-of-two dressed as an ancient Egyptian.

Britney has earned an estimated $1.5billion from her perfume empire and dominates the celebrity fragrance market.

Meanwhile, she is set to become the target of a bidding war for her next record contract.

Her long-time contract with Jive Records – who have been with the singer since the beginning – is due to end after one more album.

Among those hoping to sign her as her X Factor USA co-judge Antonio ‘LA’ Reid, who wants her on his Epic Records label. Reid is chairman of Sony’s Epic Records and Spears’ “X Factor” sidekick. Reid said: ‘I have a 15-year history with Britney and would love to be reunited with her.’

Barry Weiss, former Jive head who’s guided her career through its greatest heights is also interested in signing the pop star.  Weiss now chairs Island Def Jam Motown and Universal Republic, home to Justin Bieber, Kanye West and “American Idol’s” Mariah Carey.

Both execs want to sign the singer, 30, whose seven studio releases have sold some 100 million units worldwide, to their rosters (at a cost of $3 million to $5 million per album, according to one estimate). But in what’s being described by sources as a virtual face-off, the two are approaching the courtship with divergent strategies.

Reid, with whom Spears has become “chummy” since joining “X Factor” — to the extent that she and Demi Lovato swapped table positions so Spears can sit to Reid’s left — is in dire need of an artist who can chart, having run Epic for more than a year now with nary a hit to its name (staffers insist new signings Ciara and Avril Lavigne could turn the tide). According to sources, Reid is using his proximity to Spears to woo her while also offering his counsel and promising to take her career “to the next level.”

Weiss, who essentially swapped jobs with Reid in 2011, at least where IDJ is concerned, has time on his side. “I have a 15-year history with Britney and would love to be reunited with her,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Indeed, Weiss is one of few executives with whom Spears has interacted directly and he represents a sort of “comfort zone for Britney,” says an insider. “Barry understands how her business is run and the many buffers in place.”

Chief among them: the decision makers in Spears’ life. They include Jason Trawick, Spears’ fiancé, former agent and co-conservator (along with her father Jamie Spears), who sits at his own judges’ table-like spot on the “X Factor” set and keeps a close eye on the proceedings, and Larry Rudolph, her longtime manager. Rudolph is close to both Reid and Weiss — the former via Lavigne, whom he also reps, and the latter from his years with Spears.

Worth noting: Spears’ affiliation with “X Factor,” which is aligned exclusively with Sony Music, does not give the label group a signing advantage nor does Spears’ contract preclude her from negotiating a new deal concurrently. The show could, however, bar other executives from coming onto the set. RCA Records would not comment for this story, other than to say that the label does not disclose details of its artists’ deals.
Spears has been in the business long enough to make her own decisions. Ultimately she will go where she is most comfortable.

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