Akon: 'I cashed out my shares in Lady Gaga's record deal'

R&B star AKON is no longer involved with LADY GAGA's career after helping to give the singer her big break, revealing he "cashed out" before her fame started to wane.

The Smack That hitmaker has been taking the credit for discovering Gaga after signing her to his KonLive label at Interscope Records in 2007, when she was dropped by another of the company's imprints.

She went on to achieve pop superstardom with the release of her debut album, The Fame, and its follow-up, 2011's Born This Way, but Akon admits he and Gaga have since parted ways professionally after signing a deal with Interscope chiefs to release her from his label's roster.

During a new interview with DJ Sway Calloway, he says, "I cashed out. I got out while the gooding (sic) was hot.

"It's like a business, you build it to sell it, so when I got it to the peak of where I felt it couldn't go nowhere (sic), and there was nowhere left to go but down, I cashed out. In other words I sold my share (to Interscope) and got out before it was too late."

Akon insists his move had nothing to do with Gaga personally, and claims he would be willing to help her out again if she called on him to lend a hand.

He adds, "It's a strictly business decision. My involvement is always gonna be as much as she wants me to be (sic)... It wasn't a trust (issue), I just know how the business works. You're only hot for so long before you become cold...

"I'm still, on a day-to-day (basis), can and will (be involved), depending on how much she wants me a part of it... She's like family so that's a phone call away, whatever she wants from me."

But Akon couldn't resist making a comment about Gaga's latest album, ARTPOP, after Calloway's radio sidekick pointed out that her first project post-KonLive had been plagued by less-than-impressive sales.

He quips, "That's why I got out. I saw it coming!"

Gaga recently hit back at reports suggesting ARTPOP has been a commercial flop, despite hitting number one on the U.S. Billboard chart, stating, "I'm sorry I didn't sell a million records the first week. I have before. I've sold 27 million albums. I'm very proud of what we did. I've sold as much as everybody else sells. I'm held to such an insane standard; it's almost like everybody forgets where the music business is now."

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