Jennifer Lopez’s Split With Label Less Traumatizing Than Split With Ben Affleck

Jennifer Lopez had selected an inquiry as her next album title—Love? And now she finally has an answer: Nope. Deadline Hollywood’s Nikki Finke broke the news that Lopez has split with her label, Sony Music Epic Records, and that the Latina diva’s upcoming album will probably never see the light of day.

Finke’s sources indicate that Lopez was dropped because Sony execs were disappointed with the poor chart performance of Love?‘s lead single “Louboutins,” as well as Jennifer’s performance of the song at the American Music Awards (though Jenny should be grateful her on-stage slip generates less controversy than did some other acts that night).

Sony execs, such as CEO Robert Stringer, were reportedly uncertain about who Lopez’s audience really is these days—and whether such an audience exists at all.“Where once she had little girls, she’s been supplanted by Beyoncé, Gaga, and Rihanna,” Finke reports. “Lots of fighting going on between [Lopez’s manager] Benny Medina (who, of course, is spending their money like it’s 10 years ago) and the label.”

But there are two sides to every story, of course. Other sources insist that Jenny’s last two singles “Louboutins” and “Fresh Out the Oven” simply fulfilled the terms of her contract with the label, and on mutual terms, she decided to take her assets elsewhere.

Lopez’s manager Medina made this statement regarding the split: “Jennifer had a wonderful relationship with the Sony Music group, and they have shared many successes together, but the time was right to make a change that best serves the direction of her career as an actress and recording artist. She is grateful and appreciative to everyone at Sony for all that they accomplished together.”

Sony still plans to release her greatest hits album this Fall, and Lopez is reportedly already in talks to sign with Island Def Jam. So don’t go mourning Jennifer’s career as a pop star quite yet. In fact, she’s still booked as the host and musical guest for Saturday Night Live this weekend, which should be interesting now that she doesn’t have an album to promote and her romantic comedy, The Back-Up Plan, is still months away from release. At the very least, we know she’ll deliver a killer opening monologue.

Lopez could always perform the lead single “What Is Love” from her film’s soundtrack on the SNL stage, just like she did at the 60th Italian Music Festival this past weekend. As for the song, let’s describe it by comparing J-Lo’s music to her films: if “Louboutins” ranks at Gigli-level, we’d say the fluffy “What Is Love” is on par with, say, Anaconda. A little empty, but still good fun. (That means among her singles, “Waiting For Tonight” easily ranks what is arguably her best flick, Out of Sight.)