News that Paris Hilton had signed a record deal with Cash Money Records heated up the blogosphere Wednesday.
Many thought it was a joke that the label that made superstars out of Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj would sign the heiress. But it's true.
The 32-year-old is plotting her return to music with the popular hip-hop label. With online commenters burning up Twitter wondering how it happened, Cash Money co-founder Bryan "Birdman" Williams said the deal was a no-brainer.
"She's always supported us, and we've supported her. It was a friendship first," Williams told Pop & Hiss. "She played us music, and I was taken aback. I was impressed by her music, and I didn't know she could sing so well."
Hilton broke the news to Showbiz 411 while in Cannes, France, that she had signed with the label to issue her sophomore record; Williams took to Twitter to confirm.
The heiress/former reality star/personality issued her self-titled debut at a time when the media just couldn't get enough of her -- back when she had multiple reality shows, books, apparel and whatever else she could brand -- and it actually did well.
"Paris," which had the aspiring singer cooing over fluffy pop numbers produced by hitmakers such as Fernando Garibay, Dr. Luke and Scott Storch, peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart, despite largely murky reviews. The album, issued through Warner Bros. Records, spawned the hit "Stars Are Blind."
But listeners shouldn't expect the heiress to dip into hip-hop just because of her new home.
"Its on the EDM side," Williams said of the project. "I want to let her do what she wants as an artist. We're going to support it."
Hilton has been in the studio for more than a year working on the project. She has said in previous interviews that she's worked with Snoop Dogg, LMFAO, Flo Rida and, unsurprisingly, Lil Wayne for the disc, which is being helmed by her best friend, Dutch house producer Afrojack.
Her relationship with Cash Money is beyond the new deal, Williams said. Hilton released an Afrojack-produced single with Weezy, "Last Night," late last year, and she makes a cameo in a recently released video for Rich Gang, Williams' new all-star rap collective.
Williams said that he expects her to drop the album's first single soon and that she wants to release the album by summer. Hilton is doing a DJ residency -- yes, she also DJs -- this summer in Ibiza, Spain.
Until Hilton unleashes new music, she is launching her 17th perfume and will appear as herself in "The Bling Ring," a film about the kids who burgled her and other tabloid stars out of cash, clothes and jewelry.
As for the criticism about Williams' choice of signee? He's not concerned.
"Controversy and all of that, it works for your benefit," he said. "[Her Cash Money deal] being so talked about shows the strength of her popularity. I'm very excited. I'm very appreciative that she's part of the team. She's very talented, and a beautiful young woman."