Kane Brown Sued for Alleged Breach of Contract By Producer Polow da Don
Kane Brown has been sued for alleged breach of contract by producer Polow da Don. According to the lawsuit, Brown "blatantly" backed out of a deal with the producer's Zone 4 record label to sign with RCA Nashville.
Billboard reports that Polow da Don (real name: Jamal Jones) offered to record with and produce a project for Brown in 2015. The two entered into an agreement through Zone 4, which included one album with five options; Zone 4 would receive 50 percent of album royalties and 25 percent of the money made from sponsorship deals, collaborations, live events and more activities.
"Jones' vision was to create an entirely new sound that crossed genres and appealed to numerous consumer bases," explains the lawsuit, and he and Brown collaborated on three songs, one of which was Brown's breakout hit, "Used to Love You Sober." Sony Music Entertainment, the parent company of RCA Nashville, had passed on signing Brown before Jones signed him, the producer claims, and when he approached the company's Epic Records with a distribution deal for Brown's music, they declined.
In December of 2015, however, Epic reached out to discuss a deal. No agreement came together -- but, Jones says in his lawsuit, that's when Sony and Brown's team began talking directly and "began negotiating and eventually executed a direct recording deal without Plaintiff’s involvement despite Plaintiff holding the exclusive rights to Defendant’s recording services."
In early 2016, Jones claims, Brown was not communicating with him; the country star's lawyer told Jones that their agreement had been terminated. Jones later learned of Brown's RCA Nashville record deal, and that he had signed with Universal Music Publishing Group as well. According to Jones, Brown owes him royalties on those deals, plus a percentage of their advances.
Jones also says that, in response to requests for accounting information related to Brown, he was sent a letter that accused him of harassment and threatened legal action. Jones replied to that letter with a notice of breach of contract and a request for clarification. "But," his lawsuit alleges, "each such attempt has been met with protracted periods of silence punctuated only by an occasional email setting a time to speak that eventually gets rescheduled or simply ignored."
"As we note in the Complaint, Mr. Jones has worked with some of the biggest names in the record industry, and has worked on many of their biggest hits, so this is not something he wanted to have to do," says Richard Busch, the lawyer who is representing Zone 4. "He therefore attempted to resolve this repeatedly short of litigation, but was left with no choice but to file this lawsuit to protect his rights."
Jones, via the Zone 4 label, is seeking unspecified damages. He's also asking for a complete accounting of the revenue sources outlined in Brown's record deal, and an order stating that Brown must adhere to their original deal.
As a producer, Jones has worked with a number of pop, R&B and rap artists, including Rihanna, Lil Wayne and more.
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