Lawsuit Uncovers The “I’m Rick James!” Hitch

Mar 22nd, 2007 // Comment

rangerrick.jpgEven from beyond the grave, Rick James isn’t putting up with your nonsense:

The estate of Rick James has sued the late R&B singer’s former music publisher, claiming it entered into contracts with European firms even after it was told its contract was not being renewed. The complaint, filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims Brooklyn Music Publishing continues to collect commissions from the European publishers and has refused to turn over all the documents and information to the trust and its new publisher, Wixen Music Publishing.

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Lawrence Iser, said Brooklyn Music once had the rights to publish James’ lucrative catalog, which does not include his biggest hit, “Super Freak.” After James died in 2004, the trust (which exists under the singer’s real name, the James Ambrose Johnson Jr. 1999 Trust), became unhappy with the administration of publishing rights by Brooklyn, claiming its expenses were too high.

What the plaintiffs aren’t disclosing, though, is that many of the expenses incurred by the company were the result of the late singer himself, who insisted that every royalty check be printed on high-grade bond paper, adorned with three-inch gold-rope tassles, and made it to “Sex Morgan, M.D.”

Rick James estate battling former music publisher [Reuters]

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