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India.Arie v. A&R

03:01 PM Thursday 12/22/11 |   |

India.Arie and her former manager are embroiled in a legal battle over money and there doesn’t seem to be a clear end in sight.

  • India.Arie

    Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey County Fairgrounds, Monterey, Calif.
    September 18, 2011

    (Craig Lovell)

    | 

A&R Consultants filed suit against the singer (real name India Arie Simpson) and her music publisher, Gold & Iron Company, earlier this year claiming Simpson never properly paid A&R and breached their contract.

Simpson failed to “pursue diligently and faithfully her career to the best of her ability,” the suit says, and failed to “do all things reasonably necessary and desirable to promote Simpson’s career and maximize defendants’ earnings therefrom.”

Specifically, the management company alleges the singer released several albums during a four-year management period yet never paid accurate commissions and flaked on several tours coordinated by a company A&R had hired.

India.Arie canceled a 2007 tour, and a 10-week support slot on John Legend’s 2009 summer outing also faced a setback when she failed to appear at the first two dates, according to the suit, but she later assured the companies she still wanted to tour.

She “reiterated that she wanted to perform on the tour and the solo pick-up dates booked for her.” However, Simpson then “substantially increased tour costs” by bringing along unexpected guests, stopping promotion of the tour, flying home often and upgrading hotel rooms.

“[India.Arie] incurred a loss of gross monies from tour dates, public performances and merchandise sales, thereby causing a loss of revenue to [India.Arie] and thus commissions to plaintiff,” A&R contends.

The company seeks compensatory damages in excess of $75,000, an order and judgment for a full accounting and attorneys’ fees and costs.

In a counterclaim, the singer accuses A&R of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment. She alleges she ended her relationship with the company after it materially breached their agreement and mismanaged her career.

Simpson “mistakenly paid A&R substantial commissions and other compensation to which A&R was not entitled under the agreement or otherwise. … A&R was aware of, but failed to disclose to Simpson the overpayments and indeed knowingly and intentionally invoiced Simpson for these incorrect amounts.”

Similarly, the suit says the company mishandled and withheld proceeds from the Legend tour that should have gone to India.Arie.

Simpson is also seeking damages, an order and judgement for a full accounting, attorneys’ fees and costs.


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