Update: Following the news late last year that pop singer Rita Ora was suing her former mentor and record label boss Jay Z, reports have emerged this evening that say the rapper is now countersuing Ora for no less than $2.4 million.
Page Six reports that the music label is bringing a countersuit against the British X Factor judge for breaking her recording contract and failing to deliver the five albums she promised when she signed in 2008. (She’s only put out one.) In Roc Nation’s own words, the company “has tirelessly promoted [her] career, investing millions of dollars in marketing, recording and other costs, which was instrumental in guiding Ms. Ora to her current level of success and fame.”
The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan, just six weeks after Rita sued the label in Los Angeles, seeking a judgment that the agreement she signed in 2008 at the age of 18 with Roc Nation violates California law.
The filing added: ”When Rita signed, Roc Nation and its senior executives were very involved with her as an artist. As Roc Nation’s interests diversified, there were fewer resources available and the company suffered a revolving door of executives. Rita’s remaining supporters at the label left or moved on to other activities, to the point where she no longer had a relationship with anyone at the company.”
The Los Angeles suit is still pending, but this whole scenario will likely get worse before it gets better.
17/12/15: Pop singer Rita Ora is suing Jay-Z and his Roc Nation record label, according to breaking reports this evening. Sources told TheWrap that according to Ora, Jay Z’s interest in her music has “waned,” which would constitute a breach of contract between Ora and the record label.
Ora wants to be released from her Roc Nation contract, explains the report. She signed with Roc Nation in 2008. Sources claim that Roc Nation’s support of Ora decreased as Jay-Z began working on Tidal and other projects. The British singer apparently filed the complaint in a California court on Wednesday, claiming the deal she signed with the entertainment company represents “an oppressive recording agreement.”
The lawsuit also allegedly blames some of the issues with her contract on Roc Nation’s leaving Sony for Universal in 2013. Ora apparently had to stay with Sony, which apparently caused her relationship with the company to become “irrevocably damaged.” Ora’s lawyer, Howard King, meanwhile, told TheWrap that her “relationship with the record label has run its course.”
Ora signed with the star’s record label when she was 18, making official an arrangement in which she claims her label garnered “not only the bulk of income from Rita’s record sales but a distinct portion of her income from endeavours such as live shows, endorsements, sponsorships, acting and merchandise sales.” Ora claims Jay Z was “very involved” with her in the beginning (a little too involved if the rumour mill is true), but expressed disappointment as the label repeatedly delayed her second album release.
The year got off to a rocky start for the singer, after a very public breakup with DJ Calvin Harris, resulting in him refusing his ex to use any of their pre-recorded collaborations together, which essentially was the bulk of Ora’s second album. It was scrapped and despite a few randomly released singles and a well-publicised stint on the X-Factor, she hasn’t reached the same heights way back when she first made her debut. And given Jay Z’s sway in the music industry, sources say such a move won’t do her many favours.
Via The Wrap