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Two lawsuits are in the works over music by the late R&B singer Aaliyah.
According to TMZ, publishing company Reservoir Media Management is suing independent record label and film distributor Craze Productions for illegally selling tracks off Aaliyah’s self-titled 2001 album on iTunes.
In the lawsuit, Reservoir claims they purchased the rights to those songs last year and that Craze does not have permission to sell them.
Craze, founded in 2004, has had copyright issues pop up in the past. In 2011, three of the company’s YouTube channels were allegedly suspended due to violation of YouTube’s copyright policy. Currently, the iTunes page for the Aaliyah album lists the LP under Craze Productions.
In the suit Reservoir states that the songs are not legit and wants a judge to order that they be removed. Reservoir is also seeking an undisclosed amount of money.
Reservoir’s website also has tracks from Aaliyah available for download, and it provides a request option to license the material as well as tracks from Aaliyah’s other albums “One In A Million,” “I Care 4 U” and the soundtrack to “Romeo Must Die.”
Meanwhile, another lawsuit, filed last month by music producer Jeffery Walker II (aka J-Dub), accuses Blackground Records, Barry Hankerson, his son Jomo Hankerson, and Black Fountain Music in Georgia claiming that he is owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties from working on Aaliyah’s music back in 2000 and 2001.
Aaliyah’s projects were released on Blackground Records, which was started by her uncle Barry Hankerson. The label is currently a part of Universal Music Group.
Walker claims he never received royalty checks between 2003-2011, because the Hankersons forged his signature, cashed those royalty checks intended for him, and then deposited the money in Blackground Records’ account.
As a result he was taxed on income he never received and now owes the I.R.S. taxes on $262,580 worth of income from 2004-2011. He says the Hankersons cost him nearly $500,000 in total.
Walker’s complaint does state that Blackground records subsidiary Black Fountain Music was purchased by Reservoir Media Management in 2012.
Both cases are still pending.
Prince-West Coast Tour
Fresh from his marathon set at SXSW, Prince announced a nine-city tour of theaters in the Western U.S. and Canada beginning April 15 in Vancouver.
The Live Out Loud trek — which will include two shows every night, at 8 and 11:30 p.m. — will work its way down the coast to San Francisco on April 23 and 24 and to Anaheim at the City National Grove on May 7 and 8 before concluding at the Ogden Theatre in Denver on May 12 and 13.
The Anaheim dates will be Prince’s first public shows in the Los Angeles area since his “21 Nite Stand” in 2011, which included 15 arena shows at the Forum in Inglewood and much more intimate gigs at the Troubadour and House of Blues in West Hollywood.
Tickets for all four Anaheim shows went on sale Friday. On-sales for the other dates have not been announced.
The tour will mark Prince’s first with his new all-female backing band 3rdEyeGirl, featuring Canadian guitarist Donna Grantis, Danish bassist Ida Nielsen and Kentucky-born drummer Hannah Ford.
3rdEyeGirl made its national television debut this month backing Prince on NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, playing his new song “Screwdriver” and “Bambi,” from Prince’s self-titled 1979 album.
Swifty at Sixty
R&B icon Chaka Khan turned the big 6-0 over the weekend and celebrated with a star-studded birthday bash in Hollywood.
Natalie Cole, Anita Baker and David Foster were at LA’s Yamashiro restaurant on Thursday to help Chaka celebrate the milestone. Her actual birthday fell on Saturday, March 23.
The event also marked her 40-year career in music, and Khan admitted to CBS she was stunned with how fast the decades have flown.
“I don’t know where the time went. I have no idea,” she said. “It doesn’t feel like 40 years! This is fabulous, but it really hasn’t hit me yet.”
Taking the Throne
It appears that Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Throne may be up for grabs, as Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z’s ”Legends of the Summer” tour is on pace to outsell the former duo’s 2011 tour by a wide margin.
According to StubHub, Jay and Justin’s tour this summer has already outsold the Watch the Throne tour by five tickets to one on StubHub alone. Additionally, “Legends of the Summer” is outselling Hov and Kanye’s tour by a six-to-one ratio through all ticket purchasing sources.
To put this data in perspective, Jay and Ye’s Watch the Throne tour sold over 96% of its available tickets of its 400,000-plus -available tickets. Furthermore, there are only 14 dates on Timberlake and Jay-Z’s tour, compared to the whopping 57 performances.