Aguilera Tries to Stop Demos

Singer suing former producers, label

May 23, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Christina Aguilera filed a lawsuit on May 18th in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against the singer's one-time producers and New York City-based Warlock Records, among other defendants.

The suit seeks cost of suit damages and an injunction to stop the release of Just Be Free, a compilation of demos Aguilera recorded when she was fourteen. The album features twelve tracks, including the title track, which Aguilera worked on with defendants, producers Michael Brown and Robert Allecca at BAM Records, Inc. Included in the charges are breach of contract and appropriation of name, voice and likeness for commercial use. According to the suit, "Aguilera was and still is entitled to possession of the demos except for the limited purpose agreed to by defendants Allecca and Brown. These tapes are valuable commodities which belong to Aguilera."

According to Aguilera's attorney, Carla Christofferson, it's primarily an issue of quality control. "[Aguilera] does not believe [the demos] are of the quality that she now produces and that she wants her fans to be able to buy, and she did not authorize their release . . . [The defendants] have been publicizing it with her picture on the cover and trying to trade off of her success."

Christofferson maintains that the purpose of the demos was to shop the singer to record labels and "were in no way intended for widespread commercial distribution." The album is currently available for advance orders at online retailers Amazon.com, Borders.com, TowerRecords.com and BestBuy.com.

As for Warlock, on May 11th, representatives for the label appeared in a U.S. District Court in New York to get a declaration of rights to the recordings. "We respect Christina very much and we respect artist rights very much," said Warlock President Adam Levy, who is also named as a defendant in the suit. While Warlock's court date in New York is set for early July, Levy says a settlement is likely. "Both sides right now are definitely trying to work out an amicable solution to the problem," said Levy.

Warlock nixed the album's June 19th release date, in hopes of working out the matter with Aguilera before marketing the album. Release of Just Be Free is pending the suit's settlement.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

More Song Stories entries »