.

Backstreet Boys Take on Jive

Group files a $75 million suit against label's parent company

November 27, 2002 12:00 AM ET

The Backstreet Boys have filed a $75 million lawsuit against Zomba Recording Corporation, the company that operates their label Jive Records, also home to 'N Sync and Britney Spears.

The suit, filed on November 25th in U.S. District Court the Southern District of New York, alleges that Zomba held up the release of the band's fourth album, which was due to the label on April 30, 2002. Upon delivery, the label was to pay the band a $5 million advance. The band also claims that, as a result of not having a new album to promote, they were unable to tour and thus lost millions in revenue.

According to the Backstreet Boys' suit, the label used contractual loopholes to prevent the band from making the April due date and collecting the advance for what would have been the follow-up to 2000's Black and Blue. Under a stipulation in the Backstreet Boys' contract, the label has to approve the songs recorded and the producers used before the group can turn in an album. The Backstreet Boys maintain that Zomba refused to participate in the decision-making process surrounding the album, causing the delay.

An additional stipulation stated that all five members of the Backstreet Boys must be involved in the recording of the album for the band to receive the advance. The Backstreet Boys maintain that Zomba used that clause as a loophole, engaging BSB member Nick Carter in the work and promotion for a solo album, preventing him from working with the Backstreet Boys. The BSBs further charged that by demanding that Nick Carter's solo release, Now or Never, take precedence over the BSB album, the label prevented Carter from fulfilling his own contractual obligation to the band, which takes precedence over any other projects. The band also charges Zomba with using the Backstreet Boys' name to promote the Nick Carter album, citing the advertisements posted on www.backstreetboys.com.

"We are committed to the Backstreet Boys, and we will protect our group from anybody or anything that tries to break us apart," the band said in a joint statement. "We are disappointed that our longtime label Jive Records has attempted to irresponsibly exploit our group. The five of us are writing for our new CD and setting concert dates for our upcoming worldwide summer tour."

Calls to Zomba Entertainment Group's attorney had not been answered by press time.

In related news, Bertelsmann Entertainment Group announced today that its BMG music division has purchased Zomba. The $2.74 billion deal now links Zomba to Arista, J Records and RCA.

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

prev
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.

X

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

“Promiscuous”

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 »
 
www.expandtheroom.com