Roc Nation Sues Rita Ora for Breach of Contract

Jay Z's label seeks to recover $2.3 million on singer's unreleased album after she sued to be released from contract

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Rita Ora; Jay-Z; Roc Nation
Roc Nation has countersued Rita Ora for breach of contract and is seeking to recover more than $2.3 million it reportedly spent on her Charles Sykes/Getty

A little over a month after Rita Ora filed a lawsuit seeking a split from Roc Nation, the entertainment company has decided to countersue the pop star. The 25-year-old singer had alleged that, since signing to Jay Z's company at age 18, the record label had "orphaned" her as the rapper's attention turned to new endeavors. Roc Nation's lawsuit claims their business practices were above board and that Ora had breached contract when she failed to deliver an agreed-upon number of albums to the company. It is seeking $2.3 million from the singer.

In legal documents obtained by Rolling Stone, the company claims it invested millions in promoting Ora and that her contract required her to make five albums. The contract provided the label with four "option" periods, during which she was to make the following albums. The singer has recorded only one album during the term of her contract, and the company considers Ora to be in her "second album cycle." Roc Nation claims that it has so far spent $2,353,500 on the promotion of her yet-to-be-released sophomore LP.

Ora had invoked California's "seven-year rule" in her lawsuit, which limits personal services contracts to lasting seven years. Roc Nation recognized that rule in its countersuit, but said it was entitled to recover the money it had spent on promoting the unreleased album. By not delivering the four other albums to the company, Ora breached contract, according to the legal filing. Above the $2 million figure, the company claimed the singer owed "marketing/recording costs, advances, lost profits and significant time and money invested in [her] career," the amount for which a judge would decide.

Roc Nation has also filed a summons to Ora with the intent on moving the lawsuit to New York, where the seven-year rule did not apply. The company claims her recording contract stipulated on New York being the venue for contract disputes.

Ora's lawyer, Howard King, says that the Roc Nation suit does not reflect the whole story. "Jay Z has personally and graciously promised Rita complete freedom from Roc Nation, the details of which are now being finalized," he said in a statement. "We believe that Roc Nation's distributor, Sony Music, has required Roc Nation to file this action to preserve whatever rights Sony might have pending resolution."

Both a representative for Roc Nation and attorney for the label did not immediately respond for comment.

Ora released her debut album,Ora, in 2012. The record was a Number One hit in the U.K. but did not come out in the U.S. Her non-album single, "I Will Never Let You Down," reached Number 77 on the Hot 100 in 2014.

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