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The Artist Sued Over Royalties

October 31, 1997 12:00 AM ET

The Artist formerly known as Prince is being sued by song-plugger and veteran publisher Dale Kawashima for alleged unpaid commissions.

Filed Tuesday (October 28) in the Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles, the suit, which seeks unspecified punitive damages and legal fees, stems from Kawashima's song-placement efforts from November 1981 to September 1987 on behalf of the Artist and his publishing company, Controversy Music.

The suit, which claims that a written agreement securing Kawashima's services was prepared but remained unsigned, states that Kawashima received commission checks on mechanical royalties and synchronization fees (40 percent of the publisher's share or 20 percent of the gross) until April 15, 1994 -- payments which serve as an acceptance of the agreement in writing, according to the suit. The suit also states that Kawashima has not received any of the commissions due him for the past seven statement periods.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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