R&B superstar Mary J. Blige and her label, MCA Records, were hit with a $10 million lawsuit in United States District Court in the Southern District Of New York on Monday (January 27). The suit was filed by songwriters Kiyamma Griffin and Floyd Howard, who maintain that they were never paid any royalties for five songs they produced and wrote for the R&B diva.
The songs in question include “Sexy” by Howard and Griffin as well as Griffin’s “No Happy Holiday” from Blige’s 1999 set, Mary; and “Flying Away” by Howard and Griffin, “Destiny” by Griffin, and “To You” by Griffin from Blige’s 2001 album, No More Drama.
Mary and No More Drama were both certified platinum for sales of 2 million copies.
Attorney Wallace Collins, who is representing Griffin and Howard, explained the details of the case. “There is a producer agreement,” Collins said. “This isn’t someone claiming, you know, ‘You stole my songs.’ This is a situation where they made a deal, and basically Mary J. and MCA just have never been responsive to their request to be paid the royalties going back to the album before last. So, you know, finally they had no choice. I mean, you know, we called and wrote to everyone there was and everyone just said, ‘Wait, wait, we’ll get to you.’ So finally they said, ‘Let’s start legal action, otherwise we’re never gonna get our money.'”
A trial date will be set once Mary J. Blige and MCA Records respond to the complaint. They have 20 days to respond.
— Yves Erwin Salomon, New York