Enrique Iglesias sues label over streaming revenue

Enrique Iglesias sues label over streaming revenue
In this 2017 file photo, Enrique Iglesias accepts the artist of the year award at the Latin American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Iglesias is suing Universal Music Group in a dispute over how much he is paid for songs played on streaming music services. (AP)
Updated 24 January 2018

Enrique Iglesias sues label over streaming revenue

Enrique Iglesias sues label over streaming revenue

MIAMI: Pop star Enrique Iglesias on Wednesday accused his former label Universal of short-changing artists while benefitting from the soaring growth of streaming as he filed a lawsuit for breach of contract.
“Universal has been systematically underpaying Iglesias’ streaming royalties by calculating those royalties at a small fraction of the contractually required 50 percent royalty rate,” said the lawsuit filed in Miami, where Iglesias lives.
The lawsuit alleged that the 42-year-old heartthrob has lost millions of dollars “even though Iglesias has generated sales of a magnitude rarely attained in the music industry.”
Iglesias said that the Universal Music Group, which is the world’s largest record label conglomerate, refused his requests to inspect its records.
The son of legendary Spanish crooner Julio Iglesias, Enrique has achieved a booming international career with his fusion of ballads, reggaeton and pop as well as his on-stage sex appeal.
He is among the few artists to achieve major hits in both Spanish and English, scoring major success with songs such as “Hero,” “Tonight (I’m Loving You)” and “Be With You.”
The boom in on-demand streaming services such as Spotify has rapidly transformed the music business, bringing solid growth to the industry for the first time in two decades.
Many artists have complained that they see little of the money, although they have generally aimed their fire at streaming companies rather than their own labels.
Universal did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Iglesias bolted Universal in 2015 when he signed to rival Sony Music.
James Sammataro, a lawyer for Iglesias, said that Universal had reaped profits at the expense of artists.
“Universal has wrongly insisted that artists like Enrique be paid for streams in the same manner as they are paid for physical records despite the fact that none of the attendant costs (production, distribution, inventory, losses) actually exist in the digital world,” Sammataro said.
“Artists, producers and songwriters should benefit from the reduced costs of streaming, not have their musical works spin unwarranted profits,” he said.
The complaint relates in part to streams of Iglesias’ 2014 album “Sex and Love” which features the hit “Bailando,” which won three Latin Grammy Awards and was that year’s most played song in both Mexico and Spain.


Rappers Kodak Black and Lil Wayne among 73 pardoned on Trump’s last day

Kodak Black was originally supposed to serve his 46-month prison sentence until 2022. File/AFP
Kodak Black was originally supposed to serve his 46-month prison sentence until 2022. File/AFP
Updated 20 January 2021

Rappers Kodak Black and Lil Wayne among 73 pardoned on Trump’s last day

Kodak Black was originally supposed to serve his 46-month prison sentence until 2022. File/AFP

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday pardoned 73 people, including rappers Kodak Black and Lil Wayne, just hours before he was due to leave office.

Kodak Black, was granted clemency after being jailed for making a false statement on a federal document, while Lil Wayne, who faced 10 years in jail after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon last month, also made the list.

The star, listed as Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., had shown “generosity through commitment to a variety of charities, including donations to research hospitals and a host of foodbanks,” the release said.

Trump’s former aide Steve Bannon was also pardoned.

Bannon – who was Trump's campaign manager during the 2016 election, before becoming a senior adviser to the president – left the White House acrimoniously in 2017, Trump later giving him the derogatory moniker "Sloppy Steve."

Last year he was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, over funds raised to build the Mexico border wall, a flagship Trump policy.