Agency Says Promoter Owes $1.9M for Hip-Hop Bookings

     MANHATTAN (CN) – An American booking agency claims an Australian promoter owes it $1.92 million for booking Kelly Rowland, Diddy, T-Pain and Missy Elliott for the 2012 Supafest music festival in Australia.
     For more entertainment news, click here to read Courthouse News’ Entertainment Law Digest.
     In a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court, the American Talent Agency claims it worked with Australian promoter Paperchase Touring and Entertainment to book artists for the 2010 and 2011 Supafest.
     When Paperchase and CEO Dwayne Cross asked the agency to line up artists for the August 2012 festival, American Talent Agency says it complied.
     Paperchase relied on their previous work relationship to persuade the agency to get some of the artists to perform despite not having been paid in full in advance, the lawsuit claims.
     The booking agency says Paperchase and Cross failed to pay the full contract amount for Kelly Rowland and T-Pain, who nevertheless performed at the four-day festival in April.
     Launched in 2010, Supafest takes place over two consecutive Saturdays and Sundays in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne. The festival drew more than 100,000 people in 2012.
     The promoter also cut Missy Elliott from the 2012 lineup, forcing the booking agency to lose its $30,000 commission and pay the rapper a $50,000 cancellation fee, the agency claims.
     Sean “Diddy” Combs pulled out of the festival after Paperchase paid him just $200,000 of his promised $1.6 million fee, according to the lawsuit.
     Although Diddy and Missy Elliott were no longer in the festival, Paperchase continued to use their names to promote the event, the agency claims.
     American Talent Agency says the promoter’s actions caused it to lose commissions and damaged its reputation with some of the artists, including T-Pain, who severed his relationship with the agency when he wasn’t paid in full for his performances.
     Paperchase and Cross paid in full for just two of the artists the agency booked, rappers Ludacris and Big Sean, according to the lawsuit.
     American Talent Agency demands at least $1.92 million for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, fraudulent misrepresentation and contract interference.
     It is represented by Jon Jekielek of Jekielek & Janis in New York.

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