Don Omar Sues CBS Radio Over Canceled Gig

     BALTIMORE – Sometimes it’s not good to be the king.
     Popular reggaeton singer and “Fast & Furious” actor Don Omar sued CBS Radio, Inc. for using his trademarked name and image to promote a 2014 summer concert, even though a CBS-owned station had canceled his appearance in the show.
     The Puerto Rican singer, whose real name is William Omar Landron Rivera but also goes by El Rey, alleges in a complaint filed May 11 in Maryland Federal Court that Maryland radio station WLZL-FM “El Zol” negotiated with Omar only to boost ticket sales and attendance for a summer concert it was sponsoring, and then dropped him from the lineup.
     According to the lawsuit, station executives initially told Omar that he would be paid $100,000 and reimbursed for hotel, transportation, and per-diem costs in exchange for headlining a summer concert in Washington, D.C.
     CBS execs allegedly told Omar it would be easier for him to purchase his own transportation up front and then submit for reimbursement later on. However, when the proposed written contract was sent to Omar by CBS it did not include any transportation reimbursement, the lawsuit states.
     Omar says he complained to CBS about the exclusion and a few days later he was notified by email that he wouldn’t be in the summer concert after all. The lawsuit also names as defendants unnamed event sponsors, ad agencies and insurers.
     The bad blood escalated when Omar published complaints to the radio station’s Facebook page. The station allegedly reciprocated by refusing to play any of Omar’s new releases on its airplay rotation list and cut the airplay time of his older music, the complaint states.
     Before the negotiations fell apart, the station used Omar’s trademarked name and image in advertising and promotional materials for the summer concert, and signed contracts with event sponsors based on the fact that Omar would be among the headliners of the concert, the entertainer’s complaint says.
     Omar is seeking $9 million in damages for breach of contract and trademark infringement.
     This isn’t Omar’s first foray into the world of litigation, though he usually has been on the other side.
     Omar faced domestic-abuse charges in 2014 which were later dropped when the alleged victim did not show up for hearings.
     In 2013, he was sued for illegally using a yacht to film his “Danza Kuduro” music video, which featured bikini-clad models who were allegedly never asked permission to appear in the video.
     Also in 2013, a Puerto Rican record label sued Omar for allegedly breaking promises to make a record and produce four concerts.
     In 2007, he was sued in Bolivia for canceling a concert and was briefly detained at the airport.
     And in 2004, he was arrested on drug and weapons charges.
     Attorneys representing Omar could not be reached for comment.

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