Photo: MTV International

H.E.R. Sues Record Label To Be Released From Contract

H.E.R. is suing her record label to be freed from her “overrun” recording contract.

Born Gabriella Wilson, the 24-year-old singer has filed a lawsuit against MBK Entertainment, accusing the label of violating California Labor Code section 2855. Known as the Seven-Year Rule, the code “prohibits the enforcement beyond seven years of a contract (such as the Agreement) to render services of a special, unique, extraordinary or intellectual character.”

According to H.E.R. she’s been signed to MBK since 2011, and claims her contract should have ended in 2019. Filed last Thursday (16.06.22), the suit reads “Since May 19, 2011, MBK has exclusively owned her services as a recording artist and has exclusively owned the right to exploit her name and likeness for her recordings under the Agreement.” “Wilson has not been free to provide her recording services except as permitted or dictated by MBK.”

The Oscar and Grammy winner alleges that her manager and record label owner Jeff Robinson, fired the lawyer representing her and employed a new attorney to work for his client. However, there is no fee agreement or a conflict waiver in writing for H.E.R. and the lawyer’s work was allegedly a “favour” for Robinson.

Wilson was 14 years old when she signed the deal and wants the contract to be made “unenforceable” and is also seeking restitution and reimbursement for court fees from MBK. The multi-hyphenate was still at school when she got signed and didn’t think about being a successful singer at the time.

Addressing her experience during her first few years in the industry, the musician stated “I didn’t think about any of that stuff. I was a kid. You know, I would play on the playground and go to class like everybody else; I just performed sometimes. Of course I know people expected me to do great things and that really played a huge role in who I am.”

Opening up about the pressures she experienced, H.E.R. added: “Everybody has people who doubt them, or try to take away from who they are, but at the end of the day, those things don’t matter. On my first tour, certain people were like, ‘don’t bring your guitar out [because] kids aren’t going to get it.’ What if I had compromised myself? I might not be where I am right now. So you can’t pay attention to people. I’m always gonna focus on myself.”

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: MTV International