Country Music’s 10 Nastiest Lawsuits
The music industry is a tough place to make it, especially when dealing with all the politics that go on behind the scenes at record labels and between artists. It’s not all pleasantries and handshakes — sometimes things get nasty as relationships sour and deals are broken. When it comes to the music industry, these kind of feuds are never just brushed off, especially when there’s big money on the line. Here’s a look at country music’s 10 nastiest lawsuits!
10. Travis Tritt versus Category 5
Travis Tritt went to court with his former record label, Category 5, in order to gain control of his music. He signed with the independent label in 2006 and released one album, The Storm, but the label folded shortly after. There were a lot of allegations that the chief executive officer, Raymond Termini, illegally used Medicaid funds to finance the label. A month later, Tritt took Category 5 to court and filed a $10 million lawsuit against the record label because they failed to pay royalties on the album and hadn’t given him creative control. The two were locked in litigation for a long six years and eventually Tritt got control of the masters of the album and re-released them in 2013 on his own label, Post Oak, under the title The Calm After…
9. Garth Brooks versus Lisa Sanderson
Garth Brooks and Lisa Sanderson were once really good friends as she was once the CEO of his television and movie production company, Red Strokes Entertainment. The company folded in 2010, and in 2013, Sanderson sued the country legend for over $400,000 claiming she was not properly compensated for her work and was owed retirement money. She cited numerous times that she worked hard to line up major deals, only to have Brooks turn them down. According to her suit, she was entitled to 50 percent of the producer fees and if Red Strokes closed (which it did) she was entitled to $250,000. He then followed up with a suit against her for $226,000 — a sum that he claimed was lent to her for a custody battle she was going through between 2005 and 2007. Their battle was taken to court where a jury ruled in favor of Brooks. Sanderson now owes Brooks $226,000, plus interest, legal fees and collection costs! Ouch!