Gospel singer Tramaine Hawkins has sued rap singer Hammer for allegedly reneging on an oral agreement to pay her royalties for recording lead vocals on the song “Do Not Pass Me By.”
Hawkins, in a suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, said Hammer in July 1991 promised her 1% of all retail sales of the recording which became part of the “Too Legit To Quit” album.
He also allegedly said the terms of their deal would be embodied in a written agreement.
Allegedly worked together
Hawkins, who is described in the suit as the predominant female gospel singer in the world, said she agreed to do the recording then because she and Hammer were friends and had worked together before.
But after a series of phone calls to Bust-It Records, which is also named a defendant, Hawkins’ manager was sent a contract last February that called for royalties only on sales of singles and maxi-singles, not albums, and not on sales outside the U.S., the suit said. Hammer’s representatives then allegedly denied the terms of the oral contract had been agreed upon and adopted a take-it-or-leave-it attitude.
The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and a declaration that Hawkins co-owns the copyright in the recording. Also named as defendants are Bustin’ Prods. and Capitol Records Inc.