Singer sill hasn't received $60 million compensation

PARIS — Gallic rocker Johnny Hallyday won his 860-title back catalog from his ex-record label, Universal Music, on Monday in a high-profile legal wrangle.

But Hallyday, who left U earlier this year after 43 years, did not get the e50 million ($60.3 million) compensation he had demanded.

Although he has never had an international career, Hallyday is one of France’s biggest-selling singers, capable of filling stadiums.

In the case heard in June, his lawyers argued that U exploited the star by advancing him large sums of money that kept him dependent on the label.

Between 1978 and 1997, Universal gave Hallyday three loans totaling $18 million as well as $6 million to buy a yacht, even though he owed banks and the taxman more than $13 million.

Universal Music’s lawyer said the company had been the singer’s savior, paying him some $56.8 million in royalties over the years.

The court ordered an evaluation of the interest U charged Hallyday compared with bank interest rates at the time of the loans.

Universal has agreed that Hallyday can end his contract at the end of 2005, meaning he will produce only one more album there as opposed to the six that were planned.

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