×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Estate of Pop Star Rick Nelson Slams Sony With Class Action Lawsuit

The filing alleges improper withholding of international streaming royalties.

The estate of 1950s teen idol Rick Nelson hit Sony Music Entertainment with a class action lawsuit on Tuesday, alleging that it improperly withholds a portion of artists’ royalties from international streaming revenue.

Rick Nelson LLC filed the complaint in U.S. District Court in New York. The complaint alleges that Sony charges itself intercompany fees of up to 68% on foreign streaming revenues, diminishing the pot of money available to artists.

The suit seeks to represent hundreds or thousands of Sony artists who are entitled to foreign streaming revenues. The suit alleges that Sony collects overseas revenue through its wholly owned foreign affiliates, and then assesses an intercompany charge before distributing royalties to artists. The suit alleges that this violates the terms of Nelson’s contract, and those signed with other artists.

Sony Music declined to comment on the suit.

Nelson, who died in 1985 at age 45, rose to fame as a child actor, starring alongside his real-life parents on “The Adventure of Ozzy and Harriet” on TV and radio in the late 1940s and 1950s. “Ricky” turned his attention mostly to music after topping the charts in 1958 with “Poor Little Fool.” His other smashes included “Travelin’ Man,” “Hello Mary Lou” and the appropriately titled “Teen Age Idol” before his recording career faded in the mid-’60s. He had a comeback in 1972 with the top 10 hit “Garden Party,” a wry song written about his experience rebranding himself as a more mature country-rocker.

It was in the last part of his career that Nelson recorded for Epic, which is now controlled by Sony; most of his early hits were with the Imperial or Decca labels and remain with the Universal Music Group.

More Music

  • Gerald Blum, Inspiration for 'WKRP In

    Gerald Blum, Inspiration for 'Big Guy' Carlson on 'WKRP in Cincinnati,' Dies at 86

    Gerald “Jerry” Blum, the inspiration for the character of radio station general manager Art “Big Guy” Carlson on the long-running TV sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati,” died Saturday at 86. The Atlanta radio veteran was affectionately transformed into the fictional Carlson by veteran comic actor Gordon Jump on “WKRP,” which ran for four seasons on CBS [...]

  • Arista Records, Mogul Vision Launch Joint

    Arista Records, Mogul Vision Launch Joint Venture

    Arista Records and Smokepurpp/ Lil Mosey manager Josh Marshall today announced the launch of Mogul Vision Music, a new joint venture label focused on “breaking extraordinary talent and building artist careers through innovative A&R, branding and marketing strategy,” according to the announcement. Based in New York with Marshall (pictured above left, with Massey) as its CEO, the [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Faces Prison, Career Ruin if He Lied About Attack

    Jussie Smollett is facing prison time and the implosion of his career if it turns out he lied about being the target of a hate crime, legal and public relations experts say. “The best thing that Jussie can do is pray and pray a lot,” said Ronn Torossian, founder of 5W Public Relations. “If he [...]

  • Ryan Adams Sexual Harassment

    Ryan Adams Silenced by Radio Amid Allegations

    Ryan Adams, currently mired in sexual harassment charges raised by a story in the New York Times last week, is being abandoned in droves at Adult Album Alternative radio stations around the country. The singer/songwriter had been a stalwart of Triple A since scoring No. 1 singles with “New York, New York” in December 2001 [...]

  • Watch First Trailer for Motley Crue

    Watch First Trailer for Motley Crue Biopic 'The Dirt'

    Netflix has dropped the first trailer for its Motley Crue biopic “The Dirt” — based on Neil Strauss’ best-selling history of the legendarily bad-behaved ‘80s metal icons — and it looks like the film pulls no punches in terms of the band’s famously sordid history. In this two-minute trailer, we get glimpses of singer Vince [...]

  • Martin Bandier to Be Honored at

    Martin Bandier to Be Honored at Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony

    Martin Bandier, outgoing chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, will be awarded the Visionary Leadership Award at the 50 th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 13 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. According to the announcement, the Visionary Leadership Award “acknowledges a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Board [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content