Idol faces lawsuit over record deal

December 2008

Television, artists

American Idol bosses are threatening to take legal action against a former contestant, Josiah Leming, because he is planning to release an album, but not through the TV show’s associate label, SonyBMG. Leming, who was homeless when he entered the talent contest, made it through the audition process but not to the final 24 contestants who appear in the main show. However, all those who are selected to appear in the show sign a contract which only allows them to release music through SonyBMG. Leming’s debut album is due to be released in January by Warner Music, which has prompted Idol chiefs to send him a letter threatening to sue if he goes ahead with the release. A spokesperson for the singer told the New York Post: “Josiah was the only Idol contestant ever to get a record deal who didn’t make the top 24, and one of only four contestants to get a deal this year. He has personal reasons for getting his music out, threat or not. His mother has terminal cancer, and nothing is going to stop him from getting his music out while she is alive to share it. His album on Warner Records will be released in late January 09”.

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