McGraw wins first round of exit battle

January 2012

Artistes, record labels

Country star Tim McGraw has won the first round of a legal battle with his record label partners Curb Records. The relationship between McGraw and Curb, which began at the start of McGraw’s career in 1992, has seemingly been deteriorating for some time. In May 2011 both sides filed lawsuits against the other. At the centre of the litigation was whether McGraw’s latest work, the album  ‘Emotional Traffic’, fulfilled the artist’s delivery contractual commitments to the label regards new recordings, whether he was due an advance on it, and whether or not on delivery he was out of contract with the record company. Curb said the songs on ‘Emotional Traffic’ were not sufficiently new and that McGraw remained tied to the label when it came to recordings. McGraw’s lengthy countersuit said the new album was in line with his contract, and that he now considered himself to be a free agent label-wise. The label said recordings started in 2008: McGraw claims the studio work took place in 2009/10),

Now the Nashville Tennessean reports that a judge has uled in McGraw’s favour  with regard to the singer’s contractual commitments, concluding that the artist had provided Curb with as many recordings as he was obligated to, and that he was now free to work with other labels on or self-release any new material. A separate hearing will take place next July to consider McGraw’s claim for damages against the label, which he claims breached his contract by refusing to pay an advance on ‘Emotional Traffic’. The record company issued a statement saying it “intends to continue to pursue these claims, including through the appeals process as appropriate in light of the importance of the underlying principles involved”.

CMU Daily 1st December 2011 and

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