H.E.R., the Grammy-winning singer and composer, has reportedly launched a lawsuit against her record company, M.B.K. Joy, according to Variety. She is suing M.B.K., the label controlled by her longtime manager Jeff Robinson, for the rights to her song collection.
H.E.R. Lodges A Complaint About Discharge From His Label M.B.K. Entertainment
In addition, she’s seeking declaratory justice, claiming she violated business and professions laws. That contract, she claims, violates California Labor Code 2855, which bars “the enforcement beyond seven years of a contract to deliver exceptional, unique, unusual, or intellectual character services,” which is the Seven-Year rule she invokes.
Furthermore, Wilson is asking for “restitution and disgorgement of monies according to evidence” to cover his legal fees and any “additional remedies as the Court considers reasonable and appropriate.”
H.E.R. has been busy the last several years, releasing “Blessed & Free,” a collaboration with Kane Brown, and a music video. Erykah Badu, Ari Lennox, Keyshia Cole, Ty Dolla $ign, and more were among the artists she unveiled for the first Lights On Festival program. At the Academy Awards in April of the following year, she would sing her Grammy-winning song “Fight For You” from the film Judas and the Black Messiah. She sang “America the Beautiful” during the Super Bowl in February 2021.
When H.E.R. was 14, she signed a record deal with M.B.K. Entertainment has been with the company ever since, and she wants out. The “Best Part” singer is suing her record company.
Known professionally as Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, the 24-year-old R&B singer filed court documents in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday, June 16. As she seeks to terminate her contract with her record label, she cites the California Labor Code’s Seven-Year Rule, which states that agreements made in California can only last a maximum of seven years
According to the complaint, the seven-year term of H.E.R. has ended. No one should support M.B.K.’s efforts to undermine this critical and essential California public policy. According to the report, M.B.K. has already received notice from H.E.R. “that she will no longer provide personal services.”
Wilson filed a complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday, according to court papers obtained by The Blast (June 16). The artist also sues M.B.K. for breach of contract, declaratory relief, and a release from her contract with the label.
An “initial period” of 15 months after May 19, 2011, or 12 months after Wilson’s first commercially released album under the contract (2021’s Back of My Mind) is reportedly stated in the court papers to have been Wilson’s “exclusive employee” for up to five additional periods of more than one year each.
By insisting on being forced to continue working beyond May 19, 2011, she claims that her contract violates California Labor Code 2855, which bans the enforcement of contracts for the provision of exceptional, unique, unusual, or intellectual services after that date has passed.
In 2011, Jeff Robinson, the label’s owner, signed Wilson. She was only 14 years old then, and Robinson became her manager when she signed the contract. H.E.R.’s music has since been published and marketed by Sony Music’s R.C.A. Records under the M.B.K. trademark.
The future of Wilson’s management deal with Robinson, who has previously handled Alicia Keys, is still in the air. To make matters worse, according to reports, when Robinson initially tried to negotiate with the singer-songwriter back in 2011, he dismissed the original legal firm that represented her and hired his attorneys to take over the conversations.