CALIFORNIA (CelebrityAccess) – “Lady Marmalade” songwriter Kenny Nolan has filed a $20 million lawsuit against Sony/ATV Music Publishing for breach of contract and copyright infringement.
According to the 60-page lawsuit filed April 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Nolan claims that the music publisher purchased two sets of his songs without his knowledge and has since failed to pay up on the royalties that have accumulated.
Nolan alleges that he licensed his 50% share of the publishing rights to 77 compositions — including “Lady Marmalade” — to his former co-writer Bob Crewe before Crewe turned around and licensed them to a company called Stone Diamond. Nolan also claims Stone Diamond then sold the rights to Sony/ATV without his knowledge or consent.
Additionally, Nolan is alleging that after licensing a second set of his compositions — fifty-three total — to the Wes Farrell Organization and Coral Rock Music Corp. under a separate “series of agreements,” those companies eventually licensed that set of songs to Sony/ATV — again without his knowledge.
EMI April Music, EMI Blackwood and Stone Diamond Music Corporation are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.
Nolan is seeking a total of at least $20 million to be determined at trial, as well as a “necessary and appropriate” accounting to determine exactly how much money Sony/ATV owes him.
“Lady Marmalade” was originally made popular in 1974 by Patti Labelle. The song achieved new chart success in the early 2000s when it was re-recorded by Pink, Lil’ Kim, Mya and Christina Aguilera for the film Moulin Rouge!