Wale’s “Bad” Sparks Royalties Fight
“Bad” is at the center of a royalties dispute — but not the one that immediately jumps to mind.
While Michael Jackson’s estate is tangentially involved in this fight because of its stake in Sony/ATV, the dispute is actually over a 2013 song of the same name as the King of Pop’s 1987 hit.
Santrise Webb says she hasn’t been paid royalties she’s owed for Wale’s “Bad” and a later remix of the song featuring Rihanna. She says she owns 20 percent of the copyright in the musical composition of the original and 10 percent in the remix, according to a complaint filed Wednesday in New York federal court.
According to the suit, featured singer Tiara Thomas in 2013 assigned some of her rights in the works to The Board Administration (TBA), along with 40 percent of the writer’s share of public performance royalties from BMI.
The next year, Webb sued to establish her ownership of TBA. That matter was settled and she retained half ownership in the company, and the court ordered that relevant royalties be split 50-50 moving forward.
Webb says she hasn’t been paid on “Bad” since then, despite multiple requests.
Webb is now suing Thomas and TNT Music for breach of contract, Sony/ATV for conversion and Warner Music, TNT Music, ASCAP and BMI for non-compliance with a court order.
This article was originally published on The Hollywood Reporter.