Joss Stone is reportedly trying to buy out her dead end record contract:
Singer Joss Stone is ready to forfeit £2million in a desperate bid to quit her record label EMI. She claims they have ‘no working relationship’ and has even recorded a song called Free Me about her wish to escape. But EMI has refused to let her go – and is taking legal action in return, claiming she is in breach of contract by failing to deliver the master tapes for her new album Colour Me Free.
The 22-year-old told EMI she wanted to leave in January and insiders say she is willing to give up £1.2million from a £7.5million advance she was given in 2006. Joss, a Grammy Award winner who has sold 11million albums worldwide, is also prepared to give up £800,000 due for Colour Me Free. The album, her second for EMI, was recorded early last year in just over a week at Mama Stone’s, a venue in Somerset owned by Joss’s mother Wendy Joseph. Insiders say Joss had expected to deliver the album late last year so that it could be released last month. But sources say she has become increasingly frustrated with EMI since it was taken over by private equity firm Terra Firma in 2007. The new managers embarked on a major cost-cutting drive after profits dived as music fans turned to the internet. The Rolling Stones, Supergrass and Radiohead have all left EMI since the takeover.
Robbie Williams was also said to be refusing to make another album for EMI because he did not believe the new managers would promote it properly. An insider said: ‘Joss has completely lost faith in EMI. It’s all pie charts and products and there’s no creativity. She has no working relationship with them and no confidence they will support her or market her album properly. ‘She’s actually prepared to pay £2million for her freedom – that’s how bad it is. She wants to give back this money from her advance to EMI so that she can get out of the deal. Then she’ll release the album some other way.’ The star, who shot to fame at 16, signed a £7.5million four-album deal with the company in December 2006.
Almost half the amount was put in a special ‘escrow’ holding account, controlled by accountants OJ Kilkenny, to be paid to Joss when she delivered each of the albums to EMI. But EMI claims in a lawsuit lodged at the High Court against OJ Kilkenny that she failed to deliver the second album in time for the deadline of December 31, 2008. EMI wants OJ Kilkenny to pay back £1.2million from the escrow account. But they have refused so far because Joss’s lawyers dispute the claim that she has not delivered the album.
Looks like EMI is the European Death Row.