Songwriter Gets $44 Million Payday Over Contribution To Usher Song
Philadelphia songwriter Daniel Marino claimed in a lawsuit that he was cut out of profits and credit from Usher’s song “Bad Girl,” and now, he was granted a smooth $44 million.
The two defendants in the case are William Guice, who was ordered to pay $6.75 million in compensatory damages in addition to $20.25 million in punitive damages, and Dante Barton, the co-owner of Destro Music Productions. Barton was also ordered to pay damages to Marino in the sum of $17.35 million, which brings the grand total to a payday of $44.35 million.
The plaintiff argued that in 2001 and 2002 he did a majority of the writing and production for a track titled “Club Girl,” which included the production of the “guitar hook, tempo, and chord progression.” The song ultimately ended up on Usher’s 2004 album Confessions and being renamed “Bad Girl.” The album has since reached diamond-certification prestige, but unlucky for Marino, he wasn’t given any credit on the track, despite his former colleagues being named.
When the lawsuit was initially filed in 2011, the scope of it was much more extensive. The suit originally accused Usher and 20 other defendants of breach of contract and fraud, along with some other accusations. As it turns out, the Marino case was the only one that ended up making it to trial. Marino’s attorney, Francis Malofiy, explained that “for seven years, against all odds, we believed in our client and his claims.”
Usher was not named on Marino’s lawsuit.
$44 million is certainly nothing to scoff at, and after years and years of fighting for this exact verdict, it has to feel good being vindicated for not only the money’s sake, but being recognized for contributing to a song that is such a huge part of Usher’s career to date.