Kelly Clarkson Faces $1.4 Million Lawsuit from Management Company

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Kelly Clarkson performing in 2018. Photo Credit: Marc Piscotty

Kelly Clarkson is facing a lawsuit for allegedly failing to pay $1.4 million worth of commissions to her longtime management firm, Starstruck Entertainment. 

Starstruck Entertainment, which television producer Narvel Blackstock founded and currently operates, recently submitted the multimillion-dollar complaint to a California federal court. Kelly Clarkson signed with the company 13 years back, half a decade after winning the inaugural season of American Idol.

Also worth noting is that Clarkson filed for divorce from Narvel Blackstock’s son, talent agent Brandon Blackstock, back in June. The junior Blackstock’s name is listed under the “management” category on Starstruck’s website. 

According to the suit from Nashville-headquartered Starstruck, the three-time Grammy winner has already paid $1.9 million in commissions this year, including for her work on The Voice and The Kelly Clarkson Show, but must still front an additional $1.4 million. 

And as a result of the television host and artist’s ongoing work Clarkson has filled in for a recovering Simon Cowell on America’s Got Talent, The Voice will return next month, and the second season of The Kelly Clarkson Show debuted last week the sum owed to Starstruck will exceed $5.4 million by 2020’s end, per the plaintiffs. 

Kelly Clarkson has historically afforded Starstruck 15 percent of her total earnings, the legal text indicates – meaning that she might be set to take home approximately $50 million in 2020 if each of the disclosed figures is accurate. 

The eight-page-long complaint also alleges that Starstruck, which was established 32 years ago and represents artists including Blake Shelton and The Voice winner Brynn Cartelli, helped to build Clarkson’s career and facilitated her rise to prominence. Notably, and in a stark contrast to most similar suits, the underlying contract seems to have been agreed upon verbally, with Kelly Clarkson paying the owed sums (many millions of dollars across the last decade or so, needless to say) based upon an unwritten, pre-arranged schedule.

One would assume that these payments ceased around the time that Clarkson’s relationship with her estranged husband began to falter.  

Though Clarkson hasn’t explicitly addressed the legal battle on social media, a GIF she tweeted earlier today could well have been selected with the suit in mind. This brief clip features The Matrix’s Morpheus “waving in” his opponent possibly referring to Starstruck. The sole message that the “Since U Been Gone” singer has posted in the interim is unrelated to the matter, however, and her counsel hasn’t yet published a public statement.

2 Responses

  1. Galactic Boa Constrictor

    You Don’t Get Paid When You Don’t Bring Any Work To Your Client…

    We Will See More Of This Managers And Labels Suing Talent

    Or Releasing Debut… (The Industry Needs The Tax Breaks This Is Not A Good Deed)

    But Now The Money Is All Gone

    The Music Market Was Already In A Lull

    Lull That’s Hilarious…. It’s Dead

    Beaten To Death By The Monopoly And Their Arrogance

    Lawyers Companies And Personalities Wanted To Be The Stars

    They Wanted To Assembly Line The Art Of Music Making

    But Music Must Be Free

    So No New Genres

    No New Talent

    No Money

    The Snake Continues To Advance Upon Itself….

    Sit Back And Enjoy!

    Do Not Sign…

    You Will Be Getting Desperate Offers

    Those Who Sign Will Be Wasted Away By The Parasite

    Never Feed The Nothing…

    They Can’t Help You

    They Can’t Even Help Themselves…

  2. Angie

    You’re partially right, but mostly wrong. Stars don’t become stars working from their bedroom and hustling in a diy manner. There are pieces of the puzzle (a team) that are required (lawyers, managers, agents, etc.) who help build the brand over time, and they deserve to get paid. Too often, and we see it regularly in the visual media business, where the talent gets what they want, then jumps ship and abandons the hard work that the team did, failing to properly compensate them.