Company issues countersuit in response to Ora’s demand to be released from the label – but a settlement is expected soon
The path of separation rarely runs smooth, and so it appears at first sight in the case of Rita Ora, who is seeking to disentangle herself from Jay Z’s Roc Nation empire. In December, Ora issued a lawsuit seeking to end her contract with Roc Nation, arguing that a change in direction at the company meant she had been ignored since releasing an album with the label in 2012.
Now, however, Roc Nation has issued a countersuit, charging the singer with being in breach of her five-album contract. In the suit, filed on Friday 29 January in California superior court, the label claims it has “tirelessly promoted” Ora’s career and spent $2.3m on her still undelivered second album. The label is calling for the return of that money, and damages for the albums she has not delivered.
However, Roc Nation’s response may not be as aggressive as it first appears. According to Billboard, Ora’s lawyer, Howard E King, is sanguine about the countersuit, saying Roc Nation had to file it to avoid losing standing in the case. King claimed that Jay Z had called Ora after she filed her suit, agreeing to release her, and that the two parties were finalising the details. The only complication involved Jay Z getting Roc Nation’s parent company, Sony Music, to agree to the settlement.
Ora’s debut album, Ora, was a UK No 1, and contained two UK No 1 singles, RIP and How We Do (Party). In 2013, she said she had been working with Dev Hynes on her second album. Though she has released a series of hit singles apparently from those sessions – I Will Never Let You Down was a third solo No 1 in May 2014 – no album has appeared.
This article was written by Guardian music, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 2nd February 2016 09.27 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010