On to the Next One: Roc Nation Sues Rita Ora

Popular recording artist Rita Ora filed a lawsuit about six weeks ago in an attempt to split from her label Roc Nation. The suit was filed in California and claims the record executives pushed Ora aside, “orphaned,” her when the label began to lose interest in her after focusing attention on other ventures, such as Roc Nation’s streaming service, Tidal, and Roc Sports where the company represents professional athletes. In response to Ora’s suit Roc Nation countersued and according to Rolling Stone Roc Nation’s lawsuit claims their business practices were above board and that Ora had breached contract when she failed to deliver an agreed-upon number of albums to the company. It is seeking approximately $2.3 million from the singer.

Rita Ora’s contract required her to make five albums and provided the label with four “option” periods, during which she was to make the following albums. During this time Ora has made one album; Roc Nation considers Ora to be in her second album cycle. Roc Nation further claims that it has $2,353,500 on the promotion of her yet-to-be-released second album. In her defense, Ora had invoked California’s “seven-year rule” in her lawsuit, which limits personal services contracts to lasting seven years. Roc Nation recognized that rule in its countersuit, but said it was entitled to recover the money it had spent on promoting the unreleased album. The breach of contract comes from Ora not delivering on the agreed upon five albums. Roc Nation claims Ora owes “marketing/recording costs, advances, lost profits and significant time and money invested in [her] career,” the amount for which a judge would decide.

Roc Nation is attempting to move the lawsuit to New York where the seven-year rule does not apply. According to sources the contract stipulates that New York is the venue for contract disputes; a move made by Roc Nation in the likely event of such occurrences. Ora’s attorney believes this lawsuit is not from Jay-Z, but from Sony Music the labels distributor. This statement may be a last ditch effort from the Ora camp to stay in the good graces of Jay-Z who is powerful and popular in the music industry.


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