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Akon’s former business partner claims he’s still owed nearly $4M: suit

Devyne Stephens, Akon’s former business partner has accused the singer of owing him nearly $4 million from a prior settlement agreement.

In an amended complaint filed before a Manhattan Supreme Court by the music executive who has worked with musicians including Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, Usher, Pink and TLC, it was claimed that he’s still owed $750,000 and at least $3 million in royalties.

Under the 2018 agreement, the “Smack That” singer agreed to pay Stephens $3.25 million over the course of four years but he still hasn’t paid the last installment of $750,000, the updated suit claims.

This is the third time that Stephens has filed a lawsuit against the Senegalese-American songwriter whose career he helped launch.

Stephens alleges that Akon sabotaged his relationship with Atlantic Records to get out of a clause of their settlement that states he would pay Stephens royalties for four future albums while under a “major” label, according to the filing from Tuesday January 18.

The music executive also alleged that Akon is now saying he should be let off the hook for Stephens’ 20 percent cut of royalties since he’s now under BMG Records.

Stephens however argued that Akon can’t get out of those royalty payments since Akon allegedly intentionally breached his contract with Atlantic and since BMG “by any objective metric, is a ‘major’ record label.”

The court document read;

    “Akon has spent the better part of a decade frustrating Stephens’ attempts to obtain large amounts of money which Akon unambiguously promised in contracts to pay Stephens.

    “Although Akon argues he is not currently signed to a ‘major’ record label, he is wrong.”



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