Stars Who Pulled A “B—h Better Have My Money” Move On Record Companies
When it comes to their money, these celebrities who took on their record companies don’t play around.
Back in 1985, Nina Simone fired a gun at a record company executive after claiming that the man was stealing her royalties. She later stated that she “tried to kill him” but “missed.”
TLC’s biopic CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story rehashed the story of the time the girl group held record executive Clive Davis hostage in order to get royalties they were owed. But Tionne Watkins wants everyone to know, they didn’t actually pull a gun on Davis… but they did have one waiting in the car for him.
When Ruthless Records offered Ice Cube an unfair contract that would strip him of a significant portion of his royalties, he decided to immediately sever his relationship with N.W.A.
To ensure that he burned that bridge, he released “No Vaseline,” a song that called former manager Jerry Heller a “devil” and encouraged Eazy-E put a bullet in Heller’s temple.
When Apple made the decision not to pay artists royalties during a three-month trial period of their streaming service, Apple Music, hundreds of artists and music companies spoke out against the “theft.” Many even threatened to pull their albums but had no success.
That is until Taylor Swift changed the game in just 17 hours by publicly shaming Apple and mobilizing her nearly 200 million social media followers to do the same. Swift convinced Apple’s Eddy Cue to immediately change the company’s policy.
Ice Cube isn’t the only rapper who wanted out of N.W.A. and Ruthless Records. But Dr. Dre battled Jerry Heller and Eazy-E in order to be released from his contract by threatening them with lead pipes and baseball bats. The tactic worked, and Dre, D.O.C. and Suge Knight went on to co-found Death Row Records shortly afterward.
To get the $5 million he said he was owed for bringing Drake to Cash Money, Jas Prince held Lil Wayne’s manager at gunpoint — and threatened to kill him as he chased him around a table. Read about the entire incident in the deposition for the lawsuit.
When Vanilla Ice found himself an “investor” in Death Row Records, but was seeing zero return on his money, he confronted Suge Knight in his hotel room.
Unfortunately, this “BBHMM” moment did not go quite the way the rapper planned. While Suge Knight didn’t dangle him off the balcony like the rumors said, Vanilla Ice stated that there was a confrontation:
“Suge took me out on the balcony, started talking to me personally. He had me look over the edge, showing me how high I was up there. I needed to wear a diaper that day.”
When Lil Wayne sued his former mentor Birdman and Cash Money Records for $51 million in royalties, it seemed like this fallout had reached its height. But then things reached a new low when Birdman (and Young Thug) were indicted for allegedly being involved in the April drive-by shooting of Wayne’s tour bus in Georgia in retaliation.
When Warner Bros. tried to take control of Prince’s master tapes and image, the music legend fought by changing his name to a symbol (so Warner Bros. couldn’t make any more money on the use of his name). He also performed in public with the word “slave” written on his face.
The publicity stunt worked, and in 2014, Warner Bros. finally settled with Prince and he was able to gain ownership of his master recordings.
Less than a month after Britney Spears was hospitalized after her famous breakdown, her former manager Sam Lutfi and her father, Jamie Spears, fought and even sued each other for control of her finances.
Lutfi later told People that Jamie allegedly “barged into the house, lunged at me with fists balled, and chased me around the kitchen island” to fight about who should be Britney’s “true protector.”
“He came in, started yelling at me, accusing me that I was abusing his wife [Lynne], cornered me in the kitchen, punched me in the [chest] and threatened to kill me.”