The details of Chicago rapper Chief Keef’s deal with Interscope Records surfaced online earlier this week; revealing that the 17-year-old’s contract could pay him roughly $6 million over three years. That surely seems like a staggering amount for a kid that was living in poverty just a year ago. Keef, of course, has been at the center of numerous controversies over the past year, so one can only imagine how much of that money is going toward lawyer fees and court costs.
Notorious reputation notwithstanding, Chief Keef is one example of the type of ambitious young artist that all-too-often falls prey to the devious nature of the music industry. Virtually every day, some rising star is promised riches, only to find out later that they’ve been painted into a corner or completely ripped off by record labels, music managers and production companies.
Of course, none of that is new.
The music business is littered with stories of artists who lost big money due to not understanding how the industry works. And it’s not just limited to rappers today.
Here are 10 legendary recording artists that wound up on the bad end of bad business deals and subsequently lost millions …