A music producer named Jolene Cherry has filed suit against superstar musician Prince in regards to singer Judith Hill, whom Cherry claims the Purple Rain singer stole from her.
Cherry filed papers at a Los Angeles area courthouse last week claiming the singer was contractually obligated to her, and Hill took music the pair had worked on together and gave it to Prince who in turn released the music as part of Hill’s debut album, Back In Time, as a free download.
Prince sent a personal message to all Live Nation subscribers on March 23 with subject “A Note From Prince.” The message went on to read:
Sorry 2 bother U. Just wanted 2 send U this baby picture of Judith Hill with Her 1st piano. Loox like her parents, who r also musicians- had a plan. Well, that plan succeeded. This is Judith Hill’s debut album BACK IN TIME. Please spend some time with this music and then share it with someone U love.
Cherry said she’d heard rumors of Hill working with Prince even though it was in clear violation of their contract but had no solid proof. When Hill finally did make a formal request to her to record with him, her request was denied. Cherry alleges Hill went on to work with him behind her back.
“Judith Hill’s first album – Back in Time — is now out, but rather than cheering along with her, the people who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop her career and album and worked to position Hill for her first release (as well as those who co-wrote many of the songs) are sitting dumbfounded on the sidelines while Prince gives away their investment for free,” Cherry writes in her suit.
Cherry’s lawsuit does not name Hill as a defendant but claims Prince is “accountable for tortuously interfering in its agreement with Hill and recover[ing] damages stemming from the fact that he deliberately interfered with its relationship with Hill and made it economically unfeasible for [Cherry] to ever release Hill’s first album.”