Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin has responded to a royalty lawsuit that was filed last month by Michigan singer-songwriter Norman West. West submitted the lawsuit in Detroit federal court in July against Franklin’s publishing company.
In the suit, West alleges that Franklin’s company, Springtime Publishing Inc. failed to sign a royalty agreement for “Put It Back Together Again,” which was featured on her ‘Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love’ album, released in May.
In a statement released through her publicist, Franklin says she’s extremely disappointed, considering that she’s advised him over the last 15 years.
“I’ve helped Norman West make a name for himself in the music industry, earn a living and in the past I’ve used several of his songs on my CD’s, which resulted in other artists performing and recording his compositions,” she said in the statement. “Vanessa Bell Armstrong recorded his song ‘Good News’ after hearing my version of it. This resulted in earning him extra income from my support of his career. Additionally, I’ve hired him and his group, of which my son is a member, to open for me numerous times on tour. I did this to help to him and the group secure national visibility in major markets across the country. What disappointed me most was the fact that Norman West could’ve very easily gotten a message to me through one of my two sons, whom he knows well and occasionally sings with but, instead he chose to get his name in the paper by publicizing issues that were grossly inaccurate as far as my publishing company is concerned.”
Mr. West has not yet responded to Franklin’s statement.