The drama is heating up between Brandy and her label Chameleon…
Last month, the singer filed a lawsuit against her label Chameleon Entertainment Group, an imprint of Epic Records, claiming they’ve blocked her from releasing and recording new music in the last four years, ever since her last LP, 2012’s Two Eleven. In the suit, she also claims the restriction is a way to get her to sign another deal. She wants to cut ties with Chameleon and wants a judge to rule the contract void.
Her fans are even getting behind her; they’ve resurrected social media accounts called “Free Brandy” on Instagram, Facebook, and, Twitter, along with a Change.org petition all in support of their beloved artist.
But today, Breyon Prescott, CEO of Chameleon and head of urban A&R at Epic is giving his side of the story. A spokesperson for Prescott sent over a statement to us, which states that the singer’s claims are false. Prescott claims Brandy was not hindered from releasing new music (hence her new single and video for “Beggin & Pleadin”), and that she’s simply trying to generate publicity for her music, which has been slow-selling.
The spokesperson writes:
“Breyon Prescott is deeply disappointed that rather than discussing her concerns with her present contractual status in a productive way, Brandy has taken unwarranted desperate measures to stay relevant by filing false outrageous claims and speaking on social media.
His recent work with her was the product of his strong belief that her career deserves to and can be revitalized. He tried to create a conduit for her to find an effective outlet for her music by presenting her a new deal to secure distribution. At no point has this process generated meaningful revenue for Mr. Prescott.
As one of Brandy’s most consistent supporters, his professional connection to her precedes her recent negotiations with Sony. Breyon wishes nothing but the best for Brandy and believes she deserves a prosperous career. ”
The spokesperson also sent over a list of background facts to back up Prescott’s statement, which claims Chameleon gave Brandy a chance despite her low music sales, the singer uses music to promote her acting, and she’s recorded and released music unbeknownst to them because she has her own label.
Breyon has not been served. This is a stunt to drum up publicity for her single release. Brandy released a video for Begging and Pleading today. If Prescott wanted to, he could pull the song from iTunes.
At no point was Brandy blocked or controlled from recording or releasing new music. In January of 2016, she released a single “Begging and Pleading”, without any résistance from Chameleon Entertainment.
Brandy is not signed to Epic Records.
Brandy uses her music as a tool to promote her acting career.
Breyon and Brandy haven’t spoken more than 3 words to each other in 3 years.
Brandy had huge multimillion selling hits on Atlantic Records from 1994 to 2002. But her sales began to decline as tastes changed, downloading cut into sales, and her audience moved on.
She went from selling over 1 million copies in 2002 with “Full Moon” to just 400,000 in 2004 for “Afrodisiac.”
Brandy left Atlantic at that point for Epic Records, which is part of Sony Music. Her 2008 album, called “Knockout,” bombed, selling just 214,000 copies. Epic, undergoing a leadership change, dropped her.
Without a record deal, Brandy signed a production deal (not a management deal) with Chameleon, run by Breyon Prescott. (In 2011)
Chameleon worked out a deal and got Brandy signed to RCA, despite failing previously under the Sony music family.
In 2012, under RCA, Brandy’s album “Two Eleven”, only sold 180,000 copies. The expense of promoting the album far exceeded money made from the copies sold.
Brandy was more interested in doing TV, movies and Broadway than in touring for the album; which resulted in low sales.
RCA cut their losses and dropped her.
In early 2015, Prescott joined Epic Records — under the same Sony umbrella.
Prescott managed to get Brandy a new contract at Epic, the label asked for a 360 deal– one in which they would get a cut of her other businesses like tours and merchandise. That way, if a new album bombed, they’d be protected. (As touring has overtaken record sales in revenue, 360 deals are common nowadays.)
The deal was worth $600,000 with a $75,000 advance. Brandy stalled, and never signed the contract. There were no other offers. No other label wanted her, and so she did not make a new record.
In 2015, Brandy re-recorded vocals for a new version of (“The Girl is Mine”) which was released in the U.K. Chameleon didn’t even know about it in advance.
In January 2016 she released “Begging and Pleading,” under her own label. Chameleon didn’t protest or stop her from releasing it. Once again, they didn’t even know about it in advance.
The Epic offer remains and she is still signed to Chameleon.
Well, that was thorough! But it also makes sense. “Beggin & Pleadin” was released the same day her BET sitcom Zoe Ever After premiered in January, and despite Brandy’s lawsuit that she can’t release music, “Beggin & Pleadin” seems to be an exception.
What do you think, Roomies?