In an earlier post today, we highlighted the world premiere of Brandy’s music video for her new single “Beggin and Pleadin” and it appears the singer is also beggin’ and pleadin’ to be released from her record label, Chameleon Entertainment.
A petition on Change.org is calling attention to Brandy’s current claim against her label, alleging executive Breyon Prescott is refusing to allow Brandy to record or release music unless she signs to Epic records. The problem here is that Chameleon Ent. is an imprint of Epic, and this could be a conflict as it opens possibilities for the label to “double dip” into Brandy’s monies.
Brandy filed suit against Prescott and Chameleon Entertainment Tuesday, March 29, 2016 for $1M exposing Prescott’s refusal to let her RECORD or RELEASE an album unless she signs with Epic Records. This “bully” clause in the contract would allow Chameleon Entertainment to “double dip” at her expense. The case is now in superior court.
Brandy has been contractually unable to release music since her 2011 hit album, “211” because she refuses to bow to Prescott/Chameleon Entertainment and allow them to take advantage of her in their attempt to silence her voice.
This petition is to stand as a united front by unapologetically advocating for the contractual freedom of Brandy; demanding that Breyon Prescott & Chameleon Entertainment release her.
One may be able to read deeper into this feud as Brandy celebrated her music video release today with a post on her personal Instagram which specifically thanked several members of her MBK team as well as others who have contributed to her project. Breyon Prescott and Chameleon Entertainment were not mentioned. One can only wonder if the photo chosen to accompany this post, showing only the back of Brandy’s head, is intended to deliver a subliminal message.
Music website Singers Room shared the below statement moments ago, received from Breyon Prescott’s spokesperson in response to all the controversy.
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.
It seems Brandy, Breyon Prescott and Chameleon Entertainment are at an impasse. We’ll continue to follow the story.