A music executive who’s worked with musicians such as, Destiny’s Child, Usher, Pink and TLC is reportedly suing his former client Akon over a 2018 settlement agreement. According to Page Six, Devyne Stephens claims he’s still owed $750,000 and at least $3 million in royalties as explained in an amended complaint filed in the 2021 Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.
Under the 2018 agreement, Akon reportedly agreed to pay Stephens $3.25 million over the course of four years, but the updated suit alleges he hasn’t paid the last $750,000 installment. This marks the third time Stephens has taken Akon to court since helping the Senegalese singer launch his career.
The filing alleges Akon “sabotaged” Stephens’ relationship with Atlantic Records to evade a clause of their settlement stating he’d pay Stephens royalties for four future albums while under a “major” label. Stephens says Akon believes he shouldn’t be responsible for Stephens’ 20 percent cut of royalties since he’s now with BMG Records.
But Stephens argues Akon still owes those royalty payments since Akon allegedly intentionally breached his contract with Atlantic and BMG is “by any objective metric, a ‘major’ record label.” As the court documents explain, “Akon has spent the better part of a decade frustrating Stephens’ attempts to obtain large amounts of money which Akon unambiguously promised in contracts to pay Stephens.”
The Page Six report specified Stephens was associated with JAY-Z but reps for the Hall of Famer rapper tell HipHopDX the two never worked together.