Phillip Phillips Wants Out of "Opressive" American Idol Contract

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Phillip Phillips is singing an unhappy tune at the moment.

The American Idol champion has filed a legal claim with the California Labor Commissioner because he wants to void his management, recording and merchandising agreements with the show's music label, 19 Entertainment.

Phillip Phillips on Idol

"I am very grateful for the opportunities provided to me through appearing on American Idol," Phillips tells The Hollywood Reporter.

"However, I have not felt that I have been free to conduct my career in a way that I am comfortable with.  I look forward to being able to make my own choices about my career and to being able to make great music and play it for my fans."

Phillips filed his documents on January 22 and claims the following in them:

  • He didn't get to select the title of his last album, "Behind the Light."
  • He was obligated to perform for an American Idol sponsor without payment.
  • The label gets gets as high as a 40 percent cut of his endorsement deals.
  • The label has refused his requests to renegotiate his contract.
  • Overall, the contract is a violation of California's Talent Agencies Act, which mandates that only licensed talent agents can procure work for their clients.

A spokesman for 19 Entertainment has issued the following statement in response: 

We're very proud of everything we've accomplished together with Phillip, working closely to help nurture his extraordinary talent and advance his career.

We have always acted in the best interest of Phillip. We will vigorously defend ourselves from any baseless claims to the contrary and from any attempt to interfere with our rights and relationships.

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