NEW YORK – Music Icon DeVyne Stephens has filed a $150 Million Lawsuit today in New York against multi-platinum artist Akon.
The 10 count, 20 page lawsuit charges Akon, whose legal name is Alianue Thiam with breaching several terms and conditions of exclusive contracts signed with Stephens’ Upfront Megatainment, Inc., based in Atlanta, Georgia and a company known for developing a number of high profile artists. The lawsuit also points out numerous companies set up by Akon to avoid paying Stephens and names Solektra International as a defendant. Akon allegedly used Solektra, a company with offices in New York and Africa, for deals overseas and cut Stephens out of millions of dollars from those deals and others according to the lawsuit.
“I am very disappointed that I had to retain attorneys and sue a guy that I have known for years and personally helped develop him to the international stage and artist he is today with deals going on worldwide,” said Stephens, who hired lawyer James L. Walker, Jr., to file the multi-million dollar suit. “Our team played a vital part in the success of Akon and he has not honored many of the promises and contract commitments he made with my company, Upfront, and I just want him to honor and keep his word.”
Attorney Walker explained, “Over the past few months, we attempted several times to meet with Mr. Thiam, his representatives, his lawyers and accountants in hopes of resolving this matter outside of Court to avoid the cost of litigation. However, after countless attempts, we had to prepare and file this multi-million dollar lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Stephens. He is an icon in the industry who has helped so many artists and should not be treated this way by Akon or anyone who signs a contract with Upfront.”
Walker, who along with New York based high profile lawyer Xavier Donaldson, Esq. filed the suit, added, ”We look forward to our day in court with all of the defendants and we will be moving very aggressively.”
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ABOUT DEVYNE STEPHENS
DEVYNE STEPHENS is the CEO of UpFront Megatainment and known as the “Quiet Giant” in the industry, Stephens’ relationship with AKON started in 2003 as a friendship and mentorship and quickly turned professional when AKON lost his deal with Electra. Before even signing AKON to his production company, Stephens took Akon through the whole regimen of artist development at his establishment known as the COMPLEX. Now that Stephens, has brought on his legal team to handle this unfortunate legal matter, he can get back to focusing on what he loves most which is developing new artists where he has an ear for music, eyes for talent and knows how to develop them. Although he has groomed established artists such as Usher, Alicia Keys he will be working directly with new talent with his empire UpFront Megatainment.
ABOUT WALKER & ASSOCIATES
Walker and Associates is a leading entertainment law firm with a focus on litigation, business law, intellectual property and real estate, among others. Headed by Attorney James L. Walker, Jr., the firm has been involved in a number of high profile cases and represents a Who’s Who of the entertainment and sports industry. Walker’s invaluable knowledge of the music industry was the ideal platform from which to launch his book venture. He penned the semi-Bible of Urban Music, This Business of Urban Music, an informative source of literature for anyone pursuing a career in music. This Business of Urban Music currently selling well throughout the country. Walker also holds a law degree from Howard University; he taught entertainment law at the University Of Hartford’s Hart School of Music, and at the UCONN Law School. In the past, Walker has served as a business panelist and workshop instructor at various schools including Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, UCONN, Boston College School of Law, Thurgood Marshall School of Law at TSU and George Washington University. He is also a guest commentator for Court TV’s Prime Time Justice, CBS NEWS, BET’s Nightly News, CNN and Walker has appeared on the television show, Power of Attorney.
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