July 14, 2010 / 8:20 PM / in 8 years

Reggae's Chaka Demus & Pliers sue for royalties

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chaka Demus and Pliers, the reggae act best known for their nineties hit “Murder She Wrote” are suing their record company for more than $10 million in unpaid royalties and trademark infringement.

The suit, filed this week by lawyers for Jamaican-born stars, claims Universal Music Group, misappropriated and diverted monies owed to the act that had major hits, including Murder She Wrote,’ ‘Tease Me’ and ‘Twist and Shout.’

The suit was filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan under the artists’ real names John Taylor (aka Chaka Demus) and Everton Bonner (aka Pliers).

The artists claimed in the suit that they signed a worldwide recording deal with Universal-owned label Island Records in October 22 1992, which allowed the artists to retain all rights to the trademark Chaka Demus and Pliers.

It said Universal Music had “withheld the monies and royalties payments” from the inception the contract.

Not only are the two reggae stars asking for a court award of more than $10 million, but also demanding an injunction ordering Universal Music to cease the sale, production and performances of the their music.

A spokesman for Universal Music Group was not immediately available.

Universal Music Group is the world’s largest music company and is owned by French media giant Vivendi SA.

Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; editing by Andre Grenon

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