Soul icon Aretha Franklin says she is “extremely disappointed” by her longtime collaborator’s recent lawsuit over song royalties.
According to the Associated Press, Franklin’s songwriting partner Norman West filed a suit July 15 against her publishing company in Detroit. West alleges in the suit that Springtime Publishing never signed a royalty agreement for Franklin’s song Put It Back Together Again which appeared on her CD Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love that was released earlier this year.
Franklin later released a statement on the matter.
“To say the least, I am extremely disappointed that Norman West had the unmitigated gall to file a lawsuit against Springtime Publishing Considering how I’ve personally assisted and advised him over the past 15 years,” the statement read, according to EUR Web. “I’ve helped Norman West make a name for himself in the music industry, earn a living and in the past I’ve used several of his songs on my CDs, which resulted in other artists performing his compositions.”
The suit also accuses Springtime of copyright infringement of a 1998 song entitled Watch My Back.
According to Detroit ABC News affiliate KABC-TV, West said that the issue was taken to court after private attempts to resolve the issue were unsuccessful.
West’s attorney Jeffrey Thennisch says despite the suit, the songwriter still retains respect for all parties involved.
“Mr. West has the utmost respect for Springtime and everyone associated with it,” Thennisch told KABC. “Mr. West has told me that he owes much of his career to Aretha Franklin and that he views her as both a mentor and a guiding force in his career.”