Searching for Sugar Man sparks new fraud controversy

2014-05-08 16:08
Los Angeles - Demand for Rodriguez’s back catalogue following the Oscar nominated film Searching for Sugar Man has shed light on alleged fraud.

According to an article published by Hollywood Reporter Clarence Avant, Motown Chairman of the board (at the time), allegedly recorded Rodriguez penned songs under an alias or with another artist to circumnavigate a contract that gave exclusive song rights to a competing record label: Gomba Music.

The charges were filed by Harry Balk who controlled Gomba music at the time.

Rodriguez recorded a couple of albums in the 1970s that seemingly were commercial bombs.

Unbeknownst to the Michigan-born songwriter was that his songs had made him a star on the scale of Elvis Presley in South Africa.

Fans there embraced his songs as anti-apartheid anthems, and only decades later, after Rodriguez slipped into obscurity and had been rumoured to have committed suicide, did he triumphantly make it to South Africa to discover his tremendous success.

Rodriguez apparently had no knowledge of the fraud and is not charged in the indictment, but it is alleged that his brother, Jesus, did some of the recordings in dispute.

Source: Hollywood Reporter
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