Dick Clark files suit against Recording Academy president

By Anthonly Breznican The Associated Press
Thursday December 20, 2001

BEVERLY HILLS — Dick Clark filed a $10 million lawsuit Wednesday against Recording Academy President Michael Greene, accusing him of barring artists who appear first on Clark’s American Music Awards from performing during the Grammy Awards. 

A visibly angry Clark said Greene persuaded Michael Jackson to break a promise to appear in the upcoming American Music Awards show on Jan. 9. The Grammys air on Feb. 27. 

“Mr. Greene has caused me a lot of pain and a lot of stress,” Clark said. “I’ve known Michael Jackson since he was a kid. ... To have another party interfere in that relationship makes me very, very angry.” 

Jackson publicist Dan Forman didn’t immediately return a voicemail message. 

The Recording Academy issued a statement denying any wrongdoing. 

“It clearly is the nature of the entertainment business to offer your audience something exclusive,” the statement read. “We do nothing outside normal industry business practices.” 

Clark said he understands the Grammy desire for exclusivity but objected to Greene pressuring performers to break existing agreements with the AMAs. 

In past years, Clark said Greene was responsible for preventing Britney Spears from appearing on the American Music Awards and banned Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Toni Braxton from performing on the Grammys because they appeared on the American Music Awards. 

In the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Clark accused Greene and 10 unnamed defendants of interfering with contracts and prospective business relations, and unfair competition. 

Besides damages, Clark wants the alleged blacklisting tactics rescinded. Clark said he didn’t sue the Recording Academy because he doesn’t believe the general membership approves of Greene’s tactics. 

Clark said he had spoken with Greene about the issue in the past and had received assurances it wouldn’t occur again. 

Clark said he was compiling a list of all performers forced to back out of the American Music Awards or the Grammy Awards in past years because of the alleged tactics. 

The Grammys are considered the more prestigious of the two awards; the Grammy winners are determined by members of the Recording Academy, while winners at the American Music Awards are based on popularity. 


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