G.E.M. Faces HK$120 Million Lawsuit with Hummingbird Music
Hummingbird Music (蜂鳥音樂), the management agency of G.E.M. (鄧紫棋), is suing the artist over disagreements about her exclusive contract.
The company, G.E.M.’s management agency of 11 years, officially submitted a lawsuit against G.E.M. to Hong Kong’s High Court on March 28, seeking validation of her exclusive contract. G.E.M.’s dispute with her company came to light on March 7, when the artist shared on social media that she had been in disagreements with her label for months, leading her to come to the decision of contract termination. According to G.E.M., her label had severely violated her contractual rights despite repeatedly giving the company second chances.
According to the court documents submitted by Hummingbird Music, G.E.M. (real name Gloria Tang Sze-wing 鄧詩穎) first signed a five-year contract with the label in 2007, with exclusive songwriting, management, and artiste agreements. Both parties renewed the contract in March 2012 for another five years. In March 2014, three years before the contract’s end, G.E.M. signed a second renewal, also for five years. Although the date was not written on paper, Hummingbird Music claimed that there was a consensus that the renewed contract would not take effect until March 2017, thus putting the new end date to March 2022.
G.E.M., however, is stating that her relationship with Hummingbird Music ended in March 2019.
Through court, Hummingbird Music is looking to validate G.E.M.’s exclusive contract and the rights to maintain ownership of all of G.E.M.’s copyrighted work, including her stage name.
Should G.E.M. insist on her departure, she may have to pay for the damages, as Hummingbird Music claimed it would suffer a loss of HK$40 million per year until 2022, including another HK$2.6 million from cancelled concerts and 6 million yuan from cancelled Chinese endorsements, totaling HK$120 million.
In regard to her company’s lawsuit, G.E.M. said in a new statement, “I am not in a position to make too many comments about the legal proceedings, but I can only say this for sure: In March 2014, a week before I was to compete in the finals for I Am a Singer <我是歌手>, Hummingbird Music’s CEO required me to sign the contract renewal, or I would not be allowed to compete in the finals. Furthermore, it is the other party who had violated the management contract first. The singing contract and the songwriting contract officially ended yesterday, because according to the contract terms, the renewal takes effect the day it was signed. The truth will come out soon.
“In short, I will continue to use G.E.M., the name that belongs to me. I will continue to sing my songs, and make my music. Gem Tang is still Gem Tang! I believe in justice, so I will face this with courage. See you in court!”
G.E.M.’s manager Tan Cheung (張丹) said, “We tried to settle this matter in a peaceful way and made concessions many times, but the other party continued to deliver ridiculous requests and made many wrong censures, ultimately dishonoring the contract by requesting a one-sided termination. The relationship we have developed over the past 12 years included not only partnership, but also that of siblings. I feel absolutely helpless and regretful that the relationship has come down to this. Pursuing legal action is the best way at this stage.”
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.