Akon's Former Business Partner Sues Singer for $4 Million

Akon's former business partner Devyne Stephens claims in a lawsuit that the singer owes him $750,000 from a previous agreement and $3 million in royalties.

Akon and Devyne Stevens attend the BET Hip Hop Awards.

Akon and Devyne Stephens attend the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards.

Akon and Devyne Stevens attend the BET Hip Hop Awards.

Akon’s former business partner Devyne Stephens filed a lawsuit against the singer, accusing the “Don’t Matter” artist of stiffing him out of $750,000 from a 2018 settlement agreement and $3 million in royalties, Page Sixreports

Stephens, a music executive who previously worked with Destiny’s Child, Usher, Jay-Z, Toni Braxton, and TLC, claims he and Akon reached a pact four years ago in which he would receive $3.25 million over the span of four years. The singer allegedly failed to pay the final installment of $750,000.  

This is the latest development in what has become a contentious relationship between Akon and Stephens, who accused his former business partner of spending “the better part of a decade” finding ways to avoid giving him the money that’s contractually owed to him. “Akon has spent the better part of a decade frustrating Stephens’ attempts to obtain large amounts of money which Akon unambiguously promised in contracts to pay Stephens,” court docs state. 

Stephens alleges in court docs that Akon believes he shouldn’t be required to fork over 20 percent because he’s now working for BMG Records. Stephens countered with the accusation that the singer intentionally breached his contract with Atlantic, and argued that BMG “by any objective metric, is a ‘major’ record label.” 

The court claims Akon has taken the stance that he’s currently not on a “major” label, to which Stephens responded, “He is wrong.” 

Akon came under fire last year when he told TMZ that the “famous and the rich go through more issues than the poor,” a statement he later stood behind, saying he was speaking from his own personal experience. ““I’m having more problems successfully dealing with all that comes with success than I had when I was poor,” he said. “I was actually happier when I was poor.”

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