Ex-Manager Sues Kid Rock For Breach Of Contract

Suit seeks $4 million, plus portion of future earnings.

MTV News Online

Kid Rock's former manager, Stephen Hutton, has filed a $4 million breach of contract suit against the Detroit rocker, alleging he was unjustly fired after helping resuscitate the singer's career.

Hutton's lawyers filed the federal lawsuit Monday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, N.Y. In the complaint, Hutton, who managed Kid Rock from 1994 until just a few weeks ago, alleges the artist violated his contract and failed to fully pay him. He is asking for compensatory damages and a portion of Kid Rock's future earnings.

Kid Rock's record label, Atlantic Records, had no comment on the suit.

Hutton's lawyers issued a statement Wednesday claiming that before Hutton's involvement in Kid Rock's career, the singer (born Bob Ritchie) was "an unknown, struggling artist" whose early albums had received only a "lukewarm response."

"Even though Kid Rock had been dropped twice by other record labels, and white hip-hop was nonexistent at the time, I believed in Bob and what he was doing," Hutton said on Thursday (July 13). "It saddens me, after working so closely together for seven years, that I have to pursue legal action to get what I've earned."

Hutton claims that he was a principal player in helping Kid Rock ink a lucrative contract with Atlantic, a deal that led to Rock's multiplatinum major-label debut, Devil Without a Cause (1998).

The manager also helped re-secure the rights to Kid Rock's earlier albums, songs and material, which are featured on the rap-rocker's recent The History of Rock LP. The record is at #9 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

The suit alleges that Hutton was entitled to 15 percent of Kid Rock's gross income under the terms of his management contract and that Kid Rock dismissed his manager after Hutton failed to settle for a monetary amount less than what he was owed.

In the meantime, Kid Rock is winding down his stint on the Summer Sanitarium tour, an outing headlined by Metallica and also featuring Korn, Powerman 5000 and System of a Down. The tour is slated to wrap up Sunday in Queen Creek, Ariz.

After an appearance at the Hard Rock Cafe Rockfest in Chicago on July 22, Kid Rock plans to kick off his own tour Aug. 2 in Evansville, Ind.

— David Basham, with additional reporting by Kara Manning