The young singer claimed that he was dropped from the tour after just two shows because he was upstaging R. Kelly; a rep for Kelly denied that claim and maintained that the matter was a contractual issue between Ne-Yo and the promoter. Kelly was not named in the lawsuit.
After Rowe Entertainment failed to respond to the lawsuit, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Malcolm Mackey ordered the company to pay Ne-Yo $700,320 last week.
Promoter Leonard Rowe gave a statement following Ne-Yo's departure from the tour, saying, "It was decided that in the best interest of all involved, since I was unable to receive the fully executed contract, I had no other alternative but to release Ne-Yo from the tour. From a business perspective, it would have been extremely difficult for me to continue under this cloud of uncertainty."
Ne-Yo claimed in the suit that the lack of signatures shouldn't have been an issue because all the material terms were agreed upon orally. "The parties understood that the oral agreement was binding and would be binding even if a formal written agreement was never executed," the lawsuit read. Consequently, Ne-Yo said, both sides proceeded as if he were on the tour. He hired musicians, dancers, security and other personnel, conducted rehearsals and did promotions, while Lowe used his name, voice and likeness for print, radio and television ads to promote the tour.