Adam Lambert swears his involvement with On With the Show, the album of songs he recorded before he rose to "American Idol" fame, was strictly limited to being "hired as a studio singer to lend my vocals to tracks written by someone else." New documents may prove that claim to be wrong.
On Thursday (June 25), TMZ published a memo sent from the Music Publishing Company of America to Hi Fi Recordings President John Hecker that lists Lambert as the co-writer of nine of the 11 songs from On With the Show.
According to the memo, Lambert co-wrote the majority of the songs with Madonna guitarist Monte Pittman (one track, "Kiss and Tell," was co-written by him and electronic musician Kiril Dzajkovski) and would receive publishing royalties for any public performance (TV, radio, in clubs, etc.) or any copies of On With the Show that are manufactured and distributed (a so-called "Mechanical License").
In addition to being the president of Hi Fi, Hecker is also listed as the chairman/CEO of the Music Publishing Company of America, so MTV News attempted to verify through the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) that Lambert did, in fact, co-write the songs mentioned in the memo. It turns out that he did.
Tracks like "Crawl Thru Fire" and "Kiss and Tell" are registered with ASCAP, and the organization lists Lambert as the co-writer, along with Pittman and Dzajkovski, respectively. None of the other songs mentioned in the memo can be found in ASCAP's database, though a spokesperson for Hi Fi told MTV News that "the paperwork for the remainder of the songs is in the process of being filed [with the organization] ... and it's typical for tracks not to be registered until the product goes to the marketplace." Lambert is also listed as the performer on a handful of other tracks — "I Got This," "Pop Goes the Camera" and "Sacrifice" — all co-written by him and Pittman, which seems to back up Hi Fi's and Wilshire Records' earlier statement that Lambert recorded "more than two albums' worth of material ... over the course of [a] three-year relationship with Wilshire."
According to a statement Hi Fi gave to Us Weekly, Lambert will receive "significant royalties" from the songs on Show and that its release will only benefit him in the long run.
"As a co-writer and performer, Adam will receive significant royalties, just as any superstar artist would," the statement read in part. "He has the chance, finally, to make a fortune for his work — definitely more with this album than through a major-label deal."
A spokesperson for 19 Entertainment — the company that produces "American Idol" and manages the post-show careers of many contestants (including Lambert's) — did not respond to MTV News' request for comment on the matter.
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