Kelly Clarkson Sued by Ex-Father-in-Law: Legal Battle Continues

kelly clarkson lawsuit father in law

Getty Kelly Clarkson in April 2022.

The legal battle between the former “The Voice” coach Kelly Clarkson and her ex-father-in-law’s company is going to continue until at least 2023, court records obtained by Heavy show. Clarkson and her ex-husband, Brandon Blackstock, finalized a divorce settlement this year, but are still working out the final details in court, records show.

After the couple split, Blackstock’s father’s company, Starstruck Management Group, sued Clarkson, according to court documents. Narvel Blackstock said in the 2020 lawsuit that Clarkson owes his company nearly $2 million in unpaid commissions. Clarkson filed a countercomplaint with the California Labor Commissioner accusing Narvel Blackstock and his son, Brandon Blackstock, of acting as unregistered talent agents, court documents reveal.

A new judge was assigned to the civil lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Starstruck Management, in February 2022. Judge Wendy Chang recently issued an order staying any action until after Clarkson’s complaint is heard by the state labor commission. Chang said in her order, which can be read here, that a status conference will be held on March 23, 2022.


The Blackstocks’ Company, Starstruck Management Group, Say Kelly Clarkson Owes Them at Least $1.4 Million in Commissions & Could Owe Millions More

narvel blackstock kelly clarkson lawsuit

GettyNarvel Blackstock and his ex-wife, Reba McEntire, with Kelly Clarkson and her ex-husband, Brandon Blackstock.

Kelly Clarkson began working with Narvel Blackstock, who is Reba McEntire’s ex-husband, in 2007, according to Starstruck Management’s lawsuit. He was her manager, according to the lawsuit. Clarkson would later begin dating Blackstock’s son in 2012 and she and Brandon married in 2013. They have two children together. She filed for divorce from in June 2020. Starstruck Management filed its lawsuit against the singer and “American Idol” winner in September 2020.

“In 2007, Starstruck agreed to manage Clarkson’s career. Like any other client, Starstruck invested a great deal of time, money, energy, and dedication to Clarkson. Over the course of approximately thirteen years, Starstruck developed Clarkson into a mega superstar,” the lawsuit states. Starstruck’s attorneys add:

By way of example only, Starstruck was instrumental in helping Clarkson achieve success in terms of numerous hit albums, multiple Grammy wins and nominations, her role on popular television shows like The Voice and her own talk show. Despite Starstruck’s hard work and dedication, Clarkson has decided that she is going to stop paying Starstruck what is contractually owed. Through this lawsuit, Starstruck seeks to not only recover its commissions on millions of dollars that Clarkson has already earned, but also the millions of dollars that Clarkson will continue to earn, and which are owed to Starstruck for its prior hard work and dedication to Clarkson’s career.

According to the lawsuit, Clarkson agreed to pay Starstruck the industry standard commission fee of 15% of her gross earnings, including future earnings, “from any projects, engagements or artistic works that began, were ongoing and/or were commercially exploited during Starstruck’s management” of Clarkson. She agreed to continue paying them as long as Starstruck was “ready, willing and able to continue providing the Clarkson Defendants with management services.”

Starstruck’s attorneys say in the lawsuit that things changed in 2020:

In 2020, the Clarkson Defendants paid some, though not all, of the Commissions that were owed to Starstruck and that were reflected on the statements prepared by the Clarkson Defendants’ business manager. To date, at least $3,358,984.15 in estimated Commissions have accrued in 2020, but the Clarkson Defendants have only paid Starstruck $1,918,747.90. Accordingly, the Clarkson Defendants have failed to pay Starstruck over $1.4 million in Commissions that they owe under the Management Agreement. In particular, the Clarkson Defendants have failed to pay Commissions on income that Starstruck believes the Clarkson Defendants realized in connection with the Voice and Clarkson’s talk show. Moreover, through the end of the 2020, the Clarkson Defendants will likely owe Starstruck at least $5,430,122.54 in estimated commissions.

Starstruck’s attorneys accuse Clarkson of breaching their management agreement by failing to pay the full commission she owes in connection with “The Voice” and Clarkson’s talk show, court documents show. According to Starstruck’s lawyers, they say Clarkson is obligated to continue paying commissions on her projects, including, “without limitation, future earnings from the Voice, Clarkson’s talk show and Clarkson’s Wayfair deal.”


Clarkson Struck Back Against Narvel & Brandon Blackstock in an October 2020 Complaint


Reba Mcentire's advice to Kelly Clarkson when confronting her ex-husband, Narvel BlackstockKelly Clarkson’s personal troubles have officially bled into her professional life. The “Miss Independent” singer took to her talk show several months ago to announce she and her husband, Brandon Blackstock, have separated2020-12-27T22:00:14Z

In October 2020, Clarkson struck back at Blackstock’s company, filing a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner accusing Starstruck Management of breach of oral contract and violation of California’s Talent Agencies Act, seeking an order to declare the management agreement void, according to court documents obtained by Heavy.

Clarkson’s attorneys accuse Starstruck Management, namely Narvel Blackstock and Brandon Blackstock, of “procuring employment” for Clarkson “without obtaining a Talent Agency License from the Labor Commissioner,” according to the court documents. Clarkson’s lawyers claim that if the labor commission rules in her favor, then the claims made by Starstruck in its lawsuit “will become moot.”

They are asking the labor commission to determine that Starstruck is not owed any commissions from Clarkson because of the alleged Talent Agencies Act violation, court records show. “The Labor Commissioner has not yet conducted a hearing on Defendants’ Petition, and no determination has been made regarding the allegations contained therein. However, when such a determination is ultimately made, the decison will be dispositive of all of the issues raised in Plaintiff’s Complaint in this case,” Clarkson’s lawyers say in court filings.

The status of the labor commission dispute was not immediately known, other than that it is still ongoing. Attorneys for Clarkson and Starstruck have not commented about the ongoing cases in state court and in front of the labor commissioner.

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