Hong Kong pop singer G.E.M. faces S$20 million lawsuit from record label
The 27-year-old believes her contract expired at the end of March, while the label claims it is valid for five more years.
Hong Kong pop star G.E.M. is facing a HK$120 million (S$20.72 million) lawsuit by Hummingbird Music after she announced plans to leave the record label.
According to court documents, the record label alleges that Gloria Tang Tsz-kei, better known as G.E.M., stated in March that her contract would expire at the end of the month. Hummingbird Music claims that her contract is stipulated to end in March 2022.
According to entertainment site JayneStars, G.E.M. first signed a five-year contract with the label in 2007, with exclusive songwriting, management, and artiste agreements. Both parties renewed the contract in March 2012 for another five years. In March 2014, three years before the contract’s end, she signed a second renewal, also for five years. Although the date was not written on paper, Hummingbird Music claimed that there was a consensus that the renewed contract would not take effect until March 2017, thus putting the new end date to March 2022.
Through court, Hummingbird Music is looking to validate G.E.M.’s exclusive contract and the rights to maintain ownership of all of G.E.M.’s copyrighted work, including her stage name.
JayneStars reported that G.E.M. may have to pay for damages totalling HK$120 million (S$20.72 million) should she decide to leave the label, as Hummingbird Music claims it would suffer a loss of HK$40 million (S$6.91 million) per year until 2022, along with revenue from cancelled concerts and Chinese endorsements.
The 27-year-old rose to fame in 2014 after placing second on the Chinese singing competition I Am A Singer, though G.E.M. now claims her label had threatened to pull her out of the finals if she refused to sign the renewal contract then.
In regard to her company’s lawsuit, G.E.M. said in a statement, “I am not in a position to make too many comments about the legal proceedings, but I can only say this for sure: In March 2014, a week before I was to compete in the finals for I Am a Singer, Hummingbird Music’s CEO required me to sign the contract renewal, or I would not be allowed to compete in the finals. Furthermore, it is the other party who had violated the management contract first. The singing contract and the songwriting contract officially ended yesterday, because according to the contract terms, the renewal takes effect the day it was signed. The truth will come out soon.”
“In short, I will continue to use G.E.M., the name that belongs to me. I will continue to sing my songs, and make my music. Gem Tang is still Gem Tang! I believe in justice, so I will face this with courage. See you in court!”