PATH has learned that Mathew Knowles’ Music World Gospel has filed a lawsuit against their own artist Brian Courtney Wilson.
This development marks another dark time for the once flourishing record label that Knowles brought to prominence while managing is daughter Beyonce Knowles. Since Beyonce left under hasty terms, Mathew Knowles has primarily focused on the Gospel side of his label, changing his subsidiaries label name from Spirit Rising Gospel to Music World Gospel.
Armed with new signees from the hit show Sunday Best, Knowles was named one of the top independent labels back in 2009-2010. Since then, his roster has continued to plummet. Successful artists like Trin-i-Tee 5:7, Michelle Williams, and Micah Stampley have all jumped ship.
Many industry insiders have seen the writing on the wall for a long time, hearing whispers that Mathew Knowles’ label was for sale to the highest bidder. And the label could no longer hide its financial state, slashing staff by nearly 50 percent earlier in the year.
As a pre-cursor to the lawsuit filed against Wilson, the 61 year old Knowles has lost his first-look agreement with BET to sign their Sunday Best winner each year. That privilege know goes to Kirk Franklin’s Fo Yo Soul Records.
Insiders believe that the combined pressure of Knowles’ declining label is forcing him to play hard ball with any cards he has left. Knowles denies that his label is for sale, but sources familiar with the discussions refute his claims.
Now after apparently fulfilling his contract, Brian Courtney Wilson has learned that he’s being sued by Knowles for Breach of Contract.
Wilson had reportedly begun to entertain offers from other labels, when Mathew Knowles realized that Wilson’s deal with his label had lapsed. Several industry insiders believe that the move to sue Brian Courtney Wilson is a tactical measure attempting to tie him up in court to deter other labels from signing him. Even if Knowles can’t win the suit, he has succeeded in complicating Wilson’s career choices.
PATH reached out to Brian Courtney Wilson for comment and Wilson said, “Unfortunately I cannot comment because of the pending litigation.”
Mathew Knowles appears to be loosing his leverage. If Brian Courtney Wilson left, he would undoubtedly get less from companies looking to purchase the Music World roster. A line-up that Knowles is reportedly asking too much for, and a roster that still includes notable artists like Sunday Best winners Le’Andria Johnson, Joshua Rogers, and runner-up Alexis Spight.
In a statement sent via email Knowles stated, “Music World Gospel had it’s best year ever in 2012 ranked number 3 overall in market share. We hope continue this trend.”
Brian Courtney Wilson is currently singing with Fred Hammond’s newly formed group “The United Tenors.” The group’s paring with Dave Hollister has seen great success on the Billboard charts all year.
Knowles originally fought this group for the right to use Brian Courtney Wilson’s vocals, but cooler heads prevailed as Knowles was cut in on the deal. Lets pray that a similar arrangement can be made here.