Aretha Franklin said she’s hurt by a lawsuit leveled against her by a close family friend.
Norman West filed suit in Detroit federal court back in July, demanding that Aretha’s publishing company cut him a check for his work on "Put It Back Together Again," Singersroom.com reports.
According to court documents, Springtime Publishing Inc. still hasn’t paid the singer-songwriter for the tune, which was featured on Aretha’s latest album, A Woman Falling Out of Love.
Aretha released a statement saying that she wished he would have come to her about the money matter because they have worked together very closely for 15 years. Aretha said she’s actually been something of a mentor to him and provided him with opportunities that others in his position only dream about.
“I’ve helped Norman West make a name for himself in the music industry, earn a living and in the past I’ve used several of his songs on my CDs, which resulted in other artists performing and recording his compositions,” she stated. “Vanessa Bell Armstrong recorded his song ‘Good News’ after hearing my version of it. This resulted in earning him extra income from my support of his career."
The Queen of Soul said that she’s even taken Norman and his band on the road with her in the past and that he’s a close family friend of hers. "I’ve hired him and his group, of which my son is a member, to open for me numerous times on tour," Aretha stated. " I did this to help him and the group secure national visibility in major markets across the country."
Before closing, Aretha added, "What disappointed me most was the fact that Norman West could’ve very easily gotten a message to me through one of my two sons, whom he knows well and occasionally sings with, but instead he chose to get his name in the paper by publicizing issues that were grossly inaccurate as far as my publishing company is concerned.
Although Aretha has now had her say, Norman has not made comment on her statement at this time.
— Sonya Eskridge