Reggae veteran Max Romeo challenges record label giants in legal battle for unpaid royalties

Veteran Reggae entertainer Max Romeo is thanking his fans for their support regarding his current legal pursuits against UMG Recordings and Polygram Publishing, Inc.

Music News understands that in the US$15 million lawsuit filed, Max Romeo is claiming almost 50 years of unpaid royalties on 19 songs, including his biggest hit, ‘Chase The Devil’ which was sampled by Kanye West and Jay-Z and featured in the Grand Theft Auto gaming franchise, plus ‘War Ina Babylon’, and ‘One Step Forward’.

In a Facebook post, Max Romeo stated, “Many Jamaican singers and songwriters have faced the same injustice from the people who promised to take our music across barriers, and as soon as the music gets there, they’re pushed to the side and disregarded.”

He wrote in part, “After 47 years, I have exhausted every resource available to me to get this matter rectified. I had to sit on the side as my most eminent piece of work was exploited without proper compensation. I have seen and heard my music and voice being used in numerous commercial ventures and have only reaped from the opportunity to perform these songs for my fans live in concert.”

He also clarified that the lawsuit has nothing to do with the late Lee Scratch Perry, stating, “Lee Scratch Perry was a genius, and I am eternally grateful for the work he has put into making this project what it was – we worked together to create a genre-defining body of work that has transcended generations. I have the utmost respect for him, hence I must clarify that he had absolutely nothing to do with this lawsuit and the abuse I have received from Island Records.”

78-year-old Max Romeo, who said he will no longer comment on the issue, ended his Facebook post with, “The matter is now in the hands of the court, stating, “A little man from rural St. Ann fighting the biggest recording label in the world in the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”


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