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Tim McGraw Hit With Breach of Contract Lawsuit by Curb Records Over ‘Emotional Traffic’ Album

Tim McGraw
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Tim McGraw fans shouldn’t get too excited about the release of his ‘Emotional Traffic’ LP just yet, as his label is filing a suit against him over the album. Curb Records has filed a lawsuit against Tim McGraw over the recording dates of ‘Emotional Traffic, claiming that McGraw is in breach of his contract because he handed over his ‘Emotional Traffic’ master tracks to the record company too soon before the album’s release.

Billboard was able to obtain a copy of the formal complaint, and Curb is claiming McGraw did this “in a transparent tactic to attempt to fulfill his contractual recording commitment to Curb prematurely in breach of the recording agreement.”

McGraw’s contract with Curb states that the country singer’s submitted material must be “topical and new” and that his new music must be delivered to the label “no earlier than 12 months and no later than 18 months” superseding his prior album. Curb is also saying that McGraw began recording ‘Emotional Traffic’ during “2008 or before,” which is a time period that is forbidden by McGraw’s contract, considering he turned in his final cut of the LP in October 2010.

Curb is seeking damages (which haven’t been specified as of yet) and another “option period” record on top of “injunctive relief preventing him from agreeing to provide, or providing, his personal services as a recording artist for the benefit of parties other than Curb Records until he has fulfilled his duties and obligations under the Recording Agreement.”

In the past, McGraw has been very outspoken about hoping to end his deal with Curb in the near future. The ‘Live Like You Were Dying’ singer spoke to Billboard last summer, saying, “I’ve had a great career [but] it’s time for a change … I think I’ve earned that.”  He also went on to discuss the various greatest hits albums that Curb has released over the years (seven, to be exact). “It’s sort of taking advantage of people,” McGraw pointed out.

One of the McGraw’s reps released a statement on the matter reading: “Sadly, after a 20-year relationship which has provided unprecedented success for both parties, Curb Records has chosen to end its accord with Tim McGraw by filing suit against him. Tim McGraw delivered his new album, ‘Emotional Traffic,’ to Curb in the fall of 2010. The label is holding the album hostage from country music fans in an attempt to force Tim McGraw to serve perpetually under a contract that he has already fully and faithfully completed. The only song Curb has released from the album, ‘Felt Good on My Lips,’ was a multi-week No. 1 hit.”

The statement continues, “Although Curb has not released the album, Tim McGraw has decided to perform new songs from ‘Emotional Traffic’ on his current tour because he feels it is one of his best ever. Most importantly, Tim McGraw wants to thank his fans for their continued support in his efforts to release new and exciting music.”

McGraw’s lawyer, Rusty Jones from Nashville’s Harris, Martin and Jones firm, comments, “We are going to respond vigorously and promptly.” Curb’s attorney, Jay S. Bowen from Bowen and Unger, PLC, has yet to comment on the matter, and the label declined to comment altogether.

Watch Tim McGraw Sing New Song ‘Better Than I Used To Be’ From ‘Emotional Traffic’

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