‘Idol’ musicians not idle in seeking royalties

SHARE ‘Idol’ musicians not idle in seeking royalties

Clay and Fantasia and Kelly and the Davids they get the spotlight on “American Idol.” But there are unsung heroes behind every singer: the musicians. And the ones on “Idol” are a bit miffed.

Their union is, anyway. The American Federation of Musicians has filed a federal lawsuit against the producers of “Idol,” claiming musicians were underpaid because the shows live music was re-recorded for reruns.

That contract says the shows musicians should be paid royalties for rebroadcasts of the show, the lawsuit said.

The producers are required to pay 75 percent of scale to musicians who appear in the original show and rehearsals, plus 10 percent of that pay to a union pension fund, with decreasing percentages for each rebroadcast, according to court papers.

In 2007, the producers started cutting out the shows soundtrack and using different musicians to re-record new music for the past-season highlights show American Idol Rewind, the lawsuit said.

The union was not informed of the recording, according to court papers.

Phone messages left Thursday night with a representative for American Idol Productions were not returned.


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