Pharrell and Kelis in 2002; James Devaney/WireImageKelis is accusing Pharrell Williams and his producing partner, Chad Hugo, of “tricking” her and keeping her royalties from her first two albums.
Williams and Hugo, known as The Neptunes, produced Kelis’ 1999 Kaleidoscope album, and her 2001 follow-up, Wanderland
The “Millkshake” singer tells The Guardian she was “blatantly lied to and tricked.” She further claims they agreed to share the royalties evenly. “I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do,” Kelis says.
She was 20 years old when she recorded Kaleidoscope. She says The Neptunes, who were her friends, took advantage of her as a young singer and convinced her to sign away the money she deserved.
“Their argument is: ‘Well, you signed it.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I signed what I was told, and I was too young and too stupid to double-check it.'”
Kelis tells The Guardian she didn’t notice she wasn’t paid for the two albums for a few years because she was comfortable financially due to the money she was making from touring.
As of Friday afternoon, The Neptunes hadn’t publicly responded to Kelis’ allegations.
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