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'Idol' winner Taylor Hicks sues ex-producer for selling old demo songs

UPI News Service, 08/24/2006 

"American Idol" winner, Taylor Hicks, is suing a Tennessee music producer for distributing songs Hicks recorded before he won the reality show.

In the lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Alabama, Hicks alleges William Smith recently sold three of Hicks's songs through Apple's iTunes music store, reported Thursday.

Smith told TSG in an interview after Hicks auditioned for him, he recorded the songs, which Hicks had written, in June 2001 with the help of Nashville session musicians.

Smith said he then gave the demo to 15 labels but none was interested.

Last month, Smith contacted Hicks's attorney and told him of his plans to market one of the songs, "The Fall," on iTunes, noting that "anything in his past that would reflect negatively upon him will stay there" as long as Hicks did not "go negative" against him.

When asked if his e-mail was a threat geared to stop a copyright lawsuit, Smith denied it was a "blackmail attempt."

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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