If You Come For Brandy, At Least Get Your Facts Right
Brandy’s name topped headlines when she sued her label Chameleon Entertainment Group for not letting her release new music. And CEO Breyon Prescott’s petty clapback was more disrespectful for its misinformation than for its weak digs at the legendary entertainer.
Brandy has been on a new one as of late. She headlined Chicago on Broadway. She launched a new sitcom, Zoe Ever After, at BET. And she dropped a new single “Beggin and Pleadin” out of nowhere. Most notably, she finally realized that she’s “the shit”. So I can only imagine how this new attitude has trickled into her business dealings. When you know your true worth, those that seek to control or co-opt you have a much tougher time. And now that she is demanding freedom from her label so that she can release new music, things are getting heated.
Breyon Prescott, CEO of her label Chameleon Entertainment Group, released a statement through a spokesperson last week in response to her public calls to be freed from her contract. He refuted her claims in one of the most unprofessional manners I’ve seen publicly, blatantly throwing shade at her and her career.
“Breyon Prescott is deeply disappointed that rather than discussing her concerns with her present contractual status in a productive way, Brandy has taken unwarranted desperate measures to stay relevant by filing false outrageous claims and speaking on social media.
His recent work with her was the product of his strong belief that her career deserves to and can be revitalized. He tried to create a conduit for her to find an effective outlet for her music by presenting her a new deal to secure distribution. At no point has this process generated meaningful revenue for Mr. Prescott.
As one of Brandy’s most consistent supporters, his professional connection to her precedes her recent negotiations with Sony. Breyon wishes nothing but the best for Brandy and believes she deserves a prosperous career.”
“Desperate measures to stay relevant?” Wow. You tried it.
But he didn’t stop there. Along with the statement, he sent out a string of “facts” meant to bolster her position.
Breyon has not been served. This is a stunt to drum up publicity for her single release. Brandy released a video for Begging and Pleading today. If Prescott wanted to, he could pull the song from iTunes.
At no point was Brandy blocked or controlled from recording or releasing new music. In January of 2016, she released a single “Begging and Pleading”, without any resistance from Chameleon Entertainment.
Brandy is not signed to Epic Records.
Brandy uses her music as a tool to promote her acting career.
Breyon and Brandy haven’t spoken more than 3 words to each other in 3 years.
Brandy had huge multimillion selling hits on Atlantic Records from 1994 to 2002. But her sales began to decline as tastes changed, downloading cut into sales, and her audience moved on.
She went from selling over 1 million copies in 2002 with “Full Moon” to just 400,000 in 2004 for “Afrodisiac.”
Brandy left Atlantic at that point for Epic Records, which is part of Sony Music. Her 2008 album, called “Knockout,” bombed, selling just 214,000 copies. Epic, undergoing a leadership change, dropped her.
Without a record deal, Brandy signed a production deal (not a management deal) with Chameleon, run by Breyon Prescott. (In 2011)
Chameleon worked out a deal and got Brandy signed to RCA, despite failing previously under the Sony music family.
In 2012, under RCA, Brandy’s album “Two Eleven”, only sold 180,000 copies. The expense of promoting the album far exceeded money made from the copies sold.
Brandy was more interested in doing TV, movies and Broadway than in touring for the album; which resulted in low sales.
RCA cut their losses and dropped her.
In early 2015, Prescott joined Epic Records — under the same Sony umbrella.
Prescott managed to get Brandy a new contract at Epic, the label asked for a 360 deal– one in which they would get a cut of her other businesses like tours and merchandise. That way, if a new album bombed, they’d be protected. (As touring has overtaken record sales in revenue, 360 deals are common nowadays.)
The deal was worth $600,000 with a $75,000 advance. Brandy stalled, and never signed the contract. There were no other offers. No other label wanted her, and so she did not make a new record.
In 2015, Brandy re-recorded vocals for a new version of (“The Girl is Mine”) which was released in the U.K. Chameleon didn’t even know about it in advance.
In January 2016 she released “Begging and Pleading,” under her own label. Chameleon didn’t protest or stop her from releasing it. Once again, they didn’t even know about it in advance.
The Epic offer remains and she is still signed to Chameleon.
There is so much to unpack there, but I’m only going to touch on the high points. I think it’s hilarious that he opened the whole thing up by trying to flex. He claims all of these moves are publicity pleas, and that he could make it all go away if he felt like it. Well, who’s holding him back?
He goes on to say that he hasn’t spoken to Brandy in 3 years. If that is indeed true, he’s one of the worst businessmen I’ve seen function and maintain employment. Why keep a client you don’t talk to?
RELATED: Album Review: Brandy – Two Eleven
But my favorite part of this misguided data dump is when he goes into the timeline of her music career, with gems like “her audience moved on” and “Brandy was more interested in doing TV, movies and Broadway than in touring for the album; which resulted in low sales”. He even goes so far as to call her Human album Knockout instead, a clear sign of how closely they are invested in her actual success.
In the end, this whole affair is a thinly veiled smear campaign. If Brandy was a client that he truly prized, the way Prescott claims, why not be actively pushing for your mutual success? And if her career is as much of a failure as he paints it out to be, why be in business with her at all? Why keep her around? The music business is hard enough as it is. Why not cancel the contract, throw up the dueces, and keep it moving?
These outrageous statements only support Brandy’s claims that Prescott is barring her from releasing new music in an attempt to push her to sign a new deal. He didn’t get what he wanted, and now he’s doing his best to poison Brandy’s prospects. Lucky for her, Brandy has talent, a multifaceted career, and a stronghold of fans to lean on. If not for that, these petty comments might be worth a damn.
Photo credit: BET, 400Life.com
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