Singer/producer Teddy Riley is going H.A.M. in a lawsuit filed against his former Blackstreet group members. He’s accusing the estranged members of using the group’s name without his permission.
Teddy Riley and group member Chauncey Hannibal filed the lawsuit against former group members Mark Middleton and Eric Williams on December 1, in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia.
According to the lawsuit, Teddy Riley is half of the owner of the Blackstreet trademark, while long time associate Chauncey Hannibal owns the other half.
They’ve held the rights to the name since 1992, prior to the release of any Blackstreet albums. The lawsuit claims that from 2003 until present, Mark Middleton and Eric Williams have booked themselves as Blackstreet for performances, without the proper permission or consent.
Lawyers for Teddy Riley and Chauncey Hannibal claim that the two men have ignored several cease and desist letters, but still continue to book shows as Blackstreet.
The lawsuit claims that as recently as November of 2011 the pair have claimed that they were Blackstreet. You may remember, the group was formed back in 1991.
Their debut album dropped in 1994, with members Teddy Riley, Dave Hollister, Chauncey Black and Levi Little. Middleton and Williams did not join the group until 1996, when Blackstreet hit big with the Dr. Dre-assisted single “No Diggity,” from their album Another Level.
According to Teddy Riley and Chauncey Hannibal, Mark Middleton and Eric Williams signed contracts which stipulated that they were works for hire, meaning they have no rights to use the Blackstreet name.
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