10 Crappy Recording Contracts That Gave The Music Business A Bad Name

The Lox

Unlocking The Truth

LeAnn Rimes



Lady Gaga

New Edition

Rolling Stones

Toni Braxton


Artists love their music, they love their fans, but they usually don't have much love for the music business itself. As a loose confederation of small recording studios gave way to the lucrative music industry of the mid-20th century, shrewd moguls began scamming money out of over-eager musicians via unfair recording contracts. These pinned most of the label's expenses on the artist while most of the profits ended up in the pockets of greedy label execs. Plenty of musicians have been screwed by the business, but what are some of the worst disputes involving artists and crappy contracts?

Obviously, there are various provisions barring artists from addressing specific terms of their deals, even after they're released from contracts. However, incidents like Prince's demands for creative control from his label and the revenue terms that led to TLC's bankruptcy gave fans a sense of the industry's contractual craziness. Both the Rolling Stones and Lady Gaga fell prey to bad managers early in their careers, while a recent deal with heavy metal tween band Unlocking The Truth sounds too good to be true.

Take a look through the gallery above to discover which artists signed the shadiest contracts in music history.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]