R. Kelly was hit with a lawsuit last week in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming that he fired superstar singer Ne-Yo without just cause, owing him a six-figure payment.
According to Ne-Yo, born Shaffer Smith, R. Kelly fired him because he upstaged Kelly during the “Double Up Tour,” which Kelly kicked off in November of 2007.
Ne-Yo claims that he was to be paid $785,000 dollars to perform as a featured artist on the “Double Up Tour,” which also features artists Keyshia Cole and J. Holiday.
Ne-Yo claims he was fired after two shows and paid $50,000 dollars, due to Kellys alleged belief that the crowds were more enthusiastic to Ne-Yos performances than his own.
Kellys representatives have claimed that Ne-Yo was dropped for contractual reasons, which Ne-Yo denied in a previous statement.
“I love being on stage in front of fans because of the immediate feedback you get,” the singer stated. “You know right away if they are feeling you; and they were really feeling our show.”
R. Kelly, 40, had similar issues with rapper Jay-Z, who booted the singer from their joint “Best of Both Worlds Tour” in 2004, due to Kellys erratic behavior on the road.
Kelly later sued Jay-Z for $75 million dollars, claiming that an associate of Jay-Z assaulted him by pepper spraying him just before a performance at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Jay-Z filed a countersuit, claiming that Kellys lawsuit was a calculated stunt, designed to deflect attention away from child pornography charges against him.
Kelly is due in court on January 14 and is scheduled to stand trial on 14 counts of child pornography starting on May 9, after a five-year delay.