Ginuwine says he was duped into signing a contract with a record company that doesn’t exist.
In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court, the R&B singer says he was persuaded to sign on May 8, 2007, with King Music Group Inc., a company that a personal acquaintance, Michael Bourne of Memphis, Tenn., said he owned.
Terms of the contract gave Ginuwine, whose real name is Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, $1.75 million to record his first album with King, including a $500,000 advance, according to court papers. In nearly five months, the singer hasn’t made any records and hasn’t been paid a cent, the lawsuit said.
In addition, the lawsuit said, there is no corporate record for King Music Group Inc. anywhere in New York, California, Florida or Tennessee.
The lawsuit accuses King Music and Bourne of breach of contract, fraud and negligent misrepresentation. It asks for a total of $4 million in damages.
Ginuwine’s lawyer, Corey D. Boddie, said Thursday that his client is now unable to record anywhere else. He said the singer could be sued if he made records for another company while under contract to King.
Boddie said he has been unable to contact Bourne.
Bourne’s telephone number in Memphis was unlisted and directory assistance had no listing for King Music Group.
Ginuwine’s albums include “Back II Da Basics,” “Ginuwine ... The Bachelor” and “The Life.”