Rapper Lil Jon (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
*Live Nation could be facing a lawsuit from rapper Lil Jon over the concert promoter’s “Lovers & Friends” festival in Las Vegas.
When Lil Jon because aware that the festival, which debuted last year, was named the same as his 2004 hit with Ludacris and Usher, “Lovers & Friends,” the artist met with Live Nation officials to discuss licensing and potential fees, Rolling Stone reports. The inaugural event featured Lil Jon as a headliner but once it became clear that the annual event would go on without his participation, the hip-hop star got his lawyers involved.
In a statement shared with Rolling Stone, a rep for Lil Jon said, “After headlining the first ‘Lovers & Friends’ festival — which was a sold out success — it’s completely disappointing to Lil Jon as both an artist and entertainer, that Live Nation has done everything to not only avoid working with him personally, but his [legal] team as well to figure this out. Lil Jon won’t ever tolerate anyone, including Live Nation, stealing what he’s worked so hard for in his career, which includes what they’re doing with the ‘Lovers & Friends’ festival.”
Lil Jon’s lawyer Edwin McPherson sent a letter to Live Nation stating: “Lil Jon trusted Live Nation to do the right thing” when they agreed to defer those licensing conversations. But the rapper’s mood was piqued after it became clear Live Nation allegedly made Lovers & Friends an annual event without his participation, despite the continued use of the name.
— 50cent (@50cent) January 18, 2023
McPherson said Live Nation’s decision to keep using the Lovers & Friends name is “an obvious effort to confuse consumers into thinking that Lil Jon is performing at the Festival, or at the very least producing it. Such action clearly constitutes egregious and predatory conduct, and corporate opportunism at its worst… The company then had the temerity to register ‘Lovers & Friends’ as its own trademark, and eject Lil Jon from the Festival.”
According to McPherson, this poses “a serious infringement of Lil Jon’s common law trademark.”
McPherson also noted, “The fact is that there is no ‘Lovers & Friends’ Festival without Lil Jon’s involvement. This is akin to having a ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ Festival without Jimmy Buffett’s involvement or a ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ Festival without Journey.”
The “Lovers & Friends” festival returns to Las Vegas on May 6 and includes performances from Missy Elliot, Mariah Carey, Usher, Christina Aguilera, Nelly, Busta Rhymes, Sean Paul, and more.
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