US musician Daniel Marino has been awarded $44.35 million following a lawsuit which saw him claim he never received appropriate royalties or credit over his role in a 2004 Usher song.
As The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, Daniel Marino initially filed a suit back in 2011 against 20 defendants, including William Guice, Dante Barton, and Barton’s Destro Music Productions, over the credits to Usher’s 2004 song ‘Bad Girl’.
A civil complaint explained that Marino had worked with Guice and Barton between 2001 and 2002, creating a track titled ‘Club Girl’. Two years later, the track would appear on Usher’s album Confessions under the title of ‘Bad Girl’.
Daniel Marino claimed that he had created most of the song, including the “guitar hook, tempo, chord progression, and other elements”, while the other songwriters created only the beat and lyrics.
The lawsuit noted that the three songwriters had a signed contract to evenly split any credit and compensation for the track. Once a representative for Usher contracted the trio however, it is alleged that Guice, Barton, and Destro Music Productions supposedly signed “secret contracts” that apparently ensured Marino would receive none of the alleged $700,000 in profits that the song generated for them.
The complaint also noted that Dante Barton “explicitly acknowledged that Marino was owed money” prior to a ‘disappearance’ of sorts back in 2009. Daniel Marino had stated the he believed “his friends had tricked him and stolen his credit and compensation.”
While Usher himself was not named in the lawsuit, a US jury last week ordered William Guice to pay Marino $6.75 million in compensatory damages, and a further $20.25 million in punitive damages.
Likewise, Dante Barton’s Destro Music Productions agreed via a settlement to pay a total of $17.35 million towards Marino, bringing his total to $44.35 million.
Following the judgement, Daniel Marino’s lawer Francis Malofiy explained that this decision was a long-awaited, and deserved one.
“For seven years, against all odds, we believed in our client and his claims,” explained Malofiy. “The $44.35 million verdict and judgment finally vindicates Mr. Marino.”
As Rolling Stone points out, Usher’s Confessions has sold more than ten million copies, making it one of a handful of records to have achieved ‘diamond-certified’ status.