Carly Simon sues Starbucks over album deal

Brittni DeHart

From The Associated Press

SEATTLE – Singer Carly Simon is suing Starbucks Corp., saying the coffee company’s now-defunct music venture didn’t adequately promote her 2008 album, dooming the record before it was even released.

The singer, whose biggest success came during the 1970s and ’80s with hits like “You’re So Vain” and “Anticipation,” is seeking unspecified damages related to the release of the 14-track “This Kind of Love” in April 2008.

In a lawsuit filed Friday with California’s Los Angeles County Superior Court, Simon and her attorneys said the album wasn’t available in “a substantial number” of Starbucks stores during the key early months following its release. Later, when the disc was stocked in Starbucks locations, the Seattle-based company slashed the price.

“By doing so, Starbucks stigmatized Ms. Simon’s album as an album that could not be sold at full price,” according to the claim.

In a statement issued Monday, Starbucks said it met all its contractual obligations and even extended the amount of time it promoted the album in New York and Boston.

“Unfortunately, sales continued to lag as the title received tepid response from music consumers,” Starbucks said. “Other retailers faced the same fate with this CD.”

Simon blamed the performance of the title — which has sold only 124,000 copies, according to The New York Times, which first wrote about the litigation — on a decision by Starbucks days before the album’s release to end its involvement in Hear Music, a joint venture with Concord Music.

Simon’s next record, “Never Been Gone” is scheduled to be released later this month by Iris Records.

Starbucks shares rose 29 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $20.53 in morning trading Monday.