She’s known for singing sad songs, but Toni Braxton is chanting a happy tune right now. The Grammy-winning songstress has finally excruciated herself from the tentacles of Blackground Records and her former manager, Barry Hankerson. According to a statement released yesterday, Braxton is no longer obligated to Hankerson or to Blackground. She’s now a free agent.
Her trial lawyer, Peter L. Haviland said that the settlement allows Ms. Braxton immediately to start new projects of her choice. "She wanted to end her relationship with Blackground and Barry Hankerson, and she has. Money has never been what motivates her. Integrity — artistic and personal – does," said Haviland.
"My freedom from Barry Hankerson is priceless, and means everything to me," Toni added.
As previously reported on ihiphop.com, Braxton filed a lawsuit against Hankerson claiming that he actively sought to destroy her relationship with Arista through underhanded ‘double-talk.’ According to the lawsuit filed in January, Hankerson was telling Braxton that Arista was not interested in working with her anymore, while telling Arista that Braxton no longer wanted to record for Arista.
After leaving Arista Records in 2003, Toni Braxton went on to sign a multi-record deal with Blackground Records, where she recorded only one album. Mr. Hankerson attempted to lure her back to Blackground by sending her an advance in December of 2006 to record a second Blackground album. Braxton turned down the offer, and chose to return the advance rather than stay with Blackground.
Her new settlement agreement terminates any remaining contractual obligations to Mr. Hankerson or to Blackground.