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Sony, Incubus Reach a New Deal

Sony Music Entertainment Inc. and the funk-metal band Incubus have ended their legal standoff with a lucrative new deal that will pay the Calabasas quintet an estimated $8 million in advances for its next album, it was reported Friday.

The deal struck Thursday also requires the band to deliver two additional albums and gives Sony an option for a fourth, with an estimated $2.5 million advance due for each, sources told the Los Angeles Times.

The company and the musicians “have amicably resolved their differences, and will continue with their highly successful relationship,” Sony and the band said in a joint statement.

The band asked a judge in February for a release from a 1996 record contract, alleging they were underpaid. The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court cited California’s so-called “seven-year statute,” which states that most entertainers cannot be tied to any company for more than seven years. But major record labels won a legal battle that allows them to collect damages from musicians who fail to deliver promised albums.

Sony responded with a countersuit, saying the band owed it four albums and had gone to court as a negotiating ploy.

As part of the agreement, Sony also agreed to erase an estimated $3 million tab for unrecouped marketing costs, which the band owed before it could begin receiving royalty payments, sources said.

Incubus signed a seven-album deal with Sony-affiliated Immortal Records in 1996 and has sold more than 7 million albums. Sources estimated that the band’s recordings have netted Sony $35 million in profit, while the band had received only a little more than $4 million in advances, and no royalty payments.

The band recently replaced its bassist and founding member Dirk Lance and is slated to play the Lollapalooza Tour this summer. The band also has been writing songs and is expected to deliver an album for release early next year.

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