Taylor Hicks sues former producer for selling old songs on iTunes

Taylor Hicks is suing to stop songs he recorded five years ago from being sold on iTunes.

According to The Smoking Gun, “Hicks charges that William Smith recently sold three of his songs via Apple’s iTunes music store,” songs Taylor wrote. Taylor was awarded “a temporary restraining order barring distribution of the songs by Smith” yesterday. TSG has the entire complaint.

But that’s not the interesting part. The Smoking Gun reports that Smith e.mailed Taylor’s manager after he decided to put the songs on iTunes, writing, “if taylor does not go negitive … then anything in his past that would reflect negitvly upon him will stay there, in the past.” But to TSG, he “denied that it was a ‘blackmail attempt.'”

However, says Smith told TSG that he “has previously turned down five-figure tabloid offers to speak about Hicks’s sexuality and his prior drug use.” Not that someone who can’t bother to spell check their threatening e.mail messages should be trusted, but what? “Taylor was a young musician, so you can imagine what he was involved in,” Smith said.

Perhaps this is what The National Enquirer was referring to when it reported that Taylor feared “rumors about his sexuality.”

Taylor Hicks Sues Over iTunes Releases [The Smoking Gun]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.