Michael Bolton Disrespected Isleys But See How They Got Millions From Him
The Isley Brothers had a legal problem with singer, Michael Bolton that was strung out for 9 years in the courts. The year they finally received their victory over Bolton was in 2000, after the Supreme Court said something like ‘Stop it Bolton and pay them what you stole from them.’
It started in 1991, after The Isley Brothers realized that Bolton, his co-writer, and his label, Sony Music, had done a jack move on their 1968 jam, “Love Is A Wonderful Thing,” which Bolton also named his 1991 hit and featured it on his album, “Time, Love, & Tenderness,” ultimately selling 10 million copies. The Isleys tried to talk it out first with Bolton, but according to Ronald Isley, Bolton decided to get real cocky and disrespect them, and that’s when Ronald says he lost all respect for the Bolton.
In court, Bolton denied he’d ever heard The Isley’s song, but the jury believed that he was telling a big, fat lie after hearing Bolton’s swiss cheese testimony (his story was had so many holes in it).
According to Billboard:
‘[The] court ruled that Bolton, co-writer Andrew Goldmark, and Sony Music Publishing had to give the Isley Brothers $5.2 million in profits from the sales of Bolton’s version [of “Love Is A Wonderful Thing]. The battle ended Jan. 22, 2000 when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Bolton’s appeal of the May ruling.
The original trial jury determined there were five instances in which the Bolton/Goldmark song plagiarized the Isleys’ tune…and that the Isleys [were] to be paid $4.2 million from Sony Music, $932,924 from Bolton, $220,785 from Goldmark, and the balance from Bolton and Goldmark’s music publishing company.’
Ronald Isley did an interview with Billboard and explained how badly Bolton tried to play them and insult their intelligence:
Ronald Isley: ‘When I first heard his version of the song on the radio, I was really pleased. Then I went out to pick up the record and looked for my credit. I was upset because the credits weren’t on there. So we got in touch with his people and then he went into the “Oh, I didn’t know you all had a song like this.” That type of thing. But the…
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